At Unifiedpost Group, we want you to get to know the team and to meet the experts around our simple and smart solutions. In this blog, you will meet our Solutions Architect, James Beal. Part of the Unifiedpost Group team for over one year, James’ role is to design solutions that meet the needs of our clients and the market. James works with both customers and our team of developers to bridge the gap between the solution a client requires and how the solution is created.
James was suited for a role of IT, development and digital technologies from a young age, when he received his first computer at just 4 years old. An Atari ST, which James used for games and basic processing. Far from any of the technology James is used to now as Atari STs were one of the first computers to have 3.5inch floppy disks and the idea of cloud computing wasn’t even dreamt about.
James continued his interests in IT and technology throughout school and college, by studying for his CISCO network qualification to begin a job in IT. Although this was James’ passion, he struggled to get into the competitive IT market after his studies and spent a few years within credit control and started a role as a trainee accountant. When it became clear that his role as a trainee accountant was more of a data inputter, James looked for jobs elsewhere and through family connections, fell into a role as a trainee PReS programmer within a print business. This role started James on his IT journey within the document distribution industry.
From a Pres programmer, to working within development, to managing teams of developers, James’ passion for IT and technology had been met everyday through his different job roles. But he felt something was missing, and sought a role that could combine his IT passion and his desire to work with clients in a more customer-facing role.
James’ Journey with Unifiedpost Group
Therefore at the start of 2020, James applied for a role as a Solutions Architect at Unifiedpost Group. James did have a few job offers during this time, due to the niche nature of what is required from a Solutions Architect. However, some of those job offers involved large companies with a lot of politics, and roles that didn’t have a customer facing aspect. James knew that the role of Solutions Architect at Unifiedpost Group was right for him:
“The company was clearly very passionate about it’s work, and the team were pushing for the business to move in the right direction of multichannel technologies and digital transformation. The company did not want to remain static and they knew they could provide solutions for customers that didn’t just focus on print and post.”
With more and more multichannel, digital solutions becoming the right move for clients, there was a requirement for a link between our clients and our developers to interpret the client requirement and transform it into a solution design, in a language that our developers can work with. There was a clear benefit to have a member of the team who could talk both the language of clients, and the language of our developers, to overall create a simple and smart process for all members of the project.
What does a Solutions Architect do?
Apart from being the bridge between the customer and developer, James’ role is about designing a solution to meet the customer’s needs. James spends time with customers to understand how they currently distribute their documents and communications, and works with them to design a solution to benefit their business and customers.
Day to day this involves client presentations, demos of our multichannel communication portal and hybrid mail solutions. He also writes statements of work for our development team, and is part of the client’s project management team.
When asking James what makes him excel at his role, he states it his background as a developer:
“As I have done exactly what our developers do, I know their challenges and motivations to make sure we do a great job for the client. I can take exactly what the client needs, and translate it into a solution that the development team can create.”
James enjoys being the bridge between clients and the developers. He is able to pull on his previous developer positions and still feel part of the action. But it is James’ personality that makes him thrive. As James is a very relatable, talkative and patient member of the Unifiedpost Group team, he is able to communicate with clients from all different departments to easily explain what our solution will do for them. He is able to communicate every need within a project, and also be a good person to turn to if a business ever has any reservations.
The future of Unifiedpost Group
When asking James how he has seen the business change since he first started his role as Solutions Architect, he says it is exciting to see the breadth of solutions that are always becoming available. From new solutions to new areas of the market that can be tapped into, the expansion of the group is moving at a fast rate, and can only benefit our customers in both the short and long term.
James sees the company moving even faster in the future, by creating more and more administrative and financial solutions for new and existing clients. The aim is to create more seamless business processes for clients and to help them communicate with their customers more effectively than ever before.
James, any final words of wisdom?
“Don’t be afraid to ask for the impossible! Many clients ask for a solution that can create simple and smart processes, which is fantastic, but they could ask for even more! We have created many new solutions from clients asking if something could be done and it often can be. Ask for the impossible and we will create a simple and smart solution for you and your business’ needs.”