Solutions Architects

Solutions Architect Handbook

Solutions Architects (SA) are the trusted advisors to GitLab prospects and customers during the presales motion, demonstrating how the GitLab application and GitLab Professional Services address common and unique business requirements. SA's add value to GitLab by providing subject matter expertise and industry experience throughout the sales process.

SA's identify and propose comprehensive solutions to complex business problems and workflow scenarios after compiling inputs from customer conversations. Desired inputs include pain points, role-based visibility concerns, opportunities for improved efficiencies, current technologies and tools, corporate initiatives, target outcomes and more. SA's also act as the technical liaison between the sales team and other groups within GitLab, engaging GitLab employees from other teams as needed in order meet the needs of the customer.

On this page

Role & Responsiblities

See the Solutions Architect role description

In addition to core responsibilities, Solutions Architects may assist in other client-facing activities aligned to Content Marketing or Product Marketing such as blogs, videos, webinars, presentations and industry trade show presence. Some examples are listed below:

Demo Readiness

Solutions Architects are occasionally called on at a moments notice to give a demo or join a call to show a prospect or customer specific GitLab functionality. A best practice for being prepared for these demo requests is to have a minimized browser window with various content preloaded into the browser tabs. Examples of common environments utilized are listed below. Note that accessing some of these links is only enabled for GitLab team members.

Engaging a Solutions Architect

1) Qualification

2) Preparation

When and How to Engage a Solutions Architect

The SA should either be included in a discovery call or provided with Outcome / Infrastructure / Challenges (see above) information uncovered by prior interactions with the account. Occasionally, SA's may support a combination call of discovery and technical demonstration/deep-dive on a single call, but this is suboptimal as the latter approach does not allow the SA time to prepare for and/or tailor the discussion.

Strategic Account Engagement Model

SA's are aligned regionally with Strategic Account Leaders and aligned in their respective account activities. Each team collaborates according to their own Working Agreements.

As a general guideline, no more than 2 Solutions Architects should join any single client-facing call, whether it be assistive for the topic or for learning / shadowing.

Mid-Market Engagement Model

An SA can be requested by an Account Executive or Strategic Account Leader using the process described below. See the following video: How to engage Solutions Architects using GitLab (available only for GitLab employees) for a brief overview.

1) Navigate to the SA Service Desk Board

NOTE: The board is located in the Group “Customer Success” and the name of the project is named “SA Service Desk.”

2) Create a new issue

3) Use one of two templates

4) To help the SA group ensure success for the client, the following information should be made available prior to SA engagement

5) (Optional) Associate one or more of the following labels as needed

Weekly SA Triage Assignment

Each week, a Solutions Architect volunteers to be the "Triage SA" for the week. This is indicated both in the SA Triaged label (e.g. SA Triaged - Feb 12-16 - @dt) as well as in the '#customer-success' channel in Slack.

Triage of Issues

The "Triage SA" will monitor the SA Service Desk Board and/or the '#sa-service-desk' channel in Slack for incoming work and will contact the appropriate Customer Success team members via Slack, email or cellular depending on required skills, schedules and availability.

The Customer Success team attends a triage call once each week. Each week, the volunteer "Triage SA" facilitates this call. The call is on Friday at 1pm EST (10am PST). Anyone at GitLab is welcome to join these calls via Zoom

Board Label Descriptions