Asset Provisioning? Everything Will Be Alright

I see the fear in their eyes. I feel their anxiety. Blindly handing over your laptop to be refreshed and just “trusting” that all your data’s going to come back in one piece, well, that takes a lot of faith. As does going on with your workday and all its demands without your familiar workhorse device at your fingertips. For some users, I’m sure it feels like we’re lopping off their right arm, or kidnapping their firstborn. It’s just asset provisioning.

This is where all my life skills and talents and experiences uniquely converge in my day-to-day role as an IT technician in enterprise hardware and asset provisioning for Multiply. I am communicator and counselor, calming users’ concerns with a steady supply of lighthearted humor balanced with calm assurance and plenty of solid information about what’s going to happen.

The process has actually already begun before they arrived at our door. Communication leading up to this emotion-charged moment have paved the way to set expectations and ease minds. But still, this is very hard for most people, if not downright terrifying. So once they let go and hand it over, I take that responsibility and their concerns very seriously.

Attention to detail and optimum efficiency—these are my goals so that I can get the refreshed machine back in the user’s hands as quickly and painlessly as possible, reloaded with their precious data. Here’s when, wearing my IT hoodie and my fingerless gloves, I feel the adrenaline rush I’ve never known before, like doing aerobics from a rolling chair, zipping up and down the bench building machines like a champ.

And just what does happen when they let go of their machine and leave it behind the heavy wooden IT closet door?

First, I take out my sledgehammer.

Just kidding. It’s much more gentle and precise, a series of detailed operations through asset provisioning to yield a refreshed machine—and those details make a difference. I got to see why what we do matters the other day when I handed back a refreshed machine to Carlos, a user who relied heavily on access to a particular network, like a lifeline to his vital client data. As he takes the computer, Carlos is tense, almost panicky. I suggest we go through the first log-in, just to make sure everything is right and he eagerly agrees. His forehead glistens and I almost wonder if he’s going to pass out before he even gets a look.

“What about my access?” he asks me nervously as the computer is booting. I nod calmly on the outside and smile inside. Here’s a guy who really cares about what he does. But I know Carlos doesn’t need to worry. I’ve loaded his machine with the stuff he needs. As he holds his breath I walk him through the launch process. In a dramatic and powerful moment, Carlos opens the application and he’s in. Overjoyed and relieved all at once, he throws himself over the half door, hugs me and yells “I LOVE YOU!

Carlos has the access he needs to serve his clients without missing a beat. I chalk up another IT win.

10 points to Asset Provisioning.

It’s not always perfect of course. Because if the world were perfect and we never had mysterious technical issues and Tina Fey were president and cookies didn’t make me fat, well, that would be a fantasy, but we do face evil out of our control when the technology turns on us occasionally. So we stay calm, troubleshoot like nobody’s business—usually this means Joe comes up with a brilliant solution (it’s amazing how often “restart” is the answer) — and we’re on our way again.

The end game in all this is back again to the user who shows up at the big wooden door at the prescribed time to retrieve their made-over baby—reimaged on the inside, shined up on the outside, and looking and working like new. Now they log in, search for their files, see that everything’s there, and everything’s going to be all right. They ask questions, we talk, we laugh, we hug and cry and invite each other on vacations. That’s only a slight exaggeration. But seriously this is the part I like best—when they smile and look relieved and thank me profusely and walk away happier and better than they were before.

Recently I told one of my users that I just wanted to be her hero. She said, “No—you’re my She-ro.”

The words an IT girl lives to hear.