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  I've joined the team at Third Tier
      Monday, January 5, 2009

Last October, while at the SMBNation conference, Amy Babinchak and Eriq Neale invited me to work for them as a Third Tier support engineer. I accepted, and part of my time since then has been dedicated to resolving tickets opened on the Third Tier website. The nature of my daily work didn't really change much as a result of this, but it did shift the origin of it, and I've enjoyed getting to know Amy and Eriq better in the process.

So what's Third Tier?

Third Tier is a remote support business that aims to provide top-notch problem-resolution skills for technologists who need help with advanced projects. Rather than having SMB business owners call us for help, Third Tier exists to support "trusted advisors" within the SMB consulting space who need additional expertise with specific technologies. My own contribution to Third Tier is to handle most of the Exchange-related tickets.

I've been working actively for ThirdTier since November 2008, and have worked on quite a few tickets. As of today, all my open tickets have been closed with a 100% resolution rate. I like this work because it allows me to spend my time focused on what I'm best at, and I get to work on more interesting problems than I might otherwise.

How does Third Tier work? Basically if you have a need for technical assistance from a subject-matter expert and don't want to go through the queue at the software vendor, you open a new ticket at the Third Tier website. Along with the ticket, Third Tier requires a $175 PayPal payment to cover the first hour of work. The basic rate is $175 and hour for each subsequent hour. Most of my tickets have taken two hours to resolve, but I have worked on multiple sub-projects for some clients that have totaled quite a few hours as well.

I would say that as a whole, my work has shifted toward focused specialization on messaging and away from the sort of projects that might involve me in working on desktop issues of any sort. These hands are very grateful for that.
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