Full Sail Partners Blog

Introducing the Vantagepoint Feature “Hey Deltek”

Posted by Ryan Felkel on Wed, Sep 11, 2019 @ 11:20 AM

Deltek Vantagepoint-1

If you’re a Deltek Vision user, you’ve probably already heard about the latest and greatest version of Vision…Deltek Vantagepoint. Even better, Deltek keeps announcing new features that have never been available before in Vision. One of the coolest features to be offered now is “Hey Deltek.” Just like “Hey Siri” and “Alexa,” “Hey Deltek” allows users to speak directly to Vantagepoint to do several different things. Here’s a look at what “Hey Deltek” can do for you.

Add a New Lead

On average, an architecture and engineering (A/E) firm adds 15 new leads to its CRM system per week. First, consider the time it takes to develop one lead into an opportunity you want to include in your CRM system. Now, think about the effort required to record a new lead into the CRM system - typing here, checking a box there etc. With “Hey Deltek,” you can enter the information and start developing a lead in seconds.

Using “Hey Deltek,” manual input is effectively eliminated. Simply type or say, “Create new lead Jane Doe.” As a result, “Hey Deltek” can save employees hours a week allowing them to focus on more important matters.

We All Need Reminders

My memory is sharp, but I still need reminders. I frequently use them to ensure that I follow-up with clients and get other tasks completed. Unfortunately, creating these reminders in Vision or Outlook takes a lot of time around 2 minutes each. With “Hey Deltek,” creating a reminder takes about 15 seconds. So, using “Hey Deltek” to create reminders will again save you a lot of effort that can be put forth on other things.

Even Works with Projects

Beyond business development, “Hey Deltek” works for project managers as well. A/E project managers often handle multiple projects having to stay on top of which stage projects are in and record time against them. “Hey Deltek” allows project managers to quickly access projects. Just simply type or say what project you want to open. This convenient feature of Vantagepoint adds more functionality and better searching techniques for users.

Moving Forward with Deltek Vantagepoint

If you’re hesitant to make the upgrade to Vantagepoint, know that Deltek has made a concerted effort to ensure that the transition is smooth and seamless. “Hey Deltek” is just one amazing feature included in Vantagepoint. Even more, the “Hey Deltek” capabilities continue to grow as will Vantagepoint. If you need more information about Vantagepoint, reach out to a member of the Full Sail Partners team and make sure to watch our webinar series about preparing for Vantagepoint.

Deltek Vantagepoint

Topics: Building Business, New Features, Deltek Vision, Deltek Vantagepoint, Network

What’s Happening at Deltek Insight 2019?

Posted by Madeline O'Connor on Wed, Aug 28, 2019 @ 03:29 PM

Deltek Insight 2019 Orange-1

Deltek Insight 2019 is just around the corner, and it is time to start making plans! This year the conference will be held in Orlando, Florida from November 18th through the 21st at the Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention Center. If you have been thinking about attending this year, but are just not sure, let’s take a look at some of the amazing reasons why you should attend.

Expand Your Understanding

Deltek offers so many products that can be beneficial to your business. At Insight, you can customize the events you attend to cater to your specific firm needs. Figuring out which sessions are best related to your firm needs allows you to get the most out of Insight and gain the knowledge required to take your business to the next level using Deltek products.

In addition, our experts from Full Sail Partners will be on-site leading sessions that will get you on the right track with some of the trickier Deltek products. If you are having trouble with configuration planning, Michael Kessler, PMP will be speaking on implementing projects and resource planning. If you want to learn more about implementing the Asset Management Module, join Kelly Duguette as she shows you how to enhance module usability. You can check out everything Full Sail Partners is doing at Insight 2019 here.

Finally, if you need a little more help with a certain area, you can meet with a Deltek expert who can assist you with whatever problem needs attention. You can set up a 1 on 1 meeting with an expert which will last around 45 minutes. These meetings are first come first serve and the slots fill up fast. Getting one on one expert advice provides new insight on your products and is another great reason to attend Deltek Insight. For more information about these sessions click here.

