Full Sail Partners Blog

Reasons Why You Should Attend a Professional Conference

Posted by Ryan Felkel on Wed, May 30, 2018 @ 11:35 AM

Get IdeasAttending a professional conference is a great way to learn solutions to obstacles you currently face, new ways to challenge yourself, and learning about trends in your industry. Additionally, you should never hesitate to ask your employer to allow you to attend a good and relevant conference on their dollar. Furthermore, managers should require employees to go to professional conferences to get out of the office and learn new things they can bring back to share with their coworkers. So, what are the benefits of attending a professional conference?

Network with Likeminded People

Sure, your LinkedIn network is huge. However, when was the last time you spoke to someone in your network face to face, or have you ever met them face to face? Professional conferences attract people from all different geographies from different continents to regional or smaller local conferences. In other words, conferences bring people together in one place in an environment that promotes talking to others. So, don’t be shy! Get out there and meet new people.

Get Fresh Ideas

In reality, you sit in our workspace and either not talk to coworkers about your ideas and their ideas because you are the only person in that role, or you’re talking to the same people about the same ideas every day. As a result, you tend to grow stale on the subject that you’re respected as an authority upon. Therefore, this is probably the number one reason to attend a professional conference.

When attending a conference, you get to attend seminars and panel discussions led by respected industry leaders and take part in roundtable sessions. Here you can get fresh ideas on challenges others are facing industry trends. Remember, you’re going to be inundated with a lot of information, so make sure to stay attentive and take notes.

Present Your Ideas to Others

In today’s age, your company’s brand is built on the brand of its employees. Prospects and clients are more likely to make a purchase from a company that they know, and trust employs thought leaders in their respected industry. This means employees must build their personal brand by showing they are a thought leader in their industry.

Becoming a thought leader requires making presentations about your ideas to peers to develop your “authority” reputation. It will also give you confidence in your work. Here’s a tip, make your presentation fun and interactive to keep the audience’s attention.  

Meet an Expert

You read their blogs and books, and if they have a television show or podcast, you probably tune into that too. Even more, their a mentor to you, but you’ve never talked or corresponded. However, that doesn’t have to be the case anymore.

Industry experts attend the conferences you should want to attend. They give presentations about their ideas, you know…the ones you read about, but now you can easily interact with your mentor and ask questions while attending a conference. Most importantly, experts also attend the conference social events, giving you a chance to have a face to face conversation. Keep in mind, they’re humans too. So, don’t get nervous when having your one on one time.

Make the Most of Every Professional Conference You Attend

Last tip! keep a pen handy and remember your business cards at all times! Conferences are short, and you’ll be having a lot of fun. Remembering what you talked to someone about and having them remember you isn’t easy. With your pen, write notes other people’s business cards about what you talked about and make sure you have your cards, so they can do the same. There are so many benefits to attending a conference, but it’s up to you to make the most out of it.

Conferences and Events

Topics: Tips, Marketing, Professional Services

Tips and Tricks for Deltek Vision Users

Posted by Ryan Felkel on Wed, May 16, 2018 @ 11:35 AM

 

Deltek_Vision_Logo_16Deltek Vision is a powerful tool with many capabilities to ensure the success of project-based businesses. Despite the availability, users often overlook or simply just don’t know some of the things Vision can do to make their jobs easier. Let’s take a look at some tips and tricks to learn how to get more out of your Vision system.

