by Ben Cooper – Data Platform Solution Architect.
Hello. Welcome to the UK Data Platform Technical Team blog!
We are a team of incredibly passionate and motivated Solution Architects and Technical Specialists working in the Data Platform Technical Team within Microsoft UK’s Cloud and Enterprise team. Our remit includes everything Database, BI, Big Data and Analytics on-Premises and in Azure. Increasingly, we also work with third-party products and solutions as well as companies traditionally classed as Microsoft Competitors, to drive real end-to-end business value for our customers.
There are two roles within our team; Technical Solution Professional and Data Platform Solution Architect, both of which are very technical, customer-facing roles. We help drive Data Platform growth and adoption by building key trusted-advisor relationships focussed on business/industry value propositions underpinned by our unique data and hybrid capabilities. We drive activities such as:
- Deep technical presentations and demonstrations
- Architectural design sessions
- Proof-of-concepts / pilots
- Technical and competitive objection handling
- Customer enablement – deployment guidance and standard setting
Why is our role so important within Microsoft EPG and the wider sales cycle? Well, a recent Gartner survey of Executive BDMs concluded that interactions with technical and industrial experts were “the most influential across the entire buying cycle.” (See chart below).
Some 74% of the Executive buyers surveyed by Gartner said “Sales reps focus too much on their products”, and only 34% felt salespeople did a good job communicating business value.
According to the Gartner survey, the best way to articulate value is to share customer stories. This works because stories allow customers to take a product out for a virtual test drive and because they make the products and solutions memorable. In our roles, we take customers on a journey to realise the ‘art of the possible’, proving business value through demonstrating, piloting and architecting solutions.
Our goal for this blog is to broaden the set of people we engage with in the SQL Server and Data Platform community, whilst raising the profile of our team outside of Microsoft. We’re in a privileged position. Our roles provide a unique platform to interact with Business and Technical Decision Makers, as well as Technical Professionals through to C-Level Executives across all industries. Therefore, we have a wealth of experience and insight to share with the community and plan to do so via this blog.
We will aim to post once a week and also as news hits within the cloud and data platform space from Microsoft – subscribe above. We will also advertise Microsoft and Community events – especially when team members are presenting! There is a comments section, so please let us know ideas of topics you’d be interested in hearing about in the future.