Customer Solutions Architect

  • Location:
    Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India
  • Area of Interest
    Engineer - Pre Sales
  • Job Type
  • Technology Interest
    Internet of Everything
  • Job Id
Customer Solutions Architect

Job Description

Senior Customer/ Partner-focused technical and architectural sales professional with intimate knowledge of customer / partner-specific business drivers and networking environment, including adjacent technology and solution areas. Acts as a trusted advisor with the account team and account leadership (e.g. Client Director) to demonstrate the business value of Cisco solutions, architectures and services by aligning opportunities with a 3-5 year architectural vision. Serves as the lead advocate for customers / partners within Cisco.

Reports To: SEM or SED

Qualifications: At least 15 years of networking experience and 5 years of field experience working with named accounts as a Systems Engineer or equivalent.

Key Responsibilities

Identify Opportunities

Design top-down future state architectures and associated Cisco technical strategy
Drive top-down long-term lead generation, including identification of top opportunities
Coordinate with senior client leadership team to provide a vision for the account team in terms of technology focus and relationship development

Qualify Opportunities

Coordinate technical resources within an account, including alignment of individual opportunities with overall account plan and architectural blueprint
Review, compare, and contrast high level solution options and articulate the benefits of a Cisco solution in solving a business problem
Prepare account team with solution overview and potential competitive threats and facilitate interactions within Cisco, e.g. BUs, Services, etc.
Proactively engage partners involved in deals with strategic customers or partners developing unique, differentiated offerings
Work with Partners team to ensure partner architects are certified with the appropriate level of architectural certifications (e.g., TOGAF Certified)

Develop and Present Solutions

Selectively review and approve significant RFPs and proposals for complex technical solutions
Create innovative architectural solutions to solve customer business problems
Determine appropriate services and organizations needed to support solution and how to incorporate them into a broader technology environment
Leverage Sales support resources, (e.g. TSN, demo) on an ongoing basis
Deliver and / or support delivery of technical presentations to customers
Partner CSA: Deliver architecture selling concept and methodology in Partner CTO / SE events to selected loyal Cisco partners
Partner CSA: Collaborate with key partners on architecture disciplines and best practices via blogs, VODs, WebEx sessions, partner-based architecture groups and TOIs
Partner CSA: Develop architecture collateral relevant to the partner community (Reference architectures, 5 year architecture visions, white papers, etc.)
Utilize Engineering Requirements Process as needed for key solution and interoperability requests

Personal and Organizational Development

Develop high level technical relationships (CTO, CXO, Senior Network Architect) within an account
Leverage existing business relationships with the Account Team, and BDMs internally, and various technology and business groups within customers' organizations to ensure disparate initiatives tie into the overall business big picture
Seek out opportunities to partner with and mentor less-experienced teammates to share leading practices and help strengthen their capabilities
Leverage Cisco marketing intelligence resources for industry knowledge and trends
Participate in, BU / TG summits, and / or customer and industry vertical forums, including industry trade organizations
Publish white papers for internal and external use
Develop customer- / partner-specific architectures that can be leveraged throughout Cisco
Act as an evangelist for customer / partner needs within Cisco by shaping future product, service, and sales process development; Work with business units, sales organization, and operations to drive these changes
Lead Cisco initiatives on a WW level and actively seek out cross-functional collaboration opportunities
Develop and leverage best practices and actively share knowledge within the SE organization
Develop the technical skills and architecture selling capacity within the partner community Partner CSA: enabling the partners to develop viable solutions practices
Partner CSA: Mentor and lead the partner architects in developing architectures tied to business initiatives

Competencies & Behaviors Creating Business Relevance

Study key customer's business, industry and complete financial statements to gain clear understanding of key business drivers, relevant business model, market issues and priorities
Build trusted technical and business advisor relationships with C-level or other executives, articulating how other executives plan for their future business environments
Consult with C-level or other executives about the relevancy of new and emerging Cisco technologies to their business, linking the Cisco vision to the customer's business strategy
Remain up to date on industry standards and regulations relevant to the customer

Solution and Architectural Selling

Ensure the architectural integration, impact and capabilities of Cisco's overall solutions portfolio are understood and valued, identifying improvement areas in customer / partner network design structure to create a compelling case for investment with Cisco
Position a multi-year, multi-vendor architectural vision for the customer's network (including Cisco and competitor solutions) to help drive the relevant pieces of its Enterprise Architecture, business strategy, and goals
Position the appropriate services and organizations required to support the customer's architectural vision.

Building Competitive Intelligence

Describe how Cisco's competitive positioning compares to other competitors' positioning at an overall business and technology level, keeping current on capabilities and limitations of competition
Recognize potential overall business and architectural competitive advantage from the customer's perspective, knowing when to collaborate and when to compete with other key providers
Identify competitive win strategies from an overall business and architectural portfolio perspective
Establish expert knowledge in fundamental network principles and architectures in the context of Cisco's value proposition

Optimizing Sales Performance

Identify potential gaps in the relevant pieces of the customer's Enterprise Architecture to create opportunities to enlarge the sales base
Evaluate and prioritizes technical opportunities with the greatest potential for producing positive business results for the customer, mitigating any potential deployment derailers
Work with Account Team to prepare for engagements by providing architectural overviews and highlighting potential competitive threats
Guide team to use Cisco defined processes and tools such as SFDC to navigate through the sales cycle

Working Across Boundaries

Act as liaison between various customer leaders to ensure disparate initiatives tie into the customer's architectural vision and business strategy
Use collaborative technology to stay connected with team members, customers, and partners in any location
Build relationships with internal stakeholders to drive customer/partner requirements, including Business Units (BUs), sales organizations, Services, and operations

Driving the Cisco Vision

Promote the Cisco vision from a customer perspective to C-level audiences and industry outlets
Articulate the unique value obtained by integrating all of the various Cisco technologies, capabilities, services, and solutions into a customer's architecture
Identify innovative ways emerging technologies can be integrated with existing Cisco solutions to provide enhanced customer value
Identify potential new applications of Cisco solutions based on deep knowledge of Cisco technologies, services, and industry trends.

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