Alison Mulligan's Career

I am an MVP and Power Addict with an active role in the Microsoft community, speaking with passion at conferences like Scottish Summit or South Coast Summit, about the difference that Power Platform can make to people’s businesses as well as their careers. But how did I get here?

I never enjoyed school so at 15 I left and got a job at a local hairdresser where I was employed and enrolled in a Beauty and Hairdressing course at college for 18 months. After realising that hairdressing wasn’t my calling in life, I got a temporary job at American Express. This job involved a lot of early mornings spent in the mailroom organising and delivering post to all the departments. When a job opening became available in the cashier’s department, I moved departments and began working with customer accounts. One of my first roles in this job was to go through a huge metal filing cabinet and manually process all direct debits that were due for payments. This manual process is what spiked my love for technology as I began to wonder how the monotonous task could be automated. Whilst I was unable to automate the job at the time, I was able to change the way that the direct debit mandates were stored and organised using Excel to make the job easier for me and my colleagues, saving us all at least 2-3 hours per day.

After my time at American Express, I briefly worked in a pub before landing a job in customer services at Sanofi. Once I had gained some experience in the customer services department, I moved into the Market Forecasting department where I worked on AS 400 systems. My role in this job was to estimate future demands for products of the company such as perfumes, moisturisers, and make-up. During my 5 years with Sanofi, I was approached and requested to build a database for the company in Microsoft Access which could be held on a server. This request excited me as it was one of the first opportunities I had been given to use my newfound love of technology to automate a process!

Shortly after I had built the Microsoft Access database for Sanofi, a friend started up a recruitment company in Frankfurt. After successfully interviewing for a job, at 25 I moved my life to Frankfurt where I worked to recruit Australian blue-collar workers to build GSMs for the telecoms industry in Germany. This was my first time working in the recruitment industry and I really enjoyed it however I had dreams of working for a large corporation, so I returned to the UK and went to work for PSD. I learned many skills from working at the global company however I only stayed there for a year due to a position opening at Mansell, an engineering recruitment company, where I was positioned in the oil and gas division. This was one of my favourite jobs and I have remained friends with many of my co-workers from the 9 years that I spent with the company.

After 9 years at Mansell, I wanted a change, so I interviewed for Maximus, a recruitment company, where I worked to recruit ERP people. I stayed in this role for 5 years and got on well with everyone at the company – we were even the first recruitment company to become an Oracle Gold Partner. After I had been at Maximus for 5 years, one of my colleagues left to start his own recruitment business and he took many of the Maximus employees with him. This left the MD wanting a management buyout for the company, so I ended up taking over Maximus myself. After a few months of trial and error, I quickly realised that I would be able to run all processes through Office 365 and store everything in one place, so I decided to pursue this option for the company. I also began looking at Power BI capabilities for our reporting and this slowly turned into Maximus solely focussing on using Microsoft for recruitment.

As I became more involved in the world of Microsoft, I became part of a CRM User Group where I started meeting people from the community and learning more about what practices and systems I could implement into Maximus. Seeing the difference that customising systems made to my business showed me that Microsoft was the future.

group of people with alison mulligan facing the camera and the other 4 sitting at desks on laptops

When covid hit, everything slowed down, but I did meet Mark Christie, Andrew Bibby, and Iain Connolly. After a few discussions, the idea of Proximo 3 was born and all our energy was put into trying to start our own company. After 25 years in the recruitment industry, I decided that it was time to move on to a different venture. This caused me to go through the process of dissolving Maximus to focus on the growth of Proximo 3 and take a small step back from the recruitment world…for now…

I now also act as a mentor for people working in Power Platform, including community initiatives such as Power Platform School, and have spent the last 12 years specialising in ERP and CRM systems.

To find out more about Alison Mulligan and the team at Proximo 3, visit our ‘Meet the Team’ page here.