Technical Operations Center: What It Does and How It Works

May 10, 2022
Customer Service, IT Services

From equipment failure to a DDoS attack, IT issues happen. It could be during the middle of the night, over the weekend, on a holiday, or during your company’s busiest time. In other words, IT issues occur at the most inconvenient times.

Whatever the problem and whenever it occurs, the US Signal Technical Operation Center (TOC) is here for our customers with 24/7/365 IT technical support — delivered by real people in real time. There’s no waiting until “normal” business hours for assistance.

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There are other service providers that offer similar around-the-clock availability. But US Signal is different. Calls to the TOC aren’t answered by an answering service ─ ever. They’re answered, typically within 30 seconds, by IT professionals. In fact, we have a service level objective of 30 seconds or less for a live technician answering the line ─ and a consistent record of 16-second or better response times.

It takes a special kind of person to work in US Signal’s TOC, so we’re particular about who we hire for these positions. While it may sound like marketing fluff, we really do look for people that put customers first and are willing to go the extra step (or two) to meet their needs. That’s essential if we expect to follow through on 30-second or less response times and satisfy our customers with exceptional service.

Training is critical too. We want our IT professionals in the TOC to feel confident in their knowledge of US Signal’s services and how to best resolve any issues that may arise.

How the TOC Works

The TOC team that directly handle customer calls and support is known internally as the TOC Maintenance team. When a call comes into the TOC, the person who answers the call is trained to handle just about any technical support issue that arises. The TOC Maintenance team doesn’t use call trees, so you won’t be passed off to a series of other technicians.

That’s a big deal because we try our best to ensure that issues are resolved in less than 30 minutes whenever possible. And ─ this is an important differentiator compared to many other technical operations centers ─ US Signal’s TOC team is evaluated on the quality of service provided rather than on how many tickets are closed.

Of course, there are times that some IT problems that occur that may require extensive research and the assistance of other IT specialists. US Signal has that covered too with a three-tier technical support system.

  • Tier 1 - Your initial contact, who answers the phone, will collect the pertinent information and resolve the issue in under 30 minutes. If not, it goes to the appropriate Tier 2 specialist.
  • Tier 2 – Tier 2 specialists deep dive into issues, resolving them within 8 hours. You’ll receive an update every hour. If an issue requires more time, it’s escalated to the Tier 3 team.
  • Tier 3 – Tier 3 specialists work with US Signal’s Engineering team to resolve the most complex issues. Updates are provided hourly.

Note: Calling US Signal’s toll-free number (888-663-1700) isn’t the only way to reach the TOC. Customers can also send email [email protected] or log into the customer portal and use the chat box.

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TOC Team Support

There are two other teams that also help ensure the reliability of US Signal’s services ─ and its exceed-your-expectations service: The TOC Surveillance team and the Change Management team, which are comprised of highly qualified cloud, network and data center experts.

Like the members of our TOC Maintenance team, the IT professionals these two teams have in-depth knowledge of and experience in working with US Signal’s various services and the underlying infrastructure. They also share their enthusiasm for and commitment to delivering stellar service to our customers.

The TOC Surveillance team is responsible for deploying and maintaining leading-edge monitoring assets for all US Signal’s core and edge service elements. Proactive, around-the-clock monitoring of US Signal's network, data centers, and infrastructure helps prevent issues from affecting infrastructure and services.

The team assesses alerts from the field to identify issues and causes, and applies the appropriate resources to resolve any potential problems. They also work with other US Signal teams to orchestrate remediation activities, including US Signal’s own crew of skilled technicians that handle cable repairs quickly. There’s no waiting for a third party to take care of any repair work.

To meet SLAs and deliver the most reliable services, US Signal’s data center and cloud infrastructure must always be up and available. However, keeping the critical infrastructure and equipment running optimally requires periodic maintenance and upgrades.

US Signal’s Change Management team stays in touch with OEMs to ensure all aspects of US Signal’s equipment and technologies are maintained according to recommendations, as well as industry best practices. This helps ensure that any maintenance-related downtime is minimal.

The team plans, organizes and correlates scheduled maintenance activities. Most network maintenance usually occurs between midnight and 6:00 AM. It’s responsible for notifying our customers of maintenance activities to minimize possible service disruptions. Most service-impacting maintenance is announced 10 calendar days in advance). The team also notifies customers once maintenance activities are completed.

Beyond Service and Support

US Signal’s TOC is just one aspect of how we provide our customers what they need, when they need it and the way they need it. Learn more about what we do – and how we do it – in the videos below available on YouTube. For additional details or to learn what we can do to help your organization, just contact us.