Coming Full Circle

More than a decade ago, I made a name for myself helping customers with Check Point firewalls. I was a technical support engineer that supported customers directly. I helped out on the mailing lists of the day (and even started my own). I ran a fairly popular FAQ web site about the product. I even wrote two books about the Check Point firewall! The mention of "PhoneBoy" to a long-time Check Point customer will often evoke a fond memory about how my site or book helped them out of a jam.Of course, that was ages ago, at least in Internet time. The product suite has changed substantially since then. I haven't been tasked with doing technical support for the Check Point firewall in quite some time. I shut down my mailing list last year. CPUG has taken phoneboy.com's place as the top independent repository of all things Check Point. And, more recently, I became employed by Check Point.Now it seems I am doing what I used to do 10 years ago. No, I'm not a guru on all things Check Point like I used to be, and phoneboy.com won't return to it's roots anytime soon. But I am helping Check Point customers again—and it's my job to do so.Ok, it was my job before, but only in that I worked in technical support and worked for Nokia for most of the time. A lot of what people knew me for was my "extra-curricular" that I did because I wanted to.This is different. Instead of working things through the technical support channels, I now pretty much have access to the entire Check Point organization. While I won't dive into the technical details of an issue anymore, I can help make sure the right resources are engaged to resolve it. I make sure customer feedback gets where it needs to and that customers get the appropriate feedback, And, yes, I also help clarify uncertainties around upgrades from NGX to Software Blades licensing 🙂I should note that this isn't the only thing I do at Check Point. I have a "real" job as well (i.e. something that has nothing to do with representing the company online), though everyone involved knows—and generally approves—of what I am doing online. Better yet, the "real" job puts me at the right place in the organization to get the information I need for our customers out there who are talking about us.I'm pretty much doing this by the seat of my pants. I haven't been given any formal guidance on what I should be doing, though I do get the occasional email from someone inside the company asking me to take a look at something. I also periodically check in with our PR and Marketing teams to make sure my messaging is consistent and that I am aware when new products and services are launched.The general feedback I've gotten (internally and externally) has been overwhelmingly positive. I've been making a difference for our customers and for the company as a whole. It's quite gratifying. And fun.