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Jennifer Renfroe

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Full Sail Partners Becomes SAP Concur Implementation Partner (CIP) Certified

Posted by Jennifer Renfroe on Tue, Dec 04, 2018 @ 11:30 AM

Concur Implementation Partner

Full Sail Partners is pleased to announce that it has achieved SAP Concur Implementation Partnership (CIP) status after an extensive training process. The certification means our consultants will configure SAP Concur solutions for Deltek Vision clients. While Full Sail Partners has already been guiding Deltek Vision clients on how to connect their SAP Concur system with Deltek Vision, this endeavor expands our capabilities further to allow a more cohesive implementation process.

“As firms continue to incorporate and increase the use of technology to improve their employees’ experience, the value of solutions like SAP Concur are saving firm’s money by reducing mistakes and fraud, while providing further visibility into the firm’s spend,” stated Sarah Gonnella, VP of Marketing & Sales. “SAP Concur’s relationship with Full Sail Partners is incredibly strong and our expanded alliance will allow new customers to benefit from our knowledge of the professional services industry.”

Full Sail Partners chose two consultants, Nicole Temple and Theresa DePew, to go through the rigorous nine day training program. With many years of Deltek Vision ERP experience, these consultants are well equipped to take on the SAP Concur certification program. As a part of the CIP certification, Full Sail Partners can now configure the SAP Concur expense module that was previously provided by the internal SAP Concur team. Full Sail Partners services now include: policy evaluation, design, set-up, integration, review, validation, deployment training, overall project management, and handoff to support.

“Our Blackbox Connector enables Deltek Vision clients to leverage the power of SAP Concur expense and invoice capabilities and combine that with Deltek’s robust ERP system. However, during that process our staff identified we can also streamline the Concur implementation process and ensure a more successful implementation because of our staff’s knowledge of project-based firms,” commented Scott Seal, VP of Consulting.

Full Sail Partners is always seeking out ways to improve our client experiences which is why we were excited to obtain CIP status. Our firm’s familiarity with both SAP Concur and Deltek Vision will benefit our clients tremendously. With ample knowledge of both systems and how they integrate, our consultants can save clients time and vastly reduce implementation efforts.

SAP Concur is the world’s leading provider of integrated travel and expense management services and solutions. On the web, on a smartphone or on a tablet, SAP Concur’s cloud-based solutions deliver an effortless experience for employees and total transparency into spending, helping organizations of all sizes, industries and locations run better. We can help yours run better, too.

For more information, please contact Full Sail Partners’ Marketing and Communications Department. 

Topics: Press Release

Deltek is Taking Vision to the Next Level with Deltek Vantagepoint

Posted by Jennifer Renfroe on Wed, Nov 28, 2018 @ 11:05 AM

 

Deltek VantagepointMany Deltek Vision customers have been a bit confused by the announcement of Deltek Vantagepoint (formerly Deltek for Professional Services). Well, Deltek Vantagepoint is the newly branded and freshly reimagined next version of Deltek Vision specifically built for professional services organizations. The starting point for Vantagepoint was Vision 7.6 and this initiative has been about accelerating the product to a pure browser-based interface which began with iAccess. Let’s take a look at Vantagepoint and the impact on Vision users.

Reimagined Next Version

Vantagepoint is the same great product with all the power of Vision using a fresh, modern interface that will be accessible to anyone, anytime from anywhere. This next version of Vision has impressive new features, reengineered workflows and expanded functionality. All of these enhancements were created based upon years of customer feedback taking Vision to a completely new level.

User Defined Content

As part of the upgrade to Vantagepoint, user defined content and configurations within Vision come along. Some areas will need to be reviewed to make sure things continue to work and look the way you want due to the functional improvements of Vantagepoint. However, the configured content will not be lost in the upgrade which is very similar to a typical Vision upgrade.

Custom Reports

In Vantagepoint, the reporting platform is SQL Server Reporting Services just like in Vision. The architecture and database structure of Vantagepoint is the same as Vision since Vision 7.6 was the starting point. Custom reports and/or invoice templates should continue to function in Vantagepoint. If a custom report references a portion of the database schema that changed in Vantagepoint, it will need to be reviewed with minor updates just like it would have with Vision upgrades.

