​Research Engagement and Support Team

GÉANT’s Research Engagement team provides a comprehensive account management service on behalf of its European NREN partners, ensuring international research communities and user organisations are supported in the most consistent and effective way.

The account management service interaction strategy is focused around three areas:

  • ​​Account management:

This function ens​ures that user records are kept, enquiries answered and relationships with the international user organisations are maintained. A single-point-of-contact is provided for project management purposes, taking responsibility for the technical and commercial offerings of the community and the proactive anticipation of the user organisation’s needs. 

  • Technical customer support:

This function aims to understand the detailed requirements of the user application and to propose the best service offerings, as well as developing technical designs for any proposed GÉANT/NREN solution. 

  • ​​Commercial management:

This provides a coherent, pan-European response to commercial enquiries, aiming to provide a competitive alternative to commercial offerings. The process for interaction by the account management team follows a set life cycle that is divided into five sections as shown in the figure below.

User interaction lifecycle

​The process for interaction by the account management team follows a set life cycle that is divided into five sections as shown in the image above.​

  • Requirement gathering:

​Regular interactions are held with the user organisation via the account management function. In this stage, interactions between the users and the account managers define the potential service that is required. Clear logging of interactions and requirements is essential during this stage. Initiation of the requirement gathering process can be started by a lead NREN interacting with GÉANT or from a GÉANT staff member who has been developing the lead via user community event attendance. In either case, a lead NREN is involved with the GÉANT user interaction lifecycle, in a joint interaction with the user organisation. The lead NREN is typically designated according to the nation where the headquarters of the user organisation resides. However, in some circumstances it can be collaboratively decided by the NRENs involved that it is more appropriate to select the NREN from the nation where the primary operation for a particular project is being delivered. This NREN then becomes the GÉANT community designated lead NREN for the user interaction lifecycle.

  • ​Design, proposal, implementation, operation/support:

Following the requirement gathering phase, a solution progresses through a number of logical sequences: the design, service proposal, implementation and then operation and support of the service. For the design phase, a team member from GÉANT or the NREN puts together a technical proposal which meets the criteria gathered during the requirement gathering phase. The design includes an overview of how the solution is to be operated and supported during its lifetime, as well as the technical capabilities of the solution. This is then reviewed by GÉANT and the NRENs responsible for the delivery of the solution, to ensure that the proposal is fit for purpose and to give operational visibility of the proposed solution to all concerned parties. It is at this point that an implementation design is put together.

A final proposal is then delivered to the end user by GÉANT. 

What next?
  • ​​Once the proposal is accepted by the end user organisation, the procedure then calls for GEANT’s Research Engagement and Support team to action the request (for network services or trust, identity and security) to the respective operational teams.
  • This action within the GÉANT ticketing system triggers the implementation phase, which is tracked and follows the implementation design defined in the earlier phase.
  • Once the solution is implemented, the Research Engagement and Support team is handed back the ticket, in order for the client to be notified of the service going live.
  • The solution then enters the operation and support phase which involves monitoring and maintenance of the service as defined during the design phase.
  • Following completion of a specific project, regular meetings with the user organisation continue, to ensure that all needs are successfully catered for.

The GÉANT account management function exists to provide a streamlined, professional approach to the support of international user organisations and their bespoke service requirements.

Contact the Research Engagement team at: researchengagement@geant.org​