Mingle to Grow Your Network

With Insight being one of the largest conferences for Deltek users, the opportunity arises to connect and mingle with others in your field of work. You will have the chance to speak with people from around the world that you normally would not be able to meet. There will be plenty of time for learning and growth and collaborating with these people in your industry might help solve a problem you have mutually experienced. The Celebrate Insight event which takes place on Wednesday the 20th also offers tons of food and socializing with the rest of the Insight attendees. You will surely leave Deltek Insight with new solutions and awesome connections

Have an Experience Packed with Fun

Deltek Insight will kick off Monday, November 18th with a pre-conference workshop from Deltek University that will boost your knowledge. After that, there will be a general session where attendees will learn the schedule of what’s happening throughout the four days of Insight. In the evening, there will be a welcome reception where you can visit the sponsors’ booths to gather more information. Make sure to stop by the Full Sail Partners’ booth and see what we have been up to this year!

As mentioned before, the annual Deltek customer appreciation event, Celebrate Insight, is always the highlight of the conference. It will once again be a great event featuring dinner and drinks, concerts and games. With the party venue located in Florida, this year is something you are not going to want to miss.

Register Now for Deltek Insight 2019

With so much to look forward to this year at Deltek Insight, you’ll surely want to sign up! From the opportunities to network, to learning from experts, to having fun in Florida, it is worth attending this year! Register now, and we can’t wait see you there!

  Deltek Insight 2019

Topics: Building Business, Deltek Insight

What’s New with the Blackbox Connector

Posted by Peter Nuffer on Wed, Jul 10, 2019 @ 12:07 PM

Blackbox Connector For several years, Full Sail Partners has offered a variety of Blackbox Connectors to integrate Deltek Vision and Vantagepoint with many different 3rd party software packages. There are solutions for marketing/business development, finance, project management and leadership. Depending upon their specific needs, our Blackbox Connectors have been able to help firms save much time and money. Now with advancements in our technology, we can provide even more benefit to our clients. Let’s check out what has happened with the Blackbox Connector to make it even better.

In the Beginning

The first version of the Blackbox Connector necessitated facilitating structured point to point connectors with rigid workflows for operations that could not be modified if requirements fell outside of the predefined workflow steps. Changes were difficult and required developers to rewrite code on an instance by instance basis making customizations expensive for clients. Although the benefits of the Blackbox Connectors were worth the effort to clients, extending functionality or changing the manner in which data was transferred and specific actions in any given step was not as simple as we would have liked.

New Advancements in the Blackbox Connector

Version two (V2) has been crafted as a working tool set to allow developers to work with customers and their user story to rapidly build customer connections and workflows that meet the specifications of the individual organization’s requirements. Let’s say for example, connecting Deltek Vision and Concur, a client wishes to have additional steps taken to populate other list objects, or that in a Constant Contact campaign, a client would like to include additional customized data points held in custom grids or fields to facilitate the population routines of information in Constant Contact from Deltek Vision or in Deltek Vision from Constant Contact. The updated platform accommodates for customized mapping, transformation and translation so that data can flow between systems seamlessly and natively in near real-time.

Continued Benefit from Using a Blackbox Connector

V2 of the Blackbox Connector opens the doorway to enterprise class customizations to existing connectors as well as the development of new connectors. We can now quickly respond to changes to Deltek, for example, the upgraded Vision product, Vantagepoint, with painless transitions and minimized service interruption. Furthermore, as new versions of products become available, V2 will easily enable us to provide clients with whatever capabilities they desire keeping them running efficiently and successfully.

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Topics: Building Business, Technology Solutions

Improve Your Email Marketing Response Rates

Posted by Ryan Felkel on Wed, Jul 03, 2019 @ 11:35 AM

Email Marketing Over the past decade, email marketing has become a leading channel to generate brand and product awareness. Even better, unlike snail mail, marketers are able to get actual information about who opened the email and who followed the call to action. As a result, marketers can quickly determine what messaging is resonating with their target audience. Let’s take a look at some of the things you can do to increase the effectiveness of your email marketing efforts.

Use a Good Sender Name

Having a good sender name is extremely important. People are less likely to open an email that comes from a “no-reply” sender name and email address. Instead, use a sender name and an email address that the recipient might recognize. For example, if you’re emailing existing clients about a new product offering, consider using the name of their account representative from your company.