Upgrade on Your own Timeline

During the transitional phase between Vision and Vantagepoint, the timing of the upgrade is up to the customer. Upgrade timing depends on what functionality your firm is using in Vision today. Vision 7.6 will remain in active support mode including updates until at least the end of 2022. Moving to Vantagepoint does not require a data conversion but rather all Vision data is simply upgraded. Just like with any Vision upgrade, there may be the need to accommodate functional changes.

Upgrade to Vantagepoint

More than 200 customers are currently using Vantagepoint today. For all Vision customers, there is an existing customer portal to learn about Vantagepoint https://dsm.deltek.com/Vantagepoint. All firms using Vision are encouraged to consume the portal content in order to ensure a smooth upgrade.

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Topics: New Features, Professional Services, Technology Solutions

Full Sail Partners is Honored to Receive a 2018 Premier Award for Client Satisfaction from PSMJ Resources and Client Savvy

Posted by Jennifer Renfroe on Tue, Nov 27, 2018 @ 11:00 AM

 

PSMJ Client SavvyFull Sail Partners, a Deltek Platinum Partner, is pleased to announce that it has been selected as a recipient of the 2018 Premier Award for Client Satisfaction by PSMJ Resources and Client Savvy, creator of the Client Feedback Tool. This recognition only goes to firms involved in the AEC industry who have gone above and beyond to deliver a truly exceptional client experience.

The success of professional service firms depends on creating strong client relationships, specifically through the service delivery of a project. Full Sail Partners recognized this need not only for its own firm, but for others in the industry. In order to gain consistent feedback on their projects, Full Sail Partners identified a need to streamline and automate the process for Project Managers. This endeavor resulted in creating their first Blackbox Connector to share data between Deltek Vision and the Client Feedback Tool.

“Among other aspects of our CX strategy, Full Sail Partners has found great success in consistently using the Client Feedback Tool to gauge client insight and make appropriate changes to improve the client experiences,” stated Sarah Gonnella, VP of Marketing and Sales. “We are greatly honored to be recognized with this Premier Award for Client Satisfaction.”

For more than 40 years, PSMJ Resources, Inc. has been recognized as the leading publishing, executive education, and advisory group devoted completely to improving the business performance of A/E/C organizations worldwide.

Recipients of the Premier Award for Client Satisfaction are determined using data collected from 280,000 surveys across 300 firms. Based upon the surveys, firms which really stand out regarding client feedback are given this prestigious designation. The 2018 award winners will be recognized at the October THRIVE conference put on by PSMJ in San Diego.

“Full Sail Partners sets themselves apart from competition through creating great experiences and outcomes for their clients,” stated PSMJ Resources Founder and CEO Frank A. Stasiowski, FAIA. “As we hear more and more frustration from architects and engineers about downward pressure on fees, delivering a best-in-class client experience is one of the best ways to differentiate your firm.”

Client Savvy works with professional services organizations whose success depends on strong client relationships. Their commitment to clients is to help them align their client experience (CX) strategy, implementation, and measurement initiatives with their top strategic priorities.

“Firms committed to delivering great client experiences are twice as likely to be recommended by their clients, three times as likely to realize above-average financial returns, and consistently attract and retain better employees. Full Sail Partners commitment to listen and act is a foundational component of every great client experience strategy.”

For more information, please contact Full Sail Partners’ Marketing and Communications Department. 

Topics: Press Release

Reasons to Have a Project-Based ERP System

Posted by Jennifer Renfroe on Wed, Oct 24, 2018 @ 11:30 AM

 

Project-based ERPThe goal of an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system is to integrate all aspects of a business from finance to CRM to HR. To have and maintain a successful business operation, accurate and timely information must flow between all the different business functions. With an ERP in place, there is visibility into operations which provides greater control over the business. However, while all businesses benefit from an ERP system, one size does not fit all. Project-based companies are distinct and thus require ERPs suited for their needs.

