Commentary

Avaya Goes From Utility To Cool

  • by October 14, 2007
We heard a refreshing presentation by Jocelyne Attal, CMO of Avaya, an IT company that started out, in 2000 after transmogrifying from Lucent, as the underdog. With a thick and delightful French accent, Attal took us through her company's progress in growing its B2B customers database by changing its brand image.

"From Utility to Cool," her titled presentation, showed how Avaya went from being an invisible brand (the telephone on your office desk) to providing software you can't live without.

I'm a sucker for the underdog so I was really drawn into her presentation as she showed how Avaya rebranded itself by using its 8,000-member sales force to visit clients with stickers in hand, covering the word Lucent on the desk phone with a red Avaya. That's creative thinking.

But the best part of Attal's talk was when she spoke about her experience here in Phoenix. "I have been on vacation for three days and tomorrow I will be back in hell," she said as the audience tittered approval. She said she's schedule to be in a meeting (probably with the CEO and CFO) during which she will hear, "Here is my dollar. Should I spend it on sales? Should I put it in the bank? Or is it better that I don't spent it at all?"

"This is my life!"

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