Arniel de Preez
The simple answer would be:
“Design IT solutions for customers on any platform.”
A more complex answer would be:
“A person leading the design, describing and managing the solution for a customer with the specific business problem and needs.”
But this is not as simple as it sounds as the solutions architect must wear multiple hats to satisfy the customer’s requirements. What do I mean by that?
They must have a mixture of technical and business skills to design a solution (Designer) while building the relationship (Customer Relations) and be the trusted advisor (Consultant). They must be able to understand the customer’s technical and commercial requirements as part of the sales engagement (Pre-Sales) as well as the desired business outcome to design and cost up (Costing) the most appropriate technical solution for a specific customer requirement, making sure that Claranet can deliver, support and manage it to ensure a world-class customer experience.
Apart from designing a solution that will address the customer’s immediate requirements, it must also be future proof. For that, each solution architect needs to stay on top of the latest IT technology developments (Student) through certification courses and attend seminars.
As soon as the sales opportunity with the customer has been established, it is expected that the solutions architect leads (Leader) the, often complex, engagement on behalf of the Cloud BU through every stage of the process. In leading the engagement, they also need to work closely together with other teams and BU’s in Claranet, and in most cases, also with external vendors. As an example:
- Working together with the Finance team to help build the commercial model and ensure all costs are included.
- Working together with the Sales team to help create a business case for the customer.
- Working together with the Cloud Practice team to design solutions that included the Public Cloud.
Once the solution is ready, they must use their communications skill to present the design to the customer at different levels (Presenter), a business-focused version of the solution to the management and a more technical version to the engineering and technical team. They need to understand customer feedback during meetings and if required, make minor adjustments to the solution to ensure it meets the customer’s business and technical requirements.
So, as you can see, the Solutions Architect at Claranet must be agile and flexible while wearing the right hat at the right time.
The Solutions Architect’s goal at Claranet is:
“To be a highly skilled team, designing modern solutions fast and cost-effective on any platform.”
We are here to help our customer do amazing things.