Education, experience and the accumulation of knowledge. All are critical ingredients for the provision of first-rate support and issue resolution. At the heart of Exclusive Networks Passport Global Services sits the 24/7 Network Support Centre. The dozens of resident engineers have a wide variety of backgrounds and experiences, ensuring a broad and deep collective knowledge-base. One thing all have in common though is the Exclusive Academy – a two-year, stringent, multi-vendor training programme. The Academy ensures consistent, high standards of partner support, resolving more issues, earlier and avoiding costly and lengthy escalations.
Senior Engineer Rod Ernes, the Academy’s first graduate, joined Exclusive Networks after completing a Masters in Wireless Networks. He talks through his experience and times at Exclusive Networks.
What is your role at Exclusive Networks?
Having graduated from the Academy after my two-year programme, I’m now a senior engineer in the Network Support team. I have a twin role. The main one is supporting customers who need a resolution to advanced technical issues. When a case gets opened we are focused on swift, accurate resolution because downtime is the enemy of network (and hence business) productivity. Our comprehensive knowledge-base and expertise, and close vendor relationships mean we pride ourselves in minimising escalations. I also coach, mentor and assist junior engineers. We lab or replicate technical issues and troubleshoot remotely, in addition to contributing to their continuing education.
Why Exclusive Networks?
It’s simple. The Exclusive Academy. At university, I attended graduate recruitment events in my role as a student ambassador. Speaking to recruiters to understand the needs of the industry I realised professional qualifications are essential additions to the solid foundation a degree provides. This broad exposure to what the world offered graduates led me to the Exclusive Academy. It provided the best post-academic on-going training and development, and immediate exposure to leading ‘next-gen’ technologies from the likes of Aerohive, Aruba, Fortinet, Infoblox, LogRhythm, MobileIron and Palo Alto Networks. In short, I could apply my understanding to a broader range of scenarios and technologies more quickly, benefiting everyone in the process. I went from graduation to certified industry professional, accumulating a lot of professional qualifications and letters. I hold PCNSE, NSE4, CDAT, ACWP, ACNP and CCNP. The Exclusive Academy is just another stop in our continuing professional development. As new technologies and vendors come along, we get qualified so we can deliver continued professional support, seamlessly.
What’s a normal day at work?
Never the same is normal. Every day is different because every customer environment is different. We troubleshoot complex technical issues for customers of all sizes and locations. Large, small, UK or Europe, all mean nothing is the same. I’d like to think too that our resolution success is down to how we work. We have a relaxed and friendly, co-operative, environment. We get to the heart of issues quickly by having the right minds on the case. We also ensure mentoring and learning is central to our day by involving junior engineers in more complex or unusual cases.
What’s to like at Exclusive Networks?
Well, the company is continually growing, ensuring plenty of progression opportunities. For me, I completed the Academy in February and had two promotions already. The confidence the business has in me gives me the confidence to learn, gain experience and add value back, something helped by working with very experienced engineers. Our trainers have trained engineers from many companies in the industry and working alongside such skilled professionals every week makes your job so much more fulfilling. Also, our role as a distributor means engineers work directly with the vendors, giving us access to a huge amount of information. It’s like having a massive knowledge-base right next to you. Such broad knowledge and experience are invaluable in resolutions too as our eyes and minds are wide open and not restricted by one vendor’s technology or protocol.
Socially it’s great. Working in a friendly, relaxed environment as one team is fulfilling. It motivates us to achieve our common goal of delivering excellent customer service and issue resolution. Also, there are plenty of social events to enjoy where you get to know your team better and people from other teams. The annual kick-off event is always something special.
Any advice for graduates looking to start a career in IT?
If you are serious about a career in network security or wireless networking, join Exclusive Networks. I could not think of a better learning environment than the Exclusive Academy or company that would invest so much in your career.
What three words would you use to describe Exclusive Networks?
Fast paced, dynamic, challenging.