‘After building yet another link, I thought: there has to be a smarter way’

If Erica Hoekerd had been told at the end of the last century that, without any IT education, she would be leading a technology company today, she would have probably laughed heartily. Yet, that’s exactly what happened. In this blog, Erica takes you on her journey from information specialist to CEO of Tinx.

From a boring library to technology pioneer

I studied Business Information in Deventer. There, we learned how to support management by delivering relevant, tactical, and strategic information. It was a relatively new program, making it quite challenging to figure out what you could actually do with it after graduating. Eventually, I ended up in the library sector, where I selected and implemented software packages for documentation centers. Honestly, I found it quite boring, but then, what are you going to do?

A new direction

Every week, I faithfully bought the Intermediair, a paper magazine for ‘ambitious professionals’, purely to go through the job ads. Digital job boards? Never heard of them! At the Hobby Computer Club fair, I got talking to a recruiter from Our Dutch Software Company. He found my profile interesting and offered me a traineeship as a developer in Visual Basic. That was in 2000, and unfortunately, the crisis broke out just then, so after a month and a half, the whole class was let go. But the IT world never let me go.

The leap to freelancer

In 2000, I joined Foqus-ICT, known today as Prodware. There, I got acquainted with Microsoft Dynamics NAV, which we now know as Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central. I witnessed that whole development up close. After about six years, I was ready for a new challenge. I quickly found another job, but it didn’t quite meet my expectations. The urge to find my own path had grown considerably by then, so in 2008, I decided to start as a freelancer.

Linking webshops and Dynamics NAV

I gave myself six months as a freelancer. If it didn’t work out, I thought, then I would find a new job again. I will never forget my first assignment. Nervously, I cycled to my very first real client, the first in a series of many. Somehow, I often had assignments related to linking webshops and Dynamics NAV.

The creation of the Magento Connector

After building the umpteenth link, I thought to myself: what a hassle, this has to be smarter? Organizations should actually be able to choose an out-of-the-box solution when they start a webshop. The e-commerce platform Magento had just been launched. I found it so promising that I decided to develop a standard link. The result? The Magento Connector, first for Dynamics NAV, but now for Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central. In 2012, we had our first customers, and that was the beginning of Tinx as we know it today. We now have about three hundred customers and dozens of partners, like the ERA Group, ABC E BUSINESS, and WSB Solutions.


As a female CEO in the IT world, I strongly believe in offering opportunities to people who don’t fit the standard profile. I also find it important to increase the proportion of women, in the IT sector in general and in our company in particular. Currently, we have four women on our team: myself, two female consultants responsible for the implementations, and an administrative employee. We are all unique, and we must not only embrace that diversity but also truly utilize it.

Feet in the mud

In my eyes, it’s incredibly valuable to regularly roll up your sleeves and get back to the daily grind. According to management books, you should primarily work on your business, rather than in your business. Personally, I believe there must be a balance between the two. Take Steve Jobs: he sat down with customers on a weekly basis to hear what was going on and drew his inspiration from there.

That’s also how our company started. I was on my proverbial attic room thinking: ‘There must be a solution for this?’ No matter how big we become, I want to keep that feeling. At the moment, for example, I’m leading a project myself again, and I recently developed a nice feature. Sometimes, it’s just good to have your feet in the mud. That way, you ensure you remain a part of your team and don’t end up as some boss in an ivory tower.

Want to know more?

Do you want to take your online business to the next level and excel in e-commerce? The Tinx e-commerce connectors can also seamlessly integrate your webshop, marketplace, or checkout with Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central. Curious? Feel free to contact us. We’re ready to help you further!

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