A Day in the Life of a Sr. Solutions Architect
Our Day in the Life blog series continues as we help you get to know the amazing people behind the computer screens at ITP.
Meet Peter Niebler
Peter is a senior solutions architect and has been with ITP for 14 years.
How do you start your day?
I have a younger family, so I get up around 5 AM so I can take the dog out for a walk and get a workout in before everyone else is up. During that time, I’ll check my email and calendar so I can see what I have coming up for the day. I’ll think about what I need to do while I’m out walking or working out and put together a to-do list in my head.
I live in the Milwaukee area and I work out of ITP’s Milwaukee office. It takes me about 20 minutes to get to the office, but I’m only there about twice a week. I support sales staff in all three of ITP’s offices and I do some engineering projects at clients. So, I’m out and about at client sites and I’m visiting our Appleton, Milwaukee, and Madison offices. I also work from home from time-to-time.
What’s an average workday like for you?
My schedule is a mix of client meetings, project engineering work, and solution design work for clients. I’m based at home or in my office about 60% of the time, and 40% of the time I’m out at client meetings or working on-site for a client. I’m also checking my email and our internal Microsoft Teams channel to see if there are any fires I need to put out.
A typical day might include a sales call with a salesperson as well as an internal kick-off meeting with the projects and operations teams to say, “Here’s how I planned this project and how to implement it.” Then I’m in front of clients as well.
These days I’m commonly working on cloud solutions for people. A project like an email migration to Office 365 or a lift-and-shift up to Microsoft Azure are the sorts of things I’m involved in – all the way from the planning and purchasing to the implementation.
Another big thing is security. Companies want to secure their data. There are products for that, but the key is how you implement them. It’s actually a bit more art than science. A good example is multi-factor authentication (MFA). You can buy an MFA product, but how do you implement it in your business so it works for you? It’s not just a checkbox to turn on. There’s a lot of questions that go on behind the scenes of a security product rollout. And every business has different answers to those questions. MFA at one company isn’t the same as in another company – they’re all unique even though they share the same basic principles.
What’s one thing you can’t live without while working?
That’s super easy. Caffeine. I mean, every IT person drinks caffeine. Like too much of it. We all do. Energy drinks. Coffee. That’s just the IT world.
How do you wrap up your day?
I double-check my daily to-do list and double-check my email. It’s almost a reverse of the beginning of my day. I make sure all the fires, to-do items, and emails are dealt with – or can wait.
What do you do to unwind when you get home?
Spend time with family – kids’ soccer games, kids’ baseball games, whatever sport is going on at the time. If there’s nothing going on, even better. We just go hang out. That’s pretty much what I look forward to at the end of the day.
I’ve been married to my wife Jess for 16 years. We have two boys, an 11-year-old and a 7-year-old. I’m in that sweet spot where they still think I’m cool and don’t hate me yet, but where I don’t have to change diapers. And then we have a little dog named Dash. He’s 3 years old. Basically, I’m a walking stereotype of the suburban family.
Why do you like working at ITP?
Freedom. I like being able to set my schedule. That’s done wonders for my personal life. I can be home and make my son’s game. That’s fine if the trade-off is at 9 PM I might have to turn on my computer. I’d take that deal any day.