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When Should My Firm Upgrade to Deltek Vantagepoint?

Posted by Amanda Roussel on May 12, 2021

Is my firm ready to make the transition from Deltek Vision to Vantagepoint? The answer to this trending question remains the same – it depends on your firm’s needs since there are several factors that should be taken into consideration when determining your upgrade timeline. Deltek has recently shared that Vision will be supported beyond January 2023. Which means firms can upgrade in a timeframe that aligns with their calendars and needs. Let’s take a look at some of the factors that are affecting decisions around a target upgrade date.

 

Is it time to upgrade

Team Capacity

 

We all have various times of the year that are busier than others. Upgrading to Deltek Vantagepoint isn’t necessarily hard. However, readying your firm for the upgrade does take time, important conversations need to take place, and impactful decisions have to be made.

 

The upgrade is ultimately a project that stakeholders must spend time on and converse about process improvements. Consider the timeframe of year-end processes. End of year processes can consume finance teams for weeks, or even months. Therefore, choosing a time where the finance team has some schedule flexibility is very important. For some firms, this may affect the timing in the first quarter as well.

 

Additionally, marketing and project management teams rely heavily on the system as they use CRM and Resource Planning. As processes are tweaked and reestablished, also think about end-user training. How will you train power users and end-users? Would that be in your preview environment or after going live in Vantagepoint? The answers to these questions vary from firm to firm. However, one trend noticed is that many firms are committing resources and time to education and training as they go through the upgrade process. This is all in an effort to equip their teams with the latest technology as they manage and deliver projects.

 

System Complexity

Deltek Vision and Vantagepoint have impactful features out-of-the-box. There are often times where firms need to add fields, workflows, and custom hubs. Depending on the amount of customization, that can affect the length of their transition timeline. This may include workflows, custom fields, and robust processes.

 

In addition, some firms integrate their Deltek system with third-party systems to streamline processes and data entry. Examples include payroll services, email marketing platforms, external expense and invoicing services, firm intranets, and more. Firms should seek confirmation from their third-party solutions that they, too, are ready for the upgrade. These integrations can impact the timing of a firm’s upgrade and testing should be incorporated into the timeline.  

 

The complexity in which a firm uses Deltek can also affect a firm’s upgrade date. The time a team spends in the preview environment should be measured. Whether it’s in screen designer, security, rebuilding reports, or creating useful dashboards, that work won’t automatically carry forward to a data refresh or going live. Instead, those settings would rewind to the default. There is a tool called transition copy scripts that can copy and apply those configurations and settings forward.

 

Firm Culture

Many firms are leveraging the upgrade as a time to evaluate and modify processes. Although some view these changes as improvements, others may become intimidated. For some features, the changes can actually be incorporated in Deltek Vision and put into action now. Other improvements, including new module implementations, may be more efficiently put into practice after going live in Vantagepoint.

 

Getting teams on board and all on the same page may take some conversations around change management. Furthermore, be sure to include some of the “department cheerleaders” throughout the firm as you determine that will be leading the upgrade efforts. A variety or roles and experience is effective as it brings up new conversations, squashes “change” concerns, and breaks down silos that may exist.

 

Firms are also taking this opportunity to increase the potential of their Deltek solution and train their staff for more hands-on usage. In the past, Deltek may have been more heavily used for accounting functions. However, we are finding that some firms are now consolidating some outside resources and using features in Vantagepoint that have become more approachable and inviting.

 

Plan for Successful Vantagepoint Upgrade

Planning for the upgrade is of great importance, and it may be easier than you may think. There are many resources available to start familiarizing firms and teams with Deltek Vantagepoint. Deltek offers the Deltek Learning Zone (DLZ) and the Client Assistance Program (CAP) to help teams prepare for the upgrade.

At Full Sail Partners, we are taking a personalized approach with firms that are looking for some assistance with the upgrade. From planning efforts to training after going live in Vantagepoint (and everything in between), we are guiding firms through a successful upgrade. We also feel that education is key, so helping firms better understand and utilize Deltek Vantagepoint will stick with our clients far beyond the upgrade.

