Starter for 10: Meet Toni Kuokkanen, Nordcloud’s new Solution Strategist

Joining a hyper growth company during a pandemic

Toni Kuokkanen joined Nordcloud as a Solution Strategist aiming to supercharge customers into the next phase of their cloud journey. As part of our ‘Starter for 10’ series, we talk to Toni about his first impressions, plus his take on the cloud and how it aligns with Nordcloud’s vision.

Q1: What’s your background and how does this fit with Nordcloud?

I have a long background in the IT field and I have seen a lot of different kinds of approaches to bringing new employees into the organization. When I decided to join Nordcloud I was curious and eager to see how I would fit in. As my style of working and starting in a new company is quite fast-paced, I like to learn everything from a new company as quickly as I can, which can sometimes be a bit challenging if there is not enough information available. This was not the case with Nordcloud, and I enjoyed a smooth and fast start.

Q2: You call yourself a ‘Jack of all trades’ – can you elaborate on this?

It means that my interests are broad, I have worked with all aspects of IT in the past and I like to learn more every day. I don’t focus on a single subject but always try to see the bigger picture. I believe you can’t just be very good at one specific one thing if you don’t understand the other aspects around it on some level.

Q3: Why Nordcloud?

I have followed Nordcloud for a few years and admired the way the company and team have taken the cloud space here in Finland by storm (and now in Europe, too). As my friends here all had great things to say about working for Nordcloud, it was an easy decision for me.

Q4: So, what were your first impressions?

As mentioned, I like to think of myself as a generalist in nature. I do things maybe a little differently, so running through a one-size-fits-all induction process would be a bit of a pain for me. But my worries were quickly forgotten as I saw that Nordcloud had polished the induction process to work nicely with every type of person. Fast-paced sessions were filled with useful information and no nonsense or corporate mumbo jumbo.

I really like how well organized all the starter stuff has been. I got my home office equipment shipped ahead of time so I had all the setup from day one. It might be a small thing to some, but I really like to feel ready to go with everything I need from day one.

Q5: How does it feel to be joining such a fast growing company?

The overall feeling in the company is really energetic, you can feel the growth that Nordcloud is going through right now and everyone I meet seems to be excited about that, and the possibilities they see for the future.

Q6: What’s different about Nordcloud?

For me what has a big impact on how the company feels is the discussions I see in less official channels. It gives that certain vibe about how people feel about working for the company. At Nordcloud this gives a warm and fuzzy feeling, Nordcloud is very international so all the chatter brings in multiple nationalities. Also the threshold to open a discussion is low and that is super important when you are a newbie here. 

Also everyone seems to be proud to be working here, which isn’t always the case from my experience elsewhere. It definitely brings something extra to the feeling of the company.

Q7: What’s been helpful for your role so far?

My work as a solution strategist is very self-driven so I’ve really appreciated how all the documentation is centrally located and easily available. It allows me to quickly bring myself up to speed and understand the picture for each customer. This is not so easy for other companies where documentation can be scattered around. 

Q8: What’s your vision of the cloud, and how will you play your part in this?

My vision is that the cloud will move more into native models. I see that IaaS will eventually fade away or at least be a minor aspect. Containers and serverless architecture will rule the earth, until something more elegant perhaps comes to the fore. My role in all this is to be a guide for our customers, to help them choose the best way to move forward and use the cloud to its full potential. Nordcloud will be an integral part of this as we have world class talent and capabilities in this space.

Q9: What haven’t you experienced yet that you’re looking forward to?

As I have worked just over a month here I am sure I have lots of exciting things ahead of me, plenty of experiences and ups and downs. But what I am most excited about is achieving that feeling when you complete something big – a time-consuming project with an outcome that you had in your mind months or even years ago. Seeing your vision come to reality and flourish is a reward that you never get bored of.

Q10: How can people connect with you?

Connect with me on LinkedIn or send me a message. And, as I have worked here for just a little over a month, I will write another update on how things are going later on, as I’m looking forward to an exciting time ahead… Until next time. 

We are cloud architects, advisors, developers, designers, engineers, sales experts, project professionals and service delivery managers ( to name a few). We love sharing knowledge, learning from each other and working in agile ways. If this sounds like you, check out our job openings and apply today.

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Ilja Summala
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Ilja’s passion and tech knowledge help customers transform how they manage infrastructure and develop apps in cloud.