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After more than 25 years, the founder of Danoffice IT passes the baton. Steen Nielsen takes the final bow after having built a completely unique company. A unique organization and culture which from its very beginning has been looking out into the great big world with a specific focus on the hotspots where people need help.

We need to turn the clock back to 1995 when Steen Nielsen started Danoffice on his own. He had no employees, no investors, and no showboating. On the contrary, virtues such as focus and patience were the core of everything Steen did. Steen founded Danoffice IT (which was just Danoffice back then) in 1995 simply because he needed a new job.

”I dove into the deep end in 1995, and wanted to sell office supplies globally. I did not have any degree – I am a grocer and I had my background in the shipping industry. After this, I got a job in Svendborg with a company that did business with the United Nation’s organizations (UN),” Steen says and continues: “This was the foundation for my own company. I have valuable experience from having done business with the UN and that entire arena so I went live with just three customers: UNICEF, UNHCR, and UNDP and I just knew this was the right strategy.”

Born Global

Very few companies can say they were Born Global from day one, but this was the reality for Steen’s company, Danoffice.

”Our journey into the arena of UN and NGOs was the foundation from day one.


In the beginning, we did not have a central office, but rather smaller offices in the field in the various countries. But word started spreading about us in the organizations and the rest is history. A marvelous journey,” he says.

”I am standing in the middle of nowhere…”

While Danoffice remained a small business, the main focus of the business was on the UN – a target which remained for several of the first years. “After about a year, I was in the middle of the dunes on the Danish tiny island of Fanø and a customer called me from the Central African Republic. I apologized and told him it was a really bad time because I was standing in the middle of nowhere. The man responded by saying: “You are standing in the middle of nowhere? - NO, I AM standing in the middle of nowhere!”

And that was really the truth. It increased my perspective to the fact that these customers have some utterly unique challenges which one cannot even imagine. It truly requires a remarkable effort,” Steen explains and leads us to the common thread that even today is the core of Danoffice IT – we take the unique needs of the customer seriously and their needs require unique handling.”  

The Culture is Key

Steen has always maintained a special culture, which meant that Danoffice IT sets itself apart. “As we have grown and become more and more of a corporation, the culture has become key. We make a living off the culture. As the manager, you must let people spread their wings because we all grow when we have responsibility. If you keep your employees as your focus, you will get far".

”By having the right culture, you can create so much more. You need to have a laid-back company tone, humor, and fun. We always had that. However, we always knew when it was time to roll up our sleeves.” Steen makes special mention of Per Svehage: ”In 2001, Per joined us as partner and he played a big part in who we are today. He was extremely strong in maintaining the culture and the organization and put work into building the company so he was a big part of our success.”

Controlled Growth

Our story has several milestones through the years and Steen’s exit is one of those. He sheds light on the shift from office supplies to IT. “In 2000, we were still rather small, but this is when we began focusing on IT and ended up cutting out the office supplies and that was the right decision,” he says.

Even though the IT industry often is an exponent for quick and explosive growth, which was never part of our journey: “We did not want to grow any faster than the organization could keep up with. We have also shown great patience in this area. We have always been serious and kept our focus on the long game. We did not open our office in the USA until 2006, and a few years later, we opened the one in Switzerland so the growth has been controlled.”

Certainly, it is not without a wealth of emotions for Steen to leave his life’s work. And he has great memories from the early days: ”In particular, I remember the 2000’s when we had maybe 20-30 employees. Those were truly some fun years with a lot of great parties. We had a party planning committee and they had their own budget. The biggest ones were the summer parties – I am very certain most will still remember those,” Steen says before he looks to the future.

A Proper Goodbye

”Since 2015, we have positioned ourselves as the largest reseller to the IGO and NGO arena globally. I think that is a wonderful achievement. It also brings me immense joy to see that so many have been with us for 10, 15, and 20 years. That tells me that we are doing something right. And the employees will play the biggest part going forward!”

A lot of things are happening now, but I am sure they can manage it. I am very excited to follow along in the progress of Danoffice IT from the sidelines. By adding our most recent acquisition (editor’s note: of edgemo), I am certain we can make our mark globally,” Steen concludes and with that, he takes a final bow after a quarter of a century in the making of Danoffice IT as we know it today.

Thank you for everything Steen – we wish you nothing but the best going forward.

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