Chrisrian Buckley, Microsoft Regional Dircetor, COLLABTALK, USA interviews Knut Relbe-Moe, Partner Manager, Valo Intranet, Norway
Christian: Hey we’re here at day three at the European SharePoint, Office 365 and Azure conference in Prague and we’ve got some great interviews that are happening today in the community reporter booth I’m here with Knut. Why don’t you introduce yourself and tell us a little bit about yourself who you are where you’re from.
Knut: Okay thank you Christian so thank you for having me at ESPC for the third day so my name is Knut I’m from Norway and I’m the partner manager for a company called Valo Intranet and I’m also the founder of a company that I found myself called Docs Node that is actually finalists for the ESPC Awards this week in regards to our peanuts solution so we actually are a finalist in the social award category and with Volvo intranet we actually finalist in two categories the best the best SharePoint solution and also the best intranet and extranet award so it’s amazing time to be here.
Christian: So, I have to ask you so what does the office what is the morale look like if you guys go back home next week with no awards.
Knut: Yeah, I think some people will be kind of a little bit bad in that especially in marketing that is doing a lot of good stuff. Me personally, you know if to be a finalist this means that you are on the top you are the kind of among the best and there’s so many good products here there’s so many good solutions so just to be like on the final four it’s a victory in my eyes at least.
Christian: Well you guys have so you just hired Erwin who just walked by the way so another MVP you’ve been in an MVP community for a long time and so I mean so I know you’ve been in the SharePoint Office365 community for a number of years because how does that play into kind of your perspective of where you’re focusing you know you’re for Valo as well as your own product development efforts?
Knut: Yeah so I kind of worked through the SharePoint space since 2001 so have been kind of there for the full journey of SharePoint so for me I kind of think SharePoint that’s my religion you know it’s kind of maybe hard to say or kind of crazy to say that but I mean..
Christian: The community has been referred to as cultish.
Knut: Yeah exactly so you know this is kind of my family this is like what I’m doing so the fact that and now work with two product companies it just means that things are changing because in the beginning everybody was kind of working as consultants it was building things in about more or less in our back yard you know and then now it’s more professional way to do things so it’s more like this company that is building they are really professional and they were investing so much money and effort into building something cool that everybody can use. So, the fact that Microsoft has created this platform for us where we can actually go and have fun and create cool products and earn money on the same time it’s just amazing.
Christian: I have to ask you this is so one of the most common questions that I’m asked about the community in general is how do you keep up with everything so how do you Knut, keep up with everything?
Knut: Yeah that’s kind of a really good question Christian so it’s really hard but at the same time really rewarding you know because as I said for me the community is my family is my friends so every time I come to a conference I really feel as home because I see the same people I see all over the different conferences, I see all the community people just as yourself and all the other MVPs I’ve been I can MVP five years in a row and I’m working with Valo we have like nine MVPs right now so it’s like amazing to be working also with so technical and so skilled people at the same time and it’s also challenging you know because when you are so many MVPs as well in the same team you kind of are not standing out like every like you kind of done if you only the one in one company so and here at ESPC we are actually five people from the Valo speakers which is like again it’s like amazing but it’s also like okay when Knut will submit it’s like okay first of all I have to fight among my colleagues to be picked as a speaker and then I have to fight among all the rest. So we have some internal competitions as well you know both in Valo and also in my own company DocsNode it’s like really good to also be an MVP to use that to do the networking because in Valo is all about networking finding partners to work with and not doing exactly the same thing with DocsNode it’s all about using the platform that you have of friends and MVPs and colleagues that you’re working with to build a business actually.
Christian: I think that’s an important thing for people that are coming into the community whether you’re you know an end-user or if you’re looking to build a solution you’re a partner organization and trying to keep up and be aware of kind of what the latest what’s happening in the community what’s happening with the technology and of course there’s Microsoft is getting much better at documentation you have the blogs you have the podcasts you have all of the video content a lot of great things that are out there but it can be very overwhelming which is part of the problem where why people ask that question like how do you keep up with things and I think to your point I couldn’t follow the same thing I have certain people in the community that I look to that I look to certain voices on certain topics. No there’s not a single expert of all things SharePoint or all things certainly not Microsoft 365 and so I have certain people that around adoption and engagement, on development topics, specific solutions within you know within SharePoint but I deal now a lot with external collaboration I have certain go-to people, MVPs and other experts and partners for each of those technology areas.
