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My days in tech support

June 1, 2007

  highwire.gif   Somewhere circa 1993-1995, I was working in a support call center taking calls on computer hardware issues.  The product line I was supporting was venerable and had been around since the late 1980’s and while PC compatible, it was advanced and proprietary.    As such, there was a fairly limited (by today’s standards) set of cards and options that could be integrated into the various systems, and everything was well documented in procedural terms for how it worked.    You really could walk a customer through a problem by reading the manual step by step – everything was tested, and was 100% certain to work.  If it didn’t work, there were flow charts that would quickly isolate the failing component, and we would replace it.  Problem solved.    There was education,  several days a month.  There were engineers co-located with support, and example machines readily at hand to recreate the customer combination.

It was an enormous safety net.   With all those resources available, one would have to work at NOT being able to solve the problem.

Today?   Things are moving so fast.  Technology is refreshing perhaps four times a year.  Companies are dynamically changing their business model – what they sell, where they sell, how they sell, to whom they sell.   And of course service and support capabilities, and core business processes must evolve along with those changes.   The computer industry is accelerating.   These days, it feels like a high wire act without the net. 

Invigorating, isn’t it?

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