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Rob Spray: Leadership with pride

20 Jun 2012

Global communication leader, Avaya, employs around 20,000 people worldwide. In early March of this year it added former Nortel managing director, Rob Spray as general manager of its New Zealand division. He’s been there long enough, Spray tells IT Brief with a grin, to be dangerous.

“Seriously though, I’m chuffed. It’s a fascinating company. A real bulldozer of a company with an incredible customer database.”

With more than 20 years sales and marketing experience in New Zealand and abroad, Spray was the inaugural chief executive of the Telecommunications Industry Group NZ and the National Technical Operations Manager for Zintel Cogent prior to joining Avaya.

Spray is pleased to be back working with partners and helping provide companies with solutions that add value.

“I”m proud of the customers who have chosen to use our technology. It’s great to be part of a company with a focus on where it is going and what it needs for customers to be delighted.”

The consumerisation of IT devices is driving a lot of the change the space is currently seeing and, Spray says, small businesses are leading the way.

“It makes economic sense,” he says, “ for a small business to let the employee choose what they want to use and to simply give them an allowance to cover their work usage.”

This makes for a happier, employee and it’s better financially for the company.

It does however make for a more complex IT environment he concedes.

“Business is changing and now apps sit over top of platforms and allow a myriad of devices while controlling service, tracking and reporting, so having good policies in place is vital if people want untethered devices.”

Regardless of the size of the enterprise, and the direction they take with devices, it is important to Spray his team listen to businesses, rather than talk to them.

“Every business is different, each one has different needs so selling a product is not the answer. We need to listen to them and ask what they are trying to achieve and help them do that.”

Spray confesses his spiritual home is in call centres; he enjoys being part of a company known to be a global leader in contact centres, unified communications and other related services.

Social media: Opportunity“Contact centre technology is evolving and it’s very exciting,” he says.

Social Media is providing new opportunities for call centres to offer greater client support Spray believes.

“Linking in social media for contact centres is great. Teams are no longer simply passively reacting to situations but actively participating in the discussions.”

It’s important therefore, he says, that call centre teams use the technology to the maximum.

“Customer satisfaction need to come back into the company and being able to use social media can really enable this.

Avaya is actively working on solutions that will enable enterprise to access and use social media effectively from within call centres hopefully increasing employee productivity, making processes more flexible and raising customer satisfaction.

“It’s great to know we’ve built the technology that will allow companies to start looking for the discussions.”

Rob Spray leans back in his chair and smiles.

“It might sound strange, but I still get a kick, when I’m out, of recognising companies that are clients. I’m really proud of what we do and who we work with.”

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