Premier Field Engineering (PFE) provides technical leadership for Microsoft’s Premier customers around the world to promote health in their IT environments through onsite, remote and dedicated support services.
Okay, so what does all that really mean? If I’m a PFE, what will I be doing?
Cindy Parrish, one of Microsoft’s Recruiters has been talking to our PFE’s to get their personal stories. For the next several weeks we will answer that question, so that you have a clear picture of the PFE role at Microsoft.
Welcome to Wednesday and an explanation of what it’s like to be a PFE by a current PFE in their own words.
Here’s what Eric has to say about his job:
Do you want to know what it’s like to work in PFE at Microsoft? Well, here is my perspective…
This is the most unique, challenging and rewarding position I’ve experienced to-date in my career. In Premier Field Engineering as a whole, there can be significant variation in our role day to day based on which customers we are engaged to support. Most of that depends on whether we work on a transactional basis with different customers week to week or in a dedicated mode with designated customers. Myself – I am an Exchange PFE, dedicated to specific customers. My mission to our customers is to be their trusted advisor for all things related to Microsoft Exchange. This work can range from reactive support on service impacting problems, architecture and design guidance, configuration recommendations, health assessments, risk mitigation, procedural reviews (e.g., migration planning, disaster recovery processes, etc…), and performance analysis. Essentially, I’m here to be the customer’s trusted resource, a partner that advocates what’s in their best interest for sustained health with Microsoft Exchange. Sometimes that involves serving as a technical mentor, subject matter expert, or a conduit to Microsoft’s array of resources. Those resources can be internal institutional knowledge we possess, specialized escalation experts in Product Support Services and even product managers and engineers in our product group divisions. Even though we typically are engaged and deliver services to our customers independently by ourselves (on-site or remotely), we’re never left to solve everything on our own. The resources we have access to within Microsoft are vast and vital in this role. Believe it or not, nobody here knows it all. If you’ve been in the industry long enough you understand it’s an on-going process of learning and experience. There is a strong team oriented culture that facilitates knowledge sharing among our technical communities and helps us deliver the best service and product experiences to our customers. So, there is a large community of engineers and experts to help when you need it. Additionally, there are numerous opportunities for development through formal training courses or readiness events to help us keep our skills and knowledge at the cutting edge. And this doesn’t just pertain to technical development, as there are ample offerings for non-technical and soft-skill professional development.
This job is unique and different from any other position I’ve held when it comes to autonomy. To a large extent, we manage what and how we perform our work and deliver to customers. Since, we primarily work independently with our customers, we have a lot of autonomy without the constraints of being micro-managed. So, this is a highly self-driven and self-directed role. However, we can always reach out and seek management’s advice, recommendations and guidance as we encounter unclear or challenging situations. On top of that we even have a mentorship program that promotes us leveraging the wealth of knowledge and experience here for the betterment of us individually and as a whole. Of course we also collaborate and work with our Technical Account Managers to ensure we are delivering quality services and providing the value our customers deserve.
As a family man, this role offers me flexibility in a work-life balance that I greatly value. In my dedicated role, I appreciate that I can manage my work-schedule and determine when it’s appropriate for me to travel and be on-site with my customers. I’m able to work from home to support my customers remotely and manage my travel schedule for periodic on-site visits. At times, this is a balancing act with my personal schedule and customers’ business needs, but it’s predominantly manageable to suit us both. I greatly value my family time and commitments at home. These elements are significant to me so that I maintain a proper balance while helping customers and Microsoft be successful together.
With this autonomy comes the responsibility to make prudent decisions when it comes to all of these aspects. Ultimately, this role allows me to have an impact and make a difference and I feel that is what many of us genuinely seek. To be able to contribute and make a difference by helping others is what we pursue. At Microsoft and PFE we strive hard to put our people in a position to be successful, enabling us to provide an experience that our customers covet with our products, services and devices.
I didn’t even get around to mentioning many of the other awesome benefits of working at Microsoft. So, you’ll just have to trust me. There are a bounty of them!