Senior Internet

Support Technician – Supporting Document

Phil Rodkoff –  icon-envelope –  icon-phone0773 445 8620

In this role you will be responsible for providing 1st and 2nd line support to customers using the company’s software across the UK and in over 60 countries worldwide.

My position at Prime Principle saw me providing 1st and 2nd line support nationwide to customers of the company’s bespoke software. Queries ranged from forgotten passwords to identifying and resolving anomalies in large volumes of records in live data.

Queries were handled via email, telephone and over a live web-chat system. All were logged and tracked with full transparency to the customer. Communication would be constant between myself and the customer.

Remote-access would frequently be employed to gather information for further analysis or to provide guidance to the customer on how to use the software.

My work at Experian, Thomson Reuters and Conject saw a diverse global customer-base. I would frequently be working with customers in Asia, UAE and US regions as well as UK and EMEA regions.

As a Support Technician you will be responsible for a range of duties, including:

Conducting system set-ups and configurations

‘New setups’ was an area of work I effectively made my own whilst at Prime Principle. Managing and carrying out the implementation of setting up, configuring, testing and communicating their status to the customer. This process included managing the administration area of the software and updating configurations of the software directly in SQL.

My support role at Conject also included setting up and managing the deployment of new customer web sites. This included extensive testing and configuration.

At Thomson Reuters a large part of my role was to work with the company’s customers as our product was being implemented into their own banking back-offices. These customers were global financial institutions that would frequently have restrictive IT policies which would add to the challenge of a successful deployment of the software.

In all the above examples, I would maintain accurate documentation and also review the processes involved. I would revise these processes in order to streamline the work and increase productivity.

Providing administrator training and support to clients over the phone and by email

My most recent roles at Prime Principle and Conject have seen the most extensive practice of this type of work. Whilst the Prime Principle software had a tighter focus than the Conject software, the customers were considered less technically minded. I would provide guidance on the phone or email and frequently conduct demonstrations via remote access. I would occasionally visit on-site to answer questions and support the training process.

Conject’s software covered project management, document management and financial control for the construction industry. Construction project managers regarded it as an integral part of their work. The scope of the software was considerably wider and more complex than the Prime Principle software and this extended to a very detailed user permission system. A major part of my work at Conject concerned educating these customers on best practices with the system and offering guidance to its most effective use.

Communication with customers was conducted via telephone, email, web-chat and remote-access.

Resolving customer queries and/or escalating issues where required

Some queries reported by customers turned out to be symptoms of bugs. In such cases I would escalate the issue to the software development team. I would retain ownership of the issue and keep the customer informed. I would also liaise with the development team to provide any extra information they required and to relay appropriate information back to the customer.

When working with any issue I remain aware of the company’s position, commitments and also what can be realistically achieved. I consider these factors when managing the expectations of the customer. However, I accept there will be circumstances where the customer will not be satisfied and will seek to escalate their concerns to the appropriate contact.

I have supported customers in a variety of disciplines – from teachers with immovable deadlines to directors at banks and financial institutions in extremely fast-paced and heavily regulated foreign exchange markets. I am comfortable and confident working with customers of all statures.

Producing specifications for systems developments, testing and overseeing system launches

My roles in software development (Free Radical Design, Take 2 Interactive, Telstar Electronic Studios) understanding the scope of the product and the resources for it to run effectively were a key part of how the project was driven. Amongst my responsibilities would be to help produce specifications, write and execute comprehensive test plans and perform product reviews based on these criteria.

At Prime Principle, Conject and Thomson Reuters the environments our customers worked in would often have policies or restrictions that would need to be considered for our product to be deployed successfully. In many cases this would involve working with third parties (such as local authorities) to ensure our product worked as intended without compromise and with minimal extra fuss to the customer.

Management of smaller IT projects

I have been entrusted with IT projects which include:

  • Managing, upgrading, configuring and producing scripts for the department’s work-ticket tracking system
  • Preparing for ISO/IEC 27001 Information Security Management accreditation
  • Preliminary migration to Microsoft Exchange Server
  • Installation and configuring of Wiki software for internal documentation
  • Invited to train staff on Excel use and to produce Excel solutions for other departments

Liaising with internal developers, designers, web builders and sales staff

I enjoy collaborating with other teams and disciplines to achieve goals. A practical example (bug reporting) has been outlined earlier in this document.

I have often had the benefit of having software developers and product designers on-site. I have found this allows me to rapidly get an understanding both of how a product works on a technical level and also on an aspirational one. I may be able to go back to a customer to explain why data is shown in a particular way or offer insight into a forthcoming feature.

Skills that are required for the role are as follows:

Solid knowledge of using SQL and Excel

During my time with Prime Principle, much of my work was conducted directly in SQL in the live environment. Understandably, due care and attention was paramount. I was working in Microsoft SQL Server 2008 and often running pre-made scripts for the most common tasks as well as writing my own scripts and queries as needed – most commonly using SELECTs, UPDATEs and JOINs on the customer data.

My experience with Excel is varied and extensive and I have created solutions for all manner of tasks in both conventional and unconventional ways:

  • Staff calendar system for managing holidays, sickness and overtime
  • A level designer for a videogame project at HotGen Studios
  • Streamlining a user account creation process used heavily at Conject
  • Scheduling for banks to deliver data to Experian for processing and return

I have documented other examples and made them available for download at my website:

An understanding of web-based applications

All my support roles have been focused around web-based applications. Alongside a thorough understanding of the application itself I am comfortable analysing HTML, XML, SQL, CSS, PHP and other scripting languages.

I am also conscious of factors that can influence performance of applications, the significance of different browsing platforms and the impact different technical environments can have on the operation of the application.

Good problem solving abilities

I have a natural affinity for problem solving and a determination to achieve the desired result through the correct process. I employ this to all my work – in a direct way with resolving support queries and in a broader sense when reviewing how I work overall.

Excellent communication and written capabilities

I believe very strongly in effective communication. I practice this in my work – especially with customers. I know that a brief message to a customer to say that an update will follow is far better than no message at all when it comes to managing customer expectations. I find myself naturally building a strong rapport with colleagues and customers also.

I hope to have demonstrated some of my writing ability in this document!

As a Support Technician you should also be technically minded, customer focused and able to handle multiple issues consecutively.

Phil is self-motivated, delivery focused, provides very good customer service and has been very reliable while working with Thomson Reuters.”
John Vaites, Director & Head of Client Services, Thomson Reuters

“Phil is very punctual and professional. He gets the job done and works perfect. He would be good at any IT role. He has good knowledge on both IT and business side. His role includes communication with a number of people which he performs with good sense. He is running a number of projects in parallel and tracks them and make sure they are done.”
Oleg Koslov, Client Integrations Specialist, Deutsche Bank

“I worked closely with Phil in a small team at Experian. He was an excellent mentor with a methodical and pragmatic approach to project management, and showed great regard for the importance of customer service and diplomacy in dealing with clients and colleagues.”
Tim Ruddell, Sustainable Procurement Manager, KPMG

Further endorsements can be found at my LinkedIn profile:

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