Charlie Lennon, Support Engineer Case Study

Charlie has been with risual for two years now, starting as an apprentice within the risual Managed Services division. At the start of Charlie’s apprenticeship, it was showing to be a slow start, Charlie showed a lack in confidence when talking internally and externally. This includes tasks such as presentations, customer calls, conversations regarding problems and the relevant fixes. It has been such a wonderful journey to see Charlie grow as an individual in the Managed Services department from a shy apprentice to a fully qualified confident IT Support Engineer. Charlie is now able to speak to extremely big customers, taking a lead role in the conversations supporting the customer with any problems they may have and walking them through the appropriate actions that need to take place from there.

Charlie takes pride in his work and is constantly looking to achieve and do more, excelling above and beyond the set standards. Charlie completed his MCSE within seven months during his apprenticeship, this was a huge achievement as Charlie went from being the apprentice with the least amount of exams in his cohort to the most in a very short period of time. Charlie continues to push himself to achieve more and become the most qualified out of his peers. Working closely with large risual customers Charlie has always continued to remain very professional throughout his time at risual, with presentation being key ensuring he represents himself well. Charlie plays a key role within risual Managed Services and more specifically in workload one.

During his time at risual, Charlie has assisted with a number of projects where a customer has undertaken a new product. Charlie has always been exceeding in these challenging projects including when a customer started using a new identity manager to help with their JML process (joiner-mover-leaver) and to help create common identity – historically, identity management had been a huge problem for the customer. Equally, this was a huge challenge for both the customer and risual Managed Services due to having limited knowledge on the issue. Charlie provided such a professional and immediate service to the customer, helped the customer immensely and has given them confidence in the new product when at times they had lots of concerns. Due to the nature of the product, when an issue occurs the affects can be quite catastrophic as the system can impact so many different data sources. Charlie has a good knowledge of the product and can run any faults found within the system down to the ground. If there is a high priority issue raised Charlie is able to follow risual’s MIM (Major Incident Management) process. If a change to the system needs to be completed, Charlie knows the CAB (Change Advisory Board) procedures that need to be completed before changes go ahead. Charlie shows to always have a good knowledge of standard IT practices and a thorough understanding of the IT industry.

Charlie has designed and implemented new and exciting ideas to the risual Managed Services Workload one team and is able to think creatively when working with internal and external customers. One of Charlie’s key skills is being very open minded when stumbling across problems supplied by risual as a customer or external customers, and is able to stay very positive, helpful and always comes up with a new resolution when scoping out a solution. Having a very thorough general knowledge on a number of products, Charlie is quite assured in his ability to pick up most projects/cases and provide a good resolution to the customer. Charlie is constantly looking to learn more and expand his knowledge surrounding Microsoft products, solutions and IT – he is always producing blogs discussing any products he has been working on, any fixes he has scoped up and much more. Charlie will always provide a very fresh mindset and ambition to the team due to consistently looking for new approaches.

Charlie always shows great passion with risual and by going the extra mile with his work he is enabling himself to come up with innovative fixes to problems that most would not be able to do so considerably early in their career. Charlie’s first priority case was when he first showed his extensive outside the box thinking. The issue was that users where unable to access internal resource via the proxy. Charlie was quickly able to determine that the proxy was set by a group policy object and that in fact within the GPO there was an invalid character. After removing the character and allowing time for the clients to refresh their local group policy Charlie has resolved his first high priority case, that had been affecting 2000+ clients! All of this was completed within 30-60 minutes and is a first-rate example of why innovation has been key to Charlie’s development in Support. By having a good basic knowledge Charlie knew that the proxy settings were set via group policy and then finding similar issues others have had, he was able to provide an outstanding level of service to the customer.

Prior to Charlie working in Workload one, he was part of the Core Services Team in the Managed Services Division. As part of this team Charlie was involved in helping set up automated patching for some of our customers. One of the key parts of the risual patching procedure is writing the TEP’s once updates are installed. These TEP’s are a way to test if a server is running the way it should be. One of the most important practices Charlie had to follow was the time in which servers were patched. Charlie had to communicate to the customer weeks before patching begun to ensure the dates for patching would not affect any maintenance or other work the customer might have been completing. Charlie also had to set up SCCM groups to automatically distribute the updates for certain servers in the early hours of the morning to minimise disruption for the customer. Whereby he would then run the TEP for each server in the patched collection and make sure it was sent to the customer before 9AM giving the customer time to see and work with risual to help fix any errors.

Charlie is an excellent representation of risual. He strives to take on bigger and tougher challenges each time.
An excellent example of this is Charlie’s success in exams.

As previously mentioned Charlie was falling behind but now has really set the bar for other apprentices to try and catch up with his qualifications. This can be seen on a day to day basis and Charlie is always pushing new apprentices to complete exams as quick as possible and to not fall into the trap of being behind on college work and exams.

Having joined as an apprentice, Charlie was not expected to take on the role of being a mentor to other colleagues. However, by the end of his apprenticeship Charlie has taken on the role of mentoring some of the newer apprentices. Something very unique about Charlie is how he can teach other apprentices from his experience and how they can learn from it. This is a very useful skill and something that can be passed onto others, without them having to make the mistakes that Charlie did in his early days!

Charlie is trying to promote the company in a good light and has played a part in getting exposure for risual. Charlie is very helping in getting risual exposure through his blogs, one his top was published by Microsoft’s Azure Weekly twitter feed. Since more blogs have been published we have seen a 25% rise in the number of hits to our risual website. Charlie has an outstanding commitment to out of hours work and will voluntarily stay behind or work from home after 6PM. This helps his development vastly and means he can learn new technologies at a far faster pace than just working his normal 9-5hours. It also shows that Charlie has a genuine passion for his work and strives to learn the latest and greatest in IT.

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