The first time I met Richard Knight was during a visit to our Plano Office to film "Meet the Support Engineers". Every morning, Richard comes in the office wearing his cowboy hat and cowboy boots. He hangs up his hat and slides his boots off. As he was pulling his tennis shoes out of the drawer to start his day I realized this is no typical support engineer, and this isn't a typical tech support team!
The Plano is buzzing with heads down workers, community discussions, and training sessions all there to help CA customers. The office comradery was amazing and Richard fits right in. He's been with CA for over 16 years. I asked him what lead him to CA - "that's a loaded question," he said. His story starts at needing to rebuild his cashflow after college with a part time job at Sears
"Sears was my first exposure to the customer service mindset. Even though the display department was not directly customer facing we were still required to attend all of the customer service training which served me well a few years later when I went in to business installing appliances with a good friend of mine. One thing that we always did was to clean up where the old unit had been before putting in the replacement. This simple action that only took a minute or two per job really set us apart from the rest of the pack and our customers loved it. Neither of us had ever heard the term “Net Promoter” but I like to think that we would have scored well.
After making the painful decision to close down our business we spent several months winding things down and splitting up assets. Next, I spent six years at Epic Data and worked my way up from shipping/receiving to GIS and ultimately to Software Engineer. In January 1999 one of my peers left the company and went to work for Platinum Technologies, a few weeks later he pinged me to see if I was interested in coming over to Platinum and I ended up taking the a job in technical support. I started Platinum on February 1st and that June Platinum was bought out by CA and I have been here ever since. (I told you it was a loaded question!)"
Before becoming a support manager, Richard spent 15 years supporting (formerly known as ) He uses best practices he learned in the field to help train his team.
"As industry demographics have shifted from career professionals with 20 or more years experience to individuals fresh out of school and new to our products we now have the added challenge of being unofficial educators as well. While the role has changed it does offer us the opportunity to partner with our customers on an additional level and build mutual respect and trust."
Richard suggests employees and customers become part of the CA Communities.
"The on-line communities are one of the most exciting areas we have to facilitate an even better customer experience. When dealing with enterprise level software often there are many paths achieving a given objective. Frequently we see the question “What is the best way to…” and there is no one answer that fits all customers. By participating in the communities our customers have an open forum not only with support but with their peers in the industry to discuss what works best for them and why. Also the communities are a great way to share ideas on how our products can be improved."
When he's not in the office, Richard trades his tennis shoes in for his work boots.
"I am a weekend rancher. I am 3rd generation owner of land about 125 miles Southwest of the Plano office where my brother and I raise registered Black Angus cattle. Between the land that we own and some additional leased land we are running our cattle on just under 1000 acres. Besides ranching I have a long list of hobbies from hotrod cars to cooking to building stained glass windows."
Unfortunately, Richard said the cows are camera shy and declined being captured for this blog post.
If you are considering a career at CA as a Support Engineer, search our careers page at ca.com/careers: Who We Are - CA Technologies
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