Vantagepoint Transition Services Webinar

Finding Success in Marketing Efforts with Deltek Vantagepoint

Posted by Amanda Roussel on March 03, 2021

Marketing is a necessary function in business, and AEC firms are no exception. First off, there’s general brand awareness, and then there are the marketing campaigns that firms spend resources on to drive quality leads. Marketing efforts cover a variety of outreach methods such as conferences, sponsorships, golf tournaments, and email campaigns. Can you name the projects awarded to your firm as a result of particular marketing efforts? What campaigns would you consider a success based on the efforts and dollars spent? Let’s see how Deltek Vantagepoint marketing campaigns can help you with your marketing efforts.

Marketing Campaign ROI

Organize Marketing Efforts

For each marketing effort, information can be collected and organized in one place inside a Vantagepoint marketing campaign record. The marketing campaign name, its description, associated promotional project used for budget trackingmarketing campaign manager, and marketing manager are all fields that may be useful to planning efforts.

Beyond the marketing campaign record, organizing a marketing plan in the same system as your CRM allows for efficient associations. With Deltek Vantagepoint, teams can associate resulting projects in pursuit and awarded projects to the marketing campaign that led to that effort. Therefore, you have visibility to:

Measure Costs Against Goals

A Revenue Goal can be identified as you begin the campaign. Other monetary fields are populated based on project information in your system. There are fields for Actual Revenue, which recognizes dollars from awarded projects associated back to the campaign, and Potential Revenue, which recognizes dollars from projects in pursuit. A promotional project can also be created for the marketing campaign to track time and expenses. Using the promotional project number, Actual Costs are populated on the marketing campaign. This gives a quick view of the success of the marketing campaign as it relates to resulting projects.

Build Email Lists or Tally Responses

It’s not always about the dollars. For events in which attendee information should be collected, responses can be tracked using contacts in CRM. The responses, or contact list, can be used to create mailing lists or distribute follow up information.

Stay on Target with Activities

With each marketing campaign comes tasks and to-do lists. Those activities can be managed and tracked in the marketing campaign record. This brings all activities together, whether it’s registering for an event, completing sponsorship information, creating marketing materials, or making reservations. Deltek Vantagepoint allows Activities to be assigned to other employees so the appropriate team members will see their Activities as well.

Measure the Effectiveness

Tying actual revenue to a marketing campaign gives firms the opportunity to measure the effectiveness of various marketing efforts. By doing so, firms can determine which efforts to repeat and which ones to modify or discontinue. One example is conferences. Many dollars can be spent on industry conferences, and we simply cannot attend all. Using marketing campaigns, teams can see the return on effort. These metrics can help prioritize event involvement for future years and be an integral part of strategic marketing and business development plans.

Be Smarter with Vantagepoint

As Deltek users, marketers can take advantage of the marketing campaigns in Vantagepoint and discover which marketing efforts work the best. Based on what these marketing campaigns identify, your firm can strategically plan better. Additionally, by using marketing campaigns in Vantagepoint, the marketing department can easily translate their outreach efforts to a monetary value.

Track Marketing Efforts with Deltek Vantagepoint

New Year's Resolutions for Project-based Firms

Posted by Amanda Roussel on January 13, 2021

A new year often brings new goals to set and work toward and doing so helps you focus and improve behaviors to better yourself. Personal goals are a must – health, organization, time, etc. – the list can go on and on. However, professional goals have great importance as well. There are always areas we can work to improve upon in the workplace. These can be personal, for a team, or even for the firm as a whole. Let’s take a look at some new year’s resolutions that project-based firms may consider in 2021.

new-year-resolution

New Year’s Resolutions for Professionals

1. Use technology more efficiently

Firms may have numerous software options available, various calendars, and maybe a plethora of tracking files. Try consolidating and mastering a different resource, one at a time. Master it, share with your team, and promote a wider usage for consistency. By focusing on one new tool each quarter, four cleaner processes may be established by one employee alone!

2. Make technology accessible by all

The last year has taught us the value of being able to work from anywhere. Some IT groups were ready to roll, and others had to pull together additional resources to get employees the access needed for business continuity. If your firm has not invested in accessibility, this is the time.

There are numerous cloud options that firms can consider to be more accessible by all. There may have been IT projects put on hold, but perhaps moving forward with them will see a greater outcome once complete.

3. Be adaptable

There may have been some frustrating moments in 2020 when plans suddenly had to change. With many scenarios out of our individual control, our reactions make a huge impact on the future. Therefore, being adaptable and open to change can actually lead to great things for firms. It allows us to change the narrative instead of using the workplace curse words of, “This is how we’ve always done it.” I never liked hearing those words anyway.

