New kid on the block

September 15th 2017 / By Laurence Peel

I joined Chalkline about six weeks ago now and I thought it would be interesting to document my experience and how I have been welcomed into the Chalkline family.

On my first day I must confess I was filled with trepidation. I was excited to be starting a new role but equally there is always a fear of the unknown and this situation was no different. I wanted to make a good impression and it goes without saying that I set my alarm an hour early to ensure that I allowed sufficient time to get to the office and arrive early. There simply couldn’t be anything worse that being late on your first day could there?!

New Kid

I was joining the Support team and was eager to meet my fellow colleagues who I would be working alongside. My prior experience within support is that these teams are usually a tight-knit group who work together and have each other’s back, as I was about to find out this team was no different.

From the very first minute I walked in through the door, I was welcomed with open arms. I soon realised that there really was nothing to be nervous about and that I would be working with a great bunch of people that could help me learn and become better at my job.

I could tell immediately that this company were a professional outfit. My PC was setup with dual screens and they use a small piece of hardware called Busylight which sits on my screen and shows my “presence” by linking into my Skype for Business. This way I can look up and see who is on a call and who is free to help me should I need it. Everything was uniform and there was definitely a high attention to detail!

I didn’t wait for the formal introductions and went straight in talking with different members of the various teams – everyone was really nice and I could immediately tell that there was a great feeling in the office.

At 9:30 I was given the official introduction by Stephen, the Operations Director. He formally introduced me to everyone in the office and explained what the business did, what makes it special and the roles of my new colleagues that I’d soon be working closely with. He also explained what was expected of me. My role as 1st Liner was to be the first line of contact when clients call in and effectively to triage the problem.

I am only allowed to work on issues for 30 minutes and if I can’t resolve the problem, I am to escalate the incident to our 2nd Line team. This is extremely important as we don’t want our clients to wait for a resolution if another member of staff can resolve the problem in a timely manner. There is also one rule that explained to me – we always call the client back when we say we are going to, even if we haven’t resolved the issue.

The First Rule of Chalkline

After the introductions it was time to get stuck in and get down to work! I was sat next to James (another 1st Line Support Analyst) and he began to show me some of the basics. Chalkline use a product called ConnectWise for their Service Desk software and it would take me a little bit of time to become accustomed to using it. Within ConnectWise is another product called LabTech which does all the monitoring, patching and reporting. There was a lot to learn but I was up to the challenge 😊.

I would start with some of the basic tasks such as backup checks, which we run through and check every morning, we also do checks of the monitoring for all the workstations and servers to verify that any high severity alerts are escalated, prioritised and dealt with in a timely manner. We also perform regular patching and antivirus checks on all the workstations and servers to ensure they’re all secure & up-to-date.

The morning flew by and it was time for lunch. The team usually walk down to Morrisons for some fresh air, it’s important to stretch your legs and get out for 20 minutes when you are working on problems and staring at a screen all day. During the lunch break we also play on the Xbox, I have to say that there are some serious FIFA matches that occur on a regular basis!

After lunch, I sat down with Martin (a 3rd Line Analyst) to run through the patching checks in a bit more detail. He showed me the administration consoles for both Labtech’s Patch Management & Microsoft Intune (this is a Microsoft Cloud offering for device management, patching and antivirus).

For the rest of the day I shadowed James and watch how he processed incidents, dealt with clients and carried out tasks that I would soon be performing. Some of the processes I would have to get to grips with include software deployment, user change management (adding, updating & removing users from our clients’ systems) and permission management.

The end of the day came so quickly! I know it’s cliché but the day really does fly past when you are busy and having fun with your colleagues.

Well as I said at the beginning, that was 6 weeks ago and I’m now fully integrated and comfortable being 1st Line on the Managed Service desk. Looking back, there was nothing to be worried about – Chalkline is a great place to work! I am proud to say that I am part of a team that genuinely puts the service they deliver to our clients above everything else.

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