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Microsoft UK • United Kingdom

Solution Architect Manager

Employment type:  Full time

3 days/week at home

Fully flexible hours

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Job Description

Overview

Microsoft is on a mission to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more. Our culture is cantered on embracing a growth mindset, a theme of inspiring excellence, and encouraging teams and leaders to bring their best each day. Growth mindset encourages each of us to lean in and learn what matters most to our customers, to create the foundational knowledge that enables us to make customer-first decisions in everything we do. In doing so, we create life-changing innovations that impact billions of lives around the world.

Responsibilities

People Management

  • Managers deliver success through empowerment and accountability by modeling, coaching, and caring.

  • Model - Live our culture. Embody our values. Practice our leadership principles.

  • Coach - Define team objectives and outcomes. Enable success across boundaries. Help the team adapt and learn.

  • Care - Attract and retain great people. Know each individual’s capabilities and aspirations. Invest in the growth of others.

Understanding Customer/Partner Technical Environment

  • Provides support for their team in gathering and propagating customer/partner insights to help shape and form both the definition and ongoing execution of the project. Holds teams accountable for mapping architecture and digital transformation solutions to customer/partner business goals. Leverages prior work, customer/partner insights, and industry trends, and shares insights with team to apply.

  • Supports their team in working with customer/partner stakeholders (e.g., Enterprise Architects, Security Team, Development Team, Operations Team) and business sponsor to socialize both the business solution and the project approach. Advises team on managing changes and facilitating feedback. Contributes to Microsoft-centric operations and cadences to align with customer feedback.

  • Drives internal advocacy by facilitating insight sharing with Product Engineering teams, and providing guidance through escalation, acceleration, and prioritization. Looks across multiple customers/partners for opportunities to consolidate and prioritize items across the business. When appropriate, establishes accountabilities to drive customer outcomes and ensure internal stakeholders are in place. Ensures that customer opportunities, questions, and/or issues are brought to the appropriate internal teams.

Architecture Design and Deployment

  • Holds teams accountable for leveraging existing architecture approaches to achieve Microsoft's agreed commitments to the customer/partner and developing new solutions to scale across multiple customers/partners and markets. When appropriate, governs areas of fiscal responsibility, through delivery team, staying within budget while driving engagement profitability and risk management.

  • Guides team in defining and documenting the architecture through an architecture description document, an architecture decisions log, and a requirements/constraints traceability matrix. Ensures team is equipped to communicate the value proposition of the business solution along with the project approach. Guides team in cost-based and technology-based discussions to explain the architecture in terms of its build, deployment, and ongoing operational use to determine customer appetite for the business solution. Promotes a business-value approach that values return on investment (ROI) and customer costs-savings over technical ease of execution. Provides coaching to allow architects to scale solutions. Support new customer opportunities in partnership with Sales with highly significant or global impacts for Microsoft, as needed.

  • Collaborates with the other managers to jointly drive project/technical governance of the design, build, and deployment into use of proof of concepts (POCs) and pilots. Provides guidance to team in understanding and demonstrating business value (e.g., release of revenue, cost savings) that the business solution realizes.

  • Guides team in working with the business sponsor and customer/partner stakeholders (e.g., Business users, Enterprise Architects, Security Team, Operations Team) to gather and ratify requirements and constraints. Supports team in managing and resolving complex ambiguity in the requirements and constraints and documents assumptions and implications where it cannot be resolved. Ensures maintenance of the requirements/constraints traceability matrix to prove that solution components have a rationale/justification for inclusion in the Architecture of the business solution. Oversees development and execution of test plans to prove that each requirement/constraint has been implemented as expected by the customer.

  • Leads team in collaborating to understand the business solution/problem. Drives agreement, based on the customer’s priorities, requirements/constraints, approach, principles, concepts, and expectations. Ensures team builds and documents a realistically costed, advanced/complex solution approach. Provides thought leadership on oversight and governance sets expectations for quality practices and standards to realize the business solution. Promotes a cohesive build methodology so the solution can be transitioned to live operations, leveraging solution expertise. Ensures communication of and adherence to the pre-sales value proposition. Ensures that customer opportunities, questions, and/or issues are brought to the appropriate internal teams. When appropriate, negotiates, collaborates on, reviews, and contributes to deal approval processes. Challenges deal construct to ensure Microsoft initiatives are incorporated appropriately. Communicates current view of delivery to customer executives on regular cadence, as needed. When appropriate, oversees a broad portfolio of accounts. Manages and ensures the all-up delivery of consulting engagements, as necessary. Innovates and implements long-term, strategic plans, in partnership with Sales to create new opportunities and sustainable growth for customer accounts across the portfolio, as needed. Ensures delivery team alignment and holds delivery team accountable for delivering on sales strategy.

  • Creates a culture and clarity around technical insights and escalations, and ensures broad sets of projects move forward. Provides support and guidance to team in identifying scenarios that could slow or impede pre-sales/delivery. Resolves escalations as needed and coaches team on best practices for handling escalations. Ensures that issues and blockers and addressed by the appropriate groups. Identifies patterns in blockers across business areas or a territory. When necessary, attends steering committee meetings with strategic customers to remove blockers and ensure delivery success.