Being adaptable allows employees to have a quicker rebound, with less downtime as they try to figure out each little detail. Modifications can be made along the way as needed. Also, try to see things from another’s perspective. We all have our own challenges and can work together for effective solutions.

4. Promote employee growth

Don’t forget about training, mentoring, and collaborating. Executives, managers, and employees alike should have opportunities for learning and growth regardless of what the office looks like. Employees can still be paired with a more senior position to continue learning, executives can collaborate and check in on teams, and managers can continue training on a virtual platform. This goal will always be important for a firm’s success.

5. Support local communities

Communities need each other. Find ways to use local businesses and support community-based organizations. By doing this, more money can stay within the community and help other small businesses and families directly in your area.

6. Adopt a new habit as a team

There are many tools at our fingertips that can help teams communicate and collaborate. As new information or details emerge about opportunities or projects, do yourself and your colleagues a favor and record them properly. Think of the new information as a shared company resource and use technology to make it accessible to others. I encourage you to collaborate with your colleagues to modify some professional processes for a more streamlined workday. New year = new technology habits.

7. Time management

Be intentional with how your time is spent. We can all get caught up in mundane tasks but identifying important professional tasks can keep us on track. Block time off on your calendar for various projects to ensure chunks of time are available to focus on independent work. This helps protect your own work time while working efficiently for clients too.

8. Keep learning and add value

Let’s face it – we know a lot, but we do not know everything. Even an expert in a particular field has more to learn and room to grow. Step out of your comfort zone and dive into something new. It can be a new hobby, a new skill, or sharpening and fine tuning a skill you are already promoting. There are ways to add value to your life and to your work. Allow yourself to be inspired and empower others to learn and grow. Personal development expands your horizons and what you have to offer!

Keep Pressing On

A new year does not necessarily equal a new you. Instead, it welcomes the opportunity for improvements over time. Our work is never complete and that’s part of the fun. Our personal and professional lives can be so intertwined. Improvements in one area may bring success to the other as well. Best of luck with your resolutions – you can do this!

Reach Full Sail Partners

Value of the Deltek Vantagepoint Transition Copy Scripts

Posted by Amanda Roussel on October 28, 2020

Transition Copy Scirpts

Are you thinking about your Deltek Vantagepoint upgrade and what steps are required? If you haven't already, we recommend you take a look at Full Sail Partners’ 3-step process. An important fact to know is that Deltek has provided a conversion tool to allow all of your data to move over. No migration necessary. Does that mean I can move tomorrow? No, we do not recommend that. Just like with any upgrade, you need to make sure updates haven’t impacted your processes. This upgrade is a bit more extensive but rest assured Full Sail Partners has tools to make the process easier and more efficient. One of those tools is our Vantagepoint Transition Copy Scripts.

During the testing process, firms will need to address some key areas including workflows, saved searches, reports and configuration settings before moving forward with a production environment. Our Vantagepoint Transition Copy Scripts are a valuable resource to ensure the work you put into addressing issues doesn’t require rework when you move from test to test environment or to your final production environment. Let’s take a look at how this tool can help you with the upgrade process. 

Vantagepoint Preview Environment

Now that clean-up efforts have been identified and prioritized with the Vantagepoint Readiness Report, and clean-up efforts are nearing completion, it may be time to request a preview environment. Many firms are finding the upgrade process to be an opportune time to tidy-up data and fields that have been collected in Deltek Vision over the years. Here is the chance to get Vantagepoint started with best practices and processes.

Upon accessing a firm’s preview environment, you may notice that things look different. The data moves over from Vision to Vantagepoint, but some big areas are consolidated. For example, opportunities get consolidated into projects, and clients and vendors consolidate into the firm hub. As this takes place, you will see some field duplication. Fields may also be organized differently.

Vantagepoint Preview becomes Testing Environment

There are many changes that can be made in the testing environment. It’s important to know that any changes made - screen design properties, saved searches, reports, dashboard/dashparts, and more - will reset upon a preview refresh as well as go live. Full Sail Partners understands that this can be a burden on firms as they track and recreate each of the changes. Full Sail Partners' Transition Copy Scripts allow firms to retain these changes and eliminate redundancy and rework between each test upgrade and your your final conversion.