Have a Strong Subject Line

Upon receiving an email, the recipient usually looks first to see who sent it and then reads the subject line. The subject line can be the determining factor as to if the email recipient will actually even open and read the email. Email subject lines should get to the point and not be too long.  Furthermore, clearly state what information you are sharing inside the email. Consider using triggers words like “sale” and “proven” to increase interest in your messaging. Lastly, always use the preheader text field that is available in all email marketing platforms. The preheader text provides a place to add a summary of the email.

Use Catchy Graphics

Graphics are an important element to an email. Maybe it can be something fun that relates to the messaging of the email or it might just be company logo. Graphics help break up the text and make the email less overwhelming to the recipient. Another type of graphic to consider is an emoji. Emojis have become very popular over the past few years and they are a great way to communicate.

Format and Layout

“The best email I have gotten is one that is a giant block of text,” said no one ever. For the messaging of your email, text should be short and broken up to make the email scannable for the recipient. Some ways to break up text are to use short paragraphs, lists and bullet points. As mentioned before, use graphics to help break up the text. Also, make sure the call to action is clear to the recipient. It needs to stand out and should clarify the next steps for the reader.

Test Different Days and Times

With a 40-hour work week, there are several days and times you can chose to deploy your email. By breaking up your target list of recipients, you can test several different days and times to send your email to determine which time is best. For instance, you might find that your targets are more likely to open emails in the evening. If this is the case and let’s say the email is going to several time zones, you may consider breaking up the target list by time zone and deploying the email to ensure all recipients receive the email in the evening of their time zone.

Segment Your Email List

One of the last things you want to do is send an email with irrelevant content to a recipient. If you’re promoting a marketing product, it is less likely that an accountant is going to find your information useful. Additionally, you do not want to be sending the same people multiple emails a week, especially with irrelevant content. This will likely result in high unsubscribe rates.

Start Improving Your Email Success Rates

Now to the most important thing…testing, testing, and more testing. A/B testing is a marketer’s best friend. A/B testing involves creating two different subjects, graphics, messaging, and format/layout to determine what resonates with your audience. Once you have created two versions, segment your target list in two and send one half one version and the other half the other version. Then sit back and start to compare the success of each email to determine what increased your email success rate.

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Topics: Building Business, Marketing

Track Business Development with Informer Business Intelligence

Posted by Jennifer Renfroe on Wed, Feb 20, 2019 @ 11:30 AM

 

Business Intelligence Business development is crucial to the future of any company. Therefore, efficiently tracking it should be a top priority. So why are so many firms still using outdated spreadsheets that require so much effort to review? Well, once they get their hands on the Informer business intelligence (BI) tool, executives, business developers and marketers alike will be asking themselves that very question. Let’s see how the Informer BI solution will add value to your firm.

Colorful Graphics Save Time

The days of having to spend hours reviewing the specifics of opportunities and the sales pipeline on black and white pieces of paper are over. With Informer, colorful graphics draw attention to the information you seek. Essentially, you can set up your graphical dashboard using whatever dash parts you feel are the most important and drill down into the details as needed. These dashboards refresh automatically to keep your data up to date.

Different Visual Options

With Informer BI, there are different visual options available. Based on the fields selected, Informer automatically creates different visuals and you can choose from a saved list. You can customize your chart visuals depending on what you would like to see and how you would like to see it. Chart types vary from trends to pie charts to bar graphs to scatter plots. There are even geographic heat maps that show where your core opportunities are and where your firm needs to do more business development.

Keep a Finger on the Pulse of Business Development

Business developers are concerned with the health of the sales pipeline. They, of course, want opportunities sold as fast as possible and a way to track the win rates. Another great feature of Informer BI is the option to set up alerts when opportunities are closed. When an alert comes in, you will be drawn back to your dashboard to see what has changed. Informer even allows you to set up comparison boards with side by side displays. You can track win rates from month to month, year to year or even by location.

Get Informer Now

There is no need to waste any more time with those old fashioned and dated spreadsheets. Informer BI shows you exactly what you need to know about your business development as the opportunities unfold. Even more, Informer integrates with Deltek Vantagepoint and Vision. So, what are you waiting for?

