Spotlight: Øystein Berge-Olsen
Fearless problem solver
Øystein Berge-Olsen loves developing good system solutions for customers. He thrives when the day offers a challenge or two.
“What drives me? That is a good question. At times, I have also wondered about that,” says Øystein Berge-Olsen and laughs his characteristic laugh which rolls out in the office on the third floor at HQ in Ølensvåg.
“But jokes aside. I like to make a difference for our customers. In this job, there are various challenges, and we can help make it easier for those who use our systems, which is very good.”
- Name: Øystein Berge-Olsen
- Age: 45
- From: Ølen, Norway
- Omega focus: HMSREG/Omega 365 Core
- Background: Celebrated 25 years in Omega 365 in 2023
- Location: Ølensvåg, Norway
Varied work days
As a programmer and department manager, Øystein Berge-Olsen can reflect on 25 years in Omega 365. In recent years, he has worked exclusively on the development of HMSREG, the system built to prevent work-related crime. He believes that the days spent at the office have a lot to offer in terms of good colleagues and a good working environment.
“Over the years there has been a lot of work and long evenings, but I have never reached a point of being bored. I like creating value for the customer and contributing to growth. I have had the opportunity to work on so many different projects and with so many clients over the years that it almost feels like I have changed jobs numerous times.”
Omega 365 developed the HMSREG system for Oslo municipality in 2016. The focus was to create electronic crew lists to be used on the municipality's construction sites. Today big names within the construction industry such as Statsbygg, Sykehusbygg, and Bane NOR are on their customer lists. Although Infobric AB has taken over the ownership of the company HMSREG, developers from the Omega 365 are still responsible for the development of the system. Øystein has been responsible for implementing the system, first in Pims, then in Omega 365.
“It has been hectic with two major system transitions. Right now, we are also involved in a large tender which is both exciting and very demanding,” he says.
General manager in Omega 365 Solutions, Svein Tore Haraldseid, applauds Øystein and his broad competence;
“Øystein is one of our best solution architects. He is one of few who possess the combination of deep technical insight and who has a practical approach and understanding to the customers' needs. That is a foundation for good solutions. The work Øystein does exudes quality, and we are thrilled to have him on our team,” he says.
Growth and development
The development of Omega 365 has been enormous in the years Øystein has been employed. When he started in 1997, 30 employees worked in a way where all tasks, from setting up infrastructure to user support, were handled by the same person.
“I knew everyone who worked here then, and those who were out with the customer and worked with Pims systems had to take responsibility for the entire process, from programming to customer contact and support. But, of course, it is different today, where everyone has their specialized fields, and we know who is responsible for what. But we learned a lot when we worked that way, and it was great to be a part of.
He is happy with the company changes and rapid shifts that he has seen over his twenty-five years in Omega 365. In this moment, he leans back comfortably in his chair, even though he is about to move his office space down one floor during the next few hours. Øystein will join Omega 365 Core, but he takes the actual moving process with ease. He is a little uncertain about his own job title at the moment, but says with a laugh, that he is more concerned with results and the job itself than what is written in the title.
“It was a bit of a coincidence that I joined the company as well. I was graduating at the local high school Lundeneset in Ølensvåg when I started in Omega 365. I knew Arne Gunnar Habbestad and Sigmund Lunde from before, so in many ways, it was natural to join the company when they asked.”
“I probably also had a slight interest in the IT field, but I have never been the typical programmer. I grew up with practical interests and I'm good at seeing what can work for the customer, whether it concerns customers in oil and gas or construction and industry. The practical approach can be a good quality to have in this type of work.”
In Omega 365, he was quickly given responsibility and thrown onto what he calls "deep water" early on.
“I was on assignment with customers just one month after starting in Omega 365, and it was just a matter of learning along the way, which I enjoyed very much.”
Øystein's childhood started in Sveio, Norway, and eventually his family moved to Ølensvåg where they took over his grandparents' farm on Økland. With a father who was a mechanic and a grandfather who was a furniture maker, he was involved in a lot of practical work early on.
“I remember sitting on my grandfather's lathe and watching everything he did. My father also worked in the oil industry, so it was only natural for me to take care of mowing the fields and silage at the age of fourteen. That kind of thing was normal at the time.”
He has a mechanical workshop in the garage and a carpentry workshop at his cabin in Hervik. And the next generation seems to have picked up on the same interest. His sons Lukas and Leo, who are respectively 15 and 12 years old, enjoy hanging out with their father in the garage.
“Did they get their interest for work from their parents?”
“Yes, we both like to work, says Øystein with reference to his wife, Turid Berge-Olsen, who is HR manager in the family business Ølen Betong.”
“You know, we actually got together when I was 15 and she was 13. I went with my first choice 29 years ago, and have never regretted it," says Øystein confidently.
Today, the family lives in Ølensvåg, in the house that Øystein built mostly by himself, despite commuting weekly to Hammerfest, where he was stationed on assignment for a customer at the time.
“I got someone to help me raise the house, but I did the rest in the evenings and during my free periods. Most things go well to do on your own, although it requires a little extra effort.
Driven by challenges
Øystein is not afraid of a challenge and can hardly remember ever giving up on anything. With off-road driving as a hobby, adrenaline is a natural part of everyday life.
“It could be that I'm a bit fearless. I don't like to say no to a challenge until I have tried it. So, for example, I traveled to Germany to work abroad without knowing German; I bought a dictionary and took a "crash course" in German because I had to learn the language when working in Munich on assignment. I'm bad at grammar and only know a lot of German words,” he says with a laugh.
Øystein never sets long-term goals. He rarely thinks about what life will be like in five or ten years. It is more about today and taking on the next challenge when it comes, whether it is a janitorial mission at Ølen Betong when his wife Turid calls or a challenge at a party to try out on the revue stage.
“I was a bit bold at a party and said that performing on a revue stage could hardly be that difficult. After I said that I had to try it myself, to test it out,” says Øystein and laughs. After his first debut, he has been a regular in the revue "Himkok," which often includes parodies of local people in the Ølensvåg region.
“I was actually asked if I could be revue director just now!”
“So, of course, you said yes?"
“No. There will be too much coordinating and operation. I think I fit better on stage. The least rewarding job for me would be to work as a general manager; there is too much administrative work. I have realized that I need to develop.
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