Behind The Scenes @ FormusPro As A Solutions Architect
By Alex Walters – Solutions Architect, FormusPro
Hi, my name’s Alex and I started with FormusPro way back in the December of ’19 as a software consultant before being promoted to a Solutions Architect.
The role of a Solutions Architect can be incredibly varied (or at least mine is!) and I normally sit across two or three projects at any one time… meaning my day will always be completely different to the one before or after.
I tend to do all the initial requirement gathering when first speaking to a new client and sometimes even get involved in the proposals/tender response too.
I then capture all those requirements and design an awesome solution that will meet (and exceed) our clients needs.
Once that’s done, I’ll move onto producing functional and technical designs, estimating the time that will be involved, provide guidance to our PMO’s on resource requirements, work with them through the project initiation stage as well as getting the wider development team onboarded and aligned with the clients’ internal teams.
After that’s all taken care of, I make sure I’m still on hand during the build to offer guidance and triage any design questions that might pop up, answer any queries that need my help and collate and advise on any cross-program dependencies by managing the updates to DevOps tickets.
I’ll also provide ongoing demos and playbacks to the client and provide technical and strategic advice to them, basically making sure they’re involved and happy at every step of the project.
It also goes without saying that I love providing training and advice internally, helping to level up the entire FormusPro team.
Before FormusPro, I spent two years doing functional and technical implementations for another Microsoft partner, within Field Service. I spent the three years before that with an IBM, Microsoft and Tagetik partner doing financial planning analytics and bespoke systems for the finance sector and before that I was at an ERP dealership handling multi-site implementations and before that I was self-employed running an IT consultancy business for SME’s and startups… this is what I’ve always done and I love it!
As you can see, my role is incredibly varied, but that’s what I love most about working here at FormusPro.
The flexibility and variation in my day-to-day means I’m always doing something new and the fact the company is constantly growing means there’s always new opportunities for me.
That being said, I also love we do so much work within the NonProfit sector.
Until you’ve actually done it, I can’t tell you how cool it is to work with the likes of the Anthony Nolan charity and see the real world changes your solution makes (such as EMDIS or SSV etc).
Winding down outside of work I love cars and gardening, and you can normally find me pottering in or on one of them. I like working out in my home gym, relaxing with a good computer game and, something not many people know, is that I actually brew my own beer with two of my FormusPro colleagues (come for the tech… stay for the brewing!).
Finally, to finish this behind the scenes look off, the marketing team asked me, if I could invite any three famous people, alive or dead, to a dinner party, who would it be and why?
My first guest would have to be James Cordon. It almost doesn’t matter what he’s up to, he always makes me laugh (with the exception of the movie Cats… but we don’t talk about that!).
I think the second person I’d invite would be Jeremy Renner. Most people don’t realise how much charity work he does or how disparate the roles he’s played are… It’d be fascinating to talk to him (plus it’d be cool to get an ‘in’ to the Avengers… see if we could upgrade their tech with some Microsoft solutions).
Finally, my last guest might be a bit controversial to some, but I think I’d invite Elon Musk.
Some of his ideas and public statements are a bit out there but I’ve so many questions around Tesla, SpaceX and Starlink… especially how he got to those from PayPal!