A Day in the Life of an ICC Engineer…
ICC Engineer Profile
Name: David West-Robinson
Job Title: Senior Field Service Engineer
Date started at ICC: May 2018
Experience within industry:
I first started out as an Electrical Engineer, and I always had a passion to work with computers. Following this, my career progressed within IT as a Data Cabler and then I moved into the role as a workshop engineer building computers to customer specifications.
- City & Guilds 236 Electrical/Electronic Engineering
- AWSP-RDD08 Lenovo Desktop & Notebook Systems Hardware Service
- HP Industry Standard Server Support
- Currently working towards two NetApp Qualifications
- NPPV3 security clearance
Hobbies: Photography, computer repair and upgrades on a small scale
About David’s Engineering Role
What do you like most about your job as an ICC field service engineer?
I love how varied my role at ICC can be. One day I could be out in the field maintaining and fixing customers’ IT equipment and the next day building kit to customer specifications in the workshop or remote working analysing support logs, to stock management. But most of all, it is the people I work with, and the buzz I get from the face-to-face customer interaction, that I enjoy most about my job.
What does a typical day look like?
Although no day is the same as my role is so varied, as a senior IT Senior engineer my role consists of attending contract calls which can include working on HA SANS and Storage systems. I have a great breadth of knowledge across multi-platform technology which means I can be deployed to a lot of calls due to my technical knowledge. When a call is assigned to me, I liaise with the ICC Helpdesk who manage the call process. I then engage with the client to understand the fault and parts needed before heading to site, this is to ensure we have the correct parts required to meet the contracted SLA. Jobs are varied day-to-day and it is my responsibility to liaise with clients on site, establish the issue/fix and once completed report back to helpdesk to close the call or report the next action. I fix a lot of servers and SANS on a daily basis and I enjoy having lots of interaction with customers.
What do you think makes you a great engineer?
My willingness to learn new technologies and share the knowledge I have gained with others, I believe makes me a great engineer. I have come to terms that you cannot always know every single bit of kit out there, and that sometimes it is important to reach out to the ICC team for extended knowledge and shared skill, to ensure a quick resolution of technical issues. My priority is always to ensure minimum downtime for the customer.
Have you developed any new engineering skills in the past year?
I am currently working towards a NetApp accreditation. I have had a great opportunity to work with highly experienced and qualified NetApp and HPE 3Par engineers and I have gained invaluable hands-on experience.
What are your strengths & capabilities? Do you specialise in any particular vendor?
I have great analytical skills and work well under pressure. Building relationships is very important in my job, and I believe I have a good repour with my customers. I cut my teeth with IBM and I specialise in the p and i series of servers.
Tell me about the most challenging engineering project that you have been involved with during the past year?
Without doubt the most challenging project I have successfully completed was my trip to Hong Kong. With only two days’ notice, I flew to Hong Kong and successfully racked, cabled, and configured a 3Par 8000 along with a physical service processor and a c7000 Blade Chassis. This was an important part of the process of moving all kit from one Data Centre to another. There was a lot of pressure to get this done, within a short time frame. Luckily, I managed to finish in good time which gave me a chance to explore this amazing city.
What are the difficulties that you come across in your role as field service engineer, and how do you overcome them?
The pandemic has been a real challenge for me and the company, especially in 2020. As an engineer, sometimes working in confined spaces, it has been tricky having to wear a mask whilst working and the restrictions have created some challenges, that I have had to overcome (eg travel and overnight stays). However, throughout the pandemic, it has always been my priority to ensure I keep customers safe whilst working on-site. Latterly, I have been able to be tested prior to site visits, to reduce the risk of the spread of the virus.
The great thing is I work for a company that really cares about the welfare of staff and takes every opportunity to protect customers, by providing Covid testing kits and making sure PPE equipment is provided so that site visits are safe and low risk.
What checks do you use to make sure that you have met and delivered customer requirements and that systems are running effectively?
With every call we get, there is always an SLA (Service Level Agreement) involved, and it is important that we always communicate with the customer on an estimated time of arrival. Most servers have built-in health checks. I like to run these in front of the customer and explain what is going on. If for the very unlikely reason we are unable to complete a first-time fix, it is very important we keep the customer updated on the next plan of action.
What are your ambitions and what do you aspire to achieve as an engineer?
My ambition is to manage my own team of engineers, inspire them to better themselves and to exceed customer expectations.
What improvements do you think you can make as we enter 2021 and how will you achieve this?
Always take any opportunity to study whenever there is free time. Try to learn from mistakes and find ways to improve customer experience.