Meet Rick Medford, Microsoft Dynamics AX Practice Leader, Program & Project delivery consultant
Experience: 8 years of running Microsoft Dynamics AX practices
Projects: Full-time or part-time
Rick would also consider permanent position
Industries: Multi-Channel Retail and Distribution, Manufacturing and Government.
Markets: UK, ideally close to Cheshire.
Availability: Immediate for permanent positions
Other interests: interested in sports, involved as a non-exec for avant-garde theatre company
- Elena from 365 Freelance: Rick, thanks for taking the time to talk to us. What is your ideal role?
Rick: I am interested finding solutions to challenges and delivering valuable change. In most cases, the delivery of an AX project and restructuring of the IT strategy brings a lot of change throughout any organisation, and I like to make this happen in a positive and meaningful way. Implementing powerful and wide-ranging systems like AX can be a difficult thing, and I bring a serious track record of success in that area.
- Elena: You’ve been on the partner side for a long time. You hired a number of consultants – both full time and freelance. While most partners employ mostly permanent consultants, in what circumstances did you consider hiring contractors and how did you assess them?
Rick: There is one big problem with the AX market – a massive shortage of skilled consultants. I think it’s good to have graduate schemes like Microsoft and some partners adopt, but you still need hard-core experienced people to make the project succeed. Most of those experts are contractors now. So you need to make sure you have a reliable pool of experienced contract resource.
In terms of assessing the skills of the consultants, I give them a pure AX technical test from a consulting point of view, then if they get through that, I give them some real business scenarios to see how they can apply their knowledge; finally, to test their soft skills we’d normally do a role play.
- Elena: Capacity has long been a problem in Dynamics. What can be done to resolve the capacity issue?
Rick: The market definitely needs to get more people into the AX sector. We basically need Microsoft and partners to invest in development programmes: cross training experienced guys from SAP and Oracle, working closer with universities to produce trained graduates, etc. All of this can help. But having a centralised service like 365Freelance where you can go to find specific contractor skills also helps enormously.
- Elena: What do you like about the 365 Freelance service?
Rick: It is a classic dating site – it is very easy to use if you are looking for someone. The agencies are a bit more coy about who is available – quite often as they don’t have a good match, or if they do are trying to place them with the highest bidder.
Also, 365 Freelance is much more cost effective way of finding good people!
Elena: Thank you, Rick! It is great pleasure talking to someone as experienced as 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 75 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