What’s In A Job Title?

Job TitleWhilst at VMworld Barcelona I had lots of conversations with colleagues, peers and strangers.  One item that cropped up was ‘pre-sales’ versus ‘post-sales’ and who was better.  Quite an interesting topic, which I want to discuss on an upcoming blog post.  Before that happens I wanted to cover job titles in IT, and what they generically mean that a person does.

In this context I’m focusing on the personnel involved with winning and delivering a project, not IT support and ‘business as usual’ operations.

Before anyone gets a bit upset about what they do specifically, this is meant to be a broad stroke blog post.  You will always find some businesses that call a job by another name.  Let me know if you don’t agree with my interpretation and I will update the post accordingly.

Pre Sales Job Titles

Bid Manager – Bring together a group of subject matter experts to write a tender response.  Play ‘tetris’ with words and make sure the tender response is coherent and flows.

Enterprise Architect – Works with clients to formulate a technical business strategy.  Often deeply engaged in business process and understands the internal politics of a customer.

Systems Engineers – Assist Sales people across a broad range of products and help guide clients up to a degree before handing in depth questions to subject matter experts

Senior System Engineers – Sames as System Engineers but normally focus on the ‘key client accounts’

Solutions Architect – Assist Sales people across a broad range of products and are subject matter experts in a particular field.  They help translate business needs into technical solutions.  Commonly Solutions Architect guide the customer to use a particular piece of software or technology to meet the business requirement.  Some Solutions Architects can Lead Architect a project if required.

Note Solutions Architects is fairly new in the infrastructure world, commonly used with computer programming.

Technical Account Manager – Typically a technical person who has become less technical (through choice) but has the ability to create a proposal for a customer which will form a sound basis for further discussion.

Post Sales Job Titles

Project Manager – Focused on deliverables and governance.  Ensuring customers are kept abreast of issues and risks that could affect the project outcomes.

Programme Manager – Are used on larger projects that have inter dependencies between workstreams and involve business transformation projects such as Enterprise Resource Planing solutions.  Responsible for ensuring that the business benefits of the programme are realised.

Technical Architect – Are focused in a particular discipline and are often the subject matter experts in this area.  These are the people who are engaged to create the ‘low level designs’ in there area of expertise, such as networking, storage, Exchange, Active Directory, System Center, Windows Desktop, vSphere, View etc.

Lead Architect – Are used on larger projects that use a wide number of Technical Architects.  Understand how everything ‘fits together’ and use this knowledge to ensure that design documentation is consistent from Technical Architects.  Plus they are responsible for guiding the Technical Architects for the duration of the project.



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