Blackbox Connector for Informer  

Topics: Building Business, Marketing, Technology Solutions

Email Marketing: The Truth Revealed

Posted by Ryan Felkel on Wed, Feb 13, 2019 @ 05:02 PM

 

Email Marketing Blog 2.13.19Digital marketing, which includes email marketing, is a very effective strategy to growing your business. Most significantly, email marketing and outreach allows you to gain valuable insights into what information and messaging is important to your prospective and current clients. With each email sent, marketers can see open and click rates, and who opened and clicked on a link in the email. As a result, prospects can be easily identified, and messaging modified to grab the attention of other targets.

Email Marketing is Alive and Well

For many people, mainly the non-marketing folks, understanding how email marketing is effective can be difficult. In fact, many believe that email marketing is ineffective since they get so much spam and find it to be an annoyance. However, this is not the case. Email marketing actually has a very positive impact on your business. Here some are staggering facts about email marketing:

  • There are 3.7 billion email users in the world and that will increase to 4.1 billion by 2021 (Statista)
  • Email marketing has a 28.5% ROI compared to snail mail which has a 7% ROI on average (Chief Marketer)
  • 59% of marketers agree that email marketing generates their biggest source of ROI (Emma)
  • Email marketing is 40 times more effective at acquiring new clients than Facebook or Twitter (McKinsey)
  • 72% of people prefer to receive promotional information via email compared to 17% who prefer social media channels (MarketingSherpa)
  • Email marketing is 6 times more likely to result in a click-through than a tweet (Campaign Monitor)
  • 90% of people said they will opt-in to receive a newsletter to obtain updates about a company while 10% elected Facebook (Nielsen Norman Group)
  • 70% of B2B marketers agree that increasing their email list quality is their top priority (Delivra)
  • The average office employee checks their email 30 times per hour (Marketing Insider Group)
  • Checking email is the number 1 activity on the internet (Marketo)
  • Companies in the United States will spend more than $350 million dollars on email marketing in 2019 (Statista)
  • Email marketing drives on average $44 for every $1 spent (Campaign Monitor)

Email Marketing has a Bright Future

With all of these facts about email marketing, it is evident that the strategy works. While your firm is probably using email marketing as part of your overall digital marketing strategy, are you seeing the ROI and maximizing the benefits? Learn more about tracking and measuring email marketing success rates here!

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Topics: Building Business, Marketing, Technology Solutions

Organizations Professional Services Firms Should Join

Posted by Jennifer Renfroe on Wed, Dec 19, 2018 @ 11:30 AM

 

 

Professional Organizations Professional services firms focus on specific industries and provide a plethora of knowledge to their clients in the projects they undertake. For existing clients, professional services firms must continue to stay abreast of the most recent events or rules impacting that industry. They must also continue to build their client base with business development. There are numerous organizations available to professional services firms and many benefits to join them. Let’s take a look at some.

SMPS

The Society for Marketing Professional Services (SMPS) provides a creative and inspiring community to exchange ideas. Members can connect with A/E/C professionals from other firms and disciplines across the country. The information gleaned from networking with like-minded professionals can be applied to your firm’s business. Also, sharing your firm’s best practices can establish your company as a thought leader in the A/E/C industry. Additionally, the new connections in the A/E/C community that you make from SMPS can lead to future business opportunities for your firm. 

PSMJ Resources Inc.

The mission of PSMJ is to improve the business performance of A/E/C organizations worldwide. Membership in this organization provides several advantages. First off, member firms are offered advisory services from expert consultants who serve as coaches pushing firms to achieve greater success. Next, these experts annually conduct hundreds of bootcamps, workshops, roundtables, and networking conferences which provide industry education and a chance for business development. There are also numerous publications available such as articles and books which give solutions to A/E/C challenges. Finally, surveys are performed presenting accurate and relevant industry metrics that firm leaders rely on in making decisions. 

ACEC

The American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) is another organization providing great value to professional services firms. ACEC’s mission is to strengthen the business environment for member firms through government advocacy, political action and business education. This organization addresses key issues impacting A/E/C firms and provides online classes and seminars. Additionally, there are networking conferences for firm leaders to develop relationships. ACEC communications cover important legislative matters, and a magazine with thought provoking articles on advocacy and other business interests is published bimonthly. 

