A few years ago, I decided to quit my job at my employer and start working as an independent freelance consultant. Exciting? Absolutely, but I have all the confidence that my knowledge and network are extensive enough to get me new and exciting projects.
My area of expertise is Microsoft cloud technology, in particular Microsoft Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement. This is the business application formerly known as Dynamics CRM. I have been working as consultant in this area since 2010.
As many more from my generation, I grew up in a time where technology became more and more important in our daily lives. I’ve always had a great interest in technology; how things work, why they work in that particular way and how they can be improved to make our lives a little bit easier.
Technology should serve mankind and not the other way around. I’m always looking for improvements. Very often that involves technology, but at least as important is the human side. The combination of technology and mankind fascinates me. I believe that is also where my strength is. During my study Business & IT at the Twente University I obtained profound knowledge about technology (systems design and architecture, programming) and organization (business administration, process analysis, managing skills) as well. I’m comfortable around IT and people.
In the past few years I’ve been applying this in my job as Dynamics 365 Consultant; implementing Microsoft Dynamics 365 (previously Microsoft Dynamics CRM) at a great number of different companies and organizations. Because of this, I have obtained great knowledge of the application, what it can do and what its limitations are. I’ve been involved in over 60 projects, varying in size, scope and complexity. Always striving for the best possible result for the customer, within the project scope. Because of my technical background, I’m also capable determining the right technical approach, using standard techniques where possible to prevent complex custom coding and resulting in hard-to-manage solutions. Furthermore, I’d like to thing of myself as precise, pragmatic, patient and not afraid to ask questions or admit that I’m wrong.
I’ve been involved in projects in a lot of different roles as well; from solution architect to developer, from analysis to execution, from pre-sales to aftercare and from trainer to lead consultant and project manager. Besides that, as a Senior Consultant, I’ve been coaching and guiding my junior colleagues into (hopefully) great consultants.
In November 2017, I made the decision to start working as Freelance Dynamics 365 Consultant and Developer. Would you like to know more about me? On the Contact page you’ll find all the information you need to get in touch!
Microsoft Dynamics 365 (formerly known as Microsoft Dynamics CRM) is a well-known business application from Microsoft, part of the Microsoft Dynamics Business Suite. It delivers a lot of features out-of-the-box but is also highly flexible as customizations can be made to fit specific business needs. I’ve been working with Microsoft Dynamics CRM/365 since 2010; since version 4.0.
My services concerning Dynamics 365 can be divided into consultancy and development. Besides that, I’m also experienced in other Microsoft products and quite some add-ons as well to help you with a lot of different business questions.
Nowadays, it’s very easy to get a Dynamics 365 Online instance. Just with a few mouse clicks, a new instance is setup and you’re good to go. Microsoft offers some default Applications that support some widely used processes. These are Sales, Customer Service, Financials and Field Service among other things. A complete list can be found on the Microsoft website.
But, in most situations these default applications provide insufficient functionality and do not match (all) the business needs. Often, there are requirements; specific information that needs to be stored, or the business processes are just different from the default ones Microsoft created. So in most cases, the application needs to be customized. Before doing that, it’s a good idea to think about the changes that are needed; to think them trough to prevent unnecessary changes or changes that lead to unwanted or even wrong outcomes. As always, there is more then one way to get to a result. But which is the best? Why? And how do you translate that to changes on Dynamics 365?
The questions mentioned above are just a few of all the questions that can arise when starting to work with Dynamics 365. Because of my years of experience implementing Dynamics 365 in lots of different industries, organizations and situations, I can help you answer these questions and more. I know the application inside out and know the possibilities and limitations. Furthermore, because of my experience doing Dynamics 365 projects, I can advise in how to do things, what is sensible and what is not. And maybe there are very good reasons to change the way of working and not the application!
Despite the fact that Dynamics 365 is a highly customizable and flexible business application, there can be business requirements that can not be solved using the standard features. Fortunately, there are several possibilities to extend functionality using custom code, enabling programmers to develop specific functionality to fulfill the business needs. I’m an experienced programmer in Dynamics 365 using the following techniques.
HTML / CSS
As Dynamics 365 is a web-based application, it can be extended using HTML and CSS. For example: custom HTML pages can be developed to show data in a specific layout.
.NET / C#
Using .Net code (C#), custom workflows and plugins can be developed that extend Dynamics 365 on the server side. This means that the code is executed by the server. This enables developers to program custom business logic that is always executed, independently from user interaction. This can vary from simple calculations to complex data-flows.
Please note: not all customizations that can be added using custom code are automatically supported by Microsoft! That means that when unsupported code is used, it can break when Microsoft updates the application. It’s recommended to always only use supported code.
Dynamics 365 is without a doubt my area of expertise. But in the last few years, I have been developing my knowledge about other Microsoft products as well. Not only because of my personal interest in these products and their possibilities, but also because all the different cloud products are working together more and more. All those products that serve a particular business need move closer together to work together and form an efficient and powerful platform.
The Microsoft PowerPlatform is a collective name for a number of applications that enable you to create powerful (technical) solutions to meet your business needs. With Power Apps you can quickly create your own apps, without the need to write code and deploy them to the entire organisation for everybody to use. Power Automate allows you to automate processes, transcending multiple applications and departments. There are many out-of-the-box connectors that make integrating your applications and processes easier then it has ever been. Finally, gain valuable insights in your business by using Power BI to make convincing data-driven decisions.
Almost everybody knows the familiar Microsoft Office products; Word, Excel, Powerpoint. Office 365 is that, but so much more. It’s the digital workplace for every organization. It’s an online platform that provides access to all organizational IT resources; applications, documents and data. Up-to-date files are always available, on each device. The well-known office products are obviously available (to be installed on a local device, but also directly from the browser), but also lots of other useful applications like Outlook (e-mail based on Exchange Online), SharePoint (document management and intranet) and Teams (collaboration platform). Dynamics 365 is an essential part in this. It is possible to use Dynamics 365 without Office 365, but in that case, you don’t utilize the full power of the Microsoft platform.
As Office 365 is the digital workplace for all you employees, Microsoft Azure offers you the cloud-platform for all your technical needs. Create virtual servers in the cloud where you can host your own applications. Create integrations between front- and backoffice applications using Logic Apps or move custom developed logic and endpoints to Azure Function Apps. Quickly deploy (SQL) databases or setup webservices to unlock your business data with just a few mouse clicks. These are just a few examples; Microsoft keeps on developing Azure with an amazing pace, adding new features almost every day.