Full Sail Partners Blog | Ryan Felkel

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Pick the Winning RFP with Deltek Vantagepoint CRM

Posted by Ryan Felkel on April 21, 2021

It seems like déjà vu and it should. It’s the same scenario played out over and over again for every proposal professional. Sitting in a dimly lit room with a lukewarm cup of coffee behind stacks of RFPs with pages upon pages to read. This entire process seems to be on constant repeat as you extract important details to determine which RFP is the winning one for your firm. However daunting and looming the task seems, the process is necessary.

decision making

For a proposal professional, the repetitive preparatory tasks are important since they are the gatekeeper that determine which RFPs receive a response. As a result, this responsibility requires analyzing specific metrics and information to determine which RFP your firm can win. In doing so, they utilize the infamous go/no go process to compare the details within the RFP to determine which opportunity is the best fit for their firm. But what if there was a solution that can help select the winning RFP for your firm? Well, there is since Deltek Vantagepoint CRM is more than your average CRM.

Deltek Vantagepoint is Your Source of Truth

A major benefit to starting the go/no go process with the Deltek Vantagepoint is that it already contains project pursuit and opportunity information. By using Vantagepoint early on in the process, you can:

  • Identify available internal resources to assist with the RFP response
  • Compare previous wins/losses and apply lessons learned for better decision making
  • Quantify the go/no go process to make more objective decisions
  • Avoid high risk pursuits and projects
  • Improve your overall win rate
  • Use automatic notifications to stakeholders to inform them of the go/no go decision and next steps

Utilize Vantagepoint User Defined Fields and Workflows

With user defined fields, a go/no go process can be created based on your firm’s needs. From simple to complex, Vantagepoint can be aligned to meet your business goals. User defined fields allow your firm to capture intel during the go/no go process and even apply a numeric score to criteria your firm uses to make a final decision. If your firm chooses to use a numeric score, a workflow in Vantagepoint can be created to determine whether or not to pursue an opportunity. A short list of some great areas to track using a numeric score that can be calculated using a workflow are:

  • Experience with type of work in the RFP
  • Client relationship type
  • Client relationship status
  • Past project performance for client
  • Amount of work to be subbed
  • When did you learn about the opportunity (before advertised, etc.)
  • Does the project align with the firm’s strategic plan
  • Can we compete with known competition
  • Number of competitors
  • Is there an incumbent

Implementing Deltek Vantagepoint CRM for the Go/No Go Process

When adding Vantagepoint CRM into your firm’s go/no go process, it’s important to thoroughly evaluate:

  • If you’re asking the correct questions and weighting them appropriately
  • Past wins and losses to identify what questions you could have asked to make a better go /no go decision
  • Ways to simplify the process for others in your firm like project managers and senior management
  • Collaborate with others at your firm on questions and metrics that should be included
  • Test, test and test again to fine-tune the go/no go process

Start picking the winning RFP for your firm by using Vantagepoint CRM in your go/no go process.

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Read This Before Deciding to Attend a Virtual Conference

Posted by Ryan Felkel on April 07, 2021

Handshakes, large group lunches, and late nights mingling with strangers that will likely become longtime professional connections and even friends are highlights of attending professional conferences. Ahhhh just remembering those days…excuse me while I reminisce on my past experiences that made attending in-person conferences fun and exciting and not just educational. While I’m sure many of us can relate and probably add to the list of things we love about in-person conferences, many of those perks have disappeared with conferences being forced to move to a virtual or hybrid approach.

Now, reflecting upon my recent experience with the new virtual/hybrid format for conferences, I can say for certain that participating in a virtual conference is a different experience in comparison to the traditional in-person conferences most of us are accustomed to attending. However, by understanding the benefits of attending a virtual conference and applying some best practices, you can ensure your virtual participation is a success.

Man Standing in front of virtual audience

 

The Advantages to Attending Virtual Conferences

We all have a list of things we loath and find extremely annoying. For me, I like traveling to places that require air transportation, but the whole routine of going to the airport, arriving early, waiting in long TSA lines, and walking all over the place just to find a restroom seems to put a damper on the entire trip. The list can go on when you think about the ups and downs of staying in a hotel. So, while there are perks to traveling, nothing beats staying in the comfort of your own home with your family.

