Your engineer is in the field and suddenly something unexpected happens – the system they’re working on no longer works – and may have downed the customer’s critical network as well. Their face suddenly changes to the finger breaking through the toilet paper moment and resembles the island sheriff when he realises he needs a bigger boat because of the school bus size of shark hunting them or the palaeontologist who sees a living dinosaur for the first time. This is the origin of the term Spielberg.
Spielberg: stare in shock and awe at the moment of impeding doom.
How does this happen? Your security engineers spend their days wandering around the country installing security systems and making lives safer for your customers and their customers. Chances are that you have your smartest and most experienced IT engineer in the office where you can keep his knowledge safe and also keep him close to the coffee supply. He spends his time setting up systems to hand over to the installation team with (occasionally) explicit instructions on how to install it correctly and quickly; allowing them to get to the next customer and keep the jobs and income flowing.
The risk you have in this situation is that the field technicians and the office based expert need to be available at the time when these incidents happen – which usually happen at inopportune times like 17:31 Friday afternoon, when your office staff have rightfully gone home to enjoy a well earned weekend.
It can happen at other times too such as annual leave, sick leave, compassionate leave, extended lunch, normal lunch, etc.
Suddenly your engineer is in the field and faced with an impossible situation; a lot of the time they turn from engineer to customer relationship manager (something which they surely wouldn’t be comfortable with nor well equipped for) as it is all that is left for them to do until such time as they can reach an expert.
This is the reason why learning the fundamentals of the systems your engineers are working with is important. As technology becomes more human-proof, these issues happen less. But when they happen they are complex and difficult problems requiring on-hand expertise in the field.
I have worked with one of the most successful security companies in the UK and they have empowered their field technicians, they are the boss. If they require support, the rest of the business is encumbered to assist – even the director. This is what has made them successful.
This shows that it is worth investing in your staff and get them the knowledge they need on systems like IP Ethernet. Hopefully you won’t see your engineers Spielberging any more.