Solution Architect

Full Time Abingdon Oxfordshire IT Job Pro UK

About RM
RM is the leading supplier of technology and resources to the education sector, supporting schools, teachers and pupils across the globe – from pre-school to higher education – including examination boards, central governments and other professional institutions.
Our purpose is to enrich the lives of learners worldwide and we aim to improve the life chances of people – worldwide – by delivering great education products and services that help teachers to teach and learners to learn.
Join RM and Learn What’s Possible for you in your career
We require Solution Architects to lead the definition of customer solutions. Roles report to a Senior Development Manager within the team.
What we can offer you;
* £45,000 – £65,000 salary depending on experience
* 25 Days Annual Leave (with an option to buy an extra 5 days)
* Performance related bonus scheme
What’s the purpose of this role?
As a Customer-facing Solution Architect in RM, you will work with customers, sales staff and delivery teams to create solutions to customer problems. These solutions may include processes, services, and a technical solution which together deliver to the customer’s needs. Solution Architects may work as part of a bid team in response to a customer’s ITT, or directly with the customer in response to projects or change requests.
Solution Architects will define solutions across the product range and not focus on a single product or component. In this role, you will be leading the solution design and implementation on a range of projects covering the range of products and services in the RM e-Assessment portfolio.
The Customer-facing Solution Architect leads the solution team and provides the interface between the customer and the RM product, development and technical operations teams. They will work with the customer to gather and analyse business requirements and determine the fit with the RM product portfolio, using existing product functionality where possible.
Where new product development is required, the customer-facing Solution Architect will be responsible for analysing business requirements and working with the product and development teams to identify and agree new product functionality or changes to existing functionality. They will represent the customer during solution scoping and sizing, to ensure that the solutions that are defined will meet the customer requirements. They will continue to act as the customer-interface during development and implementation, undertaking functional demonstrations during development as required.
The Customer-facing Solution Architect will be extensively involved during User Acceptance Testing, ensuring that the customer’s expectations are set appropriately, and that they are equipped to conduct acceptance testing. They will work with the customer and development teams to triage defects and issues that are raised, and work with all parties to agree a resolution plan.
The Customer-facing Solution Architect may also define and deliver end user training, depending on the needs of the project. They will tailor baseline materials, and use these to deliver product briefings, and in-depth training to end users, at different stages of the project.
Working as part of a larger group of Solution Architects and Pre-Sales Consultants, the Customer-facing Solution Architect will work alongside a network of peers working on similar projects internationally. They will also work as part of functional project teams, with responsibility for a specific customer project. They will work within the RM governance framework, to ensure that product developments and commitments are tracked and managed effectively and efficiently. They will also work closely with the Account Directors and customer management teams to enable the successful transition of the customer to business-as-usual operations.
The Customer-facing Solution Architect will be comfortable engaging with and influencing stakeholders at all levels of the customer organisation and within RM, able to tailor their communications to the audience concerned.
What does the job entail?
As solution lead for customer projects, Solution Architects will:
* Create requirement specifications by interpreting customers’ requirements
* Define high level solutions to meet customers’ requirements
* Ensure solution boundaries are defined and that interfaces across boundaries (either between customer or RM systems or applications) are specified
* Articulate solutions to all stakeholders and adopt a position as the solution authority
* Work closely with the delivery team throughout the delivery lifecycle providing guidance and steering to ensure a successful delivery
* Work directly with and assist the customer during acceptance phases
* Position solutions in RM’s best interests while recognising and compromising with customers where necessary
* Operate independently on a customer site as a chargeable resource
Facts & Figures
* Solution Lead for 1 or more projects up to £1m in value, either as part of multi-million pound contracts or on their own lasting anything between 3 months and 2 years.
* Lead the solution team of typically between 1 and 5 people.
Decision Making
* The Customer-facing Solution Architect needs to be able to work autonomously within the project team with the ability to take crucial decisions regarding the development of the solution and implementation of the customer project. It is critical that the Solution Architect is aware of the impact of their work on the commercial aspects of the project, but also customer focussed with excellent organisational skills and the ability to communicate and influence both internally and externally with senior business stakeholders up to and including CEO level.
Impact & Influence
* Working with our Account Directors and customer management teams to manage and build existing customer relationships whilst also effectively responding to new business requirements; shaping and scoping the solution development process and response to ensure new business wins.
* Working closely with other individuals working on project, including product development teams.
* Working closely with commercial product and proposition teams to influence product and service roadmaps and our overall customer propositions.
What are we looking for?
It is critical that the Customer-facing Solution Architect has a good understanding of the full product portfolio and can influence the customer such that change is minimised, and expectations set appropriately. They must have excellent communication skills, and the ability to communicate and influence both internally and externally with key stakeholders.
In addition, they will have:
* Experience as solution lead of a cross-functional software implementation project
* Experience of working in an Agile software development environment
* Knowledge and experience of working in the full Software Delivery Lifecycle
* Completed ITIL V3 or V4 Foundation training (Desirable)
* Experience of working with senior decision makers within customer organisations
* Strong communication skills to effectively communicate customer requirements to internal and external stakeholders with the ability to translate business requirements into development user stories and acceptance criteria
* The ability to influence internal and external stakeholders of all levels, using flexibility of approach
* Demonstrable ability to motivate teams to work together in the most efficient manner
* Flexibility and adaptability.
What’s in it for you?
Our competitive core benefits package includes 25 Days Annual Leave (with an option to buy an extra 5 days), a Performance Related Bonus Scheme, membership of our Group Personal Pension with higher contribution levels available from the Company if you choose to contribute more, Private Medical Healthcare, Income Protection, Life Assurance (4 times salary) and enhanced family leave.
We also offer voluntary benefits such as Cycle to Work Scheme, Family Private Medical Healthcare, Dental Plan, Health Cash Plan, Critical Illness Cover, Health Assessments (cost deducted over 12 months), Give as You Earn and an Employee Referral Scheme.
At RM we are committed to building a workforce which reflects the diversity of the customers and communities we serve, and to creating an inclusive and flexible workplace where all our colleagues can be themselves and succeed on merit.
At RM, we offer My Work Blend @RM which allows flexible, multi location working. Our offices are now hubs for collaboration and My Work Blend @RM is designed to empower our people with the flexibility to work from the locations and to the hours that allow them to be most productive. We trust our people to make appropriate decisions and have the right discussions with their Manager and colleagues to support this

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