By eliminating travel, virtual conferences also provide other benefits. Instead of wasting time hustling around the airport and wandering around hotels, you can spend more time on your actual work which we all know doesn’t complete itself while you’re attending a conference. Even more, since there are no associated travel expenses with virtual conferences, the company would be more willing to approve them over in-person events.

Prepare Yourself for the Virtual Conference

Attending a conference in-person or virtually, you should always take time prior to the conference to review conference schedules, register for educational sessions and other activities, and learn about resources that are available to attendees. Additionally, review the format of the conference as it seems to vary from conference to conference. Last year alone, I attended or participated in numerous virtual conferences. Some were 2 to 3 all-day events and others were a series of half-day events. Others even included ongoing monthly meetings to encourage continued conversations about topics presented at the conference itself. So, make sure you are familiar with the conference format and able to commit time to attending and participating.

Most importantly, update your work calendar. I recommend blocking out your calendar for the entire time you plan on attending the conference. I even take it one-step further by adding the sessions I plan on attending to my calendar with related links included in the body of the appointment. 

Be Seen by Being Present

You may ask, “If it’s virtual, how am I going to be seen?” Great question! First, let your professional network know you are attending by posting to LinkedIn. A simple message with a link to the conference letting people know what you are excited to learn about is a great way to be seen virtually.

During the conference, avoid distractions by closing your email and messaging tools and treat the conference like you are there in-person. If you typically take notes with pen and paper at in-person conferences, do the same while at your desk. Furthermore, virtual conferences that are worth attending will have a great communication platform for attendees and presenters. So, don’t be shy! Be seen by asking engaging questions during sessions, tour the virtual sponsor expo hall and chat with vendors, and participate in conference events and contest like dance-offs, trivia games, or other fun activities. In other words, find ways to network and be camera ready.

Do Your Homework

The conference might be over, but your opportunities to learn and network have just begun! One of my favorite things to do after a conference is send out LinkedIn connection invites to my new contacts. Additionally, I include a note with the connection invite that mentions how we met and a highlight of something we discussed. This is a convenient way to keep track of how you have met people in your LinkedIn network.

It’s also a great idea to follow up with your favorite speakers by sending them a LinkedIn message or an email. Let them know what you liked about their presentation and how it impacted you personally. Then include a question you did not ask during the live session or one you thought of afterwards. Believe it or not, speakers generally and truly enjoy receiving messages from audience members like you.

So, get out there…virtually that is…and attend professional conferences to continue to build your skills and network!

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Change in the Workplace Climate – In Comes the Deltek Cloud

Posted by Ryan Felkel on March 31, 2021

Beginning in 2020, the workplace environment saw a drastic change when the pandemic shut down nearly all in-person office work. Not expected by many, this dark and looming cloud forever transformed the workplace indefinitely. Zoom and video conferencing became an everyday alternative to face-to-face interactions at the office, and work from home became the only solution and not a privilege.

While many workers had to adjust to this new remote working model, businesses had to quickly adjust to this changing workplace climate. As a result, employers had to quickly adapt to allow this newly created remote workforce to able to get work done from anywhere with an internet connection. As stated in July 2020, Accounting Today’s top VARs of 2020 noted that this is the year that has pushed the cloud over the tipping point largely because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

cloud data

Now a year later, the forecast for the workplace environment has changed. Many firms accepted this back in 2020, but the businesses that held out hope that normalcy will return are now facing the reality that so many have accepted as the “new normal.” While the Deltek Cloud has emerged as a solution to solving numerous challenges professional services firms faced by becoming a more remote workforce, there are also other benefits to consider when choosing to move to the cloud.

The Difference Between Fog and the Cloud

Cloud computing in itself by name can be confusing. Simply stated, on-premise or hosting your own software means that software and servers that run your Deltek solution are typically hosted within the four walls of your business. In other words, on-premise is similar to fog in that it is on the ground.

On the other hand, the cloud means that the software and servers used to run your Deltek solution are on an external infrastructure like Amazon web services. Additionally, the cloud is also referred to as software as a service (SaaS).