Christian: It’s very much like I mean it feels like the beginning of your early on in the SharePoint community as well it’s just growing very quickly. I know you know in my region where I live in Salt Lake City Utah that a couple of user groups that started up and it’s grown very quickly and the numbers have surpassed kind of all the other Microsoft technology groups you know in a very short amount of time there’s just a lot of interest around that a lot of people that are you know that were relative unknowns within the Microsoft ecosystem that suddenly have come to the forefront because they just went and solved their own business problems and then decided to share what they learned and what they built out with the community yeah and so it’s a you know suddenly it’s an it’s an opportunity for you to go and in the normal course of doing your job solving problems for your business and then sharing that knowledge with the world for you to start to get that recognition and recognition as a community member and to kind of you know have opportunities to speak and to come to events like ESPC.
Knut: Exactly and this is kind of the beauty about it because it’s not rocket science you know it’s like if you have a problem if your business has a problem and you find a way to solve that, most likely someone else has the same problem so then the sharing mentality that we have in the community these days is amazing. It’s like every day at least every week I can see some kind of new blog coming out from someone or a YouTube video solving someone’s problem and then it’s like okay then you can start to think how can I relate that to what I do in my business and how can that solve something for me.
Christian: That’s a key thing to I so I hadn’t already been a few years back with somebody who said well that problem has been solved already said that problem was solved by somebody in a completely different industry and their approach was a different way they have different experiences getting there. I said there’s nothing wrong with somebody coming in and saying ok you solved that you created this workflow you created this app yeah and I’m gonna do something very similar but for my industry and then share the results and your path to get there to the end which may have included leveraging some of what was previously built. It’s still a valid experience you know it’s you share your truth people hash tag.
Knut: Yeah exactly because you know and you shouldn’t be scared you shouldn’t think that maybe so much share this before because you don’t know it’s exactly the same thing as the one of the things that we saw the Docs Node we saw the problem with office templates like Word, Excel and PowerPoint. So we give that exactly where you need them we give them to you in Teams we give them for you as a Windows app we will give them later on as a Mac app and you will also always have them available in SharePoint or also been inside of your Word Excel and PowerPoint experience as office admin. It’s like yes people maybe solved it before but maybe people didn’t solve it in the way we do so maybe how we solve it will fit better for some people and then maybe how other people solve it will be better for someone else and it’s exactly the same thing as we do also with Valo Intranet, we have our intranet do you have our experience on that and how we solve it doesn’t mean that that fits everybody but as long as we can help someone then I’m happy.
Christian: Right that’s great advice it’s a great approach for you know definitely I think the key word there is share, share more, share your experiences and that’s I think important to keep the community healthy and growing and vibrant.
Knut: Yeah exactly and that’s why I’m also organized SharePoint Saturday Oslo because you should share. So, this is like the beauty of things if everybody will share more everybody will love more then everything is so much better because just imagine the European SharePoint Conference there’s people from all over Europe that is coming and connecting together. We are not any different everybody here we are in equal terms, we respect each other we care about each other and we are sharing and this is what I really love about the community and I’m so happy to be here for this is I think my fourth European SharePoint Conference so it’s amazing to be here.
Christian: Well I appreciate your time here today and you know again people want to find out more about you get in touch with you how do they find you?
Knut: You can find me on LinkedIn so just yeah check why my name Knut Relbe-Moe I have unique name there’s no one else called Knut I think in the SharePoint community so you can just google me and you will find me. If you want to have some demos from Valo we are also here at ESPC in booth 42 and 43 for the rest of the week and just check us up on the internet just google us and you will find us.
Christian: All right thanks a lot for your time.
Knut: Yes, thank you.