Below is a list of the available scripts in the transition copy script bundle:

Screen Designer:

  • Design layout location for User Defined Fields
  • Properties including: Hidden, Locked, Required Fields, Tool Tips
  • Resource Planning Configuration

Security:

  • Security user role for each employee
  • Security options for each user role
  • Email Configuration
Saved Searches
  • Private and Shared search options

Reports/Templates:

  • Private and Shared reports with options and selection criteria
  • Proposal templates
Dashboards/Dashparts:
  • Dashboard layout
  • Dashpart widgets
  • Dashpart calculations

Workflows:
  • Hub Workflows
  • Approval Engine Workflows

Newly Created Components and Values:

  • Standard field values and labels
  • Custom fields and labels
  • Custom grids and labels
  • Custom files
  • Custom tabs
  • Custom hubs
  • Navigation tree

Benefits of Using Transition Copy Scripts

Some firms may have a manageable list of changes to address on their own, but we understand that firms with more complex data spend measurable resources getting the test environment just as needed. Below are some of the many reasons to use this impactful tool:

Work efficiently and save time. Adjust fields right where you want them, build dashboards, and configure to meet your firm’s needs. No need to track every change made. These settings will be applied with transition copy scripts.
Test, test, test. Searches, reports, and workflows will need to be recreated and tested. Do so knowing that efforts will not be erased.
Train staff before going live. Once the test environment meets your firm’s needs, you can train staff prior to going live. This can give staff the confidence of using the cohesive system and promote a smoother adoption after going live.
Count on Full Sail Partners. Our Deltek experts are here to cheer, guide, or lead you along your Deltek journey. Our custom team works closely with you to apply the appropriate transition copy scripts

Utilize Your Resources

We understand that there are many other responsibilities needing to be addressed throughout the workday. Full Sail Partners' Transition Copy Scripts can alleviate the redundancy of Vantagepoint refreshes and live environment and spend your time more effectively.  

Wherever you may be in your Deltek journey, Full Sail Partners has additional resources to assist with the Vantagepoint upgrade. Let us help you get there the right way!

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Marketing Plays Well with Others

Posted by Amanda Roussel on October 07, 2020

Marketing can integrate

Those in marketing for professional services have a level of knowledge they had to build, likely for a field they did not pursue, and use that knowledge of services to build a brand. In doing so, marketers paint a picture of the firm that they promote. Usually marketing professionals find themselves helping many departments throughout the firm. Not only is collateral client-facing, but marketers often have a responsibility to market to the firm internally. Over the years, I have found many marketers to be integrators in a firm so let’s check out how marketing plays well with others:

Know the Brand

The brand is more than the firm’s identity and reputation. According to an SMPS article, “…strong branding is viewed through three lenses: overall firm branding, personal branding, and employer branding. All three are crucial to a strong brand foundation—and all three are connected in important ways that contribute directly to your firm’s success.”

Marketing has the fun responsibility of viewing the firm with a broader lens and shining the best light on firm strengths. As marketers believe in the services the firm can provide, they can use various channels to get the right message to the right audience. Therefore, knowing internal teams is just as integral as knowing clients.

A lot can change in a firm, whether it be people, services, or goals, and marketers need to be in the know of company happenings to properly communicate the appropriate message. After all, the only constant is change. Marketers find themselves having to be very flexible with messaging as well as keeping up with the dynamic structure of the firm.

Master the Service Lineup

Professional services firms typically have printed material, a digital footprint, and many proposals created for specific clients. Marketers must have knowledge of the firm’s services and a strong bond with technical staff to collaborate and create content. While a majority of technical staff has vast knowledge of what services its group offers, it’s important to educate everyone on all of the firm’s offerings, even if at a very high level. This can lead to more aware project managers as well as cross selling. All marketers should take advantage of education opportunities.

Knowing that many marketers have a great understanding of the firm’s services, they can become integrators within the firm, matching up employees that can benefit from bigger discussions. Collaborations do not stop with technical departments.

Recruit Like a Pro

Great minds come together for the greater good when human resources and marketing collaborate. Recruiting can be quite time-consuming; however, attracting top talent can tighten the candidate funnel. Pulling together human resources’ knowledge, the firm’s brand, and creatively crafting the right message can yield strong new recruits for consideration.

