Meet Michel Mamula, Microsoft Dynamics CRM Consultant
Experience: 7 years of Dynamics CRM consulting
Projects: full time/part-time
Markets: UK & Ireland
Rate: £400-550 per day
Other interests: tango & salsa dancing & hiking. Moved to the UK recently so every weekend Michel explores new parts of the country.
- Elena from 365 Freelance: Hello Michel, great to talk to you. Tell us more about your ideal next project and client.
Michel: I’d like to work for clients/partners who know what they want from the project and are excited about what is going to be delivered.
I like to be involved from the start, if possible, to gather requirements and design the system, to really understand and feel what the customer needs. And I like to stay during the whole course of the project, training the users in later stages, ensuring good user adoption and delivering high quality reports to the executives. Ideally, all levels in the company are happy with what they receive – users get good interface and feedback and management gets great business insights.
As for the location, I can work remotely but would be happy to work onsite if the project is based in Manchester.
- Elena: You are originally from Croatia and moved to Ireland in 2012. More and more Dynamics partners are trying to attract talent from Eastern Europe. Was it easy for you and your employer to do so? What would you advise companies to do if they can’t find consultants locally and reach for talent aboard? What process should they follow?
Michel: When I started looking for a job abroad, I got an offer within 2 weeks. It was a long-term contract and I had to open my own company. Opening a company is very easy, especially if you are an EU citizen. Opening a bank account is a bit more complex and took a bit longer but it’s not an obstacle. You should also get an accountant to run your books, they won’t charge you much and it helps a lot. You should do it as, if you are relocating, you probably won’t be familiar with local bookkeeping and it doesn’t cost much.
As for companies who want to hire, if you can’t find anyone locally, there is no problem hiring someone who is based in another EU country. It is very simple, you just make an offer in the same way as you would do if the person was based locally and the paperwork is minimal – they can start pretty much right away. As far as I know, no EU country requires special permit for freelancers and contractors (self employed).
- Elena: You are very passionate about the Dynamics CRM user interface design. Can you tell us more about why it is important to engage the right kind of consultant for that?
Michel: I have seen many CRM deployments done by a firm’s internal IT departments, who have good technical knowledge but are not focussed on the user experience, or where they have hired developers but not functional consultants to help. Often the result is a cumbersome system, which the end-users dislike using. User adoption is very important in CRM projects, where the ROI of the project depends on users entering and using the data.
Apart from developers who follow the exact specification, you need to have someone who understands the business processes and the user requirements and maybe question them. These people are there to bring together the company execs plus the people who enter the data.
- Elena: What do you like about the 365 Freelance concept?
Michel: I like a number of things.
You enable the partners/clients to have continuity of the projects. Very often people move on and the project gets stuck – 365 Freelance gives instant access to new experts to move on to the next phase of the delivery.
The blog is great as well – it is very informative for our community. You touch on topics that are very relevant to us.
Last but not least, I don’t like the fact that the agencies make so much money out of us. They put us forwards and don’t allow us to have a relationship with the clients except through them. It would be nice if was it a fixed fee and to allow you and the client to agree on the terms but they take too much – practically for all future work with that client.
The 365 Freelance idea is great as it cuts out the middle man. Now we can get directly to the clients without involving the agents!
Elena: Thank you very much, Michel! It was a great pleasure talking to you.
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