Having worked at Netapp and other companies, support is always hit hard when cuts come along. The big reason is that it's very hard to justify the cost. Support was great when I was there and they paid very well for good engineers. But since support is a profit making part of the company, it's easy to shuffle it off to call centers and let the customers suffer. At the end of the day, they justify the reduced customer satisfaction by increased profits.
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While I agree that L2 support has had lots of layoffs in the past, but don't think it's been worse in the last few years. I think the goal was to do the cuts with one sweep instead of slowly slashing people. The focus is and has been on getting L1 up to speed and that hasn't happened. Probably never will. It's so bad they had to get new supplier recently.
Some of the L2 TSE who got laid off in the last rounds honestly had it coming. They were no better than L1 today and there were valid reasons to let them go. Many ended up getting other jobs in netapp, like PS. The cuts increased the quality of L2 support.
If you look around most L2 TSEs have been there many years. They get paid well too (100k+) and many have irreplaceable experience. It takes at least 1 year for a new TSE to get up to speed and actually go from handing over to closing cases. And it's difficult to find an qualified person to even take the job. After getting established, it's not a bad job and many continue to stay because they pay is good, they are comfortable doing it, and there's not much else out there who'd pay more.
You get what you pay for. L1 support is garbage. The numbers show that they handle it well enough for managers to not care. Worse case they can always escalate to L2. Communication actually calls L2 "netapp support" and L1 is a "supplier" now...these are the folks who netapp doesn't really care about because they're just an outsourced contract. However the irony is they are the face of netapp support. I have no pity for L1 though because many there just don't care and aren't knowledgeable enough despite being around for many years.
You didn't see it posted here, but there were many layoffs as netapp switched to dual supplier.
My concern is that having L1 being slightly more specialized will make them more knowledgeable and then leaders will be able to cut more L2. Based on what I saw with L1 before, I just don't see that happening anytime soon and if it does, I don't time seasoned L2 will have anything to worry about. The low performers and slackers will go.
Support is a cost center so in order to cut costs you need people from leaderships home country. NetApp stopped caring about their customers many moons ago. They also stopped caring about their people too. It’s easier to lay people off than fix products that don’t work (but of course the CEO was running engineering when the crap products were released).
Yes. That goes for internal support too. NetApp is changing and not for the better. Too bad. My job got shifted to India and Internal Users now submit a ticket. It's all cheaper.