10 Tips and Tricks for Deltek Vision Users

  1. You can create a Web dash part that links to a web site, a file, a report, or a Web Outlook site. Unlike the Links dash part, which can list many links, the Web dash part displays the content associated with a single link. To display a website on your dashboard, navigate to the Dashboard. Click on Configure > Add Web Dash part. In the Address Type choose HTTP to display a website. Then provide a Web Part Name and add the URL and click save.
  2. A UDIC or a User Defined Info Center can be created to track custom information in a separate Info Center. To create a UDIC, go to Configuration > General > User Defined Components, and click the New Info Center button at the top. Then name the Info Center and select Activities Grid or Files Grid to add those tabs. As with any Info Center, now add custom tabs, grids and tabs. 
  3. Display settings were introduced in Vision 7.0. You can find them in User Options. From here, you can change the color scheme of Vision. Each element has its own display setting. For example, you can make required fields a particular color such as yellow.  
  4. The Record Access tab of the Security roles now contains a checkbox called "Enable Self Service in Employee Review." To display the Employee Review form, click Human Resources from the Vision Navigation menu and then click on Employee Review.
  5. You can now edit Activities fields directly in the grid that is located in any Info Center. Previously, the fields in the grid were display-only and could only be edited by clicking the Edit option on the grid toolbar. 
  6. An Equipment Info Center comes with the addition of the Purchasing or Asset Management modules. It stores two types of items, asset items and equipment items.
  7. You can create a Client record from a Vendor record. Under the Vision Navigation Tree, click on Utilities > Advanced Utilities > Create Client from Vendor.  
  8. You can email or run a report at a later time. Use the Schedule dialog box which is available in applications where you can use the process servers, such as Reporting. The Schedule button also allows you to set-up reoccurring activities. For example, you could send a report every Monday to project managers.
  9. You can now exclude projects on a resume by the number of hours worked on a project in the Custom Proposals module. This new feature can be accessed when adding new Projects to a resume by checking "Only include Projects where this Employee worked more than this many hours" and inputting the number of hours. For example, you can exclude any projects that have less than 20 hours associated to an employee from showing up in your search criteria. 
  10. Each department head can enter their own General Ledger budgets and submit them through an approval process in Vision. Those budgets can then be combined into a company-wide General Ledger budget.

Do More with Deltek Vision

These tips and tricks should help you get more value from a tool like Deltek Vision. Remember, there are always ways to explore how your firm can better utilize Vision. Contact Full Sail Partners, and we will be happy to assist you in this endeavor.

Reach Full Sail Partners  

Topics: Tips, Deltek Vision

Top Free Resources for Deltek Users

Posted by Ryan Felkel on Wed, Aug 16, 2017 @ 01:49 PM

Free Resources Yep, you read that right. I said free resources are available for Deltek users. Using these free resources, you can become more familiar with Deltek products and keep up with the newest features and how they work. Even more, Full Sail Partners and Deltek both offer these free resources for your consumption. So, what are these useful yet complimentary tools and where do you find them?

User Groups 

User groups are a great way to network with your peers, learn tips about how they utilize their systems and perhaps better ways to accomplish specific tasks. User group meetings are led by a Deltek expert and you will enjoy an interactive environment where you learn more about a feature and get questions answered in real time. Additionally, user groups provide the opportunity to talk with other users about challenges you may be having so you can discover solutions. Look for a user group in your area and check out our upcoming list of user group events.

Webinars 

Both Full Sail Partners and Deltek offer webinars on a variety of topics presented by subject matter experts. These webinars can be attended live or viewed later on demand. You can ask questions during live webinars and walk away with the answers you are seeking. Additionally, webinars can be attended from anywhere that has internet access making them extremely convenient. Check out a list of upcoming and on demand webinars here.

YouTube 

Full Sail Partners also offers short training videos and demos for Deltek Vision users. These give you the ability to learn as your schedule allows. In our YouTube videos, we show you how to complete time saving tasks so you can quickly move from novice to power user. The videos are packed with valuable information to benefit all users. Make sure to check out and subscribe to our YouTube channel. 

Blogs 

Our weekly blogs cover hot and relevant industry topics. Each blog is written to provide helpful insights and tips with the intention of keeping users up to date on all of the latest information available. You will find links to our blogs in our monthly newsletter or you can check out our blogs on our website. 

Stay Tuned for the Latest Free Resources

While you can always visit our website daily, there are other ways to keep in the loop. We use Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter to spread the word about our new educational resources. Also, make sure to subscribe to our monthly newsletter where you can find lists of new blogs, webinars, and events.

Deltek Vision Navigational Analysis

Topics: Tips, Technology Solutions, Deltek Vision

Malware is Out to Get You

Posted by Heath Harris on Wed, Jul 19, 2017 @ 02:00 PM

MalewareIn today’s world of technology, computer users are faced with the constant threat of security issues. One wrong click of the mouse and your computer can be instantly crippled. It is not only important that you are aware of the types of threats that are out there, but you should also be familiar with the steps you can take to protect yourself.

