The dog whisperer: A spotlight on … Nelson Verde, Operations Manager

DateAugust 2022

I’m originally from Lisbon in Portugal, however, I’ve lived in the UK for almost six years now.

I arrived here for two reasons: family and work. At the time, my adopted daughter wanted to enrol at a UK university and we didn’t want to be away from her. Her decision also coincided with an opportunity I had to start a job in London, so we made the move.

I’m often asked ‘why would you leave Portugal to come to the UK?’. But I love the UK. People live well and the pay is much higher here, too. Portugal is lovely, but to really enjoy it you need a lot of time and money – and if you need to work all the hours to enjoy it, it stops being fun.

I came to the UK to work in system administration. Sadly, the company went bankrupt so it closed. It was 2017 and I was about to move to Loxwood in West Sussex, which was when I saw an opening at Silverbear for the role of senior operations specialist. I went for it and got the job. It wasn’t long before I progressed to operations team leader. Then, in June this year, I was promoted to the role of operations manager.

A typical day involves infrastructure management and support. Not just for Silverbear, but also for our customers, too. My team and I cover areas such as licencing, security, data management, and ensuring that we adhere to best practices. We’re also responsible for release management - the process of transitioning our customers from a development environment to UAT, and then to a live environment. Equally, when Microsoft releases new updates it’s my team’s responsibility to ensure that they seamlessly integrate with Silverbear 365.

My favourite aspect of the role is that there’s always something new to learn and new things to do. We generally do something new every day, which can be rewarding – and it certainly keeps me and the team on our toes. You can never rely on what you did one or two weeks ago. Microsoft is always evolving, so you have to evolve with it. As to Silverbear as a business, it’s a growing company with the right people and the right skill set. We now just need more of them to support that growth. Who knows where we’ll stop!

Outside of work, I’m a dog lover. Back in Portugal, I used to have a dog training school, which was mainly a hobby. I used to specialise in agility. I actually started doing it in Surrey, too, but Covid brought an end to it. Now, I focus my energy on my two Portuguese sheepdogs – Ed and Aqua. Ed is an abbreviation of my old dog school’s name, which was Ericeira Dog School. Aqua was given that name as we expected her to be a water lover like her father. Ironically, she can’t stand water.

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