Full Sail Partners Blog

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

Why Your Firm Needs Deltek PIM

Posted by Madeline O'Connor on Wed, Jun 26, 2019 @ 11:00 AM

PIM-1

Projects are the life blood of the AEC industry. Efficiently run projects yield the most revenue and are thus essential to firm success. Fortunately for these firms, Deltek Project Information Management (PIM) provides project management and collaboration tools designed to help employees access critical project information and keep teams connected throughout the entire project lifecycle. Let’s check out what PIM can do for your firm.

Access All Project Emails in One Place

Employees spend 2-3 hours per day on average on email related activities according to a study by Dr. Michael Einstein at MESMO Inc. With Deltek PIM, project employees can easily add project related emails and communications into one central location allowing all project employees visibility into all email communications. Now hours are no longer lost managing and organizing project emails from other sources, since PIM provides a central location for the most up to date project emails. Project employees can utilize PIM to improve productivity, not impede project progress.

Simplify Document Management

Deltek PIM helps firms maintain hundreds of files across all aspects of their business in one location, giving companies the organization and intelligence to run their business smarter. All drawings, correspondence, and submittals are accessible by all team members at any time. Even more, PIM allows project teams to share large files in the office or with external team members while maintaining security and control. With PIM, there is no more worrying about setting up accounts or dated FTP sites so deadlines remain on track.

Take Information Management to the Next Level

Most importantly, Deltek PIM integrates with your Deltek ERP solution to improve how your firm manages schedules, budgets, resources and files for every project. Furthermore, PIM enables project teams to manage project documents while in the field. As a result, project employees can stay on top of everything that has been done or needs to be done at the site including uploading site photos, managing inspections, updating punch lists, and more with mobile access.

Make More Revenue Using Deltek PIM

Deltek PIM offers firms the chance to stay organized and run projects more efficiently. With PIM, team members will have access to all important documents with up to date details in one place throughout the entire project lifecycle. Therefore, project managers can ensure their projects are completed on time and on budget. How can PIM help your firm?

Deltek PIM

Topics: Project Management, Technology Solutions, Project Information Management (PIM)

Ways to Track Marketing Success

Posted by Madeline O'Connor on Wed, May 29, 2019 @ 01:00 PM

Digital Marketing

When you are determining what marketing techniques are going to be the best for your company, there are some important things to consider. It’s common for business owners to cast a wide net in their initial marketing plan, throwing everything they can against the wall to see what sticks. However, continuing to throw money at a marketing strategy that is not generating conversation will result in loss of revenue and time. Fortunately, there are ways that you can avoid this by tracking the success of your marketing techniques and being able to adjust the ones not yielding results.

Website Analytics

Let’s start with one of the easiest and most common methods of tracking marketing success: website analytics. Utilizing this method, you can see who is coming to your site and from what sources. This lets you know which marketing tactics are creating the most clicks and how those clicks could be converted into leads or sales. A lot of website analytic tools are easy to setup and simple to use.

Email Outreach

Email marketing is easy to track and measure. Most email marketing platforms offer a host of data that will help you gauge the efficiency of your email campaigns. Your task is to find those metrics that best suit your email marketing goals and to keep an eye on them. There are many different things that are important to look at when it comes to the success of email marketing. Deliverability, open rates, click-through rates, conversation and bounce rates. These all can give you a better idea of how your email marketing campaign is going.

Phone Tracking

Call tracking is one of the most effective ways to evaluate lead generation sources. By taking advantage of call tracking technology, you can see what marketing ventures are generating the highest number of phone calls. This gives you the opportunity to keep track of who is calling from where and gauge where your budget is best spent.

CRM Tracking

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) helps sales staff stay organized and track marketing campaign results. Using a CRM software, sales professionals create profiles for each prospect including name, company, phone number, lead source, and any other relevant information. CRM platforms not only lead the way in tracking initial marketing efforts but continue to serve in following the future of client dealings.

Save Time and Effort by Tracking Marketing Success

Tracking marketing success is quite effective when using the right techniques. You can learn what works and what doesn’t when marketing to contacts to create more business and ultimately generate more income for your firm. Using a tool like the Deltek CRM, you can easily.

Email marketing, battle for the inbox

Topics: Marketing, Technology Solutions, CRM

Why a Good User Interface Matters?