Unique Financials

Unlike firms just selling products to be shipped, project-based firms have financials reflecting more specific details. Project-based financials are focused on resources, projects and clients. Project-based firms are concerned with billing and time and materials needed per project which is vastly different than a firm that simply tracks inventory. Since project-based financials are so particular, project-based firms should have ERP systems that are equally so.

Deeper Function of Resource Management

Resource management for project-based firms is also a lot more involved. Project-based firms must manage both clients and projects matching the scope of a project to delivery. More than just people, resources here mean skills needed in a project and determining when certain skills are to be used. CRM with projects is built around proposals and recurring client interaction. With the intricate nature of running projects, project-based firms require ERP systems set up to manage resources in this more complex way.

Designed for Different Roles in the Firm

Executives, accountants and project managers all have different focal points. Executives want to see that the business is financially sound and that customers are satisfied. Accounting needs to be able to make sure billing is being completed on time. Project managers must collaborate with everyone to make sure the work is getting done and that people are being utilized by tracking workers as they come off a job. Project-based ERPs are specifically built for all these key roles ensuring efficiency in operation.

Complete Visibility into Business

With project-based ERP systems, every transaction is tied to an account, organization and project. The general ledger account describes expenses, the organization describes who is doing the work and the project is the source of revenue. With these elements linked, financial reports, invoices, payroll and project status reports are all available to show the whole picture of the business providing complete visibility.

Match the ERP to Firm Needs

With a project-based ERP in place, project-based firms will be able to make proactive decisions with current, real-time data. Generic ERP solutions do not meet the needs of project-based companies. Project-based ERPs are specifically designed to ensure that all aspects of project management are tied together to provide an accurate view of project profitability and company health.

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Topics: Professional Services, ERP, Technology Solutions

The Benefits of an Applicant Tracking System for Project-Based Firms

Posted by Jennifer Renfroe on Wed, Oct 17, 2018 @ 02:30 PM

Now Hiring! It used to be that people needed companies - employees were loyal, jobs were scarce, and everyone accepted the standard employment package offered. Today, things are very different. Companies need people – talent is hard to find, few make long term commitments, and many are demanding a lot more than before. Project-based companies are particularly impacted since without the right people in place, projects suffer, customers suffer and so does the bottom line. Therefore, having an applicant tracking system is a necessity to deal with the challenges of talent acquisition.

Expediting Talent Acquisition

These days, companies are the ones trying to convince talent to join the firm while the competition is courting them as well. It is crucial that the time it takes from sourcing candidates to interviewing to offering positions is greatly shortened. An applicant tracking system provides a clearer picture of the entire process. It shows right away if any of the steps are taking longer than necessary and allows firms to be more efficient in the hiring process. Project-based companies need the right people available at the right time to keep projects running smoothly.

Talent Pools

With people moving around as much as they do today, firms should always have a reserve of potential talent. An applicant tracking system helps with creating and maintaining these pools of talent. When resumes are entered, HR can flag those candidates who would be good fits for future opportunities. So, if a project manager leaves unexpectedly or a new project is won, a talent pool is immediately available to contact which reduces the delay in staffing. Nothing is worse for project-based firms than having to put off a project start date because of lack of appropriate personnel.

Candidate Experience

Another benefit of an applicant tracking system is that it ensures a positive candidate experience. The candidate’s experience moving through the hiring process has a huge impact on whether an offer will be taken. Firms must make candidates feel that they are valued. An applicant tracking system makes it easier to stay connected with candidates, so they feel informed and not forgotten. Project-based firms will not only have excited quality talent coming on board from this positive experience, but word of mouth will spread creating a talent pool for future projects.

Invest in an Applicant Tracking System

Project-based firms make money when projects are done on time and to customer satisfaction. Without the right personnel on the project, firms are destined for failure. An applicant tracking system expedites the hiring process by reducing inefficiencies and encouraging quality talent. Firms can easily overcome the challenges of talent acquisition by investing in one today. What is your firm waiting for?

