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Inside the Mind of an IT Engineer…Crushed

An Article By: Nick Ali, Customer Success Manager, CrushBank


Getting into the mind of an Engineer is as equally intriguing as breaking into Fort Knox.  Either path is immensely difficult in extraction and excavation but well worth the efforts for valuable bullion.  Sounds like an extreme parallel between knowledge and wealth, right? Maybe 20 years ago, but not in today’s ever-shifting Tech landscape where access to knowledge is not only seen as a critical tool in an engineer’s arsenal but as a significant source of wealth!  Got your attention? – Read on for a dive session into engineers at MSPs and stashing of info nuggets.

Information to an engineer equates to solid details resulting in fast resolutions, keeping businesses up and running with minimal impact.  The alternative, sitting like a piece of driftwood and hoping that a slow ebb carries you to the resolution shore is not a palatable option. Every Service Desk Engineer knows this. Many are incorporating it into workflows in mantra-like fashion; especially when in Fire Fighter mode with clients asking for answers. They live it, they breathe it, become it and run against SLAs with possible fixes at the forefront of their minds.  Now that you are aware of this, what question comes to your mind?  Where are those damn fixes stored?  Surely it all can’t be all in their genius heads?  Pose this question to an Engineer and be prepared for the driest answer; it depends.  If you’re an engineer nodding in agreement congrats! You’re either a Vulcan or have a stash of useful fixes allowing you to be a successful champion. For the average layperson reading, try not to take it personally, just embrace the perplexed look on your face and keep on reading while I unfold this…

I’ve managed both Desktop Support, Applications, and Infrastructure Support Teams, championing Service Delivery strategies for large global companies.  Over the years I’ve personally asked the question, “what’s the fix?”  and was met with a litany of possible fixes with an “it depends” thrown in just for good measure. 

At a recent CrushBank, Customer Success engagement with a New York MSP some light was shed on “it depends”.  A three-day observation session with Service Desk engineers exposed a pattern among the Engineer’s workflow.  A ticket would be selected from the queue and the engineer would champion CrushBank’s creed, “Two Brains on every IT Problem”.  For the benefit the reader, I’ll give a brief explanation, CrushBank is one of the first IT Help-Desk applications to be built on IBM’s Watson cognitive technology. Watson uses “cognition”, the process of acquiring knowledge, to think, learn and inform decisions the same way your engineers and technical support team work.

Makes perfect sense, right?  Great now back where we left off. The engineer would execute with precision speed a sort-through of the results ranking order, clicking on the relevant information. When nothing screamed: this one has the fix, or this ticket notes are spot on or here’s is a good KB; engineers turned their attention to Microsoft OneNote and here is where “it depends” was captured in all its glory.

Tapping their One Note notes allowed for a quick scan of robust notes, I imagined more than likely taken on the fly while working on a client issue, Engineers later confirmed this.  Some notebooks where perfectly manicure with assigned client tabs.  This, my friend, is the knowledge equating gold billion in the Service delivery world.  What a treasure chest of information?  The good news here is that such a find can be capitalized on with a throw of an API switch and Microsoft OneNote can be ingested into CrushBank.   In my eleven plus years as a Technology Manager leading global support teams, I am yet to see engineers commit to the One Source of Truth storage  It’s a human trait to keep notes on scenarios and fixes, however, these are hidden gems allowing engineers to one-up each other on fast resolutions, gaining praises from their Line Managers and ultimately be seen as a vast walking knowledge portal by their like-minded peers.

CrushBank not only drives efficiency from a service perspective but it fosters knowledge sharing without disturbing workflows by placing information at the fingertips of the Engineers.   Business is no longer file cabinets, stoned-face secretaries, rotary phones and dusty ledgers.  We live in a highly digitized world where engineers are working with complex business systems, inter-connected networks, databases, applications, server infrastructures, and cloud platforms.  Propel Service Desk Engineers resolutions and improve client satisfaction by implementing CrushBank as part of your Service Delivery Strategy.


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