Jonny Murray is an Event Management Technician who has been with Novosco for nearly two years. He's a huge Manchester United fan and likes to spend his free time on the Playstation4.
Question: So, Jonny, what do you do at Novosco?
Jonny: I’m an event management technician. Which probably sounds a bit too vague, so for a specific “what is my role”, I’m part of a team that monitor our customer’s various systems to ensure things work as they’re supposed to.
Q: Such as?
Jonny: Okay, so a typical day might look a bit like this… In the morning I use a host of different tools to check on Novosco’s Managed Services customers, monitoring for things like storage, CPU usage, backups, disaster recovery systems. Using tools such as LogicMonitor, I’ve helped to create dashboards and scripts that give us an at-a-glance overview of how these systems are. We’re able to spot if there’s any unusual activity, get early indications of problems which might develop, and work to prevent any potential issues from impacting our customers’ organisations.
Q: And what happens when you do find issues developing?
Jonny: Every customer is different and every issue is different. But, for example, if something like storage hit the thresholds that we’ve allocated, we create a service ticket which goes on our service desk’s job board, the co-ordinators then assign it to an engineer to remediate the issue. There’s a lot more we can do, depending on the issue and the customer, but that’s one example.
Q: So you and the rest of the events management team are all about proactivity, rather than simply reacting to problems?
Jonny: Absolutely, that’s pretty much it. If we’re not monitoring customers’ systems we could be creating guides or improving processes, writing system scripts, or helping out the service desk around the area of our own expertise. We also do a lot of reporting on customers’ systems, so we can check things as they progress and change.
Q: So instead of our customers having to monitor all these things, we do it for them?
Jonny: Yeah, that’s it. We manage such a wide range of systems for our customers, it’s not always possible for organisations to manage and monitor them all themselves, it requires very specific skills and tools. Some of our customers’ networks are so vast that not everything in them is well recorded or documented, so they task us with mapping everything, so we know what needs monitored. Then we can also establish the specific monitoring protocols required, appropriate to the situation and the customer.
Q: So what’s a successful day’s work?
Jonny: When there’s no issues at all with any of our Managed Service customers that we’re monitoring, that’s the ideal! But a successful day is probably more when issues or incidents are solved before there’s any real impact felt.
Q: What was your route to this role?
Jonny: I did an IT course in college, which covered a whole range of subjects; 12 different subject areas. I particularly enjoyed Software Testing, I was drawn to the methodical nature of it. Then when I’d finished, I saw that Novosco had this role available, which was new, I’d get to grow with the position and help define and shape it; a great opportunity. As the events management team has grown, it’s been a great experience to be a part of. Expanding our reach and our skills, having a larger impact on our customers and being able to help even more organisations through our managed services.
Q: Have you expanded your qualifications since you joined Novosco?
Jonny: The company is brilliant at this, actually. Everyone is encouraged to improve and expand your levels of expertise, it’s really something! We can grow and expand our abilities which means we become even more of an asset in the role we have. When I first joined, I would identify things through our monitoring, then pass them off to our expert engineers. Now though, because of the certifications that I’ve achieved, there’s many areas where I can resolve the problems myself, or help the engineers in their roles.
Q: Do you have any tips for others who might want to follow a similar career as yourself?
Jonny: It’s worth looking at the technologies you’ll be using themselves. General IT qualifications are all well and good, but you should definitely be prepared to focus those skills. I had focussed on software testing, which isn’t really a part of what I do now, so the ability to multi-skill is useful. The atmosphere in a company like Novosco is so supportive and geared to helping you succeed though that you should just be open and willing to learn and absorb knowledge, you’ll never stop learning!