To that note, a firm’s digital footprint can play a huge role in a candidate’s interest. Using social media as a recruiting strategy can have phenomenal results. According to harver.com, 92% of recruiters use social media in their efforts. It is a way to engage passive candidates and employees, make connections, and share quality content.

Naturally, recruits or potential candidates google the firm and can be quick to judge on initial findings. It is imperative that a firm’s brand stand out on social media, such as LinkedIn, and on the firm’s website and network.

Set Standards from the Start

After an offer is accepted, it is also beneficial to include marketing in onboarding efforts to educate the new hire on the following, at a minimum:

  • Branding guidelines (colors, logos, firm names, and more)
  • Branded swag
  • Proposal resume building
  • Email signature
  • Collateral that covers all firm services

As marketers share branding guidelines and set brand expectations from the start, new hires are immediately in the know when it comes to firm resources that are client-facing.

Own that Hat Closet

Marketers may notice that they wear many hats as time passes at a professional services firm. Each hat will give different insight into the firm and potentially challenge the “norm.” There are conversations with all roles of the firm, from C-suite to staff level. All of these collaborations help build the firm’s message that is distributed through email campaigns, mailers, proposals, onboarding, and both digital and social content. With each hat that is worn, many areas are weaved together for a more cohesive firm and a stronger brand.  

Talent Management

Value of the Deltek Vantagepoint Readiness Report

Posted by Amanda Roussel on September 02, 2020

Right direction

As the launchpad to Deltek Vantagepoint, the Full Sail Partners’ Vantagepoint Readiness Report can be used as a guide for your firm’s cleanup efforts and next steps. This valuable resource is such a strong starting point for firms as they consider when and how to upgrade from Deltek Vision to Vantagepoint.

How to Get There

Many AEC and professional services firms have buckled down on Deltek Vantagepoint conversations this year. We hear and understand the excitement, as well as the hesitation around the upgrade. Therefore, Full Sail Partners has developed beneficial solutions to help ease the transition from Deltek Vision to Vantagepoint. As consultants, we have received questions, such as:

          “What do I need to do prior to the upgrade?”

          “When should we do the upgrade?”

          “How will the upgrade impact our business?”

In all honesty, it all depends on your Deltek environment and the data it holds.

Start with a High Impact Tool

As a Deltek Partner for more than two decades, our consultants have assisted and led many upgrades, implementations, conversions, migrations, etc. Some firms have started the process on their own by viewing our Preparing for Deltek Vantagepoint webinar series, accessing the Deltek Readiness Portal and participating in the Client Assistance Program (CAP). These are all useful resources. However, to truly understand the state of your database, we are encouraging Deltek Vision users to start with the Vantagepoint Readiness Report to assess what needs to be addressed and managed. Below are some of the many reasons to use this impactful tool:

  • Alleviate anxiety. The report provides a plan on the areas that need to be addressed and cleaned up. We know you have other responsibilities. Gain insight on your entire database to know where and how to start.
  • Quick and easy inventory of your database. Deltek administrators can spend countless hours sifting through data to find potential duplicates or inapplicable records. The Vantagepoint Readiness Report can highlight this data in 30 minutes or less. After all, time is money.
  • Consulting time is included with the report. The report can be overwhelming for many firms. Therefore, one of our consultants will spend an hour with your upgrade lead or team digesting the report findings and identifying next steps.
  • Eliminate some of the manual steps. In the time saved using an automatic inventory script, teams can better spend their time preparing data and the firm’s preview environment, rather than digging for the starting point.
  • View details specific to your Deltek environment. Many resources can guide firms to run their own analysis, but this one does the work for you.
  • Reveal the unknowns. Firms are treating Deltek Vantagepoint as a fresh start. There may be hidden data that administrators were not aware of that should be cleaned up prior to the upgrade. The Vantagepoint Readiness Report can unveil this “hidden” data that may have been collected in previously used modules.
  • Outlining next steps. No two firms use their system in the same manner, so the plan of action varies. Once completing the Vantagepoint Readiness Report, our consultants can help identify and prioritize your next steps in the upgrade process.
  • Count on Full Sail Partners. Our Deltek experts are here to cheer, guide, or lead you along your Deltek journey.

