There is much talk about the prospects of work in IT, but those who only chooses a profession or career path is not always obvious how the industry works from the inside and what skills are required. I’ll tell you what does such a specialist as a Technical Account Manager (or just THERE) in a major IT company.
Modern IT world is developing at a rapid pace, the possibilities of technologies and their applications to business are not always obvious and require expertise in business processes and the technologies. Solutions to benefit people and companies, it is not enough to have outstanding developers who will create superprogram.
We need professionals that will determine what kind of product is required, what are the challenges faced by users of this software, and those who will tell consumers about the possibilities of modern technology. One example is the tandem of Steve Wozniak and Steve jobs. The first is a technical genius, the second is an ideologue who knew what users need even before they realized it. Thanks to this tandem, Apple managed to change the world of computers.
The path of the software from the caring hands of the creators-developers before the actual draft takes place not in one jump. This process involves a large number of specialists: marketers, analysts, project managers, vendors, system architects, Tama and many others.
THERE is a unique consultant who has sufficient expertise, skills and experience to better understand how real processes in the client company at all levels.
At the same time THERE inside the company, a diplomat, a translator from the business language into technical language, the link between the sales office teams in the implementation and developers of technologies and products.
If you are energetic, know the difference between gradient boosting from SVM but don’t want to do programming, communicative and responsible, want to bring value to customers and business, you can try yourself as a Tama.
As I had
I came to ABBYY for the position of consultant products in 2011. When the company was not allocated positions Tamov. The concept of technical account management was implemented and developed in my eyes.
In the first years I have gained great experience through varied tasks that I was entrusted with. It was the answers to the user queries on the company’s website, reading grocery training courses for partners and customers, writing technical documentation, testing software, technical support. And the experience of participation in large projects as an analyst and project Manager has allowed to understand how the creation process ON how to work with clients, and how — just wrong.
After a few years of work, knowing what and how exactly does each participant in the process, I became the leader. At first, I was leading a group of four Tamov. But the business is growing: in the last six months in Russia, we have implemented dozens of projects for companies including, for example, the savings Bank and PwC.
I’m responsible for the technical expertise and the process of pre-sales and lead the Department, which employs analysts, Tama, engineers, personnel responsible for technological development, training and technology evangelism.
What does TAM
It is difficult to imagine a successful IT company without competent developers and sellers. In the first case you will simply be nothing to sell in the second — no one will buy your product. While not every sales Manager is able to dive deep into customer problems, identify the need and to convey the task to the developer. In turn, the rare programmer will be able to work in the sales Department and to build communication with customers.
Thus, successful projects in the IT sphere, especially in the project business depend heavily on how effective the transfer of information between those who sell, and those who develops it.
As a rule, sellers and developers — people from different worlds and speak different languages. So for best result they just need the link.
Imagine that you build a duct and you need to provide a transition from round pipe to a square — without the adapter design will look absurd and not work as they should, and as happens. Similarly, in IT sector: to convey to the developers the information from the fields, we need a versatile soldier who will be able to absorb all the information about the client problem and to communicate it to production. But in the case of duct simpler, because, as a rule, the air flowing through it in one direction, and in the case of IT projects, the situation is different, because it also requires feedback, and this process is continuous. So the link is THERE.
The main objective of Tama is to pick the right technology solution to make products was implemented efficiently and the client was happy with the result. This position, which combines the tasks of the project Manager, system analyst and business analyst, and sometimes even system architect. So often in the position of Tama come from positions of project managers or analysts.
Working in conjunction with sales Manager, which is responsible for the establishment of contacts, pricing, partners and all commercial aspects, THERE are responsible for the correct analysis of automated business processes and the formation of the technical proposal.
After identifying local and global challenges facing the customer, THERE is a need to offer technology, product or combination that will bring business client’s maximum benefit, to develop the implementation plan to launch the project and monitor its implementation. Tandem sales and Tama allows you to build long-term and mutually beneficial relationships with customers.
What you need Tamu to find a solution?
Broad technical Outlook,
understanding trends in the IT market,
impeccable knowledge of how the current functionality of the company’s products, and that will appear in the near future, and the ability to communicate with the client.
