Rising through the ranks: A spotlight on … Neil Owen, Head of Consultancy

DateMarch 2022

Neil joined Silverbear seven years ago as a Support Team Member – yet he was recently awarded the Head of Consultancy role. What’s behind his rapid ascent, what does Silverbear mean to him and what does he get up to when he’s not keeping our customers happy? Here he reveals all.

When I first joined the business in 2015, my role was really basic and predominantly involved taking support calls and reviewing support tickets. However, quite quickly I was picking up customer escalations and handling client reviews, which started moving me towards a more client-facing role.

As a software provider, we typically provide a 1st and 2nd line support structure. And, if you’re involved with 2nd line support enquiries, you quickly find yourself dealing with senior people within the customers’ organisations. It wasn’t long before I realised that I really enjoyed this aspect of the job.

Things started to move fast for me around 18 months into the role when the entire support team structure was rejigged – a move that meant I became a product specialist for the support team. In this position, I was the main point of contact for escalation issues. I wasn’t quite a team leader, but I was beginning to train the team a little bit here and there, which is something I’m really comfortable with.

In my previous life, I worked in retail, so managing people is what I’ve known for many years. There is a big difference between managing people in a retail environment compared to managing people in a software environment, but I really took to it and enjoyed it for 18 months before moving into a consultant role in 2019. 

Again, the jump was huge, as not long into the role I was working with one of our biggest customers. Not only was I learning a new job but by this stage, my knowledge of Silverbear Membership was extensive – a factor that undoubtedly paved the way for me to be promoted to the role of senior consultant in 2021.

However, the really big promotion came in November 2021, when I was given the Head of Consultancy role, in which I now manage a team of 18 people. So yes, the last seven years have been non-stop, but I’ve loved every minute of it.

Silverbear is a fantastic place to work. The culture’s great, the team’s great, and everybody is so accessible. What I really love is the fact that there are no restrictions. Whether you want to speak to a developer, someone in sales, or a project manager, there’s no wall around any team. There’s no need for emails or any bureaucracy – you simply go and see them, which accelerates knowledge sharing and ultimately benefits our customers. Everyone’s really supportive and the opportunities to progress within the organisation are incredible.

I live in Guildford, so not long after leaving the offices, I’m back at home. At the end of a busy day, there’s nothing I like more than to unwind with a good movie, a board game, or by getting on the bike (I’m currently thinking of upgrading). And, as much as I try and have a break from software before starting work the next day, I’m also a bit of a gamer, so software really is in my blood.

A word from our CEO, Carl Grieves

“Neil has been a huge asset to the Silverbear family from day one. It’s no coincidence that he’s had multiple promotions in a relatively short period of time and now has one of the more senior roles in the business; he’s a hard worker and he’s good at what he does. Thanks, Neil, for your hard work.”

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