Such security threats are collectively known as malware. The term malware is short for malicious software and references a variety of forms of intrusive software. It encompasses ransomware, spyware, viruses, email spoofing and multiple other malicious programs.

What’s Lurking Behind Your Next Click? 

Here’s a look at the different types of threats and the damage they do to your computer:

  • Computer Virus – A computer virus is a self-replicating program that can be spread via email or also by inserting copies of itself into other computer programs or documents. Viruses can lead to the inoperability of your computer and spread quickly to the computers of everyone you share files with or correspond with via email.
  • Ransomware – Like it sounds, ransomware literally holds a computer ransom by rendering it inoperable and attempts to extort “ransom” money from the unsuspecting victim. Ransomware is typically acquired via email messages and can be spread rapidly throughout the network.
  • Spyware – Spyware is an executable program that is extremely difficult to detect and has the ability of secretly gathering personal information about you or your company. Generally, it is not created to cause damage to your computer. However, it is utilized to monitor keystrokes, copy files and gather information about you. Spyware is most often installed on your computer with something you have clicked on, such as a pop-up ad, browser add-ons, or piggybacked on another software installation.
  • Email Spoofing – Email spoofing refers to sending emails with a sender address that is forged to make it look like it is sent from someone or somewhere other than where it came from. The sender of the email is hoping that the recipient will believe the forged address is from a legitimate person or company and will open it. Generally, spoof emails are more of a nuisance than anything, but they can contain links which install spyware, ransomware or viruses.

Protect Yourself from Malware Attacks 

The good news is that it is relatively easy to protect yourself from all the above-mentioned security attacks. In most cases, your IT person will have already taken measures to protect the network by installing firewalls, virus protection software and deploying DNS protection. The real question at hand is what can you do to help with the security of your information?

Here some of the measures you can take to be sure that you are doing your part:

  • Careful Clicking – Do not click on email attachments or links if you do not know the sender and you are not expecting the document. It is always best to open a browser and manually navigate to the website rather than click on a link which may or may not take you where you intend. Also, take a moment to run a virus scan on any attachments prior to opening them.
  • Smart Surfing – Always utilize pop-up blockers within your web browser and never enter personal, financial or any other sensitive information into any web browser that you have not manually navigated to.
  • Perform Routine Scans – At times, spyware threats and viruses can slip through the active protective engines due to the sheer number of new threats that are created daily. It is crucial that you update your malware protection and run system scans consistently.

Happy Clicking and Surfing 

Take these simple precautions to protect yourself from a software security breach. While all of this malware fear may seem a bit overwhelming, if you educate yourself, remain alert, and follow the measures listed above, your surfing and clicking will be worry free. Remember, keeping your data safe and secure is easily manageable.

Full Sail Partners Technology

Topics: Tips, Technology Solutions

Travel and Expense Tips from a Road Warrior

Posted by Michael Kessler, PMP on Wed, Jun 21, 2017 @ 11:00 AM

AirplaneSo many people have suggested that I write a book about my travel experiences. After all, I average about 125,000 domestic miles each year and truly believe that, if I decorated my home with cheap hotel art and bolted down my television, my “layover” in Bakersfield, CA would be quite comfortable. Not to mention the miles and miles of test driving countless models of white cars you see in most hotel parking lots. Seriously though, I do love my job, and because it does require me to travel a lot, I have learned much and will now pass some tips on to you.

Complaining Gets You Nowhere 

I always try to remember to say “please” and “thank you” while mostly keeping my composure when the inevitable stressful situation arises. Gate agents, flight attendants and front desk clerks are simply messengers often delivering news that no one wants to hear. As a result, I make an effort to: 

  • Collect a business card of a manager to let him know how wonderful his team was and how well they handled even the most frustrating of situations
  • Send a note to corporate acknowledging the people that delivered great customer service 

These gestures usually ensure even better real-time service. In addition, knowing the management team at the properties you frequent establishes a good rapport and allows for them to proactively prepare for your next arrival being already aware of your preferences. 