Talent Management  

Topics: HR, Professional Services

Business Intelligence and Key Performance Indicators: So Happy Together

Posted by Jennifer Renfroe on Wed, Oct 03, 2018 @ 11:00 AM

Business Intelligence and KPIs

Establishing meaningful key performance indicators (KPIs) is vital if your firm is committed to data-driven decision making. First, you will need to determine what most clearly correlates with your company’s goals. A simple way to think about KPIs is that you can only improve what can be measured, and using today’s business intelligence (BI) offerings, measuring KPIs can be especially precise and easy to do. Let’s look at some trends in BI and the connection to KPIs. 

Easier data discovery

It used to be that data discovery was only done by IT experts who created reports about crucial information regarding KPIs. This process could take many days, and by the time a report was generated, the information was irrelevant. With the continuing simplification of BI, more people can now have access to real-time analytics. Using simplified BI, anyone can drill down into the data and find answers to important questions which are related to KPIs.

Visual Analytics

For non-analytical people, visualizations are helpful to digest key information. They activate the brain’s recognition capabilities and enable people to detect patterns in charts and graphs. Rather than having to discover data buried in tables over multiple pages, visual analytics allow for decisions to be made quickly and are a much more efficient way to evaluate KPIs.

Self-service Business Intelligence

More and more business users are accessing BI solutions to make faster and better-informed decision. Each company has unique goals and so does each department. To measure specific KPIs, customized BI dashboards can be created with the features relevant to each user. These dashboards are viewed in a single screen providing immediate, accurate and up to date visual status reports.

Mobile Business Intelligence

Today’s fast paced business environment requires that people have access to critical BI anywhere, anytime. With increased accessibility and improved smartphones, BI can also be analyzed on mobile devices. Companies that use mobile BI can stay ahead of the competition because there is always access to important data for decision making and gauging KPIs.

Cloud Business Intelligence

While most BI software has been hosted on-premise, the increase in on-demand data access has led to cloud BI. There are many benefits of a cloud BI solution. It is easy to install because it is an internet-based software, adding new users is a simple and the cost is low. Cloud BI is an option for companies of all sizes within an industry that provides an instant way to assess KPIs.

Being Proactive with Business Intelligence

All firms strive to be successful and creating KPIs allows them to measure success and avoid potential negative outcomes. Using a BI solution, firms can be proactive by visually seeing KPIs and making quick decisions based upon critical information. The two go hand in hand and together they help firms make sense of it all.

Key Performance Indicators  

Topics: Technology Solutions, Professional Services

How to Reap the Benefits of Employee Engagement

Posted by Jennifer Renfroe on Wed, Sep 19, 2018 @ 01:37 PM

Employee Engagement

Employee engagement is the extent to which individuals are personally involved in the success of a business. Interestingly enough, it does not mean employee satisfaction. Employees can be satisfied in their jobs, but still not be engaged. The fact is engaged employees are invested in their company, and they have an emotional commitment to the organization and its goals, so they will go the extra mile for their firm.

Benefits of Employee Engagement

Gallup firm research shows that 68.5% of U.S. employees are not engaged in their current roles. This lack of engagement costs U.S. companies between $450-550 billion in lost productivity a year. When employees are engaged by their work, however, there are higher levels of productivity, a boost in the company’s bottom line, better retention rates, an increased sense of health and well-being and happier customers.

It is important that businesses create the conditions to engage employees. Doing so provides valuable loyalty inspiring experiences which will in the end drive profits. The best business leaders realize that an engaged workforce can propel innovation, increase performance, and grow the organization.

