Name with the face: Jon Sweet, Product Manager, eMeta


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Name With The Face: Jon Sweet
Job Title: Product Manager
Organization: eMeta
URL: www.emeta.com


Job Function:
eMeta focuses on the security and commerce of information and digital services, enabling enterprises to maximize the value of their digital assets. "We provide software that helps people sell things online, particularly non-physical goods," explains Jon Sweet, product manager for eMeta. "Our services include access control, billing, customer service, marketing, and promotions—basically anything that optimizes the sale of goods such as information and data or even audio and video."

Sweet works directly with customers, manages a team of developers, and serves as a primary interface between customers, the eMeta professional services group, and the development team. "We're dealing with customers who have lots of information and the complexity of demands can be great," Sweet says, citing eMeta customer Celera Genomics who uses eMeta services to provide access to a database they've developed as a result of nothing less than cracking the code of the human genome. "At the simplest level, eMeta services include authentication (who are you) and authorization (what do you get), but we also supply processing and billing services to manage the online financial aspects of the service," adds Sweet.

Sweet particularly enjoys the challenge of working with an intangible service. "In the online world, it's so much more complicated. Our customers aren't selling a one-time view, but rather multiple views or subscriptions and there's a long-term relationship with customers rather than one-off sales. In fact, the customer database itself becomes valuable and will define new business models—such as the New York Times selling just crossword puzzles. Interesting business models emerge."

In a Day's Work:
"I often meet with potential or new customers to help define project architecture and to help them to figure out exactly what's possible," Sweet says. "They may have a new idea that stretches the limit. I also take customer input back to the product development people to help define new features and systems." Sweet's enthusiasm for his work, his team, and for solving customer problems is infectious. "I really enjoy my job because I work with absolutely brilliant co-workers," he adds.

Oddest Customer Encounter:
"A customer had a huge old PC hard drive at their site that must have weighed 50 pounds. It was bigger than any car part I had ever seen."

View from the Desk:
"We're a cube farm and I sit near the main traffic choke point so I can engage people as they come through the halls."

Outside Interest:
"I've got eight guitars, four synthesizers, and a room at home dedicated to my music studio—I'm into stuff like Radiohead, The Cure, and Beck."

If Not Econtent, Then What?:
"I'd definitely be in a music studio; it's another unending opportunity to learn, just like at eMeta."