Benefit from the Results

The Vantagepoint Readiness Report identifies the areas that will need attention or discussion before upgrading. In fact, it is even better to run this before getting your preview environment. The simple process runs a script and produces an excel file for review. Below are some of the details this report provides:  

  • Identifies potential duplicate vendors and clients

  • Produces a list of all your workflows

  • Compiles a list of all your user defined fields and grids

  • Identifies custom report files in use

  • Identifies duplicate columns across vendors and clients and across leads and contacts

  • Displays all the key formats for various info centers

  • Shows labor cross charge; overhead allocation and revenue generation settings for all companies

  • Displays the database table size

  • Identifies unposted transactions; timesheets, expense reports, transaction center files

  • Identifies plans which do not comply with Vantagepoint (iAccess) requirements

  • Identifies info center numbering that differs from your key formats

Use Your Resources

We learn throughout our careers that we should use our resources to ease the burden of some projects and spend time more effectively elsewhere. This is one of those scenarios. Firms can eliminate a long list of questions and tasks by starting with the Vantagepoint Readiness Report. The turnaround time for the Vantagepoint Readiness Report has typically been two weeks, depending on how schedules line up.

So, let’s roll up our sleeves, let the report do the magic and review the results. You will then have the next steps identified and prioritized as you move forward with the upgrade to Vantagepoint. And it doesn’t stop there! Full Sail Partners has additional resources to assist with the Vantagepoint upgrade. Let us know when you are ready to get started!

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Look Forward to the New Deltek Virtual Insight Experience

Posted by Amanda Roussel on August 12, 2020

Deltek Insight

As a Deltek Partner, Full Sail Partners looks forward to networking, teaching, and learning at Deltek Insight each year. However, due to current circumstances, this year’s Deltek Insight conference will be VIRTUAL and held on September 15th and 16th. Though the conference will look different as a virtual event, we know it will be a success. You may also notice that the dates are slightly earlier in the year than in years past. One benefit to that is having more time to incorporate new initiatives as 2021 nears. Even if your home or office may not look like a Gaylord resort, you will want to participate in all aspects of this FREE virtual experience. Let’s take a look at some of the incredible reasons why you should attend Deltek Insight this year.

Expand Your Understanding

Deltek’s product line up is beneficial to professional services firms. Technology has truly helped firms continue operations and keep business flowing this year. Deltek products have played a vital role in that. The robust systems can streamline processes and increase efficiency for your teams. Conference sessions will help you better understand the many areas of Deltek. In addition, you will learn about many exciting features as firms upgrade from Deltek Vision to Vantagepoint and as Deltek enhances other products.

You will have ample opportunities to meet with Deltek experts throughout the conference. In addition, our experts at Full Sail Partners will be available at our virtual kiosk. We will have Rick Childs, Scott Seal, Scott Gailhouse and more to answer your questions about the finance side of Deltek; Kevin Hebblethwaite and Lindsay Diven will be online to cover CRM topics; and Rana Blair will have Resource Planning covered! Additionally, if you have questions about the transition from Deltek Vision to Vantagepoint, we have that covered as well.

If you need a little more help with a certain area, you can meet with a Deltek expert who can assist you. “Meet the Experts” is a 30-minute 1 on 1 session with a Deltek expert. 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 participate in Deltek Insight. For more information about these sessions click here.

Be Inspired

Deltek has secured some strong keynote speakers. As our business environments shift, you will want to hear the experiences and advice of Dr. Shirley Davis, Mike Robbins, and Mike Corkery. Here is a little about each:

  • Shirley Davis is a diversity & inclusion thought leader who will talk about embracing workplace diversity. She will share tips on how to work effectively in a diverse environment and manage workplace conflict.
  • Mike Robbins, host of this year’s Deltek Insight, will take the reign on navigating attendees through Deltek’s first-ever virtual Insight. He will also share his perspective on managing stress and enhancing mental and emotional well-being.
  • Mike Corkery, President and CEO of Deltek, will speak about persevering through uncertainty. He will share how Deltek has enabled customers to continue their success and address questions from attendees.

Network the 2020 Way

Everyone has had a different business experience than originally planned for 2020. Learn from each other and grow your skillsets as you talk with industry peers. Sponsors will have virtual kiosks so be sure to stop by each one! Be on the lookout for other networking opportunities as Deltek Insight nears.