The Brightside to the Deltek Cloud

There are so many misconceptions about the cloud and the entire idea can seem daunting. To put your mind at ease, here are some benefits to taking your Deltek Vision/Vantagepoint system to the Deltek Cloud.

  • Fast and Easy Upgrades – Always have the latest and greatest version of your Deltek solution without the need to tie up valuable IT resources for software and hardware upgrades.
  • Off-Site Data Replication – Protect your data from an unexpected natural disaster with multiple backups in multiple data centers.
  • Secure and Reliable – Data is secured and monitored 24/7 to standards set by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and reported on Service Organization Controls (SOC) audit requirements.
  • Access from Anywhere at Anytime – Workforces are more mobile and remote than ever, give your teams secure access to your Deltek solution from anywhere with an internet connection.
  • Easily Grow and Expand – As your company grows, so can your Deltek Vision/Vantagepoint instance by simply adding users to your license, not hardware which tremendously helps during the acquisition and expansion process.
  • Cost Effective – Eliminate costly and time-consuming software and hardware upgrades and ongoing maintenance hassles and the people and time required to support this making future costs predictable.
  • One Subscription Fee – Using the Deltek Cloud allows you to pay one subscription fee that can be easily budgeted for year after year allowing you to use IT budgets for projects that can improve your firm’s productivity and effectiveness.

Should the Deltek Cloud be in Your Firm’s Forecast?

It’s easy for us to assume that since we made it through the crisis created by the pandemic without the Deltek Cloud, then we can continue on with our newly crafted workaround solutions. While this seems logical, there are other reasons to consider the cloud. Take a minute to review the following questions:

  • Does my firm have aging hardware?
  • Do we have plans for growth in the near future?
  • Is our workforce becoming more remote and mobile?
  • Are we getting ready to upgrade from Deltek Vision to Vantagepoint?

Is you said YES to any of these questions, then it’s time to take your Deltek product to the cloud.

No Umbrellas Needed for the Deltek Cloud

When it rains, it pours. Well, with the Deltek Cloud, it pours with even more benefits. For starters, nothing really changes for your firm or employees. The Deltek Cloud offers the same power of Vision/Vantagepoint and the same functionality your teams are accustomed to using on a daily basis. Furthermore, your employees get unlimited access to the Deltek University eLearning content at no extra cost so they can continue to build on their knowledge and improve how your firm uses Vision/Vantagepoint. Lastly, making the move to the Deltek Cloud is simple and can be done in 24 hours or less in most instances. Above all, by choosing the Deltek Cloud, your firm will be resilient to any workplace climate change going forward.

Thinking Out Cloud

Introducing Deltek + ComputerEase for Construction Firms

Posted by Ryan Felkel on March 10, 2021

For more than three decades, the construction industry has trusted ComputerEase Construction Software to help ensure contractors are able to manage their construction projects while adhering to the unique accounting challenges this industry faces. As one of the first construction software developers, ComputerEase has become the industry leader with its evolving and innovative construction and accounting solutions for contractors of all sizes. Additionally, ComputerEase was one of the first to introduce innovative features like dashboard reporting to allow users to make critical decisions based on actual data.

ComputerEase Logo

After 36 years of continued success and growth, ComputerEase caught the attention of Deltek, the leading software solution provider for over 30,000 project-based firms such as architectural and engineering firms, and management consulting firms to name a few. Due to this, Deltek and ComputerEase decided to join forces in August of 2019 to create Deltek + ComputerEase. This new partnership created when Deltek acquired ComputerEase marked the beginning of a new era for the construction management software industry.  

Benefits of the Acquisition

Deltek left in place the previous upper management led by John Meibers who had been the ComputerEase President for 22 years. Therefore, the original company vision and dedication to providing great customer experiences through excellent support and training remain in place. With the addition of Deltek, new strategic positions were added to accelerate product development and innovation, and 24/7 support became available for customers, employees, and partners.

Even more, Deltek is now leveraging technologies it already uses in other software products such as GPS, complex integrations, and access to the internet of things (IoT) to further enhance Deltek + ComputerEase’s existing capabilities. Deltek is also using its experience to develop a product roadmap to deploy new features quickly to address the ever-growing needs of their construction management customers. These new resources will help to continue to drive innovation of their existing product offering which will better serve clients long into the future.

