The individuals of the Network Operations Center (NOC) are the unsung heroes of the data center. They sit at “Mission Control” as the front-line of support, bridging the gap between the needs of the customer and the resources to solve that need.
This blog discusses what makes the DartPoints NOC different and how they are often the feet on the ground for the customer, problem-solvers, and counselors in a crisis. This role is both parts exciting and challenging as it is ever-changing.
What Makes the DartPoints NOC Different
DartPoints’ NOC differs from other centers in the industry by going beyond just front-line support, creating tickets, and forwarding them to other departments. They are well-versed in resolving issues at the front line rather than always needing to escalate a ticket. Core to this role is understanding the customer’s business and applications to build a bond of trust. This can make a significant difference during a crisis.
Here are three ways the DartPoints NOC ensures they provide the customer with the best experience.
- Continuous Service Improvement (CSI) is a crucial focus of the NOC teams. To better address the customer’s needs, they spend considerable time cross-training and learning from those inside and outside the NOC organization, including DartPoints engineers and outside vendors.
- Of course, good communication with the customer is essential, but it is more than just providing updates. There are often complex discussions when the resolution differs from what the customer wants to hear. This is why being transparent and developing a relationship based on trust is core to this role.
- Team communication amongst the NOC, within DartPoints, and with our vendors is essential. Not only does this contribute to on-going learning, but it also ensures that the customers’ issues are managed most efficiently.
Beyond the Technical Knowledge
What you may not know about the NOC is that this job requires a great deal of soft skills. Being the first person to take the call during a crisis is like that of a 911 call operator. There is a need to calm the customer while understanding the issue, even when the problem is not clearly articulated. It’s at this point where trust can be gained or lost.
At DartPoints, the NOC teams support the customers as a personal entity. They understand that behind each ticket is a person worried, stressed, frustrated, and often amid a crisis. Support goes beyond just resolving an issue and closing a ticket.
While problem-solving is the day-to-day function of the job, on-going education is core to success. New and seasoned NOC employees are encouraged to cross-train, mentor each other, and reach out to other departments and vendors. There is a culture of continuous improvement within the NOC to gain knowledge and keep up with certifications. With an ever-changing technology landscape, keeping up with technical and soft skills is vital.
Get to Know the Individuals In the NOC
In a recent interview for DartPoints Podcast, William Sellers and Michael Fazley interviewed several individuals from DartPoints’ Network Operations Center (NOC): Dustin Park from Ashville, Jerry Bowen from Columbia, and CaRon Cooper and Mark Albert from Baton Rouge. Their experience in the NOC ranges from 20 years to under a year. While their background and expertise differ, their opinions on what makes DartPoints’ NOC different and unique in the industry are the same.
You can find the podcast HERE.
More About the NOC Members Interviewed:
CarRon Cooper is a Senior NOC Manager out of our Baton Rouge Location. He brings a deep understanding of the NOC with 20 years of experience. In his off time, he runs a Vegetable Farm.
Mark Aubert is Tier 2 NOC Operations in Baton Rouge. While newer to the NOC, he brings over fifteen years of experience in various technical delivery and front-line support roles. He is a family man with six children and is involved in philanthropic work.
Dustin Parks is the NOC Manager over the Ashville, Greenville, and Spartanburg data centers. He also had a service background before joining the NOC four years ago. He moved from Indiana and is enjoying exploring the North Carolina mountains and trails with his dog.
Jerry Bowen is a NOC Associate in Columbia and a senior at the University of South Carolina, earning a degree in Information Technology.
He’s been with the NOC for less than a year and brings a retail background in consumer electronics sales and customer service. When he is not working and studying, Jerry is a photographer and works for the USC newspaper The Gamecock.