Deltek User Groups

There are many Deltek User groups offered across the United States. The Large Firm User Group (LFUG), the Power User Group (PUG) and regional groups by state are ideal networking environments for all Deltek users. These venues provide great opportunities for users to network, trade Deltek experiences and examine best business practices. In these forums, users can grow both professionally and personally gaining information on industry trends, new product features and business processes. 

Join Some Organizations

Professional services firms have much to gain by signing up with a variety of organizations. From firm leaders, to marketers to regulatory specialists, everyone can benefit from being members of these groups. Take some time and think about which organizations are the best match for your firm needs. Once you know, joining is just a click away!

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Topics: Building Business, Professional Services

Breaking Down the Early Stages of the Project Lifecycle

Posted by Michael Kessler, PMP on Wed, Aug 08, 2018 @ 03:05 PM

Project Lifecycle For professional services firms, having the right project lifecycle is essential to having a profitable company. Even more, the processes that drive your firm’s project lifecycle must be in sync with the systems you use to manage them. There are several stages in the project lifecycle and evaluating your processes requires breaking down the steps. In this blog, we’ll look at the initial and most overlooked phase of the project lifecycle…winning the work.

Leads and Opportunities

Here’s where many firms go wrong when examining their project lifecycle…to start a project, you must first win the job. So, evaluating the lead to opportunity process is an essential component and must be considered in the project lifecycle.

When a new lead is acquired, it needs to be captured in a system that provides visibility to the entire company. As a business development person learns more information from the lead, it is input into the system and analyzed to see if the firm can meet the requirements to win the project. Once the decision is made that your firm can win the work then the lead becomes an opportunity.

If you are using Deltek Vision or Deltek for Professional Services (DPS), it is recommended that you create a “proposal project” to track the time to prepare the proposal. By using a proposal project, your firm will have the analytics regarding the cost of winning and losing work as well as the total cost of the business development efforts.

Fee Proposal Development

Developing the fee proposal is another important step to the business development portion of the project lifecycle. The fee proposal will eventually become the basis for the project budget. It will include what your firm is being paid for the various stages of the project. This may also include bonuses or penalties for meeting or failing to meet certain milestones.

It is recommended for Deltek Vision and DPS users to develop the fee proposal using the resource planning module. This will allow you to incorporate previous performance from similar projects to ensure you are charging the right amounts and including the correct milestones. Additionally, firms should continuously check the scope of work and make sure it’s in line with the fee proposal you are developing.

Fee Negotiation and Finalizing a Budget

Once the client indicates it has a desire to move forward with your firm, the fee negotiation and budget finalization phase of the project lifecycle begins. Things to keep in mind during this stage are possible changes to scope, schedule and fees. The budget created during this process will serve as the guide for the project manager to execute the work.

Next Steps to the Project Lifecycle

This blog discussed the business development piece of the project lifecycle. Remember that periodic reviews of your firm’s project lifecycle are a must to ensure that the process is still in line with how your firm has evolved. Stay tuned for more blogs about project execution and project closeout.

Deltek Vision Navigational Analysis 

Topics: Project Management, Building Business, Professional Services

Make Smarter Decisions with the Informer 5 Business Intelligence Tool

Posted by Matt McCauley on Wed, Apr 11, 2018 @ 11:35 AM

Informer 5Business analytics has become increasingly important for professional services firms. However, finding a business intelligence (BI) tool that works with Deltek Vision and gives us the analytics we want has been challenging. We need flexibility, customization and ease of use to answer important questions about our firms yet often we find that this type of analysis is not accessible in Vision. Thus, we are faced with the export/import/number crunch process in an external tool like Excel plus countless hours spent doing the calculations over and over. We need a better solution, instant access, and easy updates.

Enter Informer 5

Introducing Informer 5, the BI tool which works with Deltek Vision to make instant analytics readily available. Informer 5 is an integrated customizable interface to Vision data for use in various analytical scenarios. Using the Blackbox Connector, direct integration with Vision is now a reality.  