Why Deltek + ComputerEase?

Deltek + ComputerEase is known for being innovative and user-friendly which is why they are the leaders in construction management software. With job cost accounting being the lifeline of the construction management industry, Deltek + ComputerEase integrates project management, purchasing and inventory, subcontracts, HR and payroll, and accounting functions into one system. As a result, firm leaders can easily access advanced and comprehensive reporting tools that allow for them to ensure continued profitability based on accurate firm data.  

Why Full Sail Partners?

Full Sail Partners has been a dedicated and trusted Deltek partner for over two decades, and our staff, collectively, has over 275 years of experience with Deltek products. Our team of accounting, business development and marketing, project management, and technology experts are well versed in the nuances and complexities that project-based firms deal with on a daily basis. As such, expanding our partnership with Deltek to offer construction management clients a software solution designed to meet their unique needs was a no brainer.

Get to Know Deltek + ComputerEase

ComputerEase has embodied the philosophy of putting the customer first, and Deltek + ComputerEase continues with the understanding that strong relationships with clients and partners is what makes great companies thrive. As a team, Deltek + ComputerEase are committed to continuing to improve their software solutions to help their customers increase the profitability of their projects. Make sure to keep up with the future Deltek + ComputerEase innovations that can help your construction management firm become an industry leader.

Link to Deltek + ComputerEase information

What You Need to Know About OCR and ICR Technologies

Posted by Ryan Felkel on February 17, 2021

For project-based firms, document management is vital, and with a document management system in place, these firms can organize all relevant information with ease. However, many firms use scanning technologies that only create an image of the document. As a result, the image lacks the metadata contained within the document such as client name, dates, invoice amounts and more unless a firm associate adds this information manually.

Artificial Intelligence

Today, new scanning technologies have been introduced to the market that have the capabilities to “read” a document and collect the pertinent metadata making the file searchable. This technology eliminates the time required by an employee to manually gather and enter that information. Before your firm decides to invest into this technology, it’s important to get a basic understanding of how these technologies work.

What is OCR and ICR?

In short, OCR, or Optical Character Recognition, is a software that scans text in documents and is usually used for translating long documents into electronic files. ICR, or Intelligent Character Recognition, by comparison, is a software that recognizes fonts and styles of handwriting. With this basic understanding, let’s take a deeper dive into the differences.

It is commonly accepted that OCR technology was first introduced by Emanuel Goldberg in 1914 to read characters and convert them to a telegraph code to help the blind read. During the following decades, OCR capabilities continued to grow to what we have and use today. You may not even realize it, but you probably use OCR technology on a weekly basis. If you travel through an airport, send a letter in the mail, or deposit a check in the ATM, you have used OCR technology. While OCR technology is used regularly and effectively, there is a newer technology emerging as the leader.

In the early 1990’s, ICR technology took OCR capabilities to the next level. Basically, it is a smarter OCR which can focus on details. While OCR is normally used for retrieving typed documents that can be categorized and searched, ICR handles handwriting with more complicated styles than OCR can manage. Even more, ICR is a self-learning technology that teaches itself to recognize new handwriting patterns and improve data capture from scanned documents.

Benefits of ICR

OCR software is generally less expensive than ICR because you get fewer features. For some firms, the advanced features of ICR may not be necessary. However, for the majority of project-based firms, the cost of ICR is worth it as it will save countless hours spent on document management. Since ICR can read handwritten notes, and virtually any font, it can be used to manage many more documents than just OCR alone. Not to mention, the automatic retrieval of this relevant data no matter the handwriting prevents human input error which is a common problem with manual entry.

ICR and Accounting Data

Specifically, when it comes to accounting data, using ICR is extremely beneficial. ICR can be used for scanning various accounting documents such as accounts payable, invoices, purchase orders, onboarding payroll forms, and travel expenses. Larger firms that process hundreds of forms each month will be able to reduce numerous hours spent by team members having to manually enter all that data.

