As Truewater’s Network Operation Center Manager, I’m responsible for all the back-end computer issues which my team fixes before these anomalies become a problem. I’ve been an integral part of Truewater’s success since 2006 in which time many technology changes have taken place in the computer world. IT Support has changed considerably as we keep figuring out better ways to keep our clients’ computer networks running fast, secure and smooth.
How I Got Started…
I have been working with computers and computer systems for the better part of 30 years. I started as a computer lab technician at Stephen F. Austin State University. Toward the end of my time at SFA, I worked phone support for tape backup software designed for the O/S 2 operating system.
Once I graduated with my B.S. in Computer Science, I worked as a programmer and night operator for a transformer manufacturing plant in Nacogdoches, Texas. After being there for a while, I moved to Houston, Texas and started a computer company with a college friend to provide IT services for individuals and small companies, which might now be known as a managed service provider. We started small, but in the next few years, we were able to provide IT support to many companies in the Houston, Texas area ranging from adult education centers to a major shipping inspection company. As the IT industry changed and more IT support competitors emerged, I decided to leave.
Enterprise Level Experience…
From there, I contracted with Enron and Verizon doing a variety of things, including Blackberry Enterprise support, setting up and supporting roaming profiles for Verizon, and assisting Enron with migrating their existing computer infrastructure to Windows 2000. But I wanted more stability than contract work offered and was hired as an IT Director by the largest independently-owned radiology company in Houston, Texas. I managed a team of three computer technicians and built an IT helpdesk from the ground up. We upgraded infrastructure, set up point-to-point VPN’s between all nine clinics throughout the Houston area, and supported all in-house applications and hardware. Eventually this company merged with a corporate investment firm, which resulted in sweeping changes to management. That’s when I joined Truewater.
Changing IT Industry…
For the last thirteen years at Truewater, I have worn a lot of hats and performed a lot of duties. In the early days, we were a group of IT consultants who performed onsite visits for IT support and IT planning for clients. We performed server upgrades, domain migrations, basic desktop, and application support, and assisted owners with planning how their IT can help their company grow.
As the IT industry and Truewater changed, my roles changed. I worked with a team of technicians performing back-end computer work that proactively kept our clients’ network infrastructure running. Server backups were key and I monitored, troubleshot, and maintained the cloud-based backup solution. I also supported and maintained the cloud-based server and email hosting. For three years, I managed the IT Support Call Center. I was responsible for our front-line of IT support and managed our IT staff to maintain our high-level call quality, resolution time, and skill. Now I find myself well-suited to the role as Truewater’s Network Operation Center manager. The fast-paced nature of hardware, software, and IT security risks mean I continue to be challenged by the ever-changing world of IT services.
On a personal note, I am a happily married father of three. I have lived in Houston, Texas for most of my life and am actively involved in my community church and a leader for my son’s Cub Scout den.
– Rob Falk, Network Operations Center Manager