You simply select the data fields you want in your database including standard Vision fields, User Defined Fields, and User Defined Info Centers, and you’ll quickly be able to visually see project metrics, employee measurements, marketing results, and firm forecasting. You’ll be able to answer questions such as: 

  • How are my projects performing?
  • How is that new branch office doing?
  • Are my employees billing enough hours?
  • How is the firm doing compared to the last three years?

Also, remember those spreadsheets with all that data we built over the past years? Informer 5 can integrate this data with your Vision data. No need to reinvent the wheel, we can use it as a data source. Other data sources? Informer 5 can access those too.

Visualize Your Data with Informer 5

Are you interested in where your work is being done and where the profits are made? Well, Informer 5 also includes geographical presentations including maps. You can easily visualize and determine these specifics with Informer 5.

You can even find the numbers behind the pictures. Informer 5 has built in drill down capabilities that can take you directly to the detail data. From Profit Center to Project Manager, Project Manager to Project, and all the way down to line item detail, data can be acquired with Informer 5, and all of this can be gathered from the same graph with no need to run additional reports.

Make Smarter Decisions with Informer 5

On a final note, the Informer 5 package includes set calculations for many of our industry standard metrics. Additional calculations can be added to customize this solution for any firm. Also, firm data can be updated regularly on schedule or updated on demand from Vision. It is up to you. So, with all of these awesome features of Informer 5 and its integration with Vision, isn’t it time for your firm to start making smarter decisions?

Blackbox Connector for Informer 5 and Deltek Vision

Topics: Building Business, Technology Solutions, Professional Services

Using Business Intelligence for Successful Firm Performance

Posted by Wes Renfroe on Wed, Mar 28, 2018 @ 11:00 AM

Business Intelligence Technically, business intelligence or BI has been around for centuries. It is simply the review/analysis of business data. Traditionally, this review had been focused on the past performance of financial data which was easiest to access. As this was financial data, the only people who had access were senior management teams and lower level employees were provided little, if any information. Fortunately, we have come a long way since the old days.

Old Days No More

Financial trends have become easier to access and report against, and we have gotten better at creating and using tools to let us peer into the murky future. Solutions such as resource (people) planning, project planning and CRM (client relationship management) now allow us to track what we see on our immediate horizons. With a combination of these past-looking and forward-looking tools, we can provide a comprehensive view of our performance and where we see upcoming opportunities.

New Problem with Amount of Available Data

So, here’s the new problem. We have access to so much information that it is easy to get overwhelmed. There needs to be a way to draw our eye to a potential “opportunity.” We have also restructured enough that simply having a team who looks at the information and communicates the “opportunity” down the channels isn’t enough. We now require everyone in the company to see the potential and act on it. 

Power of Modern BI Tools

Modern BI tools are the solution to this problem. They allow for consolidation of information into a single data warehouse, so management can see the trends, but this information can also be maintained ‘real-time’ or very close to it depending on the situation. The information can then be presented in a cohesive format that provides an easy view of how the company is performing against its goals.

Furthermore, this information can be disseminated through all the employees (as appropriate) so they can then make informed decisions about their day to day priorities. Additionally, with our mobile workforce, modern BI provides people access to what they need when they need it. Ultimately, the best BI will offer a visual that will call out an issue (or opportunity to improve) and then allow direct access to the data to see what the detail is. 

Example of How Modern BI Works

Below is an actual Division Manager view that shows her the team’s utilization, backlog and outstanding AR. She might look at the AR third column (with the big past due amount) and want to see the specifics:

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A simple click of a button will drill down to the clients and let her know there really is only one problem:

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She can even go down further to the detail level and see more:

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This information will be available to her at the job site, the soccer match or while she grabs a coffee on the way to work. Modern BI tools are very convenient and effective.

Ensuring Successful Firm Performance with Modern BI Tools

Today’s BI is the best way to stay in touch with your company’s performance. A responsive, well thought out BI tool will allow the company to focus on performance metrics that can easily be drilled down to the individual and rolled up to the management team. This modern BI will enable everyone on the team to pull in the same direction and ensure success for the entire company.

Blackbox Connector for Informer 5 and Deltek Vision

Topics: Building Business, Marketing, Technology Solutions