L3 Point Of View: Transitioning from NetApp Support to Park Place Technologies
Recently, I transitioned from NetApp support to working as a senior Level III NetApp engineer with Park Place Technologies. Suffice it to say, things are different. Moving from NetApp to a third party support organization has opened my eyes quite a bit. Honestly, I didn’t know this world existed four months ago. I’ve learned a lot more about the dynamics of the IT world in general, beyond what I saw with an OEM.
To be straightforward, it would be most accurate to say I worked for NetApp but at Convergys; the company NetApp outsourced to for all Level 1 support. I’d been there for five years, and I’m tremendously grateful for the knowledge I was able to acquire there. I certainly won’t forget where I came from, but I noticed some large differences in the operating models right away. For non-critical issues, getting to the right resource with an OEM could be hit or miss. It could take a few days for a customer to get through the first level of triage to an expert who could quickly resolve the issue. NetApp is now moving away from that model. With Park Place, in contrast, they have the right idea from the start – put issues with the best qualified person right away. Most of our technicians come from years of experience with both the OEM and other IT vendors, and the service provided is top notch.
I’m amazed at the level of customer care provided by the Field Service Engineers here at Park Place Technologies. They know the infrastructure, environment and needs of their customers explicitly. They take responsibility for that customer relationship beyond just professionally, they take it personally. Park Place focused on a field service model, and consequently they have 2-3 times as many qualified field engineers, notwithstanding the difference in company size.
I’ve gotten to work with several pieces of legacy hardware that different OEMs had deemed no longer worthy of attention. I found that most of these devices continue serving happily and faithfully many years after they have been written off, just as well as they did during their warranty.
NetApp is a big organization, and a great place to work, but as with all large corporations, I didn’t feel my voice went very far. Park Place is a very different atmosphere. Every team member gets to voice their opinion straight to senior management, without layers of bureaucracy or red tape. It’s nice to be in a place where your voice is heard and your insights have impact.
The best part of working at Park Place Technologies is that it wasn’t so much like changing companies as it was joining a family. The people are friendly, and the leadership is interested in you as a person, as well as an employee. They made it quite clear when I signed on that they intended to keep me for many years. Park Place is interested in my growth and development for years to come.
While I do miss some of the fancy proprietary tools and many of the friends I left behind, I’m growing my skills and forging new friendships with the people here. Switching from an OEM to Park Place Technologies has been one of the best career moves I could have made and I’m glad I did.
Les Keller, Level III Engineer