Category: Technology

Technology content from Leo Nelson

Comcast’s Growing Empire

The Memorial Day weekend was spent trying to settle in to my new apartment. I finally got connected to the Internet on Sunday. To think that I managed to survive with out being connected for over a week is relief too. While setting up my network, I found out that someone in my complex has willingly offered his/ her wireless connection to all residents. Sadly, it seems like the wireless router is not secured either.

On another note I also found out more about Comcast’s pending VoIP plans. Apparently the service is currently being tested out for a launch later this year, but they’re having trouble handling and guaranteeing uptime, especially when someone is making an emergency call.

As a checklist for my next change of address:

1) Cell Phone
2) Insurance (Auto/ Home)
3) Magazines
4) Work/ School

Knowledge Centered Support

Over the last year I’ve taken a much more avid interest in knowledge base solutions. During my internship at Unisys, I started working on the framework for a knowledge sharing platform. Infact, my internship timing was perfect, because Unisys was in the middle of a large roll out for the blue print marketing campaign. In essence, Unisys designed various solutions for industries and called each solution a blue print. For example, a frequent flyer program for the aviation industry was a blue print. So if Air New Airlinesio wanted a frequent flyer program, Unisys could deliver a solution based on the blue print. Common sense?

But factor in multiple languages, diverse needs, cultural restrictions, financial constraints and you see why many software consulting companies end up developing multiple solutions for a single problem.

In essence, knowledge has to be captured because you never know how valuable the knowledge is until it’s lost. Building on this concept, it seems logical therefore to assume that in various support scenarios a knowledge base of support issues can help radically reduce the time taken to solve a problem.

At a recent Help Desk Institute meeting, Judy Benda summarized a methodology for Knowledge Centered Support as:

– Create content as a by product of solving problems

– Evolve content based on demand and usage

– Develop a knowledge base of our collective experience to-date

– Reward learning, collaboration and contribution

The final goal, is to move from being reactive to proactive. In the case of a support center, the reactive center knows the answer and responds only when the customer requires help, whereas a proactive center moves the answer closer to and more accessible to the customer.

The Battle of Spyware

Have you had enough of spyware? If not, perhaps you are one of the few users who’ve had a chance to secure your system or have managed to avoid having to deal with the constant war with spyware.

More than 25% of my time during the work week is spent handling support issues for a fairly large network (40,000 + users). On the average, a machine loses network connectivity or starts ‘acting’ up solely as a result of spyware. After running Ad-Aware, Spybot, Spysweeper or other such tools, you’re left with a machine that is assumed to be safe.

Personally, I can not tell you how much I look forward to Windows XP Service Pack 2. If anything, the pop up blocker and the new firewall implementation will probably cut down the number of support issues by a large percentage. It would be nice to see a Microsoft report that offers statistical evidence as to how support issues are reduced as a result of installing the forthcoming service pack.