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Meet the… solutions architect manager

Pebble's Manuel Brouard explains why he loves the constant change of the broadcast industry, and why he would tell anyone looking to explore a role similar to that of solutions architect manager to be curious

Manuel Brouard, solutions architect manager, Pebble
Talk us through an average day in your role

No two days are the same and I wear two different hats! The first one is on a commercial/pre-sales basis – working closely with our sales team to work on quotes, technical offers, request for proposals, statement of works etc. The second is leading a team of solutions architects, making sure the team’s needs are addressed, developing the team, assigning work, producing reports, improving internal processes to become more effective in how we deliver projects for our customers. I do all this from France and because our customer base here has increased, we now have new team members in the country to support the delivery of installing our software for TV channel playout in the region. All in all my role is multi-faceted covering operational efficiencies as well as driving sales revenue.

How did you get started in the media industry?

It was a bit by luck and opportunity. I started in Pebble in 2007 after graduating from an engineering school (with a focus on IT) in France. I wanted to work outside of France to gain international experience and decided to move to London. A customer support engineer role was advertised at Pebble and so I applied. I really liked the company, the culture and the role gave me the opportunity to travel. And because there were always new opportunities to grow I never left other than to have a sabbatical (to travel the world) and after that I returned back to France but continued to work for Pebble.

What training did you have before entering the industry?

I never received any broadcast training prior to joining Pebble, however the engineering diploma I studied at my IT Engineering School (the equivalent to a University) did help. When I first started I received internal training at Pebble to understand the media industry as a whole and how our solutions fit into the TV playout chain. And over the years I have continued to undergo several different types of training internally in order to deliver the best I can in the different types of roles I have worked in over the years.

Why do you enjoy working in the industry?

It’s the constant change in new technologies in the broadcast industry that makes me enjoy it as much as I do. Things are changing quite quickly and at a really good pace – this keeps me interested in the sector and this is why I am still working at Pebble. It’s really exciting to be working on new workflows and technology and to see how what we do has such a positive impact on the way TV is broadcast to millions of homes right across the globe. And it’s such a small industry – you will always find friends and colleagues – it’s very sociable!

What piece of advice would you offer someone looking to explore a role similar to yours?

Be curious. And soft skills are so important – being interpersonal, a ‘people person’, work on developing great communication and listening skills. If you like engaging with people, if you like technology and you like a variety of different challenges then being a solutions architect for a software company would be a great role to get into. Finally, be eager to learn and keep learning – this is true for every job but especially in broadcast.