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Top Technology Trends from the 43rd Deltek A&E Clarity Study

Posted by Heath Harris on November 16, 2022


The net revenue growth forecast for A&E firms is the highest it’s been in 10 years. Based on the findings from the 43rd Deltek A&E Clarity Study, the industry has rebounded from the pandemic with full pipelines and an optimistic future outlook. Meeting that demand comes with serious challenges, with labor shortages and rising costs being most prominent.    

Firms are turning to technology to empower their teams and improve project delivery. They’re prioritizing the right investments over simply purchasing the newest technology. Here are the top insights from the study and some guidance for ensuring that technology investments deliver positive ROI. 

Top Technology Challenges for A&E Firms 

The top technology challenge professional services firms are facing is the inability to invest time in learning. With full project pipelines, firms are dedicating resources to completing client work, limiting the time they can spend on learning new technologies. Small firms struggle with this issue the most, though it’s a prominent issue for medium and large firms as well.  

Technology costs, which topped the list in last year’s report, was the second most commonly cited challenge. Firms are also struggling with prioritizing which trends apply to their organization. With so much technology to choose from, many firms are understandably unsure which trends to pursue. Finding the right fit, whether it be data science tools or digital twins—for the firm and for their client base—isn’t easy.  

Other challenges include educating employees and clients about trends, lack of champions to drive technology adoption and limited corporate openness to emerging technologies.  

A&E Firms Are Focused on Getting it Right 

Firms are honing in on the initiatives that enable them to take a pragmatic approach to technology adoption and integration.   

When asked about their top three technology initiatives:  

  • 64% said creating strategic technology implementation plans.  
  • 47% said educating staff on technology trends. 
  • 46% said identifying and developing technology subject matter experts. 

This pragmatic approach is a good way to enter into digital transformation. However, firm leaders should be careful not to get stuck in a cycle of endless planning. One way to cautiously approach technology is to look for ways to expand usage of current tools. This can provide quick wins and competitive advantages without requiring significant investment or onboarding time.  

Internal Champions Can Take on Challenges and Lead Key Initiatives 

To take on technology challenges in the short term, firms should engage tech-savvy employees as internal technology champions. Technology champions can help improve the ROI of technology in the following ways:  

  • Fill current skill gaps by leading the charge to incorporate technology into project execution.  
  • Promote and expand adoption of existing technologies throughout the business.  
  • Identify the most viable technology investments and trends for the firm.  

Only 36% of firms ranked this as one of their top three initiatives, meaning that many are missing an opportunity to address current gaps in technology planning and adoption.  

Which Technologies Should A&E Firms Focus On? 

To help guide technology planning, A&E firms should look at technology as falling into two buckets. Technology that supports project delivery, such as smart infrastructure and digital twins help firms remain competitive and address common challenges in the building process. Business-optimizing technologies, like data science and next-level project management tools can be used to automate repetitive tasks, empower workers to make more informed decisions, and ultimately improve client satisfaction.  

For more insight into which technology areas A&E firms should focus on, watch the webinar 

Focusing on these areas will enable firms to address some of their biggest concerns: 

  • Attract and retain talent by appealing to the next generation of employees, who want to work with companies that give them access to the latest technology.  
  • Prepare for disruption. As innovation continues to transform the A&E industry, the right technology will help firms future proof their businesses.  
  • Increase revenue streams by identifying the ideal services and delivery methods that lead to competitive advantages and higher profits.  

Dive Deeper Into the Technology Insights from the Deltek Clarity Study 

Firms aren’t investing in technology for technology’s sake. They’re focused on making the right investments that will enable them to increase productivity and compete for projects and talent. With the right guidance, they can take on the opportunities and challenges ahead. For more technology insights, download the full report.  

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Malware is Out to Get You

Posted by Heath Harris on July 19, 2017

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

Understanding How Deltek Vision Utilizes FILESTREAM and TDM

Posted by Heath Harris on July 16, 2015

As a Deltek Vision client, you may have heard the terms FILESTREAM and TDM thrown around and may be wondering what they are. To clarify, FILESTREAM and TDM are two different things but work hand in hand to provide the desired functionality in Vision.

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FILESTREAM is a SQL technology introduced in SQL Server 2008 to facilitate the storing and management of unstructured or Binary Large OBject (BLOB) data (image files, word documents, pdf documents, etc.), and ensures transactional consistency between the unstructured data stored in the network file system and the structured data stored in the tables.

Transactional Document Management is a Deltek Vision feature that facilitates the uploading of supporting documents (Expense Receipts, Vendor and Sub-Consultant invoices, etc.) and the ability to attach those supporting documents to transactions within Vision. With supporting documents uploaded to Vision it also gives the ability to easily review and print those supporting documents automatically when processing expenses or invoices. You can also attach several supporting documents to a single transaction or a single supporting document to multiple transactions for more flexibility.

So How DO I Get Started with TDM?

The basics of getting TDM enabled in your Vision database are as follows and take about an hour to setup:

  1. Enable FILESTREAM on the Vision SQL Server
  2. Create the Vision FILES database to store the uploaded documents
  3. Enable the FILESTREAM functionality for Vision
  4. Start using TDM inside Vision

Benefits of TDM

By enabling TDM you can:

  • Reduce the work of keeping track of your supporting documents in the typical Folder/File structure on your network
  • Streamline the process (especially for multi office firms) of allowing employees to scan and upload expense receipts directly to their Expense Reports in Vision instead of the typical procedure of scanning and emailing them to the main office or storing them in the Folder/File network
  • A/P and Interactive Billing also allow the uploading of supporting documents to be attached to invoices, again saving the time and hassle of navigating the File/Folder network structure to find the associated documents

To go a step further when supporting documents have been attached to client invoices they can now be viewed by the appropriate project team members easily and also printed with the invoices as they go out to the client. TDM creates efficiency for accounting as well as staff by having the relevant project accounting documents easily accessible in a consistent location that is available to everyone that has access to the project. 

Caveats of TDM Implementation?

There are a few things to remember if you implement TDM in Deltek Vision:

  1. Backup the FILES database at the same time as your Vision production database. So if you ever need to restore Vision to an earlier time you will also need to restore the FILES database from the same backup to maintain consistency between the two databases.
  2. The other consideration is the size of the FILES database. Although there is no limit to the size of the database, if it grows too large you may start to experience performance issues. As of now there is no known way to archive or reduce the size of the FILES database. This can be somewhat mitigated by making clear that the files uploaded to TDM need to meet a certain criteria (e.g. All documents uploaded to Vision must be in a PDF format and no more than 200 dpi greyscale scans). Unfortunately there is no way to set limits on the files at this time that can be uploaded to TDM. So clearly stating some criteria will help.
For more information on the use of TDM please review the following article from Deltek: 


TDM and Filestream in Deltek Vision



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