In2Scope, specialists in Microsoft Dynamics solutions, became part of the Unica ICT Solutions cluster in October 2021. The acquisition by Unica expanded the company’s IT services that already included Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Enterprise Resource Management (ERP) and Field Services, with the addition of expertise in financial business processes and warehouse management systems.
In2Scope owners George van der Sleen and Jaap van der Mark know from experience that the successful implementation of Microsoft Dynamics applications demands an integrated approach. “To satisfy the demand for a broad range of products and services, you need both in-depth specialist knowledge and economies of scale,” explained George. “By joining forces with Unica, we can offer the complete Microsoft portfolio - and more - and tackle even more complex assignments, together.” Read on...
George van der Sleen and Jaap van der Mark were both working as freelancers when they met in 2005. “We were called in as freelancers by various businesses, to solve problems during the implementation of complex IT infrastructures. Believing that we could perform better as independent operators, we started In2Scope, in 2008,” continued George.
‘Without insight and a long-term vision, a project has no chance of success’
In2Scope originally focused on the implementation of Dynamics AX before switching to Microsoft Dynamics solutions for Finance & Operations projects. The company also developed its own products, including a connector for Exstream.
Over a period of thirteen years, George and Jaap saw the IT landscape undergo fundamental change. ‘When we started, no one had even heard of ‘the cloud’, let alone recognised that Microsoft would become such a key cloud player,” said Jaap. “Projects gradually became ever larger and more complex. Whereas in the past a normal implementation time was a few months, now it takes between eighteen months and two years before a project goes ‘live’. Our customer base changed, too, as the applications we work with became too expensive for the SME sector. Over the past few years we have focused mainly on serving larger organisations like Albert Heijn and Scotch & Soda.”
The best story
Although it sounds like an entrepreneurial dream, there was also a downside. “As the market consolidated, we found ourselves like a David competing with the sector’s Goliaths,” explained George. “We were able to tell the best story, and had a proven track record, but increasingly lost out because a company with just twenty employees was seen as not big enough.”
Jaap added, “We sometimes lost out to Microsoft Dynamics organisations that could not compete with us in terms of expertise, but that were backed by a large organisation. A frustrating situation. Our approach was always: if we always deliver excellent work, the rest will follow. But that is not how it turned out to be.”
In 2019, Unica ICT Solutions called on In2Scope to carry out an audit assignment. The collaboration was successful, and George and Jaap were subsequently regularly called in to attend customer interviews. “We view the changing IT landscape in the same way as a major player like Microsoft,” continued George, explaining the match between Unica ICT Solutions and In2Scope. “Many businesses allow Microsoft to take the lead in the relationship; they seem to mindlessly follow the specified pathway, from left to right. They have no vision of their own. We view IT from the viewpoint of the business. What developments are taking place in the world, what do they mean for the business sector and what opportunities are about to emerge? Only then do we ask the question: where do we go from here? The answer may be Microsoft Dynamics, but an application from another supplier may just as easily prove the perfect match. A licence is nothing more than a means of helping you do what you want. We follow our own path, and that offers a calm passage. The fact that Unica operates in exactly the same way was proof enough for us that they were the major player we needed to help us achieve more success.”
Unica ICT Solutions
Unica ICT Solutions is a fast-growing ICT service provider with more than 250 IT professionals and knowledge of practically every Microsoft application. “With the knowledge and economies of scale offered by Unica continued with our expertise at In2Scope, we can tackle even more complex deals. We can’t wait. We love a challenge!” continued Jaap. “It makes us want to perform even better for our customers. Unica shares the same desire. Straight away we recognised a perfect match in terms of people, personalities and culture: let’s do this together. The fact that we are now part of Unica in no way restricts our ability to express our entrepreneurial spirit. The next few years will be spent bringing together all the knowledge strands within Unica ICT Solutions; the various business applications need to be seamlessly integrated, like a zipper.”
“Whereas many other organisations are fragmented, Unica is better organised,” suggested George. “The various Unica teams will however have to keep looking beyond the boundaries of their own specialisation, and understand their position in the chain, as well as recognising the potential impact they can have on each other. Knowledge within the company is already at a high level, so from day one, it is important that we involve our customers in the overall story. Once we have been introduced to their business processes, it is up to them to understand how the cloud works and how software thinks. The IT landscape has become so complex that you cannot even afford a single mistake. Without insight and a long-term vision, a project has no chance of success. If we manage to realise our goals, we will clearly stand out in the market and will be way ahead of the competition.” Jaap concluded, “If a future customer comes to us and says: ‘You have the best story and that is why you have won the contract’, then our mission will have been a success.”