Posted by Madeline O'Connor on Wed, May 15, 2019 @ 01:29 PM

computer_inside

In essence, a User Interface (UI) guides users – it is a chain of screens, pages, buttons, forms or any visual element that interacts with a user. It may prompt the user to seek further information, navigate the site, make a registration or purchase decision with a series of clicks. Having a good user interface can ultimately change the way you work and process information for your business. There are many different aspects that a UI can offer to make things more efficient, quicker, and easier to understand.

Clarity 

Clarity is one of the most important elements of a user interface design. The whole purpose of a UI design is to enable people to interact with your system by communicating meaning and function. Clarity throughout the application can make this easier and more efficient. One great way of simplifying an interface is to use whitespace which breaks up the content and allows the user to concentrate on the important areas.

Presentation

An interface that is poorly designed can drive incoming traffic away and leave a bad impression. Features such as attractive branding, color scheme, layout, graphics, tabs and other tools make a great design that users will want to utilize. You want the UI to look good while still having the right features to work well keeping users satisfied.

Easy-to-Decipher

Easy-to-decipher and consistent navigation that is simple to locate and browse through is the basic requirement for a good UI. If the navigation is complex for a user to work with, there is no way they will want to spend more time trying to figure it out. One way to make things better is to make buttons and options more easily recognizable by using the icons the users expect to see. A good example is the trash can as most users will understand what this does without further explanation.

Functional

In the end, it is all worthless if the UI’s functionality is not up to speed. A quality User interface focuses on making the user interactions simple and efficient. Having such a user interface can go a long way in ensuring an exceptional user experience. Every single second a user spends on the interface is directly attributable to the functionality of that UI.

Make Sure Your User Interface is Exceptional

The User experience is tantamount to business success, and the User Interface is the most significant touch point for your users. If your UI is user friendly, it will be used repeatedly increasing your business productivity. Without a quality UI, the opposite is true, and that is why having a good User Interface matters.

 Deltek Vantagepoint

Topics: Technology Solutions, Professional Services

Thinking Outside of the Box?

Posted by Wes Renfroe on Wed, May 08, 2019 @ 11:35 AM

Custom Solutions Do you have an idea that hasn’t been done before? Full Sail Partners can leverage our expertise to help build a custom solution to your specifications. Just let us know what you have in mind and be as detailed as possible. It will be worth the effort since it will expedite getting your project to reality. Here’s all you need to do:

Go to Our Website

First off, just go to the Full Sail Partners website then click on the Services tab. Next, click on Deltek Product Solutions. At the bottom of that page, we have a link for “contact us today” for unique business needs. Just click there and it will bring you to the list of questions to help us understand how we can help.

Motivations for the Custom Solution

The first few questions let us know the gist of your idea including the type of project you have in mind. Is it report driven, data driven or something else? What has brought you to needing this custom solution? Finally, are there certain necessary components that need to be part of your custom solution?

Give Us the Details

We want to understand exactly what you are looking for with your idea. So, in this next part we need as many details typed into the box as possible. Also, we want to know if your Deltek Vantagepoint or Vision is hosted or if you are maintaining it on site. Full Sail Partners does Vision hosting, therefore if you are one of our clients already that is even better.

Send Screenshots

Lastly, screenshots of what you are looking to accomplish are a big time-saver. They give us a good visual of what you have in mind for your custom need. There are directions provided to help you get that screenshot to us. If there are any additional mock-ups or samples of your idea, send those to us as well.

Submit and Full Sail Partners Will Get Right on It

Custom solutions are available for Deltek Vision and are becoming available for Vantagepoint to help your firm get the most out of your ERP solution. The process is easy and the effort very worthwhile. We are looking forward to seeing what out of the box ideas your firm has today!

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Topics: Technology Solutions, Professional Services

What Makes a Quality Business Software Solution?

Posted by Ryan Felkel on Wed, May 01, 2019 @ 02:56 PM

Business Software

For those of you reading this, I’m glad that you have a desire to expand your knowledge. While you might be a great accountant, business development person, project manager, HR professional, or C-level executive, you might not have a high level of IT knowledge. Yet, you are the professionals that must use your company’s business software solutions. Therefore, you need to ensure these business solutions are allowing you to be more productive. So, let’s see if your current business software solution is a quality one or not.

Simple to Understand

This sounds like a no brainer-but how simple is the software solution you use? Simplicity is more than a friendly user interface. When thinking about simplicity, you need to imagine inputting data and extracting actionable information.

Even more, it means being able to share information with others within and outside your firm. Taking this further, how many clicks does it take to get to your destination? And let’s not forget being able to easily obtain support from the software provider with quick resolution for your problem.

