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Exclusive Interview: Thomas Wyrick, Solutions Architect

Exclusive Interview: Thomas Wyrick, Solutions Architect

Our series, “Great People, Great Data” showcases dedicated Semarchy team members. The strength and passion of our people drives innovative data solutions and ultimately, a strong commitment to the success of our clients. We’re here to build strong data teams and lifelong client relationships.

Thomas Wyrick leads Semarchy’s U.S. Technical Services team. That means if you’ve come onboard over the last couple of years, you’ve interacted with Thomas or a member of the team he oversees.

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As a Solutions Architect, ensuring clients get the customized data solutions to meet their needs is the ultimate goal. “Every solution is customized,” says Thomas, “There’s nothing ‘out of the box’.”

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Customizing Effective Data Solutions

Thomas and the team work closely with clients to deeply understand their business needs so that their data apps can be quickly put to work for them. “(Our team) helps the client mold their business requirements into a design that will meet those requirements,” he says.

No job is too big for Thomas and the team, so if your organization ever thinks your data might be in too much of a mess to see results, Thomas can safely say that isn’t the case. Often, the secret is to start with one key area of the data, or “data domain” and untangle that first. Once you see results in one area, it becomes easier to roll out your data solution into other domains.

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A recent Fortune 100 company in the oil and gas business did just that. With sites all over the globe, keeping a record of products and assets with a uniform approach to data management was a huge challenge for the organization. They needed to be able to account for all of their assets at-scale, ensuring they met legal and maintenance requirements.

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“We initially started with just a single domain or product master,” Thomas says. This allowed the company to keep track of their assets across the globe and once they had that operational, they could scale into other domains. “After we onboarded this initial project, we developed a team within the company to start offering smart gas service”, says Thomas. “We now have 29 other similar projects that have flourished within the organization.”

A huge advantage of Semarchy to the client is that they can scale management of different data domains by building off a single platform. Thomas explains that clients otherwise would have had to take the route of custom software development, which can be much more expensive and time-consuming to implement.

“We have consolidated into a single platform that’s easy to train on,” he says. “We’re constantly helping clients through development training and offering ongoing consulting to make this practice (data management) flourish within their enterprise.”

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Time to Value

Decreasing the time to value for the client from implementation of Semarchy is another key goal for Thomas and the team. Across all clients, their average time to value is 12 weeks from implementation.

The Rapid Delivery Blueprint provides a guide for both the team and clients with a set of checkpoints or quality gates to pass through during rollout. “One of them is a project plan,” says Thomas. “Given your set of requirements and design, and given the amount of resources that you have, is this realistically 12 weeks of development, or is it more like 60 weeks? If it’s the latter case then we need to probably find some way to reduce scope and to get you into where you can start delivering value quickly. You can go and save these other things for version 2 version 3.”

Scaling the Solution

Change management can be a daunting challenge among global enterprises, especially where there are multiple different teams involved and buy-in required from various stakeholders. Thomas and the team work with clients to help them build a strong business case and gain buy-in across the enterprise.

“Sizzle reels” have been part of this strategy and Thomas’ team have helped distribute those, demonstrating how data goals have been met with minimal resources. “We’re providing value through the entire company. Giving focus to the project, making known what it is,” says Thomas.

What if the goal posts shift or client’s needs change? As data needs evolve, their apps can scale with them. “The application has to be dynamic,” Thomas says. “It can be extended pretty easily so, while we’re taking (clients) through this onboarding process, we do try to structure the underlying data models they’re building to be extensible.”

Best Practices for Implementing a Data Solution

Thomas has some best practices gleaned from his experiences helping companies to implement new data solutions. “Identify a true business need,” he says. “Don’t just buy an MDM product just because – identify the business need that you’re trying to solve for it.”

“It could just be that, as a company, we have a CRM system and we have an ERP system, salespeople start entering prospects into the CRM system and they get created as accounts later on,” says Thomas. “But the two reports never match each other and it causes mistrust within the company. That’s the business problem right there. That’s the problem that we’re trying to solve for.”

The next piece is getting executive, buy in: “this is what we’re going to solve for, and this is the tool that we’re going to use to do it,” says Thomas. “That’s the most important, because if you ever lose focus from executive management then, even after you bought the tool, resources could be diverted.

Third, Thomas says it’s all about who you work with. “Working either with us or with a partner to properly identify what are going to be the requirements of the system,” he says. “Ensure up front before any work is done that the system designed is going to solve the problem.”

Thomas and his team are part of the secret to success for Semarchy users. With their commitment to developing robust solutions to pressing business data problems, clients are in good hands.