9 Key Areas of an Employee Engagement Strategy

  1. Purpose – This is the thing that drives the firm forward. A sense of purpose is crucial to creating the emotional bond between employees and their work. With a specific mission and clear company values, employees will become engaged.
  2. Communication – The emotional component of communication speaks to the basic human need to feel valued. When employees receive proper, frequent and constructive communication, they feel in the loop which establishes trust. It is critical to not rely too heavily on email in communication.
  3. Health and wellness – A Gallup study found 62% of engaged employees felt work positively affected their physical health. Established health and wellness campaigns play a role in creating emotional connections. Again, these emotional connections engage employees.
  4. Workspace and environment – How companies set up employee workspaces determines the feel of the environment. With functional and inspirational workspaces, a sense of pride is created along with a desire for employees to be there. Wanting to be at work increases performance.
  5. Well-defined roles – Defining roles connects the company’s mission with its employees’ daily activities. Firms must show how each employee’s efforts contribute to the overall mission. This identifies how each individual employee is thus responsible for the ultimate success of the firm.
  6. Relationship with colleagues – Numerous studies have shown that firms where friendships are common have more engaged employees and better business. Gallup research even found that people with a self-described best friend at work are seven times more likely to be fully engaged. Relationships create another emotional connection to the firm.
  7. Recognition and incentives – The act of being recognized for individual efforts makes employees feel like valued team members and creates another emotional connection. Also, certain monetary incentives like profit sharing activate an emotional response with a vested interest in making a profit. Engaged employees will financially benefit from their hard work.
  8. Buy-in from managers – According to SHRM, employees who trust their managers appear to have more pride in their firm. They are more likely to feel that they are applying their talents for both their own success and that of the organization. Management buy-in to encourage employee engagement is a necessity which goes hand in hand with frequent communication.
  9. Personal growth and development – Personal growth and development is the final emotional component that will support employee engagement. Employees need to know that they can advance in their firm, and they want opportunities for education and training. Seeing how they can progress in their contribution to the firm’s mission will also help maintain engagement. 

Benchmarking Employee Engagement

Having engaged employees is essential to a successful business. Creating and implementing an effective employee engagement strategy is crucial as well. What’s left to consider is how to benchmark the employee engagement. Using an employee engagement survey, firms can determine the types of activities employees want to participate in as well as their thoughts on the state of the workplace. Listening to the voices of your employees and sharing what you have learned will continue to encourage employee engagement and let your firm reap its benefits.

Employee Engagement  

Topics: Employees, HR

Theresa DePew Joins Full Sail Partners as Finance Consultant

Posted by Jennifer Renfroe on Tue, Sep 04, 2018 @ 11:35 AM

Theresa Depew Full Sail Partners is pleased to welcome Theresa DePew to our consulting team. As a Finance Consultant, she will be supporting Full Sail Partners’ clients across the United States regarding Deltek Vision and Deltek for Professional Services. Additionally, Theresa will be responsible for the implementation of Concur Expense & Invoice for those clients who choose this add on service.

Theresa has fifteen years of experience working in corporate accounting both as a Project Accountant and in accounts payable. Her past industry experience includes working with project managers and other staff to ensure projects are in budget and closed in a timely manner. Theresa has also previously assisted in the implementation of both Deltek Vision and Concur Expense software.

“Having been a Deltek Vision and Concur client on the firm side, I am so excited to work as part of the Full Sail Partners’ consulting team. Using my prior experience in corporate accounting, I feel like I can really understand the needs of Full Sail Partners’ clients,” said Theresa DePew.

With both Vision and Concur experience under her belt, Theresa will be able to immediately fill in our increasing Vision consulting services as well as be a Concur implementation expert. More and more Full Sail Partners’ clients are choosing to not only get the most out of their Deltek Vision systems, but also to streamline their processes with the Deltek Vision to Concur Blackbox Connector. It is an exciting time, and Theresa will fill a vital role in keeping up with client needs. 

“With our ever-increasing client requests for Deltek Vision consulting services and Blackbox Connector offerings, we were looking for a champion who could take on these efforts. In Theresa, we have found the perfect skill set with her knowledge of and experience with both Deltek Vision and Concur Expense. We are thrilled for her to be part of the consulting team at Full Sail Partners,” stated Scott Seal, VP of Consulting.

For more information, please contact Full Sail Partners’ Marketing and Communications Department. 

