Full Sail Partners Blog

What’s New in Deltek Vantagepoint?

Posted by Jennifer Renfroe on Wed, Aug 14, 2019 @ 11:35 AM

Deltek Vantagepoint

If you haven’t heard yet, Deltek has reimagined Vision to create a more powerful and user focused ERP system specifically for professional services firms. Deltek Vantagepoint’s 360-degree view of a firm’s projects offers improved productivity, increased profitability and significantly improved strategic business decision making capabilities. Vantagepoint is an incredible upgrade from Vision and is continuing to grow with each new version. The latest release of Vantagepoint has even more enhancements which will allow firms to deliver even better projects. Let’s take a look at what’s new with Deltek Vantagepoint.

New Proposal Builder

With the new Vantagepoint proposal builder, business development teams can quickly put together impressive proposals to stay ahead of the competition. This new visual proposal builder provides a drag and drop option for images, allows project descriptions to be taken directly from project records and offers the ability to easily create resumes. Within the new proposal builder, there are also reusable templates, boilerplates and master elements to ensure your branding is correct. Having the ability to quickly create uniformed proposals allows business development teams to focus on the other activities required to create new business opportunities. 

Combined Opportunities and Projects

Project information is now consolidated into one hub making it easier to create, manage and deliver projects. By combining opportunities and projects, all project details can be monitored in one place. Having one location for project information prevents duplicate records, simplifies project administration and provides complete visibility into projects.

Streamlined Billing and Invoicing

Enhancements have been made to the billing and invoicing processes with the latest Vantagepoint release saving time for accounting teams. Deltek realized that having billing and invoicing in one place will greatly improve the user experience. With Vantagepoint, users can view project details that include billing information in the new Projects hub. As part of this enhanced capability, draft invoices can be reviewed and approved by project managers directly from their projects. Therefore, the overall time from draft to final invoice is cut short with this interactive billing process. Accounting teams and financial managers can analyze financial information and email final invoices more efficiently and improve cash flow.

Improved Dashboards

Without being able to visualize your data in several formats, it is difficult to make fast and actionable decisions. With Vantagepoint, dashboards have been enhanced to provide improved business intelligence and offer more actionable insight. Now there are new chart dashparts and better ways to sort, group and filter data. Multiple dashboards for users can be created and configured to meet specific user needs allowing for even more effective business management.

Get Ready to Upgrade to Deltek Vantagepoint

With all these features offered by the newest release of Deltek Vantagepoint, professional services firms can run their projects even more effectively. Deltek strives to power project success and will continue to seek out more improvements to help project-based firms run at their best. Are you ready to upgrade to Deltek Vantagepoint today? Check the official Deltek Vantagepoint Readiness Portal to learn more about the requirements and when you should start considering upgrading to Vantagepoint.

  Deltek Vantagepoint

Topics: Technology Solutions, Professional Services, Deltek Vantagepoint

Why Your Firm Should Be Keeping Up with Technology

Posted by Madeline O'Connor on Wed, Aug 07, 2019 @ 01:58 PM

Technology

In the business world, it is vital that your company stays ahead of the competition. Business leaders must consistently evaluate many things from the technology being used to the way the business is organized. While firms tend to spend a lot of money on business development activities, they focus less on technology advancements. This is a costly mistake since technology is rapidly changing and continues to provide solutions to many common business challenges. Let’s see why companies should prioritize digital innovation.

Worth the Cost

Businesses push back on investments in technology because of the cost to upgrade their current systems. However, they don’t consider the cost of their current software being outdated. Choosing to save that money and not invest in new and up-to-date software could lead to more problems down the road like hardware failure.

Even more significant, using outdated systems can be frustrating and lead to less productive employees and slower work production. Using current technology will promote productivity plus allow employees to learn what is new so they can benefit their customers. Keeping up with the growing technology can give companies the edge over others that are still using out-of-date systems.

Reducing Redundancy 

There are many software offerings available to reduce redundancies and improve employee efficiency and productivity. Firms first should find an application that will communicate with other systems they have in place. Employees should have an easy and effective way to get data from one place to another without having to import and export to different systems. Having a system that can interface with a client’s software can make it easier to manage data. Working with current software eliminates duplicate data which results in more work down the line.

Remote Access

As newer technology arises in the business world, mobility becomes an option for more employees. The ability to access corporate data while not in the office is essential to employee productivity. There is an additional impact on your team since data can be updated whenever creating real-time information. Furthermore, being able to work from wherever provides more flexibility to meet customer needs whenever they arise. Only the most current technology allows for these benefits.

Fostering Collaboration

Digital innovation promotes global collaboration. While businesses require collaboration, it is becoming increasingly difficult with more companies going global. By employing collaboration solutions, employees are able to share information real-time instead of storing it. Having the ability to share results instantly can improve employee relationships within teams located around the world.

Make Technology a Priority

Unsupported software and out-of-date hardware can cause data failure, but it also prevents businesses from being as productive as they could be. Pursuing digital innovation, companies can make sure they are on top of their games.  Up-to-date systems offering employee mobility ensures productivity and an exceptional customer experience. Prioritize technology for your firm.

   Increase Employee Productivity

Topics: Support, Technology Solutions, Deltek Vision

Get to Know the Deltek Learning Zone

Posted by Ryan Felkel on Thu, Aug 01, 2019 @ 01:36 PM

Deltek Learning Zone Have you ever wanted to learn how to get more out of your Deltek products? Well, Deltek has a solution for you! If you’re a go-getter, you’ll find the Deltek Learning Zone (DLZ) a great tool to expand your capabilities. Let’s take a look at how you can access what DLZ has to offer.

