What Is A Solutions Architect?

Solutions Architect | My current job title at Miva.

We sell ecommerce Software as a Service (SaaS), host it in our own data center and have an in house digital design agency.

My role in that process is to work with prospective clients to design a unique ecommerce solution that helps them grow their business.

We refer to this role as a Solutions Architect because we’ve combined two key philosophies; Solutions Selling and Ecommerce Architecture.

Solution Selling

Sales is an interesting discipline. It is the lifeblood of every business on the planet but most business schools and universities have very limited, if any, formal curriculum to teach selling.

Historically selling has been product-oriented. A sales rep will “pitch” what the product can do. As a rep evolves in their ability to sell they start building value statements into their pitch. The pitch will start to be less focused on what the product does and will become more focused on why that specific feature matters to the customer.

Solution selling takes this concept a step further. Instead of assuming a one-size-fits-all value proposition will work the solutions seller is attentive to individual client needs. They ask questions to determine what unique challenges or pains the client is having and seek to understand the company’s vision. Then, if their product is an appropriate solution, they will give a tailored and highly customized demonstration that speaks directly to the needs of the client.

This is our approach at Miva. We’re not interested in yelling about our great product. Instead we want to take the time to understand your business, your challenges, your opportunity cost(s), your goals and your history. Once we have a clear sense of your unique requirements we will give you a highly customized tour of our ecommerce software.

Ecommerce Architecture

An Architect traditionally is a professional that will draw blueprints for a construction project. They turn a list of requirements (3 bedroom, two bath, Victorian style, bay kitchen window, three car garage) and turn them into plan. The Architect then works with an Engineer to ensure that their plans are structurally feasible. The approved plans can then be used to build cost estimates for building materials, labor, etc.

In our world this process works very similarly. A client will come to us with a unique set of requirements. Sometimes these requirements are extensive and formatted as a Request for Proposal (RFP). Other times the requirements are as simple as the following checklist.

Ecommerce Requirements

  • Mobile Responsive Design
  • Subscription Billing
  • Product Kits With Inventory Tracking
  • B2B Customer Account With Discounted Pricing

Either way we are able to work with our clients to turn a list of requirements into a plan of action. Then we work with Miva developers (Engineers) to determine the structural feasibility of the plan.

Solutions Architect Summary

An Ecommerce Solutions Architect is a consultant that plans projects ranging from website redesigns to full ecommerce replatforming and systems integration.

If you’d like more information about Miva or have questions about ecommerce feel free to email me or Tweet me.

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