Pleasant User Interface

Software companies have entire teams of professionals dedicated to human-computer interaction, or in other words, how humans interact with machines. A quality user interface does make a software solution simpler, but more importantly, it entices users to want to use the solution. A software interface should be visually appealing and provide an intuitive environment. The better the user interface, the more likely employees will adopt using the software.

Integrates with Other Software Solutions

The fact of the matter is that businesses usually use more than one software to deliver services. For example, business intelligence (BI) software, like Entrinsik’s Informer BI tool, is becoming a leading software product used by companies to better analyze data. However, a core software must be able to integrate with a BI software to be able to extract the data.

Moreover, businesses also often use piecemealed together systems that are created as a business grows and/or a new gap needs to be filled. As a result, these individual solutions must be integrated together so they can communicate. If they are not integrated, employees will then have to manually input information from one system to another which waste time and is more prone to errors.     

Get Your Job Done More Efficiently

Does your current solution meet the needs of your business? Does your software help you better serve your clients and streamline your business processes? Lastly, will the software solutions you use be able to grow with you and your firm? If the answer to any of these questions is no, let Full Sail Partners help!

Reach Full Sail Partners

Topics: Technology Solutions, Professional Services

Workflows Your Firm Should be Using in Deltek Vision

Posted by Madeline O'Connor on Wed, Apr 17, 2019 @ 03:55 PM

Deltek Vision WorkflowsMost Deltek users have heard of Vision workflows but aren’t aware of the vast capabilities they offer. From managing repetitive tasks to enforcing compliances and validating data, workflows are extremely versatile and easy to set up. Whether you are a workflow rookie or a veteran, let’s take a look at some workflows that your firm should be using in Deltek Vision.

Different Types of Workflows in Deltek Vision

User Initiated -Allows set up of automated actions in Vision that are triggered when a record is saved, and certain conditions are met.

Contact Record Verification - Provides employees further insight on the validity of contact information by creating a workflow using custom fields. Employees simply check a checkbox, and through a workflow, the modified user and the date the checkbox was checked can populate reducing the number of fields the end user has to fill in.

Scheduled -Allows you to create automated actions that run at regular intervals via the process server.

Web Services – Allows you to set up an interface between Vision and external application.

Opportunities – Makes sure the business development team is following up on opportunities by creating actions and alerts that are prompted when an opportunity is opened, a stage is changed and when the opportunity is closed.

Types of Workflow Actions in Deltek Vision

Validate Error – Creates a “check” against the data entered and returns an error message.

Validate Warning – The same as the error but provides only a warning. The user will be able to save the record.

Email Alert – Creates an email to a specified person or role or another employee linked field (for example project manager).

Stored Procedure – Executes a SQL script on the Vision database. Requires knowledge of T-SQL and stored procedures. However, this allows you great flexibility to update information across all info centers in Vision.

Function – Calls well known Vision methods to do specific tasks like create a project from an opportunity.

Invoke A Custom Method/Invoke a Web Service – Requires advanced programing knowledge and web services. 

Let Deltek Vision Workflows Work for You

These are just a few examples of things you can do with workflows in Deltek Vision. Setting these workflows up is easier than you think and will save you and your firm lots of time. Our team here at Full Sail Partners is ready to help you set up any Vision workflow you think would benefit your firm! Let us know if we can help you!

Deltek Vision Workflows  

Topics: Technology Solutions, Deltek Vision

The Value of Email Communication Management with Deltek PIM

Posted by Ryan Felkel on Wed, Apr 10, 2019 @ 03:15 PM

Deltek PIM

Project-based firms do experience challenges during the project lifecycle from ensuring a project remains on schedule to keeping the client satisfied. With these challenges, however, there is one common denominator…communication. Communication is key to the success of a project whether it’s with the client or with your own project team. One of the most common forms of communication is email, but if you’re not included on every email that pertains to a project, how can you know what is going on? With Deltek PIM, the communication problem is solved, and your firm will reap the benefits.

Centralized Email Communication

With a simple click, an email can be stored within the project in Vantagepoint or Vision. Therefore, every employee working on a particular project can quickly access the email communications that contain important information about the project. This saves time and improves project communication. With Deltek PIM, an employee might notice a change to the project and can quickly search through the emails to see who made the change and why.

Improved Decision Making

Using Deltek PIM increases the collaborative work environment since everyone has access to project related communication. With more insight into the project information, team members can make informed and quick decisions. The impact of this efficiency is significant for project-based firms in the form of a higher profit on each project.

