5 years ago, I (Ståle Hansen, CEO) stood on the stage in front of the Skype for Business community in the locales of Microsoft Norway, this was the first day of CloudWay. I was able to focus on what I knew best, talking about news from Microsoft Ignite and the future of the platform, while my wife and her company took care of the practical accounting and ratification of the company. Teams had just been launched and Teams is what I have been working on since then.
I think the picture perfectly illustrates how it started and how it is going. It started with our slogan, Productivity Happens in the Cloud, we will help you on your Way. When Jan Ketil Skanke joined spring 2017, we became Secure Productivity, delivering on the promises of Microsoft 365. Today, I work alongside a team of eight thought leaders and influencers with deep knowledge and professional work ethic across five countries. It is a pleasure to collaborate with them on a daily basis.
True to our mission statement
I am proud that we are delivering on our mission statement daily. Simon Sinek says that you must start with WHY in his book and in his talk about the golden circle. The mission statement start with: Our focus is to remove blockers and help combine existing services with cloud services. In an internal poll earlier this year, 100% of all CloudWay employees answered that this is in fact what we do, always moving customers and partner to consume Microsoft 365 in a secure way. This has meant that we have said no to customers that do not believe what we believe, to combine existing services with cloud services.
Further on the mission statement reads: Through experience and passion for continuous learning, CloudWay is a great partner. This is our HOW. The key word here is passion and my role as a leader is to enable everyone to work as closely to their passion as possible by being a good mentor and help take responsibility when needed. Passion is the key ingredient we look for when hiring new employees, passion for the technology and sharing what you have learned.
People have asked us what we really do, because it seems like we are continuously on stage sharing our lessons learned. Our WHAT does not really matter as long as we are working with our WHY, and this is how the mission statement ends: CloudWay is a great partner in projects as advisors, project managers, trainers and hands-on for customers and as subcontractor. We succeed when we can work with an IT department that can take our knowledge and run with it, or partner we can collaborate with, enabling them to do more advanced projects.
Today, CloudWay billable time is spent 50% as subcontractors. The rest is direct customer advisory and hands-on. We run a lot of workshops and training for Microsoft as well.
CloudWay by the numbers
- 9 employees in 5 countries
- 9 Microsoft Most Valuable Professionals (MVP)
- 6 Microsoft Certified Trainers (MCT)
- 1 Microsoft Regional Director (RD)
- 7 Microsoft Gold Partner Competencies
- 3 Microsoft Silver Partner Competencies
- Finalist Microsoft Teams Solution Partner of the Year 2021
- According to Proff.no, we are a solid, profitable company with liquid assets
- Gazelle Company 2021
What I am focusing on as a CEO
My main focus as leader is to practice empathetic leadership. The #NoMeetingsFriday, 4 day work week initiative is a result from this focus where we use Microsoft Viva and especially insights to measure the effects and we are trying to encourage less off-hour work and more engagement. The past years as a Microsoft Regional Director I have mentored start-ups and shared my experience from building CloudWay. When mentoring other star-ups I focusing on four topics:
- Have an accurate accounting, follow deadlines and be transparent
- Know how to pitch your message, and use a marketing department to make you look good
- Manage your time, focus on Digital Wellbeing
- Think like an enterprise and secure your identities, devices, and data
I recorded a video with our marketing department for hire, digitalfeet, on these topics.
New thinking has emerged
September 2021 the whole distributed CloudWay team met in Oslo and recorded a full day digital event. The topic was NextGen Microsoft 365 operations. This is the culmination of how we see operations should be done in 2020s focusing on creating your own roadmap for what, when and how to implement new technology in the Microsoft cloud. Use analytics to make sure you are on track and measure quality of the service and use insights to know how your users are succeeding with the platform. The day was recorded and has been published on our website, watch all sessions here. You will learn what we have learned the past 5 years, we are looking forward to what the future brings for CloudWay.