Inside Jobs: What Exactly Does It Mean To Be A ‘Solutions Architect’?

Some jobs have names that make it pretty easy to understand what they do: Airplane pilot, waitress, doctor, shoe salesman. But in today’s tech industry, there are a lot of job titles that are far from self-explanatory.

In this episode of Inside Jobs, I sat down with Daniel O’Leary, who has one of those mysterious-sounding jobs as a “Solutions Architect” at enterprise storage company Box. Once you find out what he does, though, the fancy title makes more sense. He talks to Box’s paying customers, hears their feedback about the service, and helps design customized “solutions” to the problems they have.

Making Fortune 500 clients happy isn’t always easy, so being a Solutions Architect at Box often means long hours on the phone and in meetings. Through it all, though, O’Leary’s known on his team for keeping things fun. Whether by taking business calls with a bright yellow phone headset, drinking what Honey Boo-Boo calls ‘Go Juice‘, or inserting a wacky cat photo into a company presentation, O’Leary definitely doesn’t fit the humorless mold of who you might expect to be heading up customer relations at an enterprise software firm.

He explained his work style to me like this:

“I want to make sure that we’re not only doing good work here, but we’re having a lot of fun while we do it. Yes, that means that when I’m on a call with a customer I’m going to get shot in the face with a NERF dart, and that’s okay. That’s part of Box, that’s part of who we are, and that’s part of what we do.”

Go inside Dan O’Leary’s job by watching the video above.

Inside Jobs is a 12 episode miniseries from TechCrunch TV airing weekly on Mondays from March 24 through June 16 that gives an in-depth look at people in the job roles that really make the tech industry tick. Last week’s episode of Inside Jobs profiled TaskRabbit’s head of PR Johnny Brackett.

Producing, shooting, editing, sound, and lighting for Inside Jobs is done by John Murillo. Production coordination and creative direction is done by Felicia Williams. Original logo design by Bryce Durbin. Motion graphics and graphic design by Eden Soto.