Gaining Access to the Deltek Learning Zone

Here’s some side information before we go to deep. For starters, Deltek Vantagepoint and Vision are offered in two versions. One being on-premise, which means your firm hosts Vantagepoint or Vision on their own servers. The other being software as a service (SaaS). This means your Deltek product is hosted in the cloud and maintained by Deltek IT staff which relieves your firm of the burden on maintaining your software and having to have hardware to store your data. So, why is this important?

If your firm is a SaaS Deltek client, there’s some good news! You have access to the DLZ at no additional charge. If your firm maintains their own Deltek database, you still have access to the DLZ. However, there is a nominal fee your firm will have to pay to gain access.

Benefits of the Deltek Learning Zone

For starters, the DLZ is a learning tool. It allows users to access information and training materials about the Deltek products your firm utilizes. These resources allow you to learn more about the products you use and how to maximize them to reap all the benefits to improve your work performance. But wait, there’s more!

Sure, you want to get the most out of the Deltek products you already have access to. However, is there an add-on module that can help your firm streamline more processes? Well, you probably know the answer is yes if you’re an avid Deltek user. But you may not be sure of how they work and how easy they are to use. Well, the DLZ offers a simple solution for you to learn how these additional modules work and how easy they are to navigate.

Even more, many Deltek Vision users are preparing to upgrade to the latest Deltek ERP, Vantagepoint. However, many people are hesitant to change which is a natural instinct. Therefore, the DLZ offers several training tools to help overcome fears and answer the questions you have before upgrading to Vantagepoint.

Here’s What is Offered in the Deltek Learning Zone

Deltek created DLZ with the core understanding that people learn in different ways. As a result, they created several ways for you to increase your knowledge and proficiency with your Deltek products. For starters, they organized the majority of the educational materials on a role-based library. Meaning that it’s easy to find the right materials and training information that is specific to your job at your firm.

Futhermore, one person might learn by reading a document or watching a video, while others may need a more interactive environment. The DLZ offers several types of training tools to help users of all skills and to meet the needs of how different individuals learn. When you log into the DLZ, you choose to register for an interactive class or download on-demand videos and documents to get instant answers to your challenges you experience on a daily basis.

Do More with the Deltek Learning Zone

If you haven’t explored what is offered in DLZ, you may want to start searching through the resources available. The reality is, you have created a career in the professional services industry and it’s likely you’ll be using Deltek products throughout your entire career. With that said, you should take a deep dive into the DLZ to see what new things you can learn to make yourself your firm’s go-to resource for any Deltek related questions.   

Deltek Learning Zone

Topics: Support, Technology Solutions, Deltek Vision

Summary of Technology Trends from the 40th Annual Deltek Clarity Report

Posted by Madeline O'Connor on Wed, Jul 24, 2019 @ 11:00 AM

40th Annual AE Clarity Report-1

Technology is a huge part of any growing business and leaders are constantly searching for emerging technology trends that can drive their businesses forward. Originally, the A&E industry strayed from embracing new technology because of the time and effort it took to learn and adopt the new trends. However, firms are now identifying technology as a strategic and innovative way to educate staff, identify key initiatives, and implement incremental changes to improve business.

Top Three Technology Trend Challenges

In this year’s Deltek Clarity Survey, firms were asked about their top technology trend challenges. The results presented in the 40th Clarity Report showed that the top three challenges were the struggles of prioritizing trends, the cost of technology, and the lack of time to learn. Other challenges included client education, lack of leadership, and buy-in from firms.

Emerging Technology Trends

For the second year in a row, firms were asked how important nine emerging technology trends were to their businesses. Lining up with the top four from last year, The Internet of Things (loT) and Geo locations ranked in, closely followed by big data and data science.

The loT is the interconnection of devices embedded in everyday objects, enabling them to send and receive data. It is important because connected devices offer the potential to better manage certain projects. The key is being able to extract and manage actionable data from the loT devices to make informed decisions.

Geo location is more prominent now than ever. Firms can leverage geo location information to make things easier for the employees and clients. Geo locations can be used to determine an employee’s location, to track how long an employee is on a job site or deliver valuable details about the client when you arrive at a project or client office. Firms can use this information to better manage projects and improve client satisfaction giving them a competitive advantage.

Application of Technology Trends

This year, firms were also asked to which areas of their business they apply technology trends. Most firms are looking at implementing these trends into projects themselves through either project management or project execution. Futhermore, more than half of the firms want to apply technology to improve their business development and marketing.

The problem is that not enough firms are seeing the value of technology and how it can improve human capital management. Potential and existing clients are wanting businesses to be tech-savvy, and those that can deliver streamlined services that use up-to-date technology will stand out from the rest. Embracing technology today can create a clear competitive advantage, while those who are not will have to play catch up later.

Top Technology Trend Initiatives

Additionally, firms were asked to identify the top three initiatives they are employing to address technology challenges in the next three years. Two-thirds of the firms identified creating a strategic plan as one of their top three initiatives, followed by educating staff and identifying and developing technology subject matter experts. With these initiatives in mind, how can firms get this information and learn from it and eventually apply it to their work forces?

First, firms just need to know where to start. Industry associations and partners are a great resource they can use to learn more about technology. Firms should not be nervous about integrating new technology into their organization because of the fear of failure. Once they gain an understanding of the technology, developing a budget for implementing these trends will become more manageable.

Learn More From the 40th Annual Deltek Clarity Report

This is simply a summary of technology trends from this year’s report. For more details, download a copy of the 40th Annual Deltek Clarity Report today. You may also find other topics of interest to keep your firm ahead of the competition.

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Topics: Technology Solutions, Deltek Clarity Report

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