Solutions Engineer

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Market Analysis for Clients to Price and Position

Solving Business Problems

I am a creative problem solver who can communicate equally well with developers and CEOs. My business training and work experience provides the necessary insight to be able to identify revenue opportunities in technical solutions. I believe in a consultative approach to selling solutions to clients and know that helping others to achieve their goals is the only way to win.

When I work with a client on a sale or a renewal I make sure they have exactly what they need to look like a rock star when seeking approval to move forward. I have created tool kits for clients, showing market analysis, pricing, forecasting and budgeting so that they can then show the revenue potential to their internal teams.

Some of the larger contracts I worked on had a TCV in excess of $3.5M, and because I also managed those clients post sale, renewals were very smooth.

Data Conversions and System Integrations

I love puzzles and data mapping from one system to the next is like one big jigsaw puzzle. My background in database design and architecture allows me to quickly see relationships in raw data and to be able to translate from one system to the next. I have migrated and upgraded hundreds of systems, including CRM migrations, telephone system migrations, server upgrades and new financial accounting systems.

In 2005, Monster approached my CEO to help migrate newspapers on to their platform and the CEO assigned the project to me. I worked closely with a small team and built a system to convert the data that Monster and their entire team could not. I created multiple data maps and preprocessors to convert unstructured data from newspapers into structured, standardized data for Monster. Our small team created tools to automate the conversion process and this system was in place until 2015.


Migrations and Risk


Migrations are expensive. In addition to platform costs, additional man hours, and training; migrating from one platform to another involves risk, and that risk has to be factored into the cost of conversion. I have done hundreds of system migrations and know how to assess and reduce risk.

Often times it is difficult, if not impossible, to get to your data and exiting vendors are not forthcoming or helpful in providing it. Understanding what you absolutely need versus what you desire can save you time and money. For example, if you are converting a customer contact list from one CRM to another, how much data do you need? Do you need the purchase history or just contact record? Reviewing data that is available and finding alternative ways to abstract data is essential for a successful migration.

Often the data is available in various forms and can be recompiled into a new vendor format with a simple Excel formula and sometimes an Access Database. Often there are exports and other reports you can use to extract your data.

There are times when you can extract more information from your current system than the new system can handle [you may be waiting for a new feature to be built to handle this data]. I have created tools for clients to be able to access that data even after migrating off the old platform. Many times MS Excel provides an excellent repository with pivot tables for you to see quickly any information that used to be stored in your vendor database.

RFPs, RFIs, RFQs, Grants

I have written and responded to hundreds of RFPs. The longest RFP response I wrote was over 140 pages with examples, graphics, charts and pricing. It was accompanied by a slide deck and a six-hour presentation. The level of professionalism and detail in our response closed the multi-million dollar deal.

I taught word processing and MS Office at the community college and continue to do so in business. I am an expert at MS Word, Powerpoint, Photoshop, Illustrator and other presentation tools (like Prezi). I love the creativity involved in compiling and producing a professional looking finished product. I have produced Title III grants for the community college, collecting data from Dr.'s and compiling it into the strict grant format.

In addition to responding to RFPs, I have written and evaluated many for CRM tools, telephone systems, server hosting, banking software, IT helpdesk providers and more.

Solutions Engineering

Solving business problems is a core component of being a solutions engineer. Being able to convey a professional solution in a way that everyone can understand is why I have been successful in closing deals. It is a matter of listening carefully to the client/prospect and identifying issues that they may not have considered and offering solutions to resolve the issues. It is equally important to be clear when some task cannot be accomplished because no one wants to be promised something that cannot be delivered. You may find that your refusal is actually the information your client needed to stop an outdated process (for example, not processing faxes may be a good thing for your client).