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Understanding the business purpose behind projects made me a better solution architect

swapna radhakrishnan
Name: Swapna Radhakrishnan
Technical Lead, Integration & Development
Location: Bangalore, India

When I completed my B. Tech degree in Computer Science from Kerala University, I was certain about specializing in specific IT technologies, but I did not know what they would be. I had expected my future roles to be restricted to IT alone. After spending 9 years with multiple IT companies and a little over 20 months at Philips, I realize that the range of work that I do at Philips is relatively elaborate. Along with IT expertise, I also have a better business sense of project requirements, which has made me better at designing solutions.


I am currently working in the Integration & Development team as a technical lead and responsible for the solution architecture and design of integrations between heterogeneous systems such as Salesforce, Windchill, SAP Kernels, and data hubs. These systems are generally hosted on cloud or on-site, using middleware technologies like ESB, BPM, Cast Iron, etc.


Using these technologies, we can create loosely coupled solutions as services and integrate almost any system to an existing one including legacy systems, which often function in silos. We integrate systems in a way that ensures minimal impact on the ones in use, and which helps the company accomplish long-term reusability, architecture scalability, and reduced time to market. Primarily, we simplify existing business processes, making the systems much leaner and more efficient.


In my current role, I also get to interact directly with stakeholders from the business. This was something which I did not experience in my previous roles as I was mainly confined to the IT function. Being able to do so has helped me to get a high-level perspective of what I am doing and more importantly, the reasons behind it. With these insights and a better appreciation of the business, I feel that I have become a better solution architect over time.


Global exposure is another advantage that comes as part of my role at Philips, as it involves extensive interactions with colleagues from the Netherlands and US. Communicating with project stakeholders from different regions with varied domain expertise has given me a broader perspective of challenges and corresponding solutions. The culture at Philips in adopting latest enterprise-level technologies ensures that I always have an edge when it comes to upgrading my skills and career growth.


Philips provides a modern and dynamic workplace where innovation and progress go hand in hand. The environment can be very demanding, allowing me to see my capabilities in a new light. Handling such pressure would not have been possible without the support from my seniors. Additionally, the progressive and supportive work culture at Philips ensures that I get ample help and there is always room for experimentation.


Multiples avenues are provided to employees to come forward with innovative solutions to existing challenges. These are in the form of internal platforms and programs such as the annual Hackathon. Suggestions at any stage of a project are recognized and acknowledged, which has always motivated me to go about doing my work enthusiastically.


On the work-life balance front, the company is very accommodating when it comes to flexible work schedules or working from home. The attitude of the company towards these aspects has allowed me to manage my professional and personal life well. This has helped me to better appreciate what Philips has done for its employees and make me want to contribute even further!