Change Doesn’t Have to be Reckless

The following was originally posted on the Avaya site here and then again at the CIO Collaboration site here.

Four years ago, I knew where I would be today. I was young(er) and naïve(r) and thought that I could control my life and the changes that would come my way. Then my wife and I got the joyous news that she was pregnant with twins. Once we recovered from the news and assessed the situation, we had a plan: we would both continue to work. We found a daycare just minutes from my wife’s office so that she could nurse throughout the day with relative convenience. As I said, we had a plan. But you already know where I’m going with this don’t you? Plans, well, they change.

Soon after our beautiful boys were born, my wife’s entire division was laid off at the office. We took this as a sign confirming that she should stay home with the kids. Meanwhile, my mother-in-law, bless her soul, had been living with us five days a week just so that we could survive. When she couldn’t keep up the two hour commute, we started living with her part-time. Before we knew it, we were living with her full-time and I was now a full-time remote worker. We learned the value of having family around and fell in love with our new hometown. In only 2 years, our lives had changed in ways we never imagined. It was crazy and unpredictable but worked out in so many wonderful ways.

Similarly, change in the workplace is often (or seems to be) unpredictable and sometimes reckless. As leaders, we have the responsibility to foresee the drivers of change, perform due diligence, plan a transition, execute the plan, handle any hiccups, call it done, and then start looking for the next change on the horizon. Above all else, we are responsible to adopt the change in a way that increases the value of the organization. We’ve all seen examples of successful changes and those that were less than ideal. Was the re-organization done based on facts in order to meet a real business need, or was it based on speculations and smelled of empire building? Was the process change driven by a kaizen event of those who do the work, or by those not familiar with the subject? When done with the right information and for the right reasons, change can be used to drive real incremental value in an organization.

This of course also holds true to technology investments. IT leaders should not make changes to their infrastructure or services that they offer to their users on a whim or as a last-minute response to an unanticipated shift in their users’ needs. Your changes don’t need to be reckless revolutions, they can be planned evolutions. Avaya is here to partner with you in planning how your services evolve. Think of Avaya as that trusted advisor who has seen countless others go through this and can help you avoid the pitfalls. We can assist in thoughtful roll-outs of:

Where do you think you and your organization will be five years from now? You can’t know for sure. All you can do is be diligent in your planning and adapt as life throws you those curve-balls. But don’t stress too much; some of these reckless changes can result in some of life’s greatest blessings

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Video as a Knowledge Sharing Medium

The following was originally posted on the Avaya site here and then again at the CIO Collaboration site here.

I got my first Apple laptop this year and was quickly in a situation where I did not know exactly how to do everything I wanted to do. Working at a company that uses a HTTP proxy, I immediately needed to know how to enable and disable a proxy. Did I call Apple for help? No, like you, I simply went to Google and searched for “how to set the proxy on a mac” (link). As I skimmed the results, I found a YouTube video on exactly this topic. I was able to play the video, pause and rewind it as needed, until I got my proxies set correctly. Ah, the wonders of the modern age!

If you are like most technology users, this is a reflexive move: search the web, find a video, and problem solved. This isn’t just true for computers either: I needed to replace the trimmer line on my trimmer at home but wasn’t sure of how much line to use or the best way to add it. A quick search and I was back to wiping out unwanted weeds.

At Avaya Client Services, we know that when faced with a problem on an Avaya solution, our partners and customers will turn to the web. Like most technology companies, Avaya maintains an extensive written knowledge base at http://support.avaya.com which has only gotten better with the re-launch of the site this spring. While black and white text can be helpful (after all, you are finding this blog helpful, right? Right?), raising the bar with video can really help get the knowledge across. Who better than Avaya to be the first in our industry to expand our knowledge base with video? After all, we are an industry leader in video solutions.

With great pride, I want to introduce you to the Avaya Mentor program. This programs tasks Avaya subject-matter-experts with publishing short videos on various services-related topics across all the Avaya product portfolios. These videos are primarily focused on aiding the installation, configuration, and/or troubleshooting of Avaya solutions. By making these videos available to you, we expect you will be able to resolve your problems quickly, perhaps even faster than the time it takes to open an Avaya ticket.

Since we started publishing videos in January, we have seen the consumption of these videos grow. We have now published nearly 400 videos and have received more than 56,000 views spanning 155 countries. We average 40 views per video per month, whereas our text-based KB articles average three views per month. Clearly, video is a powerful medium for our associates, partners, and customers.

This shouldn’t be all that surprising as we’ve all experienced how much more informative a video conference can provide when compared to a standard audio call. With Avaya’s acquisition of Radvision, my geographically-dispersed staff and I have been enjoying using theScopia Desktop client for our meetings. Video provides richer context, conveying more information in the same time.

Want to learn more about the Avaya Mentor program? View the overview of Avaya Mentor embedded below, then logon tohttp://support.avaya.com and browse for videos. If you don’t have your login handy, you can also see all our videos athttp://www.youtube.com/AvayaMentor. If you want to be notified when new videos are published, you can subscribe to our YouTube channel, or follow us on Twitter at @AvayaMentor.

Example videos:
How to Perform a Software Upgrade for a HA Mediant™ 3000
How to Perform a Trace on Avaya IP Office using DbgView
How to Change the System Time on the Avaya VSP9000
How to Diagnose Branch Gateway Connectivity
How to check RAID Battery status on HP DL360F7 in System Platform