Hi. I’m 41 years old and I work as a Senior Technical Support Engineer.
How long have you been working at MailStore and what did you do before that?
I have been with MailStore since October 2012. Before that, I worked at a Berlin based consulting company in regulatory affairs/electronic submission. Incidentally, that company is also a MailStore customer, so I ultimately found out about MailStore via the product.
What kinds of tasks does your job entail?
In addition to advising potential customers in presales, I work mainly in second level support, meaning that I handle problem analysis and the integration of MailStore solutions in customer environments. Especially the new MailStore Service Provider Edition offers an exciting environment in that regard, from the initial technical analysis and planning to implementation details.
Are you currently working on any specific projects?
For the release of MailStore Service Provider Edition, I prepared a tailored PowerShell API wrapper along with a tutorial for the automation of many tasks in the SPE.
Examining the integration of MailStore in Exchange 2013 OWA as part of a research project and testing the recently released Exchange 2013 SP1 with MailStore are on my list at the moment. And one of my never-ending tasks is of course our technical documentation, which needs constant revision, as this goes hand in hand with the latest developments and feedback of our partners and customers.
Which technical areas do you cover? What are your personal key areas of focus?
My main focus is on Exchange Server and Active Directory. I have been working with such environments for years. I also do PowerShell scripting, for which the MailStore APIs offer several interesting possibilities.
What is special about email infrastructure and archiving from a technical support perspective? Are there any specific challenges?
Definitely the number of different infrastructures that we get to see here. Customer administrators who come to us with a problem often forget that we are seeing the environment they work with every day for the first time. Of course there are many similarities, but in the end, each environment is unique. It is a challenge to understand it within a short time and come up with solutions.
Also, error messages in MailStore often hint to underlying problems in the infrastructure that have nothing to do with the product itself. It gets tricky when error messages are passed to MailStore from other systems with no direct relation being obvious. At first the customer only sees that his MailStore archiving is not working. It very often turns out that MailStore is only the bearer of bad news, but not the cause.
What is the trickiest case you have solved so far?
There was one case where only the message, ‘The requested function is not supported’ was passed to MailStore. There was also an authentication error at process level, meaning it was quite deep within the system. Otherwise there were no other messages, neither on the MailStore Server nor anywhere else in the network. Everything else seemed to work. In the end it turned out that a certain DNS zone was broken, meaning that the error had absolutely nothing to do with MailStore or with the error message.
Are you interested in IT outside of work? What kinds of things are you doing at the moment?
Of course. I don’t think there is anyone who works in IT and has no interest in it outside of work (OK, Daniel does know someone). I got my first computer when I was eight. It could be (and had to be) expanded using a soldering iron and chips from the electronics store. But at the time you could do a lot with 3.5 KB of internal memory.
Right now I am working with home automation. The house we bought nearly three years ago needs to be raised to an acceptable level of ‘nerdiness.’ I was even able to convince my wife with the prospect of automated terrarium control.
What do you like to do most when you are not busy with IT?
There is actually always enough to do in the house and the garden. A lot of my free time is taken up by all kinds of home improvement projects. Whenever I get the chance, I like to read a good book, which can be prosa, political/historical literature, or a trade publication. Usually I read several books at once. And then there is our zoo of small animals, none of which can fathom why my wife and I might ever be busy with other things.