What makes me very happy is that I still work with people and not machines
20. June 2022 | 5 min read
I currently work as a service chain operation manager for a Swiss customer. I am in charge of all operational activities and, if possible, their smooth running. One part of my daily routine is tracking my inbox, where inquiries come from customers from various areas. Whether it is an urgent outage or just questions about future activities, we try to react in our team as soon as possible and immediately consult with technicians. I appreciate the enthusiasm and competence of our technical team who are helpful in every way. So I never know exactly what my day is going to be like. This diversity is what I enjoy the most about my work. After taking up this job, I was struck by the famous clockwork precision during my first training. As I learned, our monitoring systems are set up to declare an emergency in the event of a train delay of more than 60 seconds. Yes, you’ve read that correctly, a delay of 60 seconds. Not minutes, as is sometimes the case in Slovakia.🙂 If a delay exceeds the limit of over 120 seconds, concrete measures are already being taken to make up for this terrible delay.🙂
This whole management is carried out according to the rules of ITIL communication and management. Most people know these operations individually as incidents, changes, problem tickets or service requests. I am personally responsible for monitoring their compliance according to applicable agreements with the customer, which change regularly or irregularly. So I have no emergency or designated response time. From my position, I evaluate the individual steps taken by the parties involved and assess them. I propose measures and try to find room for improvement. I participate in interviews with professional teams of people from different countries who provide technical support. I switch between German, English and Slovak all day. My main task in the interviews is to understand the process and its rules correctly, and whether and to what extent they were carried out according to the agreed rules. I ask questions to understand the issue and the answers from professional teams. The answers serve us as guides in solving individual situations. It is through layman’s questions that I open the space for the individual parties to understand the problem, each of whom mainly watches their work in this great IT puzzle where everything can be interrelated. During the year, I plan a change with the customer for the following calendar year. I manage updates of various systems, I monitor what the situation with incidents is like daily, as well as the upcoming change or the course and progress of problem tickets which we regularly report to the customer.
What was your journey to IT like?
I started as a service request manager. Then, I was only in charge of service requests, which are basically customer orders. These orders can be divided into physical items (keyboard, mobile phone) or services, where the customer has ordered a system backup or permission of the site on the firewall. I had to know the approval process for each request perfectly, as they came in addition to predefined requests - so-called free requests. With them, the customer described what they were asking for and I had to know exactly from whom and what permission was necessary to gain so that I could deliver the ordered service to the customer and at the same time did not violate any established security rules. As per usual, when working with people, we often dealt with complaints, e.g. when a lady requested her files after three years of maternity leave in the same condition as they had been before she started her leave. Unfortunately, this case dragged on for an incredibly long time until finally, the lady admitted that she wanted some "top secret" documents from us, which we, as their IT service provider, could not even keep. This position introduced me to ITIL issues thanks to daily morning briefings attended by several managers, each representing individual ITIL divisions, such as incident mngt, problem mngt, change mngt, and service request mngt. I was able to discover the charm and simplicity of these common management rules of IT services. After the departure of the German bank, for which I worked as a support from the Slovak market, I got to my current position of service chain operation manager.
What was your journey to Unique People like? What year did you start working with us?
I started working at UP in December 2020 after 7 years of maternity leave. Thanks to my German, I got this chance to enter the IT world and I enjoy the diversity of my work every day 🙂 I was lucky to have a colleague who willingly taught me and explained the pitfalls of this job.
How do you like working at UP? What do you like here the best?
I like the opportunity to work from home, which was a benefit, especially during all the lockdowns. Fortunately, the world is slowly returning to normal, and I am glad that I can always come to work in the beautiful premises of our new office and talk to colleagues with a diverse range of jobs. I also like the management style and the trust that was put into me at the beginning - I can work independently and responsibly without anyone watching over me. The regular Wednesday calls of UP employees keep me in the picture, not only about what we are currently planning and experiencing as a company, but I also learn information about the individual projects of my colleagues which are very enriching. The IT world is evolving rapidly, and we need to ensure a constant supply of current topics and knowledge.
This diversity is what I enjoy the most about my work.
What are you working on now?
In addition to the common routine mentioned above, I also have separate projects which I manage and plan myself. That is, except for the deadline which is always assigned to me. Right now, I have just completed one big system update where I had to cooperate with the customer and a professional team. Fortunately, there is a positive attitude in my IT world. I, as a non-technician, have always received a great deal of support from professional teams who have been able to clarify the situation so that I could consult and make plans with the customer. Moreover, incidents which I monitor on a daily basis to get an overview about the numbers and the occupancy of our teams, are close to my heart. In addition, I examine recurring incidents from which I create problem tickets in accordance with ITIL procedures. Here, their cause needs to be solved comprehensively.
I also participate in reporting to the customer. I always try to argue that, according to the agreed rules, some red incidents can be marked as green, i.e. meet the conditions. At the same time, I have to keep track of whether the entire incident ran not only on our side, but also on the customer's side, and its reporting according to the applicable rules. I look for blank spaces, count every minute and at the end, I have a good feeling about having done everything I could.🙂 I think a customer’s question “Where did they get this sharp girl?” sums it up nicely.😄
What was the most interesting thing you worked on at Unique People?
I have already mentioned everything above. Since I work for a third party, I can't divulge everything 🙂
I think a customer’s question “Where did they get this sharp girl?” sums it up nicely.😄
Do you have an IT dream? The technology you would like to work with or some special project you would like to participate in?
My current IT dream is to complete my ITIL Master’s certificates which UP enabled me to take and move on to the possibilities of management and solution of IT products. I also aim to gain new knowledge and want to be more helpful in solving everyday issues in the company.
What do you see in the IT future?
In my opinion, IT is the future. But what makes me very happy is that, in particular, I still work with people and not machines. I can communicate and learn daily. A day doesn’t go by when I don't face a new term or a problem which I’m not familiar with.🙂 I believe that my job position cannot be replaced by a machine. Therefore, I truly see my future in it.
What do you consider to be the highlight of your career?
I was very impressed by obtaining ITIL certification. It gave my knowledge order. My current job position is a win-win. Here, I can see my progress and a job well done that moves me forward.
Who or what inspires you?
It inspires me when I see the result of my work when my colleagues appreciate my knowledge and experience. And, as a bonus, I can also learn something from them.
What makes me very happy is that, in particular, I still work with people and not machines.
Tell us something interesting about yourself. What are your hobbies, and what do you do in your free time?
I love running. As this work is very sedentary, I run in the woods behind my house every morning. There is something to the beautiful greenery, sometimes gray or fog. It must be really bad weather outside for me not to go for a run before work. Running also has a positive effect on my mind, which is often so overwhelmed with responsibilities that only after an hour of silence in the woods do I realize that I finally have an "empty" head. I also like animals. We have a dog in my parents’ garden - a German Shepherd - and at home, we have a tomboy who listens to me most of all family members.😄 I have a study full of books at home. When I started making money, I spent what I saved up in a bookstore and looked forward to the many books I would read. Unfortunately, as a full-time mother of three, I have a lot of books, but much less time to read them. However, reading with children also has its charm. Even so, if I can find a place of my own for a while, I like to read books by Fredrick Backman which are full of interesting deep thoughts. I'm glad I can work for a company where they know I'm a mom in the first place. As Backman writes in his book, “Grandma greets and apologizes: ‘You can declare a thing lost only if your mother can't find it.’”