Indirect Routes May Be More Direct 

I always consider different airports and frequently know the routes better than the airline representatives. Selecting an alternate airport can often be both cost and time saving provided you don’t mind a road trip. Also, choosing to drive between two clients within 250-300 miles is a good option which gives you the opportunity to stop and see new places. 

If you find yourself with an early flight on your return trip home, staying at an airport hotel is not only convenient but can be a cost savings. You can go ahead and turn in your rental car early and use a complimentary hotel shuttle. Most rental car companies will also drive you to your hotel if you just ask. 

Make Sure to Get Reimbursed for Expenses 

I have used many different expense report tools over the years beginning with the failsafe Excel and remember the days of sending my receipts via FedEx. Fortunately, I now use Concur Expense which is integrated into the Full Sail Partners’ Vision database using the Blackbox Connector. Concur makes filing expenses easy and streamlined. Using only my smart phone, I can take a picture, upload to Concur and complete my line item in seconds. 

Enjoy Your Travels! 

I hope that these tips will make your business travel a pleasure. I do strongly suggest you monitor your rewards programs to ensure you always receive what is due. Got to go, doors are closing, and it’s time for me to fly. 

Vision Integrates with Concur

Topics: Tips, Professional Services

New Year’s Resolutions for Deltek Vision Users

Posted by Full Sail Partners on Wed, Jan 04, 2017 @ 02:18 PM

As the New Year starts, many people find it the perfect time to identify areas of opportunity to improve themselves. In addition to making resolutions for their personal lives, many people also focus on creating resolutions for the workplace. To support this process, our team of Deltek Vision experts at Full Sail Partners has put together a list of New Year’s Resolutions for Vision users.  

New Year's ResolutionsTop Resolutions for Vision Users

  1. Make sure your firm is using the most current version of Deltek Vision. The latest version is 7.6 and is full of new enhancements. Learn more about Vision 7.6 in this article.
  2. Clean up duplicate records in your Vision database, specifically the Vendor and Client records, to prevent billing errors and other problems.
  3. Go paperless for Accounts Payable (AP) Invoice Approvals that require consultant/project manager sign-off.
  4. Setup a yearly reminder for the accounting department to run the 1099 Initialization process after all AP checks have been processed for the year and before any AP checks are processed in the next year. It can be run in either period since it is not period specific. This process transfers the “Paid This Year” amount to the “Paid Last Year” field on the Miscellaneous tab in the Vendor Table Maintenance and resets all vendor “Paid This Year” values to zero.
  5. Start using Revenue Generation in Vision to allow for recognizing project revenue as it is earned, matching revenue with expenses incurred to data. Without this, Vision recognizes revenue only as it is billed.
  6. Stop printing reports for directors and project managers. Instead, have them use the Vision Dashboard. Custom Dashparts can be created to give each user individualized information that is relevant to them.
  7. Remember to never un-post or create journal entries to control accounts. This is more about accounting best practices.
  8. Login to Vision more often than timesheet completion requires and manage your timesheet frequently to avoid over or under billing clients.
  9. Take the time to understand and implement standard functions in Vision such as Expense Report Approvals, using Benefits Accruals, and Account Groups for General Ledger Reporting to decrease workload.
  10. Plan to attend more Full Sail Partners’ webinars to learn helpful tips and new tricks in order to fully harness the power of Deltek Vision. Check out our past webinars here.   

Do More with Deltek Vision this New Year

With each New Year comes both potential opportunities as well as challenges. Begin this New Year by following these resolutions. Do more with Vision and save your firm much wasted time.

By the way, as you are closing up last year, check out our recent article about Year-End processes for Deltek Vision users here.

Do you have a tip of your own? Comment below with your New Year’s Resolutions for other Vision Users.

YouTube Channel Link Button

Topics: Tips, Deltek Vision

Ten Traits of a Great Seller

Posted by Sarah Gonnella on Wed, Sep 21, 2016 @ 11:34 AM

 

Traits_of_a_Good_Seller_2.pngSales is a tough industry where success is measured by attaining goals and quotas. So why are some sales people more successful than others? The reality is, selling and buying are not completely an intellectual process and actually requires building an emotional relationship. In order for you to be a great seller, several of these personality traits should characterize you.

