With a background in sales I started a career in information technology in the mid 80s. Through various job positions I have gathered significant experience on sales, finance, budgeting, logistics and purchasing. My working history gives me a wide perspective extending beyond information technology.
Most of my billing is based on fixed contracts that guarantee a client a certain amount of availability. Some clients call me when they need me. NCO provides business-to-business services for companies only.
Project manager or specialist
There are numerous projects especially in multinational corporations that require crossfunctional knowledge. Having an outsider free of personal interests and yet familiar with the business and local environment is highly beneficial.
I am also often called to attend meetings unrelated to IT projects. On those occasions I provide a fresh perspective and help in areas not directly within the core competence of the main participants. Alternately I can be a sparring partner to the company professionals helping them to solve local process issues.
NCO is not a software provider as such. All applications are tailor-made for a specific purpose. The maintenance and upgrading are handled by contracted hourly billing. The tools used depend on the purpose but most end user applications are made using Microsoft Excel macros. Automation utilities are mostly made with AutoIt. Also some small web-applications have been coded in PHP.
Samples of Excel-applications created (most are multiuser capable):
- data imports from legacy systems for easier analysis
- dynamic forms for data collection
- calculation and consolidation of annual bonuses
- budget based salary raise calculation in a multi-layer corporation
- holiday and sick leave monitoring applications
- application for unified price management and offer construction
- event log with user identification and automated encrypted backups
- inventory management
Miscellaneous utilities. Some of these work scheduled in servers without user interaction:
- file transfers and format translations between systems (several)
- automated software deployment utilities
- setting and/or monitoring workstation settings
- digital image retrieval from camera memory card and preprocessing
- automated backup to a USB memory stick
Enhancing the infrastructure
This includes constructing and enhancing elements of the corporate infrastucture that the local Helpdesk supports. Also Helpdesk professionals often require second level support to solve particularly problematic cases.
There are several highly qualified providers for computer related training services. Typically however the availability of courses is not actively offered to employees or the challenges of routine operations seem too specific. NCO can map the need for required training and should such training be unavailable it is possible to tailor one with the specific content.
The training may for example consist of familiarizing the users to a new spreadsheet application added with generic instructions. The audience can be either end users or first level support personnel. I can also train selected end users to become the first level support for specific applications.