Quick User Adoption

If your firm is already using Deltek Vantagepoint or Vision, PIM easily integrates with these project management platforms. Even better, this integration makes it easy to use which increases user adoption. As a result, an investment into Deltek PIM offers value since firm employees will actually use this product as they are already managing projects in Vantagepoint or Vision.

Deltek PIM Does More

Not only does Deltek PIM provide centralized email, but it also allows for all project related files to be stored directly in the project in Vantagepoint or Vision. With PIM, you can store emails, all types of documents, easily organize drawings, and improve sharing since all these things are in one location. If you haven’t seen PIM, make sure to check our webinar listing page to view upcoming and past PIM webinars.

Deltek PIM 

Topics: Technology Solutions, Project Information Management (PIM)

Visualize Data with Informer Business Intelligence

Posted by Madeline O'Connor on Wed, Apr 03, 2019 @ 11:35 AM

Informer Business intelligence – or BI – is a technology-driven process aimed at collecting data and analyzing it to create actionable insight. This insight can help you and your company make better business decisions. Using a visual dashboard set up with your firm’s KPIs, BI can give you a better idea of how to move forward with strategic business planning.

Why Data Visualization is So Important

Data visualization is important for the simple reason that our brains are wired for visuals. Half of our brain is dedicated to visual functions, and 90% of the information transmitted to the brain is visual. We process images 60,000 times faster than text making data visualizations quite significant in the business world. Additionally, visuals improve comprehension, a key factor when it comes to interpreting data and making decisions.

Informer BI Offers Visual Options

With Informer BI, there are plenty of visual options available for any type of relevant data. Based on the data type, Informer automatically creates different visuals you can choose from to best fit your audience. You can even customize your graphics depending on what you want to see and how you want to see it - choose color, size, and type of graphic you want to display.

Why Informer?

Not only do colorful graphics draw attention to the pertinent information, but Informer is always updating your customizable dashboard to make sure your data is current. Informer can easily combine data from multiple sources and is available for cloud use. Stop wasting your time with out of date boring spreadsheets and jumbled up numbers. Instead, focus on what drives your business using Informer BI to make insightful decisions.  

Key Performance Indicators  

Topics: Technology Solutions

Firms Should Make Employee Development a Priority Using Career Paths

Posted by Jennifer Renfroe on Wed, Mar 27, 2019 @ 05:31 PM

Career PathsAcquiring top talent for project-based businesses is a necessity. With the best teams in place, projects are run more efficiently, completed timely and ultimately profitable. While getting these key players on board is crucial, keeping them inspired and engaged is just as significant. If your firm incorporates career paths as part of its HR Talent Management strategy, then employee development becomes a priority and retention remains high.

What are Career Paths?

Career paths are plans that lay out the steps to get to the next place in an employee’s journey with your firm. Your top talent needs to feel that there is growth potential within your organization. Using Deltek Talent Management, employees can see jobs they want to aspire to and other lateral roles they may need to undertake first. With career path software, everyone is informed of where an employee currently stands, and where he wants to be down the road. This keeps all parties accountable for employee development.

The Key is to Start Early

Developing career paths should begin at the talent acquisition phase. Is this candidate a fit now and potentially down the road? What are the motivations and incentives to be part of your firm? What are the cultural desires? HR can use Talent Management to review skills and competencies and determine what gaps need to be filled to move further down the career line. There should be a three to five-year duration of the career path. What would be the immediate placement of this candidate and what would provide growth?

Development plans

When establishing career paths, it is necessary to set guidelines to target competencies and identify skill gaps. There must be clear objectives and deadlines to reach these goals. Mentoring by firm leaders and developing new skills are essential to acquiring needed competencies. However, employees can also use professional associations in their industry to further develop their knowledge base. Development can happen year-round.

Reviewing Career Paths

While the firm should provide opportunities for development and mentors to help talent learn new skills, the employees need to drive the effort. Both lateral and job promotions are necessary parts of the career path. It is just as important to spend time in different jobs at one level as it is to move to the next. Continuous feedback sessions should be part of the career path process with roadblocks included. Finding out how the employee is contributing to the firm shows engagement.

Career Paths Contribute to Employee Retention

Career paths help make employee development a priority, and they can be updated as needed. Employees can even be included as part of succession planning in their career path. Remember that in creating career paths, authenticity is key, and communication is vital. Employees must know that you value them and how they can grow with the firm. In exchange, excitement for career potential will keep employee retention high.

Deltek Talent Management  

Topics: Technology Solutions, Deltek Talent