  1. Visionary – Seeing the future and the big picture is a key to being successful in sales. More importantly, they do not allow where they are today to determine where they are going in the future.
  2. Ambitious – Top sellers have personal drive and don’t wait for someone else to tell them to do something. They know there is no time to wait for the next opportunity to come along, but that they need to be actively seeking more opportunities.
  3. Enthusiastic – It’s hard to sell anything if you’re not excited about the product. In fact, there might be some situations where your product is inferior to the competition. But if you’re more passionate about your product it’s more likely the buyer is going to be convinced to purchase from you.
  4. Persistence – The length of a sales cycle is different for every product and other outside factors such as under-motivated decision makers. Top sellers are tenacious. They know how to stay top-of-mind with decision makers so that when they finally decide to move forward, they’re there to close the deal.
  5. Conscientious – This is a personality trait used to describe a person that is efficient and well organized. Conscientious sales people are also motivated and able to keep moving forward after facing rejection.
  6. Active Listener – It’s hard to know the challenges a client faces without them explaining them. An active listener helps drive the conversation so everyone involved is able to come to a mutual understanding about the challenge at hand. Therefore, great salespeople take the time to understand the challenge from the client’s perspective. They stay focused on the conversation and make notes  
  7. Ask the Right Questions – There’s always multiple ways to ask a question, but choosing the right wording is critical to getting the right answer. “How’s business going?” will get a simple answer. Whereas, “What’s your biggest challenge this year?” can create a conversation.
  8. Problem Solvers – Sales people are often called solution engineers and for good purpose. Sellers need to know how their product solves the problem or problems the client is facing. Additionally, they need to be able to demonstrate how the solution can solve a problem.
  9. Assertive – When going through the sales process, sales people can become passive or overly aggressive. This is a huge mistake and can quickly dissuade a prospect. Assertive sales people use conversation to understand what’s going on so they know how to properly approach the situation to keep the sale process moving forward.
  10. Create Value – There’s common saying about gifted sales peoples, “he/she could sell ice to an Eskimo.” In most terms, this means they are smooth talkers. However, what if the ice they are selling is perfectly shaped to build an igloo? Now the ice has more value to an Eskimo.

Which Traits of a Seller Do You Have?

It’s time to take your sales to the next level! Start selling more by first identifying the personality traits you already possess. Next, identify ways to improve on the traits you lack or need to hone. 

Business Development 

Topics: Tips, Building Business

Ten Tips for Improving Your Business Proposal Process

Posted by Ryan Felkel on Thu, Aug 18, 2016 @ 11:00 AM

Business Proposal, Proposal Process  For project-based firms, the competition for new business is constantly increasing. As a result, the ability to win new business requires firms to produce powerful and convincing proposals. Here is a list of tips to improve your business proposal development process to help you increase your firm’s win rate.

  1. Create a Checklist – There’s nothing worse than completing a proposal and realizing that a required form or document is missing. Start the proposal process by studying the request for proposal (RFP) and creating a list of requirements, forms and documents that have to be included when submitting the proposal.
  2. Identify Areas of Focus for Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) – It’s rare for companies to employ full time SMEs dedicated solely to the proposal team. In reality, SMEs have other responsibilities within the company that relate to their expertise, and the proposal team gets a limited amount of their time. Therefore, help them so they’ll help you! Identify and assign key sections of the RFP to the appropriate SME to allow them to maximize their time dedicated to the proposal team.   
  3. Have a Kickoff Meeting – This is the time to bring together all contributors for the proposal to set expectations in regards to timelines, writing assignments, and writing guidelines. During this meeting, the team should discuss the win strategy and major themes, and how the proposal will differentiate your firm from the competition.
  4. Know When to Bid or No bid – Red flags, such as tight project timelines and rigid subcontractor requirements are indicators that the risks might outweigh the benefits. Additionally, red flags can present themselves at any moment in the proposal process. As a result, making the decision to no bid on an opportunity can happen during any point in the proposal development process. Learn more about the bid/no bid process here.
  5. Avoid Information Overload – More information doesn’t always make a better proposal. Instead, what ends up happening is important details get lost in all the added irrelevant text. If you desire to include additional or unrequested information, provide this in the Appendix.
  6. Avoid Stale Boilerplate Content – It’s likely that your company submits several proposals to the same client for different work. Additionally, certain content can become outdated and inaccurate. Use periodic reviews and rewrites of boilerplate content to keep proposals fresh and current.
  7. Use Graphics – Always remember this, “a picture is worth a thousand words.”
  8. Create an Executive Summary that Wins – The executive summary should tell the reader how the proposal is organized by summarizing each key section. More specifically, the summaries should show that you understand the goals and expected outcomes, and also contain an overview of your firm’s solution.
  9. Keep in Touch with References – Checking in with references and saying thank you can go a long way. Let them know you appreciation their endorsement and tell them about future anticipated reference requests.
  10. Deadlines are set in Stone – When creating a timeline for the proposal development process, the internal deadlines are dictated by the deadlines in the RFP. Therefore, internal deadlines should not be treated as suggestions.