One way to get some visibility is to shine on Deltek Project Nation’s Got Talent. This attendee participation event gives you the microphone and an opportunity to showcase your skills for a chance to win a $2,500 cash prize plus a $2,500 donation to a Deltek charity of your choice. Bring your talent on this one - singers, dancers, comedians, contortionists, and more! Submission deadline is August 21st, so get your acts in!

Register Now for Deltek Insight 2020

There’s so much to look forward to with this year’s virtual Deltek Insight. Be sure to register NOW for this FREE event! You can network with industry users, learn from the experts, collaborate with peers, and get a stronger grip on the Deltek ecosystem.

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An Effective and Successful CRM is a Lifestyle Change

Posted by Amanda Roussel on June 10, 2020

CRM lifestyle

There have likely been times where you desired to get healthier and stronger. You cannot just wake up one day, eat well, exercise, and see the results of your efforts instantaneously. You must have the desire to change, recognize the benefits of doing so, keep your WHY at the top of your mind, and identify long-term goals. Just like in your personal life, lifestyle changes are necessary on the business front to see real success, and client relationship management (CRM) is a large part of making that happen.

Professional services firms offer services, and it is all about the knowledge and expertise of a firm’s professionals and trust in the brand. The art of building relationships and earning trust takes time, thought, and coordination within your team. CRM tools keep track of these communications, and consistency is what builds the data. With this data, you can establish long-term goals that you strive to meet. The positive results from choosing to use an effective CRM make it worth your while to change your work lifestyle.  

Accomplish More

The benefits of a personal healthier lifestyle may be having more energy, feeling more confident, and accomplishing goals that have felt distant. Likewise, for businesses, process and habit improvements offer benefits such as boosting productivity, increasing communication with clients, and crushing sales goals. Implementing a CRM helps you work more effectively as a team while adding productivity time back to your schedule. If CRM data is captured timely and correctly, it takes significantly less time to “research” what the latest communications and outcomes were with clients.

Think of employee-client interactions and the information that is gathered as a firm resource. Business resources are meant to be shared efficiently, and that information should be available when others need it. Furthermore, new information is constantly coming in and a CRM tool provides your teams a platform to document and share this information, keeping everyone informed.

Use the Technology at your Fingertips

As new information comes in from various sources, real-time data is crucial. This is achievable with the mobile capabilities of a strong CRM. Therefore, documenting information after each engagement brings consistency and a positive habit. With a firm-wide CRM, you can stay on top of your communications and proactively reach out to clients.

Additionally, as there are web-based apps to track exercise stats, sleep habits, and food intake, there are also apps that streamline business matters. All data from these apps, such as email, can be incorporated and captured into your firm CRM. While technology can help guide us, we are ultimately responsible for holding ourselves accountable for the improvements. 

Use Accountability to Create Consistency 

Just like having an accountability partner in an exercise or health program, employees should be accountable for keeping their colleagues informed. When we have dated action items as a CRM may show, the transparency should drive employees to stay on top of their tasks. However, there needs to be support and enforcement from all levels of leadership to make sure this happens. Consistency is crucial to success.

Get Over the Hurdle

According to the 40th Annual Deltek Clarity Architecture Engineering Industry Study, only 14% of firms planned to invest in marketing intel and CRM systems. Is your firm part of that 14%? CRMs have advanced greatly, and the capabilities of an effective CRM support and encourage accountability, teamwork, outreach, and relationships. After some time, your firm will not remember business without an efficient tool like a CRM. These positive habits will stick with the firm for years to come, just like a lifestyle change for a healthier you.

Grow Revenue with a CRM

Why NOW is the Time to Move to the Cloud

Posted by Amanda Roussel on May 13, 2020

Cloud computing

Leadership teams and firm owners have countless business elements to focus on and decisions to make. Some decisions are no-brainers, others are hard, and some just need to wait for the “right time.” There are often firm improvements pitched for consideration that may not make it to the priority list, or that are labeled as a luxury rather than a need. The word “value” can often determine where an initiative may fall on that labeling scale. One initiative that is proving to be a need is moving your firm’s ERP solution like Deltek Vantagepoint or Vision to the cloud. Now is the time, and it should be an easy decision. Let us identify some of the many advantages of moving your ERP solution to the cloud.

