Arbeidsliv, Grunder | Norway’s “unknown” wild-growth giant: – was a pioneer

Arbeidsliv, Grunder |  Norway's "unknown" wild-growth giant: - was a pioneer

The company, formerly called Kåta Data and hidden in an arm of the West Fjord, has 1,600 employees on five continents.

ØLENSVÅG (Nettavisen Økonomi: You’ve probably never heard of it. Omega 365 is the name of an IT company now. Quietly, the beer arcs have grown from 50 employees in 2000 to 1,600 employees in 2021.)

Entrepreneurship, humility and good reputation through word of mouth. Management believes that these qualities speak for themselves. This is why the group has void kr in the budget for marketing.

You’ll find Omega 365 employees in Australia, the United States, Canada, Singapore, Guyana, and the United Kingdom. The management itself did not really have a plan for the company to have several dozen offices on five continents. They have been dragged there, partly reluctantly, by enthusiastic customers and staff.

Many of the employees were pioneers who wanted to set up these offices themselves. I was actually skeptical and tried to hold back, but we gave them a chance, says CEO Peter Alvik.

Controversial in Statoil

The Autostore, currently valued at NOK 90-103 billion before listing, is just over a 20-minute drive from the main office in Ølensvåg, which is in the interior of Ølsfjorden in Vindafjord municipality, north of Rogaland. While Autostore founder Jacob Hatland started working in a barn in Nedre Vats in the 1970s, current Omega Chairman Sigmund Lunde and his brother Tor Erling dreamed of starting themselves from a workshop in the 1980s.

Computers arrived at Haugalandet, and the Haugesund brothers dropped Mekaniske Verksted to start Kåta Data. The name came after Kåta Farm’s hometown in Vindafjord, but was changed – understandably – to K-Data, Futura Datasenter and finally Omega in 1991.

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Svein Tore Haraldseid, general manager of the group’s software company, has been in business since 1992. He says the breakthrough came in 1993, when oil giant Statoil hired the consulting and software firm for a major project.

– There was a lot of chaos inside Statoil because we were completely anonymous. But they dared invest in us, and they are still one of our biggest clients today, says a laughing Haraldsid.

Big projects are the keyword for Omega 365 today. Major clients such as Equinor, Aibel, Helse Vest and Bane Nor are investing NOK 15 billion, NOK 50 billion or NOK 150 billion, and they want the experts from Ølensvåg to help them with implementation.

For years, Omega 365 has had more than enough to keep up with the oil and gas industry. The company grew 30 percent annually for the 14 years until the oil crisis, and arcs of beer were drawn to around the world by clients who wanted software, project engineers, and consulting services.

The turnover of the company in 2000 was 49 million NOK. In 2020, the trading volume stood at NOK 1.86 billion and the profit was good at NOK 124 million.

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Will become a world leader in the “new” industry

The oil crisis that began in 2014 has left tens of thousands of people unemployed along the coast. For the Omega 365, there was a sudden stop, great discipline and a realistic approach. For the first time, the company had time to look at other industries, as it has been searching for oil and gas since its inception.

The company decided to invest in construction, infrastructure and other land-based projects. In the field of oil and gas, Omega 365 has a good reputation, but few have heard of it abroad. The oil crisis led to many former prominent figures in the oil industry getting senior jobs in other industries, Omega won many contracts on the ground and new skills were built.

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When the oil crisis seriously ended, Omega 365 managed to shoot all cylinders in both the oil and gas industry and the onshore industries. From 2017 to today, the number of employees has increased from 1000 to 1600. The company is looking for 400 additional employees and has about 210 advertised positions.

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Corona crisis has been used to set up new offices in Guyana and Haugesund, in addition to developing a modern cloud-based platform which is one of the main reasons why the company is now seeing significant growth in the future as well.

Within ten years, Omega 365 will become a leading provider of software and advisory services globally, according to the administration.

– In 2021, two thirds of our sales will come from Norwegian offices. I see no reason why our international offices cannot achieve similar growth as we have seen in Norway in the last 10 years. CEO Alvik says there are big markets and we see great potential.

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70 houses were built to house the employees

How could a company in a town of 469, in a town of 8,743 have fostered such a high-tech success with billions of dollars? Several theories are being launched. Smart recruitment, adaptability and taking care of your employees. Contact the local community. Ølensvåg is closely associated with the IT company.

– It is a culture from Ølensvåg that is now exported to the world. We clearly show how we want to communicate and appear. We should be humble in meeting other people and show that we are helping. In the local community, we will be a driving force for an inclusive community, says Chief Financial Officer and ølensbu Kjell Tore Helgeland.

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One example comes from 2007, when Omega 365 has already grown and hired dozens of system developers. It is no different from the current situation. But there were not enough homes in Ølensvåg and the area to accommodate all the staff.

The company has also set up a construction company that has begun building 70 employee homes in Windafjord, Helgeland says. Since then, the company has taken the initiative to establish a land and business park company to stimulate new growth in the region.

This is how Omega 365 ensures employment at a time when IT staff and programmers are standing up Rise in courses all over the world, says Omega 365 Solutions CEO Svein Tore Haraldseid.

“Here in the area, people grew up with Omega 365 as a visual company, and many think they’d like to receive an IT education and go home to work here,” says Haraldseid.

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Jabori Obasanjo

Jabori Obasanjo

"Coffee trailblazer. Certified pop culture lover. Infuriatingly humble gamer."

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