A subsidiary of Econet Global, Liquid Telecom is the leading independent data, voice and IP provider in eastern, central and southern Africa. It supplies fibre optic, satellite and international carrier services to Africa's largest mobile network operators, ISPs and businesses of all sizes. It also provides payment solutions to financial institutions and retailers, as well as award winning data storage and communication solutions to businesses across Africa and beyond. Put simply, we connect people.
We started out by questioning the way things are done and being single-minded in our determination to improve them. Everything we do is driven by a simple yet powerful belief that everyone in Africa has the right to be connected. Over the last decade, this vision has helped us change the face of communications in the region.
Our future-focused approach to new product development makes our services enduringly adaptable.
We have to focus on services of the future and new revenue streams not as a side show to infrastructure but as the main show leveraging off the infrastructure which we have. - Nic Rudnick
Our flexible and dynamic business model keeps us at the forefront of telecoms innovation. And by listening to customers, we ensure that our solutions are constantly evolving to meet their needs. In June 2017, Liquid Telecom raised $700m in a bond and term-loan issue that will help Liquid Telecom refinance debt and provide a war chest for further acquisitions.
At the very core of our business is our belief that every individual on the continent has the right to be connected. We believe that the power of technology will create better and brighter lives for everyone.
We're for everyone - Being connected shouldn't just be for the privileged few. We believe it's for everyone and this was recognised at the AfricaCom Awards 2013 when we won an award for Best Cost Efficiency Solution. The sense of doing the right thing runs through every aspect of our business.
Integrity - Having integrity in everything we do has made us what we are today. We are all encouraged to play our part and take responsibility for doing things right and doing the right thing.
Only The Best Will Do - We're constantly striving to deliver the best communications technology to everyone from the smallest communities to the biggest businesses in the region.
Dont Talk Do - We listen carefully to our customers, then we deliver beyond their expectations. This can do' attitude is key to our success.
In It For The Long Run - We've invested heavily in our own network and technology. We created the largest single fibre network in the region, which stretches over 18,000km across borders to connect people locally, nationally and internationally. We're not stopping there we're continuing to invest so we can connect people all over Africa.
Senior Solution Architect roles in the Complex Solutions team are responsible for the scoping of as well as the end-to-end architecture and design of solutions and managed services that are deemed complex or require bespoke customisation to meet the customers need. The role primarily focusses on Liquid Telecoms strategic customers for the assigned vertical segments within Large Corporates and State-Owned Enterprises. The inputs for these solutions are from RFXs (Request for: Information; Proposal or Quotation) from the market or BRS (Business Requirement Specification) from customers or partners e.g. OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer), System Integrator initiated.
The role responsibility entails engaging with our customers to develop a sound understanding of their current business and technical challenges as well as their current strategies (both traditional and digital). These are all scoped and encapsulated in a problem statement. The architect also must ensure that they have a firm grasp of the macroeconomic environment for their assigned sales vertical segments this understanding would include knowledge of (and is not limited to)
- Industry or segment specific technologies and services
- associated disruptive technologies
- existing and potentially new competitors within their industries
These insights gained through engagement process enable the architect to become a trusted technology strategy advisor to their customers and ultimately get involved in their strategy co-creation process. This evolution of the Solution Architect role allows for the proactive (or reactive via RFX) creation of customised (Liquid Telecom bundled or ad-hoc created solutions independently or with partner ecosystems) managed services/solutions designed to meet their customers bespoke business requirements.
Additionally, the team will lead proof-of-concepts and pilots to prove/test recommended solutions and services in innovation centres or within customers environments.
The intention is to design fully managed unique end-to-end solutions that are applicable to our strategic customers with the aim of ensuring their retention as Customers of Liquid Telecom and grow wallet share for the assigned sales verticals.
Given the roles knowledge of digital technologies and services, it endeavours to act as a thought leader for digital transformation and the launch of new digital services e.g. SD-WAN, SD-LAN, NFV.
Minimum Requirements of Job
Formal Qualifications Required
- 3 or 4-year BSc Engineering or Computer Science degree or B-Tech, N6, NFQ 7 equivalent
- Industry Specific Certifications i.e. Cisco, Huawei, Microsoft, Metro Ethernet Forum MEF, etc
Job Related Experience Required
- Technical experience in Telecommunication, Internet Service Provider, IT and Networking fields
- Experience in technical field in System Integration, Product Management/development, telecommunications, IT, Solution Architecture, Pre-Sales engineering etc
- Solutions technical design experience (MPLS WAN, LAN, Unified Communications, Security, Hosting, Data Centre, Cloud, SDWAN, NFV, Carrier Metro Ethernet, Digital Technologies, etc.)
