Friday Feature: Ståle Hansen

Community Manager



Ståle Hansen
Job Title: Founder, CEO and Principal Cloud Architect
Company Name: CloudWay AS,
MVP Profile
Tech Community Profile



  1. Can you tell us about your company, CloudWay AS? What do you do in your current role?

My role as Founder, CEO and Principal Cloud Architect at CloudWay AS is to enable my colleagues to reach their full potential in whatever direction they want to go. I want to share my experience and help them as a mentor and coach and remove blockers so that they can make a difference as speakers, bloggers, trainers, and succeed as consultants at the same time. I believe that sharing knowledge and helping others will bring out the "helpers high" as Jason Silva puts it. That is when you get the energy to do more, when others benefit from your tips and tricks, it is a great feedback loop.


I started CloudWay AS in December 2016 and already we are three people, focusing on secure productivity.  I was fortunate to be able to team up with MVP Jan Ketil Skanke as partner, making us an MVP-driven consultancy. The goal is always to have complementary teams with more than two people to better scale and make sure we can combine knowledge sharing and keeping projects on track. That is why we are already looking to expand the team within Enterprise Mobility.


  1. How do you breakdown complex problems for those you work with?

When facing a complex tech problem, it is important to start from the inside out and always eliminate known factors as soon as possible. Too often people go down the complex route when the answer is in simple approaches and simple troubleshooting options. At the same time, it is important to break down a problem into individual components. When looking at hybrid Office 365 for instance, it is important to look at each component as a full solution and make sure they are correctly configured and that the approach for setting them up is sound. I always focus on the end-goal, keeping end-users in flow and make sure features works as intended. Knowing the prerequisites for each feature is key to breaking it down to individual components.


  1. What’s your favorite part about attending industry conferences & events?

I love sharing my knowledge and lessons learned at industry events. Meeting likeminded people that are interested in Office 365 is always fun and we can have some good discussions. If I can help one person learn something new, then I have made a difference, and that is always the goal. Lately I have been sharing my thoughts on how to be productive using OneNote and the feedback was overwhelming with comments such as life changing and that this was a technique to be implemented right away. Feedback like that makes it worthwhile to put in the long hours in preparing content for industry events as speaker.


  1. Can you tell us about the book, “Office 365 for IT Pros”? What inspired you to contribute writing?

When I was researching Office 365 Groups, I had difficulty finding useful information since neither groups nor Office 365 is something new. The problem with blogs and articles today is that they often are a static source to information. Then I came across the digital book, Office 365 for IT Pros, which is updated every week. I got to read up on Office 365 Groups and learn how they are different from other group types in Office 365 and know that this was the latest information. The authors did a great job reflecting on each possible approach and putting them in context. I thought this was a great source of information and wondered if there were any areas where I could contribute and found that the there was not much content on Skype for Business Online, which is one of my primary areas of expertise. I asked the authors, Tony Redmond, Michael Van Horenbeeck and Paul Cunningham, if they wanted help in that area and I ended up writing a dedicated chapter that I keep up to date as well as help keep the rest of the content up to date. This is a great example of how the community works, if you want to help share content, just ask. I believe in this format moving format since new features and possibilities light up fast in the Microsoft cloud. You can get a digital copy of the latest version of the book here.


  1. What’s a common misconception your clients have about solving tech problems?

What I have learned over a long career in IT is not to make assumptions. I find this is more important now that we are in a cloud world and you want to integrate a static datacenter with a hyperdynamic cloud. Assuming that an integration works in the way you think rarely ends well. As IT Pros we do not have the same freedom to tweak technology the way we used to, we need to follow supported standards and recommended approaches, which are changing fast. The typical blockers I see today is when you try to get something to work the way you think it should work, but the approach is in the wrong direction, and so you need to find a different approach to make it work as intended. By looking at the wanted result we need to find the correct approach, sometimes it seems there are multiple different ways to get you there, but only one or two that will. Having the knowledge and insights to find the correct approach is the way to go forward, and that is why I think that people with passion for learning are a great asset in today's cloud IT Pro world.

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