A day in the life of Ben Davies, Microsoft IT ‘jack of all trades’


Welcome to the third in our Day in the Life series, dedicated to unearthing Microsoft’s very own IT professionals and finding out what gets them out of bed in the morning. This week we caught up with Ben Davies, a familiar face around Microsoft UK in his job as IT Service Counter Support Representative. Ben, it’s over to you

Ben Davies

Working for Microsoft IT for over a year now, my official job title being Service Counter Support Representative but over the 15 months I’ve been here, it’s expanded to include user training, product evangelization, infrastructure troubleshooting and sometimes, randomly, tour guide!

I’m part of a small team of nerds who need to make sure that the network is networking, the printers are printing and that employees have everything they need to do their day to day jobs. My basic roll is manning the Service Counter, a walk-in helpdesk where anyone on Campus can pop their head in, ask any questions they have and hopefully leave with the answers they need.

My day begins at 9am when I open the Counter and get ready for any questions that come my way. From there I will need to respond to any requests for support that come to me. One minute I can be sat at my desk, the next I can get an Instant Message from Chris in my team, and be working though our network switches, servers and hubs 10 minutes later. This kind of ad-hoc support is critical to make sure everyone on campus can keep working, an outage can ruin everyone’s day!

In the year I’ve been at MS I’ve learnt about the networks and systems used onsite, but I’ve also been challenged to try new things. Over the year I have become a presenter on a variety of programs, products and services to train Microsoft employees to be as productive as possible in their roles. Windows 7, Office 2010, Communicator, Live Meeting, Bitlocker and Windows Live Essentials are all subjects I have learned a great deal about and share that with others to boost their confidence in the software. The better you know how something works, the happier you are using it.

In November last year, my colleagues Chris Taylor, Ankit Patel and myself were asked by the Windows Phone 7 team to roll-out the HTC Mozart to every Microsoft Employee in the UK. We created a 20 minute presentation showing 7 things we thought were cool, each presenter having different features to reflect our personalities and, by the end of it, had presented to 2,500 people across the UK.  None of us had presented in front of 100 people at a time before so this was a great challenge and something I really enjoyed.

Balancing the IT Support responsibilities, the presentation/training sessions and ad-hoc support requests certainly keeps me on my toes! No two days are the same, last week I was working on a project and then suddenly asked to give a group of work experience kids a tour of the campus, showing off the Xbox department, Surface and the Microsoft Technology Centre!

Jack of all trades, me!

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