A day in the life of a Service Manager
We are offering a great opportunity for you to become the IT Service Manager for Estates, and we thought it would be a good time to discover what the role of a Service Manager is and why you might want to join Computing Services. We spoke to Gayle Wildson, who is the Service Manager for Accommodation Hospitality and Security, about exactly what her job involves.
Hello Gayle, thank you for talking to us. What is your job title?
Hello, I’m the Service Manager for Accommodation, Hospitality and Security (ahs). I’m based in Computing Services, but my main focus is ahs. It’s a massive department, probably one of the biggest in the area and there’s lots to do. I’ve been in the role nearly a year now, it’s flown by!
What does your day to day role involve?
It’s quite difficult to describe a typical day because it can be so varied. I lead a great team and regularly get involved in projects with them. Probably the bulk of my work involves going to meetings with ahs as they are my main customer. They will bring me in if they are thinking of looking at new products particularly to improve their processes by working out where we are now and where we want to go. So, how best to utilise the existing technologies that they have or discover new technologies that are being brought in and how we might best utilise these.
What is the biggest challenge you face?
I think one of the biggest challenges is getting all the systems to link up. One of the reasons I started doing this role was because we’ve got so many systems and I wanted to try and bring it all together so that we are all singing from the same hymn sheet.
What’s your main focus over the next six months?
I think our main focus is going to be Office 365, everyone is really keen to jump on board. It’s very positive as I’m thinking “yes, we can do this and we can utilise it”. A big part of ahs is the commercial side, which is slightly different to most areas of the University as outside term time we have guest accommodation, so the University turns into a hotel.
What attracted you to apply for this role?
I was attracted by the fact that it was focusing in one area and that there was a clear path for career development and progression. This role gives me a higher level understanding of what is going on in the whole Department, rather than focusing on one piece of technology. As I am involved in all the different Departments within ahs, I can see everything and connect the dots. It gives me a strategic overview.
What is the most exciting aspect of your role?
It’s once everything comes together. This role isn’t about quick wins, it’s about the long-term goal. When you’re a Support Manager or an IT Supporter you fix things all the time. With this role, it’s a longer-term plan which has greater impact. Whilst this isn’t exactly a technical role, I have to have a technical background to understand how these things connect and understand that when the customer is trying to bring new technologies in, what the implications are.
Is this a very customer focused role?
Yes, I work a lot with ahs and with suppliers, so I’m building customer relationships both internally and externally. It’s very much a relationship management role to understand what everyone’s needs are.
If someone wanted to apply for this role, what would be the three skills that they should have?
Communication, definitely, to be a good listener. Technical understanding that has to be equally weighted with communication. For example, if you have good communication but have no technical knowledge then that can lead to unrealistic expectations. Sometimes the customers can be really enthusiastic with an idea, but you need to know what you have to put in place first to enable that solution. You need to understand what the customer wants to achieve but also what your team can achieve too.
Tell us a little more about the Service Manager role
The team is ahs and Estates and I manage that entire team. We have a really wide variety of products to get involved in, especially at a strategic level. The Department is always moving forward and progressing, which is really good. At the moment, Estates don’t have that contact to be able to organise and do everything. That’s where this new role will come in. I will have to work very closely with the new Service Manager.
Thanks for your time Gayle, it’s been great to talk with you.
For more details and to apply for the role of Service Manager (Estates), please follow the link below. The closing date for applications is Sunday 6 January 2019.