Interview with a Senior Support Analyst : “Communication and empathy are key”

Apr 10, 2024 - 4 min read
Also Available in : Français
Caroline Béguin, Copywriter at Sopra Banking Software

Working in production support means ensuring the operational stability of products and guaranteeing service continuity to clients. The challenge for a support analyst revolves around doing everything possible to resolve incidents quickly and effectively while maintaining clients’ trust in our products and the company’s reputation.

Meet Geoffrey Deneyer, a Senior Support Analyst for Sopra Banking Software Luxembourg. After completing his studies and joining SBS in 2013, Geoffrey developed a passion for Cobol, a technology used in banking applications. Surprised and convinced by his experience in the financial sector, he reflects on his 10-year career in production support service.

Support Analyst
Geoffrey Deneyer, Support Analyst Senior at Sopra Banking Software

What’s the most significant lesson you’ve learned in your career so far?

Geoffrey Deneyer: The importance of communication and empathy. Over the years, I’ve realized it’s easy to lose sight of users’ needs and frustrations when focusing solely on technical aspects. 

However, I’ve found that taking the time to actively listen to users and understand their perspectives alongside showing empathy resolves problems more effectively. It also strengthens the trust relationship between users and technical support. 

This lesson has improved my technical skills as well as my communication and interpersonal skills, which are essential in our field.

Why did you choose to join the financial industry?

Geoffrey Deneyer: My studies were geared toward the industrial world, so I had no idea what the professional banking and financial universe entailed. From my first contact with Sopra Banking Software, I felt positive energy and a genuine intention to lay the foundations for a long-term collaboration.

Plus, I was intrigued by the project I was offered to work on, as well as the numerous career opportunities and support offered to juniors. Two words in particular caught my attention during my interviews: “one team”! Those factors heavily influenced my decision to join the company.

10 years later, what is your role as a Senior Support Analyst?

Geoffrey Deneyer: My main responsibility is handling and resolving incidents, which are essentially malfunctions of our solution in a production environment – meaning our software is used by real clients, such as bank employees. Alongside other team members, we ensure issues are addressed and fixed. It involves a lot of analysis within the code and databases, with more or fewer surprises depending on the nature of the incident.

Can you give us an example of a project you’re currently working on?

Geoffrey Deneyer: Since July 1st, 2023, Maestro debit cards circulating in Belgium are gradually being replaced by Visa or Mastercard ones – beneficial for customers, because they allow online purchases and are more widely accepted on foreign payment terminals. 

In total, 10 million Belgian debit cards are being migrated, although not all are from banks we work with. Nevertheless, the number highlights the scale of the project. 

The Production Support team is monitoring the migration, providing support and resolving malfunctions. The project is ongoing, but progressing so well that it may end before the original expected deadline.

Of all the projects you’ve worked on, which has captivated you the most and why?

Geoffrey Deneyer: During the integration of our Platform solution at a client bank, I experienced a stimulating and enriching experience. 

I was tasked with adding functionality to the Platform to update a client’s status, depending on whether they were a client, prospect, ex-prospect, etc. It was an opportunity for me to develop a project from start to finish: Understanding the client’s needs and translating them into Cobol.

Managing this small project was incredibly rewarding, because I participated in all phases before its production release, from conception and development to testing. The project marked my first steps into production support.

Why is your work for SBS important?

Geoffrey Deneyer: On one hand, there’s the need to maintain the reliability of our systems. At the same time, production support plays a crucial role in establishing and maintaining a strong and trusted relationship with our clients. 

On the other hand, maintaining that trust relationship also involves close collaboration with other departments. By combining expertise across Pre-Sales, Sales, Development, Integration teams, etc., we optimize the quality of our products to best meet clients’ expectations.

What challenges do you face carrying out your mission as a support analyst?

Geoffrey Deneyer: One of the major challenges is the diversity of technical issues. From simple questions to major incidents, it’s necessary to adapt quickly and find effective solutions within sometimes tight deadlines. It’s demanding yet stimulating.

Another challenge is providing high-quality support while realistically managing users’ expectations. Sometimes, people make requests that are incompatible with the problem resolution deadlines. In those situations, transparent communication – explaining constraints and necessary steps to solve the problem – while seeking alternative solutions to meet their needs is important.

What do you enjoy most about being a support analyst within SBS?

Geoffrey Deneyer: My colleagues! I’ve always considered the projects we work on within Support teams as ships that need to be kept afloat, and that’s impossible without a good crew!

Would you like to join the Sopra Banking Software adventure? Click here to discover our Careers page and job offers.