Increase Proposal Process Efficiency

Is your firm struggling to win more business? Gain a competitive edge by using these tips in your business proposal development process.

Streamline Proposals with Deltek Vision

Topics: Tips, Building Business, Marketing

5 Tips to Get the Most Out of Your Next Conference

Posted by Graham Gardner on Wed, Aug 03, 2016 @ 10:00 AM

5_essential_conference_tips.png

As a first time attendee to SMPS Build Business, I want to make sure that I experience all there is to offer at the national conference for professional services marketers. So before I head off to the City of Brotherly Love I thought it would be a good idea to ask some long time attendees for their advice on how to get the most out of this conference. Here are the 5 tips I found most useful.

Keep in mind, these tips can be used when attending any conference.

Five Essential Tips for Conference Success

  1. Make intros memorable. You are sure to meet more people than you can remember. The same is true for the people you hope to make an impression on. The key to being memorable is to practice how you will introduce yourself. Introduction should intrigue your connection to make them want to learn more. “Hi, I’m Graham I’m a marketer” won’t cut it. Focus on how you and your company add value to your clients. Give the discussion purpose. Perhaps your newfound contact is facing a challenge and you can help them overcome it. Stand out from the crowd by leaving each new contact with a feeling of time and energy well invested.
  2. Identify the best way to capture contact info. Do you have a plan for capturing important details gathered from your networking efforts? Do you plan on jotting details down on a napkin to send off to someone else to enter in your CRM system? Or perhaps you are planning on entering everything immediately using your mobile device. Thinking this process through before the conference will allow you to have a system in place to get the most out of your networking efforts.
  3. Pre-schedule meetings. Prescheduling meetings is my favorite tip for attending any I believe that the primary focus of attending a conference should be to network and connect with people. The number one way to do that is to begin networking and connecting before the conference even begins. Try sending out emails to contacts that you know will be on site, or even create a landing page on your website advertising your attendance to the conference. Better yet, pick up the phone and set-up meetings to have drinks or lunch with contacts.
  4. Have a plan, be willing to adjust. Have you seen the program for this year’s SMPS Build Business? There are a ton of awesome programs! Take your time before the conference to map out your roadmap for sessions you want to attend. However, show up to the conference willing to pivot and adjust on the sessions you attend. You never know when the opportunity will arise to attend a session with an old client or new prospect.
  5. Dress accordingly. You are set for some long days ahead -- between breakout sessions, networking breaks walking the exhibit hall and everything else that goes into attending a conference. Make sure to wear the right shoes – taking care of your feet will keep you mobile and ready to network. Also, don’t forget to dress appropriately to accommodate for changes in room temperature.

SMPS Build Business 2016

Topics: Tips

Deltek Vision How-To Series: Adding Custom Fields to iAccess and Touch CRM

Posted by Sarah Gonnella on Thu, Jul 28, 2016 @ 10:45 AM

In this Deltek Vision How-To Video, we will demonstrate how to add custom fields to Deltek iAccess and the Touch CRM application. With Deltek Vision’s open architecture, adding custom fields is easy. While you are on-the-go, you can also access any custom field. Let us show you how.

Topics: Tips, Video, CRM, Deltek Vision, Mobile