Stephen D Buyze

“Empowering Managed Service Providers to Increase Profit”

About the Author: How My IT Journey First Started…

 

Before I even begin, I want to thank the many readers for taking the time to read our articles over the last year. I trust you find them insightful and helpful.  

Ok, now it’s time for me to open up a little here. I have been told that I should be more engaging with our readers, which is what inspired me to write this article.  

 Outside of bringing my best game every week on how to optimize IT Service Delivery, I am not sure what else would be of interest to read, so I have been advised to write about myself. (P.S. I have put this off for months – I am just not convinced you are interested.) 

You’ve probably already guessed what drives me. 

 My passion is to improve the Quality of Work-Life for all Employees around me. This passion was identified in 1990 when I participated in the 4-day “7 Habits of Highly Effective People” workshop given by the Stephen Covey organization.  

Since then, following this North Star has resulted in a very rewarding career, and impacted a long list of Employees. The side benefit is quantifiable improvements in Customer Satisfaction and Company Profits. 

My Journey From Television to IT Support 

 Some time ago, I was working for a small independent Television Station as a technician. Just prior to taking the workshop, I had moved to a Television Network affiliate in the Mid-West to be a Jr. Manager. After I completed the workshop, I was promoted to manager, then Sr. Management, and ultimately to Network Regional Director of Engineering before leaving the broadcast industry back in 2006.  

 My reason for leaving Broadcasting was the 24/7/365 oncall demands. Yes, I carried a pager – and the higher in management I climbed, the more pages I received. I was working harder on holidays than on most other days (Festivals, Tournaments, New Year’s Eve celebrations, Christmas Eve Mass, you name it…).  

 I still remember the first New Year’s Eve that I was not working. I went to bed at 10 pm, because I could. I’m guessing some of you reading this may be able to relate.  

 Uncertainties about where the industry was going… 

I stayed with the Network through the DTV transition, but it seemed there was a lot of consolidation going on and I wasnt sure where the industry was going.   

 Part of this consolidation was the Telecommunications Act of 1996, where the government, in their infinite wisdom, decided that if they did not help baby the cable industry, it would go bankrupt.  

 So, they decided to give Baby Huey (Cable Companies) free access to the Television Broadcast copyrighted property.  Who could predict that by 2000 – just 4 years later – that Cable Companies would be controlling Television, not the powerhouse networks? 

 In the middle of the debate, I had the privilege of appealing directly to Congress. I met with all the Republican Representatives from Indiana, both Indiana Senators, and sent a copy of my opinion on the issue to the McCann camp, who at the time controlled the Senatorial Telecommunications Committee. On that same junket, we also met with all of the FCC Commissioners.  

 I still remember being honored by the head of the FCC. When our time was up, his assistant opened the door to let us know it was time for us to leave. However, he continued asking questions for another 11 1/2 minutes, which in Washington time is an eternity. 

 Leading a Team of Intrapreneurials Until… 

Between 1998 and 2000, I was promoted to Executive VP and asked to lead a team of Intrapreneurials tasked with developing a way for the local Television Network Affiliate to duplicate the success of “The Today Show.”   

 We were successful in securing the interest of local affiliates and Mall owners until two things happened: 

  1. Affiliates realized that Mall space at the time went for $6 to $10 per square foot – they were used to paying $1 to $2 per square foot for studio space. 
  2. Mall Owners realized that we were after marketing dollars to pay the rent for the affiliates. 

 Oh well, it was a great idea – it just couldn’t get the dollars to make sense. 

 From 2001 thru 2006, I was employed as a Regional Director of Engineering for ION Media. It was a good gig, included lots of travel, and mostly entailed managing six local Chief Engineers (who managed a team of 5 technicians and operators), and Project Management.  

 I thought I knew a lot about IT... until I moved to an MSP in 2010. Now, I realize how little I knew about IT, and that it is limited to jargon, Service Delivery process, and how to manage Techs and Projects. 

 2010: A Homecoming to IT Support 

From 2006 to 2010 I had several jobs. I managed a Union Electrical  

Contracting Company, I was a Project Coordinator and Project Manager (at this point in my career I was PMP certified – which has since expired due to lack of use and PDU’s).  

 In 2010, I finally landed a job in the IT Support World, which is where I wanted to be for some time. Wondering what’s happened since then? 

 Well, most of my life since 2010 has been captured in this past year’s blog articles as I write weekly on what I have learned in my experience within the IT industry. I do this because I want to share my knowledge with others in the hopes that both the individual and their MSPs may benefit. 

 On a personal note, in 2003 I was diagnosed as diabetic.  This is the third best thing that has happened to me after Jesus, and my wife.  I weighed 235 lbs., had high blood pressure (160/130) and mostly goofed off.  Today I weigh 180 lbs.am on a low carb vegetarian diet, and have run the Beach 2 Beacon 10K for the last 10 years.   

We won’t be running this year due to the passing of my Mother-in-Law.  She was a very close friend, and in 2017 she helped me launch the consulting business.  She was with me every step of the way. Starting out as an accountability partner, researcher, and proofreader of the blog articles from April 2018 when we started, until September when her health was starting to fail.  I miss her. 

 Once again, I want to sincerely thank you for reading our articles. I hope they help you improve the Quality of Work-Life, increase Customer Satisfaction, and make more money for your Company. 

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