What is a Solutions Architect and How to Create Your Perfect Hosting Environment

October 8, 2021 Michael McDonald

In the market for a new Enterprise Hosting environment and wondering whether a solutions architect can help create the right solution?

Web hosting is an industry that never stops growing and constantly introduces new technologies to solve the problems customers face with an online presence. As a result, when companies investigate how to improve their business on the Internet or begin a new project to expand their existing offerings, they are often confronted with this dizzying array of new technologies, products, and services from hosting providers. 

Often, assistance is needed to break down the new terms, software, and available products and how to integrate these new tools with existing infrastructure. Having a trusted advisor, such as a Solutions Architect, with a deep understanding of solving business problems can be an invaluable resource to guide customers through the catalog of unique products and services. 

While there may be numerous resolutions for a given problem, the Solutions Architect can help identify the right product for a given situation. This partnership is an invaluable resource for many clients. 

What is a Solutions Architect?

A Solutions Architect is an individual that works to identify best practice solutions for business problems that clients present and ensures that both the existing and new systems work seamlessly together. Solutions Architect are responsible for ensuring the needs of the client and goals for the project are met with the products, services, and support available at the hosting provider. 

Clients can choose to work with a Solutions Architect at their company or an external expert at their hosting provider. Normally, there is no extra cost for utilizing an external Solutions Architect, and they will be intimately familiar with the offerings of the company they work for as well as the broader technology market.

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What Does a Solutions Architect Do?

The Solutions Architect works hand-in-hand with a client's account manager, sales representative, assigned support teams, and the client to create a complete picture of the project scope and need. They also collaborate to brainstorm unique solutions for potentially out-of-scope problems the client is trying to solve.

Relying upon their knowledge of software architecture, enterprise architecture, and systems development, a Solutions Architect works to blueprint the hardware and services necessary for a client’s project. Ensuring that budget concerns and support needs are met within any project is a primary focus.

VMware blueprint for customer

Sample blueprint a VMware Private Cloud customer may receive.

Solutions Architects continuously act as an intermediary between Sales, Migrations, Onboarding, and Support to acquire the specific information for client questions and concerns during the entire onboarding process.

How Does a Solutions Architect Work With Other Teams to Create a Solution?

Solutions Architects at hosting providers rely heavily upon project management skills, in-depth knowledge of products, and previously established relationships to work with other teams in their organization. As a result, they build a high-level view of the processes and procedures that various teams in a company follow during a project lifecycle. 

By drawing on this combination of knowledge, experience, and relationships, the Solutions Architect can understand how to utilize each team’s expertise and skills to solve unique client challenges as they arise. These tailored solutions can range from deploying the right suite of services for security and monitoring server health to managing the fast-paced growth associated with web-based companies.

The Solutions Architect also develops and utilizes working relationships with specific subject matter experts (SMEs) in those various departments. This allows them to work closely and quickly with the individuals suited to diagnose bottlenecks or potential pitfalls while researching and designing solutions to client needs.

Why Work With Liquid Web

Liquid Web has a team of three dedicated Solutions Architects with a combined 20+ years of experience in web hosting. 

Led by Kelly Goolsby, our Solutions Architects Dominic Nixon, Matthew Healey, and Alex O'Donald have worked with clients to build Cloud Servers and VMware Private Cloud. These clients span from startups to multi-million dollar international companies. 

Each of our Solutions Architects has spent time within our primary Support division learning how to solve the complex issues that arise for our clients and building interdepartmental relationships. This makes them successful at solving business problems across all parts of the Liquid Web company. 

Whether it is tapping resources in our data centers and networking teams or working with our Sales Teams to match solution designs to a client's budget requirements, our Solutions Architects can handle any situation a client can present.

Recently, a Liquid Web Solutions Architect was attached to a client project for over 12 months, and during the sales process, submitted over 20 different design iterations as the client’s technology needs and business requirements changed. As a result, the architect was considered a valued member of the client’s team as they earned their trust and built relationships that spanned various team changes in the client’s core project group.

Get the Right Solution For Your Business

Businesses are growing, and the projects they are taking on are becoming more and more complex. With the rapidly expanding set of technologies and products offered by today's web hosts, there is a need for individuals who are familiar with web hosting services and capabilities. An advisor knowledgeable about the design and architecture requirements that businesses rely on and have in place can make the difference in completing a project on time and within budget.

A Solutions Architect translates business problems into business solutions by working with multiple teams, focusing on the project scope, and ensuring that the end result checks all the boxes for the client and project needs.

Not Sure Which Environment is Right for You? Take a Look at Our New eBook — Addressing IT Manager Concerns About Moving to the Cloud
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About the Author

Michael McDonald

Michael has been a member of the Most Helpful Humans in Hosting for over six years. Starting down a path of education and teaching, Michael returned to his passion of working with technology and helping people around the world embrace the Internet. In his free time, Michael can be found in the northern parts of Michigan spending time on the great lakes or engrossed in a good book.

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