  • Works in close collaboration with the Project Manager and Account Team to identify, categorize, and communicate business and technical risks. Defines risk mitigation activities that are foundational to the project plan. Defines risk contingency plans for invocation should the risk occur. When appropriate, oversees a broad portfolio of accounts. Manages and ensures the all-up delivery of consulting engagements, as necessary.

Practice Development

  • Generates new and/or improvements to existing intellectual property. Connects gaps and patterns across business and technology areas to drive changes. Identifies which ideas should be culled, with consideration for scale across customers. Drives the re-use of intellectual property and recommends practices in both pre-sales and delivery. Participates and contributes to internal/external communities.

Trusted Advisor

  • Develops a network of internal/external relationships with senior-level decision makers to build influence in addressing problems/blockers and facilitating additional views on the matter of interest. Acts as an advisor to external stakeholders. Provides direction to facilitate relationships between others. Stays up to date on Microsoft’s technologies, products, and services in order to communicate Microsoft's mission, strategy, and capabilities. When appropriate, develops a strategic relationship with key stakeholders within the customer portfolio, often as part of a steering committee, to ensure service delivery is on track and major issues are being anticipated, identified, and managed.

  • Coaches team to use evidence-based arguments that articulate complex concepts in a simple manner to respectfully challenge Microsoft and customers/partners when a decision or course of action will not produce optimal results. Leverages strategic expertise to encourage alternative approaches where applicable. Serves as the "technical conscience" to challenge the status quo and unrealistic expectations. Proactively resolves conflicts and seeks resolution to balance the overall outcome. Drives consensus where possible and leads decisions to resolve conflict when needed and guides team in doing so.

  • Provides their team with a holistic perspective of customer/partner challenges, industry trends, and competitor architectures to allow team members to engage with customers/partners, demonstrate Microsoft's value, and develop counter strategy.

Thought Leadership

  • Fosters community sharing of stories and leveraging of pre-existing resources by encouraging and empowering team to share learnings and by establishing a cadence (e.g., internal technical brainstorming calls, presenting latest challenges in staff meetings) to calibrate on challenges and trends that impact the team across the subsidiary level. Holds teams accountable for sharing insights with v-team members to inform the direction they take with customers/partners.

  • Participates in external architect community events (e.g., conferences, seminars, technical meetups, Webcasts, blogs, hackathons) and shares learnings with internal team. Acts a mentor to less experienced colleagues by educating them on technical and non-technical concepts and sharing best practices. Demonstrates deep industry knowledge and drives recognition for Microsoft solutions through presentations and engagements with external audiences.

Other

  • Embody our culture and values


Qualifications

Required/Minimum Qualifications

  • Bachelor's degree in computer science, Information Technology, Engineering, or related field AND experience in technology solutions, practice development, architecture, consulting, and/or technology domain (e.g., Security)

    • OR master's degree in computer science, Information Technology, Engineering, or related field AND experience in technology solutions, practice development, architecture, consulting, and/or technology domain (e.g., Security)

    • OR equivalent experience.

Additional or Preferred Qualifications

  • Technical sales experience.

  • Project management experience.

  • Managing multiple projects or portfolios.

  • Experience leading blended, multidisciplinary teams.

  • People management experience, including managing consultant practice managers, technical sales managers, and/or technical architect managers.

  • Technical or Professional Certification in Domain (e.g., Security).

Microsoft is an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to age, ancestry, color, family or medical care leave, gender identity or expression, genetic information, marital status, medical condition, national origin, physical or mental disability, political affiliation, protected veteran status, race, religion, sex (including pregnancy), sexual orientation, or any other characteristic protected by applicable laws, regulations and ordinances. We also consider qualified applicants regardless of criminal histories, consistent with legal requirements. If you need assistance and/or a reasonable accommodation due to a disability during the application or the recruiting process, please send a request via the Accommodation request form.

Benefits/perks listed below may vary depending on the nature of your employment with Microsoft and the country where you work.

Company benefits

Wellbeing allowance
Health insurance
Dental coverage
Gym membership
Mental health platform access
Buy or sell annual leave
Shared parental leave
Matched pension contribution
Charity donation scheme
Employee assistance programme
Employee discounts
Volunteer days
Fertility treatment leave
Open to compressed hours
Open to job sharing
Fertility benefits
Enhanced sick pay
Enhanced sick days
Compassionate leave
Travel insurance
20 days annual leave + bank holidays
Enhanced maternity leave
Enhanced paternity leave
Adoption leave
Childcare credits
Carer’s leave
Cycle to work scheme
Faith rooms
Annual bonus
Annual pay rises
Company car
Hackathons
Open to part-time employees
Pregnancy loss leave
Life insurance
Equity packages
Financial coaching
Relocation packages
Sabbaticals
Location
83%
Employees are very happy with their working location freedom
Hours
81%
Employees are very happy with the flexibility in the hours they work
Benefits
67%
Employees are largely happy with the benefits their company offers
Work-life balance
63%
Employees feel that they can switch off quite easily from work
Role modelling
74%
Employees feel that most people work flexibly
Autonomy
79%
Employees feel that they can mostly manage how they get their own work done

Working at Microsoft UK

Company employees

Globally: 220,000

Gender diversity (male:female)

67:33

Office locations

London, Reading, Cambridge, Romsey, Manchester, Edinburgh

Hiring Countries

United Kingdom

Awards & Achievements

Most flexible companies

Most flexible companies

Flexa100 2024

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