For example, communicating with the Bank, you need to understand the difference between the account opening process from retail lending. So often Tamov there are industry specifics: someone better versed in retail and FMCG, someone- in the energy sector. Requests from customers can be very different: for example, farm shop wants to use the technology faster processing of accounting documents, the Bank is to automate the risk assessment and so on.
In the process of technical elaboration of the chosen scenario, it is important to discuss with the customer a variety of questions. And that the project was successful, you should be able to find approach to different people. It could be financial or IT Director, lawyer, accountant, logistics Manager or system administrator.
For example, if you talk to five different lawyers on the analysis of documents for due diligence, you will hear about five different ways to assess client documents. And in the end you need to evaluate and how to make technology help each of them? Not to create five different solutions for each? But if lawyers are not five, and 105? Tamu need to answer, to communicate on technical issues and implementation of the technology, to show how in practice to integrate the solution in the IT landscape of the organization and what should happen as a result.
Also THERE provides a competent pilot and acts as the project Manager. At this stage, together with analysts and engineers, architects and representatives of the customer checked in practice will work the process. The success of this phase depends on the fate of the project.
In addition, within the company THERE is actively cooperating not only with the team implementing the project, but also with the development team of the product itself. Why is it important? Often, especially in large-scale projects, where new product features and sometimes even new products. This helps not only to meet the customer’s request, but also to improve the functionality of the product. It is important to be able to communicate in one language with developers to properly analyze the customer’s needs and priorities, understanding the value of each requirement.
One of the most challenging and time-consuming tasks in the work of Tama can be called projects with new scenarios that have not gained the practice, projects in which a business sets ambitious goals.
For example, it is necessary to provide automation of digitizing and entering data from documents into information system, change the usual work of thousands of employees, who should have a convenient web-based access to the system 24/7 and integration mechanisms should be worked out to perfection, so as not to disrupt other business-critical systems.
To ensure that retrieval of information across several different systems, taking into account access rights and organizational structure of the company, to save time for thousands of engineers, designers, accountants and other professionals.
To teach the machine to analyze millions of news articles from the Internet, to find important for business risk factors and market trends.
In large projects there is and a lot of technical and organizational difficulties. And if the project is successful, you do feel a bit superhero.
Top quality Tama
I can think of three main qualities necessary Tamu:
Good technical knowledge and willingness to educate themselves. The IT industry does not stand still, new technologies and solutions. And THERE should always be prepared to learn new skills and improve their technical competencies.
Communication skills. The ability to communicate with people of different professions, technical specialists and business representatives.
Responsibility. Your decisions depend on the success of the future project. If at the stage of Analytics will be offered the wrong solution will be infeasible or will not bring the desired effect, it will directly affect the company and the client.
Requirements education and experience
In my experience, to work as the Tama is much easier if you have an engineering degree, and you know how they work directly with the developers, ideally, have at least some experience writing code.
In our Department there are both beginners and experienced professionals that come in ABBYY has serious baggage. Someone had worked first as an analyst, then moved to the position of project Manager.
There are those who prior to joining us, he worked in small companies, where he combined the role of project Manager, analyst, tester, and developer is also a great experience that gives you an advantage, because multitasking is an integral part of this profession.
You should not seek to Tama to someone who does not know how to build relationships with people. This is an important component of the work, and without this valuable skill, the project is doomed to failure.
If you can’t explain with simple words complex things, for example, what distinguishes transfer learning from deep learning, you will be hard to explain to a business customer automate the business process and why certain decisions.
If you important the research process and not to obtain a specific result within the planned time frame, THERE is not the best position for career development. In this case, it’s probably better to think about a career in R&D.
At Tama there are many options for further career growth. As a rule, begin with conducting a small standard projects. As experience, projects become more complicated, larger and more interesting — in the solution of such problems is where to turn and apply innovative approaches.
Career Tama can grow vertically and horizontally. You can become the leader of the group, which is engaged in projects in a particular industry, and mentor to other employees.
If you’re interested to develop further in product development, you can become a product Manager or product owner-om. Those who want to communicate more with customers can be developed in the field of consulting and business development to become experts on digitization and technology, industry and market trends.
Cover photo: archive of the company
Photo material: Unsplash
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