By Chip Powell, IAUG Secretary/Treasurer
Information Technology Specialist, Legislative Counsel Of California
For anyone working with Avaya systems, attending Avaya ENGAGE 2023 is a must! Telecom continues to be an evolving industry. The bomb-proof, large-cabinet PBXs we used to manage have mostly become a thing of the past, and dedicated real-time voice channels and hardware are now just a small part of the overall enterprise communications infrastructure.
At this year’s ENGAGE, there are lots of customer-led sessions, where our industry peers will discuss their transition to the cloud – the challenges they faced, and the benefits they’ve realized. That’s particularly important to me, as some portions of our enterprise are using cloud-based real-time communication tools, while other parts are premise-based. I’m particularly looking forward to sessions by Slade Besson from Nicholls State University and Tim Eddinger from Seneca Foods.
I have been attending user group conferences since 1998, early in my IT career. I was blown away by all the “smart” people at my first event, who freely shared their deep level of expertise on their systems. Since then, I have benefitted by speaking to manufacturers and support partners about their product roadmaps, helping our organization make well-informed investment decisions. I have also gained a better understanding of the ecosystem of vendors who use unique technology to complement our existing systems. We have some of those supporting solutions working very well in our organization today, but I only learned about them by meeting and speaking in person with the engineers who support them.
Participating in ENGAGE has also helped my professional growth. Working on the same systems every day and occasionally reading an article or attending a webinar will only go so far. To be able to have conversations with the developers who actually build the systems your organization uses is incredibly valuable. Meeting other conference attendees in person, comparing notes, talking about what works well and what doesn’t, gives you an overall understanding of our industry that’s hard to come by elsewhere.
I sincerely hope you will attend ENGAGE 2023. The professional teams from IAUG headquarters, Avaya, and other support partners have worked tremendously hard to build the best conference in our industry, I am humbled to be conference chair for the second straight year, working side by side with so many volunteers and professionals who bring this conference to life. The attendee experience and educational session planning volunteer teams do a tremendous amount of work to ensure that the overall experience is top-notch. From the bottom of my heart I thank these teams for their efforts.
As our world changes, we need to be a part of the conversation among manufacturers, business partners, other vendors, and fellow customers to learn how to collectively provide exemplary support to our organizations back at home in a shifting communication landscape. There’s no better way to do this than in person at Avaya ENGAGE!