After years of hiding to protect my contact center team, we are finally now reporting into the CIOs office (as of 9 mos ago). And when I asked my CIO if I could attend Engage, he belted out a physical response so filled with angush I didn't know if he was laughing, crying or experiencing a cardiac event.
I then emailed him the details and my explanation.
Includes access to all the main stage keynotes, breakout sessions, solutions expo, meals and all networking events (including opening reception, expo receptions, and closing party). Does not include hotel accommodations
Just below that pricing is
-- To see if I could hold up the business case to retain Avaya post 2nd bankruptcy in 6 years. To identify a bridge strategy that gives our organization the ability to drive greater ROI from the existing infrastructure and give this innovation without disruption an open mind.
He then began to explain the how and why my group now reports into him how Avaya has milked the contact center space for way too many years. How they shoud be offering the information that I am seeking for free and come to us with it. How desperate Avaya is to entice the traditional old crew of contact centrer people to try to relive the good 'ol days. He showed me the pricing and structure of general tech vendors events. He reminded me how Avaya kept touting Cloud last summer when we requested cloud pricing. Yet they would never give us a proposal. At first we believed our partner was withholding a quote. The Avaya people showed up and scoffed at the suggestion that anything was wrong at Avaya. Literally denounced the idea that Avaya may file for bankruptcy. We kept pressing for the cloud pricing. It was ALL CLOUD. ONE CLOUD. And a whole lot of experience gobbly go-k. Yet our EXPERIENCE was -- Avaya badged employees showed up for song and dance. Yet were nowhere to be found when we demanded cloud pricing. In fact. Our CIO complained about it to a CIO networking group he is part of and another CIO suggested he speak to an ex employee who was vocal about Avayas misgivings and whom this other CIO had great respect for. This Ex Avaya employee was kind and offered to get on a call with my team. They taught us what words to use to insist on an answer. Avaya still refused to face us, the customer. They simply FINALLY admitted to the partner that the cloud product was still 6 months out which is why we couldn't get any pricing.
My CIO also pulled up some analyst interviews and stories where Avaya makes a bold declaration that AVAYA INTERNATIONAL was NOT PART OF CHAPTER 11 so he wanted to know why the HE-L Avaya is hosting some sort of vacation junket for international attendees for a more discounted price than for the North American/Mexico atendees, when in fact it is the US and border country clients who are the ones who have to DEFEND Avaya Every Single Day because of the very public bait-and-switch bankruptcy. ??????????
Then pulled me in and he began dialing other CIO friends in our industry whom he knew had a "version" of Avaya. Most made the decision to leave Avaya 100% within the next 2-3 years and are operating the core basics until the new vendor is full rolling. Some have decided to hold off on a final decision, but not because they want to give Avaya a chance. But because they are interested in what Microsoft may be able to do, especially after Nuance. They say they are just buying time. One told us about this site. And we have spent the last week reading posts going as far back as the fall. It's been interesting to see which posts were foreshadowing to what occurred. Even more interesting to see the gaslighters. The Avaya cheerleaders. Those posts gave us flashbacks to the dog and pony show the Avaya badges gave us last September.
So here we are. I've decided to share so you all know what is really going on. How long term large clients really view Avaya. And ABSOLUTELY NOT was the ultimate answer from my CIO. I can share that the Avaya experience this year has helped me appreciate reporting into the CIO, and vice versa. He now understands why contact center is so challenging and that it's just not us wanting to hold on to the old. It's the messed up vendors!
For full disclosure, we made the decision to not attend during early bird pricing period. I've listed the list pricing. And I send my Avaya emails to a set folder and have not opened any to see if they are currently offering any discounts. I just happened to log in to see what the latest t-t-for-tat was (it's interesting to see the ones who share vs the ones who blanketly defend. The truth lies somewhere in between) and I saw this post and thought you all may appreciate a Day-in-the-Life explantion as to why clients are not registering. Also, I would vote to end IAUG. It is dead.