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Top 5 Deltek Vantagepoint Mini Demos from 2022

Posted by Evan Creech-Pritchett on January 05, 2023
2022-Top 5 Mini Demos_BannerAs we begin a new year, it’s important to look back and reflect on the past. What better way to do that than to watch the top 5 Deltek Vantagepoint mini demos from last year? 2022 was a bit of a grab bag, so this list includes everything from features that have been in Vantagepoint for a while to add-ons for the programs we use every day. Without further ado, here are the top 5 Deltek Vantagepoint mini demos of 2022!  

#5: Utilizing the Search Functionality 

The search functionality is one of the most overlooked features in Deltek Vantagepoint. There are categories of searches: standard searches, my searches, shared searches, and legacy searches. Standard search has a few different types of searches, such as the selection and active search, and generally apply to a variety of the hubs throughout Vantagepoint. My searches are your personal searches that you have saved for future use. Shared searches are ones that have been shared with you by your administrator or other power users in your firm and serve to create a standardization in your searches. The last type of search, legacy searches, is one that only applies to firms that made the switch from Deltek Vision to Deltek Vantagepoint. These are read only, so they will need to be rebuilt in order to modify them. 

Want to learn how to make and utilize these different types of searches effectively? Take a look at our demo here: Utilizing the Search Functionality. 

#4: Redistribute Planned Project Hours 

More often than not, a project’s budget and schedule change throughout its life cycle. Luckily, Deltek Vantagepoint allows users to easily adjust a project’s plan to fit their needs. The first step in this process is to change the dates for the project. After the dates are in order, the planned hours for the project should be changed. Some extra columns like contract and planned billing might be needed to determine the amount to adjust the planned hours by, so make sure to enable them when doing this step. 

This function is easy to use and saves a huge amount of time for everyone! For a step by step walkthrough on redistributing planned project hours, check out our demo here: Redistribute Planned Project Hours

#3: A Small, but Mighty Enhancement with Saved Views 

In previous iterations, Deltek Vantagepoint would save the last list view that you were in when you exited the program. Then when you re-opened Vantagepoint you would be returned to that same list view. In the Vantagepoint 5.5 update, a new feature has been added that allows multiple list views to be saved. This enhancement is useful in many areas such as hubs, expense reports and even interactive billing. Take a look around and find where saved views can help you! 

For a more in-depth look at how to create these lists and put them to use, watch our demo here: A Small, but Mighty Enhancement with Saved Views

#2: Introduction to Contract Management 

 The contract management tool in Deltek Vantagepoint is a fan favorite. It is useful for taking all the guesswork out of compensation with detailed breakdowns of how the total amount came to be. To get the absolute most out of this feature, it is imperative that the “Project Entering Method” is set to “Lowest Level Only” and “Synchronize Contract Values to Project Compensation” is set to “Yes.” Contract Type and Contract Status should also be configured in labels and list area. 

There are many more features and functions in the Contract Management tab. To hear about them all be sure to tune into our demo here: Introduction to Contract Management. 

#1: CRM Contact Accessibility Directly with Outlook 

Having to flip between two applications to find a contact is tedious and tiresome. Instead of wasting time trying to track someone down, connect Deltek Vantagepoint to your Outlook inbox. With this enhancement, Outlook will provide information from Vantagepoint on the contact, as well as information on related contacts. If there is no contact in the system, Vantagepoint will give the option to create a new contact and fill out the relevant fields. Projects can even be created from Outlook! 

There’s more than meets the eye with this upgrade. Watch our demo to see what you’re missing out on and how it works here: CRM Contact Accessibility Directly with Outlook. 

What’s Up Next? 

We hope you’ve enjoyed our blogs, Deltek Vantagepoint mini demos, and other content this past year! We’ve been cooking up a bunch of new content for 2023, so keep an eye on our social media accounts for more announcements. Looking forward to another productive year with you! 

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Using Deltek Vantagepoint Systems to Maintain Better Contact Data

Posted by Evan Creech-Pritchett on October 19, 2022

2022 - Contact List - Banner

It’s hard to believe that it is already so late in the year. It feels like not so long ago we were trying to beat the heat with cool drinks on sandy shores. But now the weather is beginning to cool down and the leaves are changing color, and that can only mean one thing: time to hunker down and manage the firm’s holiday contact list! Hopefully, this process has already been started but if not, this article shares a couple of tips on how using Deltek Vantagepoint features and functions can help maintain the firm’s holiday contact list and keep it clean for the future.  

Data Clean Up 

Before getting into the nitty gritty of data cleanup, let’s do a quick review. Every contact needs to have at least five parts: contact name, job title, firm name, email address and firm address. These five fields are standard in Vantagepoint, and with this information, marketers can build basic lists to use for both email marketing and direct campaigns.  

Then there are pieces of contact information that can be considered “nice to have.” These include attributes like market, rating, source, contact owner, mailings and segment type. These are not essential to the contact, but they can help narrow down who they are and what exactly the contact means to the company. 

Once marketers have identified their must-have and “nice-to-have” contact fields, head over to Vantagepoint and view the contact in list view. Using this Vantagepoint feature, allows marketers to quickly see what contact data is missing or outdated. See the screenshot below. 

Contacts - list viewThis feature isn’t just in the Contacts hub either, so be sure to look for it in other hubs that may need some cleaning up as well.  

Send More Emails  

To avoid ending up with a bunch of old contacts, the best advice is to send more emails! Of course, don’t just spam the contacts, because that would just drive them away. Instead, think about sending newsletters weekly and/or monthly. By sending regularly email marketing campaigns to contacts, marketers will get contact information back such as bounced email addresses. This piece of information could indicate that the contact has moved firms or retired. Doing this throughout the year will help make the effort of creating holiday contact lists less daunting.  

