Meet Marc Rademaker, Microsoft Dynamics CRM Consultant and Trainer
Experience: Working with Microsoft Dynamics CRM since version 1.0 for both partners and end-users.
Projects desired: Full-time or part-time
Industries: experience in various sectors (FS, Public, Charities, etc..), but not focusing on production companies
Markets: Based in Netherlands but happy to work anywhere in the world
Availability: October 2014 onwards
Other interests: understanding and contributing to new business concepts and initiatives, talking to people who have broader minds and come up with creative ideas
Take a look at Marc’s profile and CV on 365 Freelance .
1. Elena from 365 Freelance: Marc, you have been involved with Microsoft CRM since 2003, right? You have been freelancing for 11 years (apart from a couple of years working for Sogeti). This is very impressive. What makes freelancing so attractive to you?
Marc: If you are a freelancer, you work in many different companies and choose your projects to suit yourself. This means you stick to your beliefs you can do whatever you want. If you work for a big company, you may have the security and maybe big money but you can’t choose the projects or clients. So being a freelancer enables to you do what you like and not be framed by others’ expectations.
2. Elena: Many end-users are unsure whether to engage a partner or a freelancer in their deployment, training or support. What would you say are the key benefits of hiring a freelancer?
Marc: I think there are a number of benefits; here are my thoughts:
- No selling – Some Dynamics CRM partners have great knowledge and business processes and they will always try to sell you extra services. Freelancers, will generally do just what you need and won’t try to sell you anything else.
- User adoption – you get easier user adoption as the freelancers blend in with the rest of the team from inside the company. If a partner leads the project they often put in an entire team of consultants without involving the end-users in the implementation, so when the project is finished, it’s harder for the client to adopt the solution as it was built for them, not with them.
- Time – you only get what you need. Consulting companies want to have someone hired every day, all week. You can be much more flexible with freelancers.
- Money – the smaller the engagement, the cheaper it is. Most freelancers have lower rates than the partners, but even if they are not, you are getting someone very skilled who wants to get the job done quickly and move on. Partners will do the job, but want to stay to sell you more services. So you can save a fortune by using freelancers.
- Up-to-date skills – Freelancers need to be on top of things and up-to-date with latest updates, releases, etc.. With Partners, you hire the company, not the person and don’t usually control who you get. The consultant you get might not be up-to-date with the latest information if they have been busy on a long deployment just before they get to work on your project.
- Smaller Cloud engagements – Many freelancers are interested in helping smaller clients. With more and more companies moving to the cloud, many are expecting a turnkey solution. Many try to move on their own, and make mistakes as it’s not configured for their needs. They then need to invest a day or two with a consultant. I see this all the time. All they need is a bit of tweaking and job done. Partners aren’t interested in such small engagements. You can ask the freelancer to do a day or so per month, and many will be willing do to that. This helps the Microsoft community in a big way because with the Cloud the risk is that many companies will try to deploy it themselves, will fail and blame Microsoft. As the partners aren’t interested in small engagements, Microsoft could get stuck. This is why freelancers are key here.
- The person/not the brand – partners often don’t have enough good consultants. They may have good references and a large client base, but what if the consultants that were responsible for those implementations have left? They could struggle to find the resources you need and might get someone who’s not so qualified for your job. With freelancers, you always know whom you get, what they have worked on, and what certifications & references they personally bring.
3. Elena: You have been involved in 14 projects in the last 3 years, including projects at major banks, healthcare and NFP. So many consultants would love that variety. How do you find your projects?
Marc: I am currently running 4 projectJ Sites like 365 Freelance and LinkedIn really help. If you are doing a good job people recommend you. I am also very proactive. Being a freelancer is like running your own business, you should want to network, be out there to learn and meet new people. I am going to eXtreme in Las Vegas, for example. If you are a freelancer, don’t get stuck with your work – take note that you need time to stay ahead. Plan extra time for learning, reading & networking. Otherwise you will turn into an employee of the company you run the project for. Wasn’t this what you were trying to avoid in the first place?
4. Elena: What do you like about the 365 Freelance concept?
Marc: The recruiters are only interested in selling as many hours as possible because they want more money. They don’t like it if I tell them I only have 20 hours per week available. With 365 Freelance it’s different, you believe in the service, not the quantity. This is a key difference in your concept.
Recruiters often sound rude in their approach because they always tell me what they need me to do. They never ask me what projects I want. 365 Freelance is a great platform for freelancers to share what they are looking for. Recruiters don’t listen to the freelancers- they always try to sell more time instead of understanding the consultants or the partners. They are not flexible enough because of the model they use to charge and make money.
I am very happy to go out there to recommend you and involve more people with 365 Freelance. I will not do it for the agencies, as I don’t believe in their concept.
Elena: Thank you, Marc. We really appreciate your support and we are sure our readers will enjoy your views on the Dynamics freelance market.
About us: 365 Freelance is the first online platform that gives Dynamics partners and end-users instant access to hundreds of contractors. With a network spanning 72 countries, it allows companies to search for freelancers based on their skills, rates and available dates, enabling them to find the best person for their projects without incurring the hefty fees typical of recruitment agencies. Register here – www.365freelance.com