With an extensive background and understanding of the IT sector, business processes, and overall project management, Arne Christensen has now taken on the steering wheel of BE-terna’s newest office in Oslo, Norway. Eager to create results and to collaborate with people at all levels, Arne aims full speed ahead to put BE-terna on the Norwegian Business Software - map. Besides his newest professional challenge at BE-terna, Arne loves spending time with his kids and family, take a trip to a mountain cabin or play a game of ice hockey.
Tell us a little bit about yourself. What is your background, both professionally and personally?
I was born in Denmark and spent a lot of my spare time on the football field. Later on, I studied IT in Copenhagen, and had my first job as a quality controller at Danisco, a Danish food manufacturer. Here I worked with a project to streamline and digitalize data from all our German, Danish and Swedish sugar factories. After this, I moved to the IT department and have been working in the IT world ever since.
Professionally, I successfully implemented IT systems and e-commerce and in multiple organizations such as Danisco, Finntack and Horze, as well as launched my own IT consulting business, Core Solutions AS.
Because of those experiences, I have grown into a solution architect with a strong passion for Commerce and E-commerce and now strive to strengthen BE-terna with this knowledge as well.
How come that you are now at BE-terna?
The connection with BE-terna Denmark was already there, as I was on the customer side before, which gives me the advantage of really understanding customers’ needs. This, in combination with the search for a new challenge, got me thinking. We started talking and after a few meetings in Denmark and Vienna, I decided to take on the challenges. So, since January 1st I am the new MD of BE-terna Norway.
Why BE-terna? What is the reason you decided to join BE-terna specifically?
As the entities in Denmark and Sweden are there already, the company is already embedded into the region. Early on we established a good communication and collaboration. On top of that, BE-terna is embedded into a strong group with diverse offerings from ERP to BI and CRM, in a variety of sectors. This diversity and growth potential made the company and position very appealing to me.
What is your vision for BE-terna Norway?
I believe that BE-terna can play a significant role in the Norwegian market. As I was on the customer side before myself, I believe it is key to have a high focus on Customer Satisfaction in order to deliver successful projects. We are now talking to our existing customers in Norway, strengthening relationships to service them as well as new customers in the best way possible.
To reach this vision, we aim to build a BE-terna office in Oslo with 15-25 employees by 2025 and making it a great workplace where employees can thrive.
What drives you to fulfil this vision? What is the challenge you look forward to?
Servicing and helping Norwegian and international customers with their business software – especially in the field of Commerce and Retail. As I have a strong background there, I look forward now to helping more customers to grow and advance in digital transformation processes.
What are the first steps or short-term goals for BE-terna Norway at the moment?
In the next few months, the goal is to get a foothold in Oslo, to really establish the company, and to get the next handful of entrepreneurs hired. Furthermore, we need to enhance some recognition and brand awareness for BE-terna Oslo to start attracting new leads.
What can you not live / work without in your position?
Human relations, to be in touch with people. Both with colleagues as well as clients.
To have a great team that learns from and builds on each other, that is motivated to move forward and grow, to really sit and work together.
To meet not only the IT technicians, but the business people, and help them solve their challenges and create real value.
What advice / lessons have you learned along your career path to BE-terna?
We need to keep challenging ourselves and get out of the comfort zone. I see life like one long education - everyday I’m learning something new.
Another of takeaway from my previous experiences is that it is fine to celebrate success, but it is more important to heed the lessons of failure. “Fail faster”, not to be afraid of failure, but to be humble enough to acknowledge it early on. To see it as an opportunity to learn and grow.
For example, in one of my previous teams, we had a “wall of success” and every week we would fill it with stickers of small successes, failures, big successes and celebrate them together. Don’t wait on the big successes that come along once a year to acknowledge the team’s work. This wall really helped to create awareness among the team and to bring a great work atmosphere.
Any final comment?
Well – I always liked this quote from Albert Schweitzer:
"Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful.”