Employee Spotlight: Jon Silva, Project Manager

by Catherine O'Toole

In this week’s blog, I had a virtual chat with our Project Manager, Jon Silva. In this interview, Jon and I talked about the purpose of a project manager at SEAL Systems, top technology trends, and memories during his time at the company.

You celebrated a work anniversary recently. How many years have you worked at SEAL Systems?

Jon Silva (JS): A little over 4 years.

What is the biggest change you have experienced during your time at SEAL Systems?

JS: Thinking back, the biggest change I have experienced has been to my role and responsibilities. First, there was the transition from supporting Teamcenter (and other partner-related solutions) to our SAP-centered solutions.

More so recently, a big change has been the transition from a Project Engineer, where my focus was solely on the technical side of a project to a Project Management role. In my new role as Project Manager, I am glad I have my technical background from my experience as a Project Engineer. Having a technical understanding is very useful in some cases, especially on discovery calls and gathering information from a potential customer. There is more responsibility with being a Project Manager. So, managing more than one project with a level of priority has been a new and welcomed change.

What is the purpose of a Project Manager at SEAL Systems?

JS: The biggest piece of the job is protecting our team members from the customer’s demands. It is also really important to lay the foundation for our processes and our standardizations. What I have found most interesting as a Project Manager is the liberty that I have to share my thoughts, be really creative when it comes to providing the solutions, and being the one that has the say so. SEAL Systems is different from other companies I have worked for because the company’s hierarchy structure is not as evident or prioritized as the team’s overall success. So, besides protecting our team and the company from customer demands, my role is to bridge the two teams together: Sales and Projects. As a bridge between the two, it is my job to share any issues that we are seeing, any improvements that can be made, and ensure that our process flows as effortlessly as possible.

What is the difference between a SEAL Project Engineer and a SEAL Project Manager?

JS: There is a very delicate dance between the two. There is a balance that needs to be found that bridges the gap between the customer and the Project team. The way that I see the distinction between the two roles is that our Project Engineers need to have their attention completely on implementation. The Project Manager’s job is to safeguard our Project Engineers so that their time is only for what was already agreed on in a Statement of Work.

To further explain the difference, as a Project Manager, my job is to make our processes as efficient as possible so that our Project Engineers only need to focus on their work. To do this, I juggle all the requests that surround a project from the beginning, middle, and end. A lot of the job comes down to resource management/scheduling, making sure the project’s scope is defined from the very beginning, and making sure any requests outside of the scope go through a change management process. Therefore, a big difference between the two is that a Project Engineer performs the work and a Project Manager is a person who organizes the effort.

What makes SEAL Systems such a great team?

JS: Everyone at SEAL Systems takes a stake in the company. We all truly care about doing our best, and I think that is what makes us a great team. Having said that, that is why I want us to find the right process for us so we can better streamline what we are doing.

Are there any trends you have noticed with our customers, potential customers, or technology that is being used?

JS: Across the board, I have seen Microsoft Teams being adopted so much that it is almost the norm now. Another thing I have noticed is the shift to S4/HANA. Many companies have been adopting S4/HANA and have been asking for our migration services. Cloud solutions are also a huge trend that I have seen. More recently, I have noticed more software consultants acting as middlemen between SEAL Systems and our customers.

What do you wish more people knew about SEAL Systems?

JS: I wish more people knew about how much our solutions can help a company. For example, if a customer could immediately understand that their investment would have a return, I feel like that would be a great start of a conversation. This is especially important because SEAL Systems automates business processes, and when you automate things, you save time – and time is money.

What is your favorite memory (or memories) while working at SEAL Systems?

JS: Overall, the hiring process was just so interesting. When I was first interviewing and meeting with the team, I was sitting at the head of the table, and everyone was looking at me. I remember constantly checking my smartwatch because my wife and I were expecting my daughter, Luna. It was a high-stress situation because I wanted to make sure I was not missing any calls or texts while I was at my interview. So, I am sitting there freaking out about the interview and freaking out about the baby being born. But everyone seemed so nice, and the team was so welcoming.

A few days after the interview, it was the weekend, and I was at the hospital. While we were prepping for my daughter’s arrival, I stepped outside, and I remember emailing Chris Milburn to send a thank you message for interviewing me. As I was writing out my message, I received an email from Chris informing me that SEAL Systems wanted to hire me. So, hearing that I got the job, moments before Luna was born, took a huge weight off my shoulders. It was a special day.


Closing

I appreciate Jon for taking the time for the interview and for sharing some insights about his time at SEAL Systems. Jon is a wealth of information and supports SEAL Systems with more than his project management skills. His video on our Paperless Production solution has thousands of views and is a great overview of our digital production work solution.

Thank you, Jon, for making SEAL Systems such a special place to work!

Do You Have Any Questions for Jon About SEAL Systems?

Please fill out the below form if you would like to talk to Jon about SEAL Systems and learn more about our solutions.

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