Topics: Press Release

Deltek PIM Changes the Way Professional Services Firms Manage Information

Posted by Jennifer Renfroe on Wed, Aug 29, 2018 @ 11:00 AM

Deltek PIM

Firms in the professional services industry often have a difficult time managing the large volumes of information that come with each project. Having access to all project information from emails to drawings to contracts is important and vital for effective project management. With information silos, disorganized yellow folders and different systems per team, there is a greater chance for a less than successful outcome on firm projects. Deltek Project Information Management, or PIM, changes the way professional services firms manage information.

PIM Challenges the Norm

Many professional services firms believe that using yellow folders to store project documentation is the best option. While they are certainly easy to create, these folder structures offer no options for controlling access to the most up to date project information. Critical project data can easily be missed, and uninformed decisions can be made without a central place to view all current documents like offered with PIM. 

Email Communication is Valuable Information

One of the biggest mistakes that project-based businesses make is not considering email communication valuable project information. Emails and their attachments have significant details that help keep track of the project progression. Issues crop up in email correspondence that are essential for project members to see. For the project to run smoothly, these emails must be stored appropriately as PIM provides. 

Benefits of Using Deltek PIM 

  • Organized project files improve efficiency – Users can store, manage, retrieve and share documents in a central hub
  • Better collaboration – Project communication is improved when all team members can see all the relevant information
  • Quickly find critical data – All key project information is available to monitor project progress and make better decisions
  • Protecting the firm – Risk can be reduced with greater visibility into project data
  • Mobile connection – Enables on-the-go field work where photos can be taken, or drawings can be viewed on site
  • Integration with Deltek ERP– Every critical piece of project information is in one location to manage budgets, schedules and resources for every project in Deltek 

Goodbye Yellow Folders, Hello Deltek PIM 

Deltek PIM offers a cohesive information management system which ensures that the correct knowledge is always available to all project team members. By implementing PIM, professional services firms can store, catalog and retrieve all essential project management documents from one place. If your firm is still managing project information using yellow folders or keeping information silos, the best decisions are not being made. PIM can help make better ones.

Deltek PIM  

Topics: Professional Services, HR, Project Information Management (PIM)

Full Sail Partners Announces the Hire of Joel Slater as Product Sales Manager

Posted by Jennifer Renfroe on Tue, Aug 28, 2018 @ 11:35 AM

Joel Slater Full Sail Partners, a Concur and Deltek Platinum Partner, is excited to announce that Joel Slater has joined the firm as Product Sales Manager. In this newly created role, he will oversee all Full Sail Partners’ product sales. The firm’s product offerings include Deltek Vision, Deltek for Professional Services and Blackbox Connector solutions which integrate multiple best of breed software applications like Entrinsik Informer 5 business intelligence and Concur Expense and Invoice.

Joel comes to Full Sail Partners with more than ten years of experience selling ERP and finance-related software applications to project-based firms. Also, having been a Sales Executive for both Concur and Deltek, Joel has ample knowledge of Full Sail Partners’ product offerings. With this exceptional background, he will be able to ensure Full Sail Partners’ clients are provided with the right tools within their stated budget to help them streamline their operations. 

“I’m excited to continue my career working with project-oriented firms, and with a continued focus on a product set which I truly believe in,” stated Joel Slater. “This new role provides an ideal setting for utilizing my past experience to help our clients advance successfully into the future.” 

As Product Sales Manager, Joel will work with clients directly on any Full Sail Partners’ product offering, but he will also be available to assist the account management and the Blackbox Connector sales teams. Our account management and Blackbox Connector sales teams are located across the country allowing us to provide better service to clients throughout the United States. Joel will be a great asset in working with them to offer the solution that best fits the individual client’s needs.   

“Joel is a highly-regarded sales person in the Deltek and Concur ecosystem. We are thrilled to have him join the Full Sail Partners’ team as our new Product Sales Manager,” stated Sarah Gonnella, VP of Marketing & Sales. “In addition to his strong selling background, Joel is known for mentoring other sales colleagues. As a growing sales group, this is vital to our firm’s success and we look forward to his knowledge and expertise to grow the company.”

For more information, please contact Full Sail Partners’ Marketing and Communications Department. 

Topics: Press Release