Create Marketing Campaigns for Segmented Lists 

In the same vein as the last tip, use Vantagepoint Marketing Campaigns for list segments. To do this, create a new Marketing Campaign record with the name “List-Holiday Card,” for example. Then associate different contacts based on their segments (whether it be geographic, demographic, etc.) to add them to a list aka the Marketing Campaign record. With these new marketing campaigns more emails can be sent, and as contacts are created and updated, they can be added to different lists. 

Contacts - Marketing Campaigns - Lists

Monitor New Contact Creation with Scheduled Reports 

Another good practice is to have Deltek Vantagepoint monitor what new contacts were created in the database. Deltek Vantagepoint allows the user to send scheduled reports of what contacts were created in a set period of time (i.e. weekly, monthly, etc.). When these are set up, a report will be sent to the user consisting of all the new contacts and will include who initially created the contact and if there is any missing information that needs to be added. In the case that any of the aforementioned key fields of the contact are missing, the user can follow up with the contact creator and ask them to fill out the required information. This feature can also be used for projects and employees, but in our case monitoring contacts is best. 

Use Workflow Warnings and Errors for Must-Have Contact Information 

Finally, make sure you are using workflows to your advantage. These workflows can be set up to indicate errors and warnings when a contact has missing information. Warnings will simply alert the user that the contact needs more information, but they will allow the contact to be saved nonetheless. Errors on the other hand will completely stop the user from saving the contact. Both of these options are effective ways to keep a contact list clean but be sure to choose which one to use carefully.  

 Contacts - workflow errors

See these Contact Management Tips in Action  

These are just some ways to utilize the Deltek Vantagepoint system features and functions to manage contacts, even outside of the holiday season. To see these features in action, click the image below to watch a replay of the webinar, A Modern Approach to Managing Holiday Contact Lists. 

 

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5 Tips to Keep Passwords Secure at Professional Services Firms

Posted by Evan Creech-Pritchett on March 16, 2022

2022 - Passwords Banner

In an age where technology is intertwined with every aspect of life, it is more important than ever to keep data protected. Since passwords are practically the keys to everyone’s livelihood both professionally and personally, if they fall into the wrong hands then there’s no telling how much trouble this could cause for everyone connected to them. By neglecting to follow proper password protection protocols, companies have unintentionally been responsible for their own data breaches and even those of their business partners. That’s why employees and leadership at professional services firms should use these five tips to help strengthen their passwords and keep security protected.

Tip #1 – Use a Unique Password 

Let’s say someone at the firm has been hacked and an unapproved person has gained access to a password. That’s already a concern, but the effect is multiplied tenfold if that same password has been used on other accounts at the firm. Once the password has been discovered, there will certainly be an attempt to use it wherever possible to get into even more of the unprotected accounts. To prevent this from happening, a completely different password should always be used on every separate firm account. 


Tip #2 – Resist Easy to Guess Passwords 

This one should be obvious, but one would be surprised by how many people use passwords like “12345” and “password” just because they are easy to remember. Personal information such as birthdays, pets’ names, and street addresses should also be avoided. To be safe one should use a password that is more random. A good password should have more than eight characters and contain numbers, special characters, uppercase letters and lowercase letters.  

Tip #3 – Be Very Cautious When Asked to Share Passwords 

Avoid scammers at all costs. Scams come in many forms - some may be emails, some may be phone calls, and some may even impersonate a friend, co-worker, client or relative online just to get access to a password. Some of these scams may try to create a sense of urgency, so always stop and remember to think it through carefully. Consider why that person would need this information, and if the person reaching out is unfamiliar, then do not continue with the contact. Here’s the golden rule to follow for not getting scammed: never give away a password.  

Tip #4 – Keep Software and Browsers Up to Date 

Keep the firm’s web browsers, applications, and operating systems up to date. If there’s an exploit to be found, it’s on an older version. It is not necessary to update to the newest version as soon as it is out, but it is generally a good idea to move to the newer versions as soon as possible. Some applications will come with a pre-set password. These should always be changed, even if they are randomly generated. If there is worry about exploits in newer versions of programs, then do research before the decision is made to update. Software companies will generally release patch notes for users to check before they update. 

Tip #5 – Use Two Factor Authentication or a Password Manager 

Two factor authentication requires a third-party app that will require approval for sign-ins. Once logged into an account, a notification on your authenticator app will be received where entry is approved or denied for whoever is logging in. Password managers are a bit more complex but will ensure safety just the same. Once logged in, the password manager will generate random passwords for the user. With these, only one password will need to be remembered to get into the manager, and it will take care of the rest. For extra safety, feel free to use both in tandem. 

Bonus Tip - Stolen Password.... Now What?

So, how can someone at a professional services firm tell if a password has been stolen? More importantly, what can be done about it? 

Well, the best way to identify if a password has been compromised is to watch for suspicious activity. The critical indicators can be anything from strange posts or questionable emails on firm accounts to even small subtle changes in personal information that seem off to the user. Some applications will inform the user when there is an unusual activity, which is especially helpful in these situations.  

Once there is evidence that an account has been breached, the first thing to do is immediately change the password. If this account is tied to others, those accounts should also have their passwords changed and be reviewed for any confirmation of hacking. One should also inform other firm staff and business partners of the breach to proactively prevent any other data breach complications. 

Stay Diligent and Safe

Professional services firms are not alone in the need to protect security, but with the expert knowledge that they are hired for, data breaches can have long term negative effects on both the firm and clients. These five tips should help strengthen firm security and protect its valuable data and clients. It’s a scary internet world out there, so it is important to keep both professional services firms and their staff safe so they can continue to work hard!  

 


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