Make it Easy for Your Teams

Professional services firms have data… lots of data. Much of this data is centered around your people and projects and should be safely stored and easily accessible. With a device and an internet connection, teams can securely access their solution from anywhere. This allows for great flexibility with office, remote, and field team members. The cloud is not only flexible with location, but it is also flexible with firm size. Growth is a leading driver for many firms, and it is important that systems put in place now allow for scaling up when the time is right. The cloud offering makes it easy for teams to get their work done, providing value for the firm.

Reduce IT Burdens

Another benefit the cloud offers is removing the burden on your IT team, whether internal or external. On-premise hardware requires system maintenance and server upgrades which take time and money. Moving to the cloud, IT resources can be reallocated, and your firm will have confidence knowing that your ERP system is running on enhanced security, using updated hardware and software, and requiring zero maintenance from your IT team. You can also rest assured that a disaster recovery plan has been established and is ready to be deployed, if needed. The value of the cloud ultimately improves firm efficiency because you can now focus on what you do best, providing value to your own clients.

Fixed Costs vs Unexpected Costs

Planning for and managing expenses is a significant part of a firm’s financial health. Opting for a subscription-based fee for cloud services, firms can have confidence in budgeting a fixed cost. Otherwise, a best-guess amount would be budgeted for on-premise hardware needs. Another factor that should be considered is potential downtime. On average, downtime with a traditional IT system can be four times longer than the cloud alternative. Unexpected expenses and downtime can put an unfortunate burden on a firm. Choosing to be in the cloud ensures value with increasing reliability and reducing operating expenses.

Everyone is Invited to the Cloud

Small and large businesses alike have the same access to the cloud. The cloud can give businesses a competitive edge as they use the latest ERP solution like Deltek Vantagepoint for project management, financial management, and other streamlined processes. With proven tools accessed easily from the cloud, project managers, accounting teams, marketing groups, and executives can stay integrated and informed, no matter the firm size. The cloud does not discriminate on who gets value.

Continuity is a Necessity

Now is the time to make the move. Firms should be proactive in protecting their valuable data and seamlessly move it to a safe place. Do not wait until something goes amiss with your traditional IT system. Because cloud solutions are reached via the internet, users have greater flexibility with computer upgrades and mobile devices, too. The cloud is the leading choice for data storage because it is secure, reliable, and always available. With all these benefits, it should be an easy decision that NOW is the time to move to the cloud.

Thinking Out Cloud

Chris Simei Joins Full Sail Partners to Lead Business Intelligence Development

Posted by Amanda Roussel on May 05, 2020

Chris Simei

Full Sail Partners hired Senior Consultant, Chris Simei to head up their Blackbox Connector between Informer and Deltek Vision and Vantagepoint. Chris is known as a business intelligence (BI) expert in the Deltek ecosystem and will focus on expanding Full Sail Partners’ BI capabilities including connecting with other solutions. His wealth of knowledge will help ensure Deltek clients maximize the value of their product and reimagine how they use their data to reach optimal efficiency.

Chris is always looking to help clients and leverage creative concepts to drive innovation. Additionally, Chris delivers automated solutions with a well-versed perspective, having been in the A&E industry for over a decade. His work has taken him across the United States, Australia, New Zealand, and the Middle East.

“The landscape of ERP data management is changing swiftly. I collaborate with clients and use Deltek solutions to help firms get to the next level. The solutions are endless and I’m excited to guide firms along their success journey," commented Chris Simei.

Professional services firms are starting to reap the benefits of business intelligence. However, the most effective analytics take some collaboration and preparation. In this role, Chris will help firms get the data they need to make key business decisions by using the Blackbox Connector to integrate Informer, or other business intelligence software, with their Deltek system. Informer is becoming the desired choice among the Deltek community because of its drill down capabilities, ease of use, and ability to combine other data sources. The Blackbox Connector team has made it easy for firms by providing pre-built datasets, visuals and dashboards to every user within the firm.  

“Many firms are looking for ways to streamline their business intelligence data to stay on top of projects and business decisions. Bringing Chris on board allows Full Sail Partners to help more firms get connected with Informer and other solutions. Deltek is a robust, cohesive system, and it takes technical experience to integrate these systems correctly. After connecting the systems, firms can have confidence in their data and have an intuitive system at their fingertips,” stated Scott Seal, Vice President of Consulting.

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