- Solution design and architecture experience
- Thorough understanding of vendors solutions and technologies
- Project Management experience including the development of project and simultaneously managing multiple projects
- Experience in developing service delivery and management processes
- Creation of short-term strategic technology plans
Job Related Knowledge Required
- Understanding and scoping diverse customer business requirements over all segments and the ability to translate these requirements to define and architect bespoke solutions across technologies, products and services
- Knowledge of complex customer solutions architecture, design and development for e.g. fixed mobile convergence, triple or quad play services, unified communications and Telephony, cloud services, Data centre services, SDWAN, NFV, Connectivity, Networking, Security etc
- In-depth understanding of customer needs / wants / challenges / insights for all Sales segments i.e. Government, Financial, Mining, Health, Education, Transport, Carrier, etc
- Across Technology domains Architecture design coupled with implementation experience
Job Related Skills Required
- Excellent interpersonal skills and Relationship management
- Very Good analytical and design skills
- Very Good technical writing skills
- Good presentation communication skills
- Good organisational skills and time management
- Industry and Customer current affairs
- Ability to work under pressure with multiple projects and tight deadlines
- Pre-Sales technical scoping and design
- Project Management
- Design thinking and Solutions Focused
Architecture and Revenue Growth
- Contribute to interdepartmental, highly skilled technical analysis, responsible for all aspects of Complex Solutions designs from concept to development, implementation/integration, launch and on-going product management requirements
- Provide technical leadership and project management for the development and support of Complex Solutions that will support the assigned Sales segment but offer support and cross skilling to other Sales Segments
- Perform Assurance that all Complex Solutions offerings integrate and interoperate into the customers environment/network
- Supporting pre-Sales presentations, Bid Management, formulating business cases, and attend national/international industry conferences to actively participate in external standards/regulatory organizations/bodies primarily for the assigned Sales Segment
- Participate with the Product teams and serve as a technical leader to assist in the development, implementation and integration of Complex Solutions and services
- Drive the development and implementation of Liquid Telecoms short-term vertical sales technology strategy, for the assigned Segment. Contribute to Complex Solutions design methodology and new technology roadmaps to develop bespoke products using relevant tools to rapidly deploy solutions
- Support Sales to achieve their aspirational revenue targets for the specific customers / verticals
- Support the growth of Complex Solutions proposals for the assigned Sales Segment and monitor their success and opportunities for enhancements by growing revenue wallet share
- Improve the quality and success rate for complex and customer specific solutions and solution responses within defined timeframes
- Recognises areas for internal improvement and suggest plans for implementation
- Support the assigned Sales departments strategic objectives across all other departments, while ensuring all complex solutions are market leading. Regular meetings (weekly) and feedback from Sales on research and market opportunities
Fulfilment and Assurance
- Ensure technical fulfilment and assurance of all aspects of complex solution design process with focus on the following:
- Feasibility accuracy for technical solutions
- Key decision maker for Go/No-Go decisions around RFXs for sales verticals
- Creation of a high-level business case and follow feasibility process to address short turnaround time for complex Bids/RFPs/RFIs
- Review and final signoff on complex solutions RFX /BRS responses
- Drive adhoc product development for complex client specific solutions per assigned Sales segment
- Ensure managed service strategy design and fulfilment by investigating and onboarding partners required, to effectivity design, deploy and managed solutions
Strategic Account Planning
- Evangelist and driving adoption of new technologies per assigned Sales segment into Liquid Telecoms and strategic customers
- Provide direction for new technologies, services and business models particularly relating to new services e.g. SDN, NFV, Cloud, Digital Technologies (i.e. IoT, Blockchain, etc.) for strategic customers and within Liquid Telecoms
- Research technology roadmaps, adoption and key vendor strategies and capabilities per assigned Sales segment
- Formulate mappings and matrices of customer requirements to technology roadmaps per assigned Sales Segment
- Serve as Liquid Telecoms subject matter expert in support of technical white paper and case studies development for new bespoke innovative solutions
- Co-creation of technology strategies with customers
Cross Functional Engagements
- Consultation with Strategy teams in understanding industry specific technology/digital trends including disruptive technologies and new business models
- Consultation with Sales is critical to understand the assigned customer businesses, industries and segments, with the intention of defining future concepts and services i.e. SmartLogistics, SmartBanking, SmartPorts, SmartMining, SmartCities, etc
- Collaborate with Product for service and solution creation, process integration, billing methodologies, business models and lifecycle management
- Scoping, defining and approving business cases with Pricing team
- Assisting Service Delivery in deploying and supporting these unique services to customer networks
- Creating partner ecosystems for specified sales segments to define and support the end-to-end managed services portfolio
- Decides on best technology and service/product solutions to meet business requirements of customers, (all customers per assigned Sales segment)
- Decide if a customised solution is required
- Be responsible for defining (internally or with a partner ecosystem), designing, architecting, implementing, testing and supporting (internally or with a partner ecosystem) the managed service/solution
- Propose Go/No-Go decision for complex RFXs/Bids/Tenders per assigned Sales segment
- Proposes Technology, vendor and preferred partner recommendation for complex and customer specific solutions per assigned Sales segment
- Decides on specific devices to be used as part of the solution
- Accountable for overall complex and customer bespoke solutions to ensure technical and commercial viability for the assigned segments within timeframes provided by customer / business
- Creating Technology solutions and service strategies for Sales vertical segments i.e. transport, mining, financial, government, etc
- Define, Architect and Design customer solutions either by bundling existing services or creating new/bespoke services/solutions. Creating end-to-end managed services to meet customer requirements
- Support innovation and entrepreneurship for digital business transformation with business
- Takes overall responsibility for integration of the service/solution designed into customer network