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Systems Engineer

Location: Columbia, MARYLAND.
Company Description:

Merkle is a leading data-driven, technology-enabled, global performance marketing agency that specializes in the delivery of unique, personalized customer experiences across platforms and devices. For more than 30 years, Fortune 1000 companies and leading nonprofit organizations have partnered with Merkle to maximize the value of their customer portfolios. The agency’s heritage in data, technology, and analytics forms the foundation for its unmatched skills in understanding consumer insights that drive people-based marketing strategies. Its combined strengths in performance media, customer experience, customer relationship management, loyalty, and enterprise marketing technology drive improved marketing results and competitive advantage. With 9,600+ employees, Merkle is headquartered in Columbia, Maryland, with 50+ additional offices throughout the US, EMEA, and APAC. In 2016, the agency joined the Dentsu Aegis Network. For more information, contact Merkle at 1-877-9-Merkle or visit www.merkleinc.com.


Job Description:

The Systems Engineer role within Merkle is responsible for the Promotions & Loyalty Solutions platforms across cloud and on-premise environments. The candidate will be a subject matter expert related to infrastructure of the Promotions & Loyalty Solutions platforms.  The Systems Engineer is responsible for timely delivery of platform related client solutions, environment performance measurement, analysis and tuning in a hosting environment.  They keep up to date on industry trends and deliver the highest level of customer service possible.

The Systems Engineer role will report to the Director, Infrastructure Managed Services. The role will work with a team of geographically distributed Merkle staff and contract employees in support of client platform implementation and delivery. This role is part of a team who is responsible for our production environment, including over 900 Linux-based servers that host all our promotions.

Essential Tasks and Responsibilities:

·         Working with core and delivery software engineering teams to design, document and improve existing and new systems architecture.

·         Contribute to the development of technology roadmaps that align with overall company strategy and vision of re-platforming and/or moving on-premises solutions to public cloud.

·         Help train other team members on new technologies and deployments within the engineering and IT organization. Act as a coach and mentor for less experienced team members. 


·         Anticipate risks and constraints and proactively work on solutions to address the risk/constraints, escalating as appropriate.     

·         Gather requirements, develop the delivery plan for solution and services milestones, managing expectations and coordinating delivery with developers and other client specific team members.

·         Maintain in-depth awareness and fluency of the key features, functions, and/or industry trends around the area of expertise.

·         Manage and prioritize multiple simultaneous incidents and Service Requests and drive resolution to technical incidents following the Merkle Incident Management Process.

·         Perform post incident root cause analysis and write the associated RCA document.

·         Platform Ownership for platform related technology. A Platform Owner is responsible for:

o   Leading the technology councils for platforms

o   Determining and reporting on the availability of platforms

o   Monitoring and alerting – Ensure the primary functionality is properly monitored

o   Backups and Recovery – Ensure critical data is identified/protected and a recovery model is in place and periodically tested

o   Capacity management – Develop capacity models including dynamic/elastic solutions, measure utilization and establish and maintain forecasts

o   Incident tracking – Track the incidents that have occurred on the platform and the remediation activities performed

o   Develop and present environmental metrics

o   Health checks – Periodic evaluation of the platform to ensure it is operating optimally

o   Creation and maintenance of product guides

o   Lifecycle Management – Ensure that software and infrastructure platforms are up to date

o   Ensure that our deployments are supported by the vendor and pro-actively plan for a refresh when required.

o   Software – Software follow the N-1 rule for major release

·         Uphold and promote Merkle’s core values and culture

·         Provide on-call and after-hours support as required


Measures of Success:

·         Consistently deliver solutions that exceed customer expectations on-time/budget. 

·         Successfully resolve technical incidents/service requests with a high level of quality, escalating where appropriate.

·         Demonstrate a high level of customer service.

·         Participate in the development of Merkle’s technology vision and strategy. 

·         Demonstrate the ability to work as part of a team and share knowledge with team members.

·         Implementation and adoption of support processes and structures sufficient to ensure system stability and user satisfaction.

·         Attain and maintain “expert level” recognition in select areas by IT Leadership and peers. 

·         Contribute to the development and evolution of reference architectures.

·         Positive recognition as noted on Employee and Customer satisfaction surveys, completed on a periodic basis.


·         Expert knowledge of network and server operating systems, including RHEL/CentOS and Ubuntu

·         In depth experience deploying and maintaining middleware such as Apache, Haproxy, Tomcat, RedisExperience with open source databases, including query optimization, replication and troubleshooting (mysql, postgres)

·         Experience with load balancing and firewall concepts and best practices

·         Experience working in a large virtualization environment (VMware)

·         Software troubleshooting experience (Java, PHP, NodeJS and Perl)

·         Experience in public cloud platforms, such as AWS, GCP and Azure is highly desired

·         Strong experience with scripting and automation tools, such as Ansible, Chef, CFengine, etc.

·         Understanding of version control systems, such as Git, supporting CI/CD processes

·         Enterprise productization processes, including developing product guides, asset management, data protection, capacity management, performance management, and lifecycle management.


Demonstrate the ability to:

·         Meet project deadlines and manage and prioritize multiple simultaneous projects while adhering to a time allocation model

·         Assess the scope and impact of incidents and respond, with a sense of urgency that matches the incident, following appropriate policies and procedures

·         Multi-task, prioritize, manage workload and adapt to changing business conditions

·         Tolerate stressful situations and remain focused under pressure    

·         Effectively communicate at all levels of the organization.     

·         Manage through conflict and challenging situations with positive outcomes for the clients and Merkle.           

·         Develop and cultivate strategic relationships that benefit IT and Merkle.

·         Make decisions and judgments based on standard procedures.

·         Demonstrate critical thinking and problem-solving skills.

·         Contribute to Managed Hosting standards and best practices for processes, procedures, and technical standards.


Education and Experience:


·         5+ years of experience supporting and implementing enterprise-class solutions operating in a 24/7 environment.

·         Certifications within engineering discipline and Cloud industry (AWS, GCP or Azure) certifications are highly desired.


Additional Information:


At Merkle, we believe that a diverse environment improves us as a community and as a business. We want to foster an environment of growth, where all ideas and contributions are encouraged. We need this culture of courage to continue to thrive in our fast-paced industry. We embrace differences of opinion. We value diversity of experience and thought, which help us to challenge and define industry-leading solutions, and support our goal of being a great place to work.


Merkle fosters a diverse environment that encourages original thinking about our business and empowers us to communicate with a global world of customers. We embrace differences of opinion and diversity of thought as they help us challenge and refine our solutions. Merkle, as a best-in-class marketing agency, welcomes big ideas, and believes they can come from anywhere. 

All your information will be kept confidential according to EEO guidelines.


More Information:

Graduate Opportunities: Whether you're still studying, recently graduated or are already working and fancy a career hop, we could have a perfect opportunity for you.
Experienced Hires: Leverage your expertise, challenge the status quo and grow your career at Merkle.