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General Chat Thread, 1st/2nd/3rd Line support in General; Can someone please clarify the main differences/roles which fall under the 3 levels of IT support. Thanks...
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    flashsnaps's Avatar
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    1st/2nd/3rd Line support

    Can someone please clarify the main differences/roles which fall under the 3 levels of IT support.

    Thanks

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    1 - Only read from script for solving common problems. No real knowledge required.
    2 - Still some script reading, but other fault fixing can be done here too
    3 - Usually the people who run the systems (ie. sysadmins etc...). Have an intricate knowledge of the systems.

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    alan-d's Avatar
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    1 - India
    2 - Other english speaking commonwealth country
    3 - UK based helpdesk


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    flashsnaps's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    1 - Only read from script for solving common problems. No real knowledge required.
    2 - Still some script reading, but other fault fixing can be done here too
    3 - Usually the people who run the systems (ie. sysadmins etc...). Have an intricate knowledge of the systems.
    I am not a Network manager just an IT Tech - but I do get well involved in the server side, I do a lot of server work, including backsups, dhcp, deploying software, updates etc. So 3rd line would be accurate for me?

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by flashsnaps View Post
    I am not a Network manager just an IT Tech - but I do get well involved in the server side, I do a lot of server work, including backsups, dhcp, deploying software, updates etc. So 3rd line would be accurate for me?
    If you work in a school then you won't have clearly defined definitions of 1/2/3. They all merge into one.

    They only really appear in large organisations such as universities and corporations.

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    first line should have a basic understanding, they should be able to fix basic errors , help diagnose and collect information.
    second line should be able to fix most day to day problems, and help prepare information and diagnostics to be passed on , often second line will have a decent general knowledge and a speciality.
    Third line are computing messiahs. anything that the other 2 lines cant do get left to them to complete often with no help at all.

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    enjay's Avatar
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    1st - call handlers (often with limited technical knowledge), "quick fixers" who ideally will resolve problems 'then and there' while the user is still on the phone.
    2nd - larger or more complex problems which 1st didn't know how to fix or couldn't fix quickly.
    3rd - the "guru", handling calls which 2nd can't fix as well as working pro-actively to manage systems and pre-empt problems.

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    Diello's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by flashsnaps View Post
    I am not a Network manager just an IT Tech - but I do get well involved in the server side, I do a lot of server work, including backsups, dhcp, deploying software, updates etc. So 3rd line would be accurate for me?
    Yes - High 2nd line, low 3rd line.

    1st line - tends to be the running around, password changes, new accounts, fixing printers, etc.
    2nd line - deeper problems - fault finding/resolution, software deployment, minor server work.
    3rd line - major issues, network-wide infrastructure.

    Network Managers tend to be 3rd line + project management + development.

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    enjay's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by flashsnaps View Post
    So 3rd line would be accurate for me?
    Yes, but if you ever say the words "have you tried rebooting it?" then you are also 1st line.

    To be honest, unless you're a very large school, the lines between them are probably fairly blurred, with all members of the team taking at least 2, possibly all 3, roles.

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    MK-2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NickJones View Post
    Yes, but if you ever say the words "have you tried rebooting it?" then you are also 1st line.
    then 99% of people working in IT are 1st line. Even the guy on the Royal Navy ad

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    flashsnaps's Avatar
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    Well theres 3 of us - me, a tech and the network manager, and we all cover all the areas mentioned - I guess I fall under all catergories 1st/2nd/3rd.
    Thanks for the comments

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    Quote Originally Posted by alan-d View Post
    1 - India
    2 - Other english speaking commonwealth country
    3 - UK based helpdesk

    whats ur beef with india pal

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    somabc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    If you work in a school then you won't have clearly defined definitions of 1/2/3. They all merge into one.

    They only really appear in large organisations such as universities and corporations.
    Yeah I used to be a NM but now work in 2nd Line at a Uni
    (hey what can I say they offered me more money & better training opportunities)

    If your school has a NM and some techs then I would say the Techs are doing 1/2nd line stuff, while the Nm is doing 2/3rd line.

    1st line is the most basic helpdesk stuff. When a teacher comes to you with a problem and you ask basic information and suggest a solution (without going out to the pc) then that's 1st line.

    When you have identified the problem, done some research and actually fix the problem that's 2nd line.

    3rd line actually run things technically speaking, they are responsible for development and production, highly specialised often split into groups such as Security, Windows Admin, Networks etc.

    We also have 4th line - they are always external companies eg Oracle, MS, HP, CISCO etc. 3rd line call on them when they are really stuck.

    To you give you a better idea i have attached the list of IT teams at my uni so you can see how they are split.

    Key
    1L - 1st Line
    2L - 2nd Line
    3L - 3rd Line
    4L - 4th Line
    BS - Business Support
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 1st/2nd/3rd Line support-1l2l3l.pdf  
    Last edited by somabc; 19th June 2008 at 12:37 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gibbo View Post
    Just try and force them off their on-screen script and you'll see! They panic, get flustered and just read what's on screen until you answer them.
    That's because they've been trained badly, not because they're Indian. Try phoning NTL - who are UK based - and you'll have a similar experience.

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    sparkeh's Avatar
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    Obviously the experience you get depends on the training each line receives.

    I am generally impressed with RM's support. Their 1st line people seem to know there stuff and past problems have rarely needed to be escalated.

    I agree with the NTL example. Their staff stick religiously to the script, even when it appears to make no sense. When I had broadband installed, the setup process stopped with an error saying that my setup username and password were wrong. Phone NTL and the guy tells me to restart my computer?! I read out the exact error message (ie "Your username and password are incorrect") but no we have to go through each step religiously until he will check that my u/n + pw are correct. Surprise! I got sent the wrong details!

    Worst so far (and I may have mentioned this elsewhere) is when I got passed to Synetrix 2nd line to be told that he couldn't help me as he hadn't read the instructions himself yet?!

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