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What Does “NOC” Mean?


"NOC, NOC — who's there...exactly?"

When it comes to business technology, you’ve probably heard the title of NOC specialist, NOC analyst or a NOC system. No, these aren’t experts in closed-door greetings of engine noise. In this piece, we’re going to examine the world of NOC specialists and how they differ from Helpdesk specialists. Pronounced like “knock”, NOC is an acronym that stands for Network Operations Center. Instead of having technical services strewn about in several different access points, NOC systems allow IT specialists a centralized input for monitoring and maintenance. In many instances, a business outsources their NOC support to a business solutions company who can remotely monitor and maintain the networks. Much larger organized may maintain their own NOC systems. NOC technicians often operate on a system of levels depending on the skill and experience required to accomplish a certain task. A task may start off as a Level 1 task, a more simple fix, or it may as severe as a Level 3 task, something sent to more experienced technicians to remedy. Though sounding a bit like a Russian doll at times, NOC Specialists maintain the system that allows other IT specialists to maintain the network systems of a company. A professionally maintained NOC system means many layers of monitoring and task management that ensure very reliably managed network services. This system of levels also helps make sure that everyone’s skills and experience are efficiently allocated.

“Is NOC a form of Helpdesk?”

To someone outside of the IT field, the role of a NOC specialist can easily be confused with that of a Helpdesk specialist. The difference between a NOC specialist and a Helpdesk specialist is mostly in whom they interact with. Helpdesk service specialists are the representatives interacting with clients and system users in order to remedy their issues. NOC specialists are technicians behind the scenes to help maintain managed network services. An easy way to remember the difference between Helpdesk specialists and NOC specialists is in the name — a Helpdesk specialist can “help” you at your “desk.” To access the help of a NOC specialist, they’re frequently behind closed doors from the user, requiring one to “knock” on their door in order to speak with them. If you’re a business system user, most of your concerns will be handled by a Helpdesk specialist.

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