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10 Jan 2017

The Nordcloud Code in action

Nordcloud's company culture is described as a Nordcloud CODE. How is the CODE put in action in daily routines? What's actually behind it?

Samuli Ahola

The first time I read about the Nordcloud Code was about a month and a half ago. I had been invited to my second interview, and being the great candidate that I am, I decided to do some homework prior to the interview. 

This SlideShare presentation was my first touch to Nordcloud CODE:


Now after working for a week here as an Inbound Marketing Manager, I thought I'd share some thoughts on how I have witnessed the CODE being applied to daily routines at Nordcloud. 


Like mentioned in the presentation above, it all starts with the customer. Makes sense, especially when we are selling professional services. So far I haven't spoken to any actual customers yet, so this part of the CODE needs to be evaluated by looking at the daily routines I've witnessed. 

I sit in the same room with the sales team, so I've been lucky enough to get some insight on the sales process at Nordcloud. It could be partly because of the nature of the business - either a company is ready to adapt the cloud or not - but it is definitely noticeable that the sales process is more about helping customers with a suitable solution rather than forcing deals all over the place at any cost. In fact, we are actually recruiting Cloud Architects constantly in order to answer the high demand and to be able to ensure the high-quality delivery of the service as well. If the only goal would be to make money, this demand could be answered by recruiting an aggressive sales force and delivering crappy projects. I'm very glad that does not seem to be the case. 

The customer seems to be in the centre of everything that Nordcloud does, and this became very clear when talking with our Cloud Architects and CTO's about the delivery of projects to our customers. Every project ends with a meeting, where participants can reflect on the project - how they felt it went, how did it improve customer's processes and business overall, and what did the Architechs and CTO's learn. All this is documented for a future reference, to ensure that Nordcloud's quality of delivery and the processes around it improve constantly. Brilliant! 



"We want to share the information & knowledge we have."

This one seems like a no-brainer, but it's easier said than done. Yeah sure, we operate in the cloud business so obviously we want to avoid working in silos. But how do you actually ensure the flow of information & sharing of knowledge within the organisation? 

After just one week of working here, I'm not the person to tell you how well the sharing of information actually works here in daily routines. However, I can list some guidelines I've been given so far, that seem pretty promising: 

  • Flat organisation; if you need to ask something from the CEO, pull him aside and do it!

  • Anyone can attend any meeting, if they feel they can add value to it

  • Encouragement to question old ways of doing things

  • Several suggestions to improve the current tools & methods in order to ensure the flow of information throughout the organisation, by using public dashboards etc. 

  • Flexible, autonomous work - practice what you preach. After all, we're in the cloud business. If you get your job done, it doesn't matter where you work from. Or when. 

Also something noticeable regarding openness is Nordcloud's training, which anyone can attend - including our competitors, if they wish to do so. To me it is a good sign, that company is not afraid to share knowledge - even to its' competitors. 



"We are brave and wise enough to make the decisions our customers wouldn't have thought of." 

When it comes to the cloud, we need to be pioneers. Simple as that. We need to know the products, understand our customer's business and have the competence to challenge assumptions if necessary - after all, besides helping our customers in taking their business to the cloud, we are helping them in adapting new ways of doing things. Sometimes this means telling our customers some things they do not like to hear. 

That being said, it is very easy to understand why employees here are constantly encouraged to educate themselves. I completed my AWS Business Professional certification (yay!) during my first week, and I never want to hear another three-letter-number combination again in my life. But that kind of knowledge is required if you want to be credible while teaching businesses new methods of doing things. We need the most valued credentials + competence when it comes to the cloud. Sometimes this requires disruption in your own thinking as well - so you can stay on top of things and pass on the knowledge. 



"We have fun and get shit done without wasting time." 

When a company grows fast and reaches the "magical point" of 150 employees, things often change. Some processes need to be put in place for operational purposes, and this is the point when the energetic "start-up spirit" often faces its (perhaps slow, but nevertheless) inevitable death. Some companies are able to keep that fresh mindset despite the growth, most aren't. It's often viewed as a natural part of company's maturity process.

But does it really have to be that way? From what I've seen at Nordcloud so far, I would like to argue that no, it does not. 

Fast growth does require some processes to be put in place, and this applies to Nordcloud as well. However, processes should be used for enabling people to focus on the essential - not to make things more complicated. To me, common understanding here seems to be exactly that. Processes at Nordcloud consist of proven best practices, not some things that are put in place for the pure love of byreucracy. 

Energy in the office could be felt my very first day here. Two other rookies started the very same day as me, and you could sense how things in every sector - tech, sales, marketing, recruitment to mention a few - were adapting to high demand and fast growth. Strong energy to push things forward was something that I have loved from the very beginning here, and I'm hoping I will be able to play my part in pushing things forward as well. 

And oh yes, I got some sparkling wine on lunch my very first day here. I think I like this thing called #thecloudrevolution. 


Want to join it as well? 

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About Nordcloud

Nordcloud is a European leader of public cloud infrastructure solutions and services. Since 2012 we've completed over 300 deployments to help our enterprise customers gain the maximum benefits of the cloud including security, agility, scalability and overall cost-savings. As an independent cloud-native company, we are representing all globally leading cloud technology providers neutrally for the customers’ benefit. With a strong Nordic heritage, Nordcloud is headquartered in Helsinki with offices in Stockholm, Malmö, Oslo, London, Amsterdam, Poznan and Munich.

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