Job: Solutions Architect
Overall Job Purpose
To lead the requirements, definition, design and technical governance of solutions in a platform, pre-sales and delivery capacity. To ensure all solutions are produced according to the customer and/or platform requirements and to ensure solutions are fit for purpose.
To lead and own the creation of architectures across multiple hardware and software platforms in a large-scale heterogeneous systems environment.
To act as a thought leader for the implementation of new services and solutions across the data center and customer environments
• Lead engagement with customers and/or internal teams to ensure design of technical solutions are in line with the requirements of the customer
• Lead the process to lead the customer and/or internal teams to create an IT strategy and technology roadmap
• Lead in the requirements gathering process and pre-sales phase including due diligence, SoW and solution proposals
• Work with customers (including running technical workshops and seminars) with a view to rationalising the IT estate with offerings from the data centre.
• Work with internal departments and teams to shape services and products offered from the data centre
• Work with sales and business development functions to help develop and market technology solutions to existing and prospective customers.
Design & Architecture
• Lead to the high level design of platform service and customer infrastructures from conception to completion ensuring alignment with business aims and objectives and fulfilling the role of Subject Matter Expert
• Ensure designs are logical, complete and end to end, fit for purpose and can be abstracted for multiple views and audiences.
• Support the creation of complimentary and technical and low level designs for the solutions proposed.
• Lead on the creation of solution architectures stretching across the entire breadth of the IT estate for Data Centre platform services and customers alike.
• Lead on the creation and maintenance of technology roadmaps taking emerging and future technology advances into consideration.
• Lead the high level design of cloud solutions with a focus on delivery of multiple technology flavours, multiple customers and multi-datacentre/site architectures
• Lead the creation of a cost model to ensure services and platforms developed are profitable, scalable and well suited to the business model and be ready to present where necessary, appropriate cost analysis (cost-benefit, ROI, TCO) for customer projects and technology platforms alike.
• Lead the production of architecture documents covering all aspects of the solution, setting quality standards for all document types.
• Act as a design authority for the overall governance and assurance for all solution designs
• Assist with the implementation of customer projects into the datacentre and at customer sites as appropriate
• Assist the implementation of projects both for the data centre technology stack and for customer solutions
• Act as a technical reference point for Customers, CSM’s, Technical Architects and junior staff members including liaising with the business in the requirements, communication and support of a technical solution
Planning & Transition
• Assist the creation of business and project documents (PID, Gantt, Business Case, RAID, Service Schedule), presentations and workshops to support delivery of solutions to new and existing customers and/or new platform services
• Assist creation, approval and quality standards of all technical project documentation and CMDB configuration items
• Support workshops and training sessions with support staff to facilitate handover to BAU operations
• Support the translation of HLD to LLD for technical implementation including assisting to break designs down to manageable architecture building blocks to aid implementation
• Ensure all designs are created with growth and scalability in mind, anticipating future business needs, changes to the technology landscape in the industry and potential problems that may occur.
• Support on activities and tasks relating to the creation and publishing of Due Diligence reports for customer and data centre technology estates
Standards & Guidelines
• Lead on the creation of a Common Technology Environment portfolio of approved technologies for Date Centre services.
• Ensure adherence to appropriate design methodology as appropriate and as specified by the business.
• Assist the management of technology platforms across the datacentre technology portfolio
• Assist the continuous improvement programmes of all technology platforms across the datacentre
• Assist on projects requiring the organisation to achieve accreditations as required by management and/or customer needs
• Support the production of reference architectures for services offered as part of the data centre offering
• Actively contribute to the IT governance processes and programmes instituted for customers and data centre platform services
• Act as a customer escalation point for customer relationship managers for major incidents related to the service delivery from the datacentre and customer sites, liaising with the business from a strategic viewpoint.
• Act as a mentor and coach to technical architects and specialists as directed by line management and in accordance with planned projects and enhancements to platform services
• Support SCC management in the technical development of human resources as required.
• Support the capacity planning and management programme for data centre services and/or customer solutions
• Create and own professional documentation for customer engagement, meetings and workshops.
• Assess the quality and content of technical designs produced as part of customer projects and SCC service enhancements.
• Support the creation of technical documentation for all platform services for the data centre and for customer sites as directed
• Ensure technical documentation is completed to a professional standards
• Support the creation of document standards focussing on content, branding and quality
• Support the configuration of all technical documentation to include version control and uniform site/directory structure
• Lead all initial customer communications and represent SCC in all high level meetings and scoping exercises.
• Support the process to ensure all project updates, changes and implementation are communicated to the team and customer where necessary
• Communicate with senior management to coach, report on and lead discussions on strategies for existing and emerging technologies and emerging customer needs
Run seminars and workshops for customers, internal teams and external events for specific technologies and/or technology solutions offered from the data centre.
Skills, Knowledge & Experience
The ideal candidate will be self-motivated with a track record of working with a datacentre technology stack and an appreciation of support and service transition. Experience of working in a fast paced, dynamic environment with a can-do attitude and able to handle work with multiple customers and projects. Candidate must have experience of working in a large solution provider with a rapidly expanding customer base.
• Strong background with core network, compute and storage technologies in large-scale deployments
• Minimum 10 years’ experience providing support to enterprise level clients
• Minimum 10 years’ experience in professional services, sales or customer support.
• Detailed technical knowledge of MS Directory Services, Exchange, VMWare, Citrix/VDI, Networking, database and storage technologies backed with practical experience in a corporate environment preferably serving customers
• Appropriate certifications in core technology platforms (MS, VMWare, Storage (Netapp, EMC), Citrix, Networking)
• Ability to troubleshoot complex, technical, multi-site and multi-disciplinary problems and incidents
• Ability to work under pressure and to tight deadlines
• Willingness to travel (25%)
• Exposure and experience of technical architecture frameworks including but not limited to TOGAF, ISEB and Zachman
• B.S. degree in Computer Science, Software Engineering, MIS or equivalent
• Experience of enterprise grade Citrix and VDI environments including design, troubleshooting and support
• Experience and qualifications in Networking and security hardware to include Cisco, Juniper, Checkpoint and HP
• Experience of customer life cycle management particularly pre-sales, strategy, requirements analysis, technology planning, project management, proposal writing and customer presentations.
• Qualifications in enterprise, solution or technical architecture to include TOGAF, ISEB and Zachman
• Experience of working in a multi-client solutions provider
• Experience of performing the role of a consultant, drafting and implementing solutions to business problems and communicating solutions to senior leadership teams across a variety of industries and for large enterprise grade organisations
• Experience of Cloud technologies including automation and orchestration toolsets (System Centre Virtual Machine Manager, BMC CLM, VCAC, Azure, vCHS, EC2)
• Detailed knowledge of IaaS and PaaS systems architecture
• Experience of working in a managed services solutions provider
• Experience in administration of database technologies in busy transaction heavy environments
• Experience of delivering IT Strategies to large enterprise grade organisations
• Experience of implementing IT Service Strategies for large scale multi-service, multi-site and multi-vendor customers
• Exposure to project management and service management industry best practises (Prince2, ITIL v3, PMP, MSP)
• Exposure to large scale multi-server databases across a variety of vendors including MS SQL, MySQL, Oracle and IBM DB2