Gerod Serafin's WebLog

Helping to keep large organizations' e-mail running

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Title Change - Advisory Support Engineer

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When my wife used to get asked what I did for work she used to say she didn't know.  So, I had to explain it to her in the simplest terms I could.  "I keep large companies' email working for them."

My current title is Advisory Support Engineer for Exchange.  It has been that way for a while, but I hadn't changed the title on this blog until now, because, well...  Who cares?  But, sometimes people want to know what you do for a living and in my case the title changes pretty often but the job pretty much stays the same no matter how grandiose the goals of the people who change the title were.  (I always wonder who they are?)

My title used to be Alliance Support Engineer when I first got hired into this gig.  As far as I know that name really made no sense except Microsoft and the customer were forming an "alliance" to support the customer's environment.  This changed later to Alliance Support Consultant which was loosely integrated with the Microsoft Consulting Services (MCS) folks.  That is why you may still see my name on many blog links as Gerod Serafin (MCS) even though I am not MCS any more.  At that time the "effort" was to try to get everyone under one "Services" umbrella by calling us all Consultants.

So what is my job?  Well, I used to be a contractor like many of you on the outside of Microsoft who supported Exchange.  I wanted to know more about it and how it worked and how to help the customers.  But I kept running out of books to read and there just weren't enough answers out there without going straight to the source.  So, when Microsoft offered me the chance to help their customers by learning more about the product, I jumped at it.  So now I have a set number of customers (like I did before I came to Microsoft) and they ask me questions, except this time the customer is getting not only me but the rest of Premier Support at their disposal for their question and or issues.  I know the customer's environment so they don't have to tell me much more than the name of the server that they are having a problem with.  I know how many servers they have in the Organization, how many Routing Groups, how many third party connectors, what anti-virus vendors they have, etc...  It really shortens the troubleshooting time, because I know the customer.  Also, when I hear about a problem that other customers are having that may be an issue that my customer may experience, I can ADVISE them as well.

So, now I am called an Advisory Support Engineer or ASE for short.  Titles mean little.  The job still is the same. 

I keep large companies' email running for them.  I just need to keep that in my head and I think I will be fine.

Comments
  • Sounds like a great job .... the kinda thing I'd love to do.

    What was your experience with Exchange before joining MS ?

    How many / what sort of size are your current customers ?

    How did you get the job ? apply like everyone else or ?

  • Somtetimes it seems that title changes are heavily related to shakespeare:
    "much ado about nothing..." ;-)

  • Well, before MSFT I started and ran an ISP in San Antonio that ran Exchange as it's Internet Email solution. Then I was hired by WANG Government Services and moved to Hawaii. There I did contract work, again primarily Exchange. It was my work with Move Server Wizard that got me noticed by Microsoft. Do a search for "Lessons Learned: Move Server Wizard" and you might find something I wrote a while back. After that, Microsoft asked me why I didn't work for them. I honestly hadn't thought about it. When I got married I gave them my resume, and moved back to the mainland.

    My current customers (3) range in size from 5-15K mailboxes to approximately 50-70K. In the past I supported an Org with over 250K. Servers range from sigle server sites to 80+ in one site\RG.

  • Nice to know your Microsoft &quot;history&quot;. It sounds familiar ;-) <br> <br>I found the article that you talk about (Move Server Wizard) and it become handy a few weeks back. <br> <br>Thanks! <br> <br>/r <br>Benji