Expense Retrieval on the Go With ICR

Since Deltek is the leading provider of project-based ERP systems, it has already begun adopting ICR technology in Deltek Vantagepoint. Currently, Deltek is utilizing ICR in its mobile expense feature which allows users to take a picture of their receipts which can be read by Vantagepoint. The printed or handwritten text auto populates into the fields in Vantagepoint eliminating the manual entry of this information. Accounting can then see where the budgets stand throughout the project lifecycle keeping everyone on track. Stay tuned as Deltek is continuing to test this capability in other capacities to help streamline your business operations!

Watch demos of Deltek Vantagepoint now!

What’s New in Deltek Vantagepoint 3.5

Posted by Ryan Felkel on January 20, 2021

Delivering successful projects requires having the best project management tools available. Luckily for Deltek Vantagepoint users, more features and improved functionality continue to be added in each new version release. And recently, Vantagepoint version 3.5 just rolled out and it includes some incredible enhancements. Here’s a look at what’s new in Vantagepoint.

Deltek Vantagepoint

Dashboard Enhancements

A key feature required to effectively manage projects is having project performance information right at your fingertips. With the Deltek Vantagepoint dashboard enhancements, users can create informative charts, graphs, and lists to easily display your business data. This allows firm staff to quickly make critical business decisions that can positively impact project delivery performance.

In version 3.5, Deltek has taken the dashboards to a new level by allowing users to drill down to detail for hours, labor cost and labor billing on the project dashparts. Additionally, new options for planning data have been added, and the pipeline dashpart now includes the option to show total compensation. If you’re already using Vantagepoint 3.5, make sure to check out these improvements and start visualizing your data in ways you never imagined.

Improved Revenue Forecasting

Revenue forecasting accuracy is essential to delivering a profitable project and Vantagepoint users now have improved insights to ensure a successful project. Firstly, Deltek has now added more accurate and granular views of potential revenue from a project. Additionally, users can create revenue forecasts for individual projects. Deltek also is taking revenue forecasting to the next level by adding a feature that allows users to enter estimated to completion planned revenue at any level and easily update forecasts. With all this new functionality, users can now run reports to show pipeline and forecasted revenue periods.

Project Review Drill Down Capabilities

Project managers need to be empowered to better monitor project details. Now in Vantagepoint 3.5, project managers can easily review direct, indirect and reimbursable expenses as well as direct and reimbursable consultant fees. Additionally, all this information is available in a single location making it easier and faster to access.

Accounting and Billing Improvements

Cash flow is essential for any business to be successful and Deltek knows that their project-based clients rely on having easy and accurate billing to ensure they get paid by clients. For this reason, they have streamlined the billing and invoicing process in Vantagepoint 3.5. Now, the accounting department has better visibility of bill-through dates in interactive billing. Also, accounting and project managers have the option to resubmit draft invoices with new dates. Fast and accurate billing is important to any business and Vantagepoint is helping project-based firms streamline this process.

Expenses Simplified

Employee expenses are a cost of doing business, but these shouldn’t be surprises. Deltek recognized that making expense submission easier can speed up the process. Now in Vantagepoint 3.5, the mobile expense feature has been greatly enhanced with the addition of an intelligent character recognition (ICR) technology. What this does is allow users to take a picture of a receipt which Vantagepoint can read. The printed and handwritten text information from the receipt auto populates into the fields in Vantagepoint. The typical information collected is where the expense occurred, the date and the total amount of the purchase. Therefore, eliminating the manual entry of this information.

Do More with Deltek Vantagepoint 3.5

Each version of Deltek Vantagepoint will continue to grow upon the previous iterations. While we are only at 3.5, be on the lookout for more enhancements as more versions come out. It is truly exciting to learn and see where Deltek is taking Vantagepoint in the future and how it will make successful project management more intuitive and intelligent.

Deltek Vantagepoint 3.5 Webinar Series

Top Watched Full Sail Partners’ Webinars of 2020!

Posted by Ryan Felkel on January 06, 2021

Last year kept us busy with all the new developments of Deltek Vantagepoint, not to mention the large number of firms upgrading from Vision to Vantagepoint. However, we planned for this back in 2019 and decided to roll out a series of mini demonstrations focused on specific features and functions available in Vantagepoint.

Webinars

This new format proved to be overwhelmingly successful. Therefore, as you review the top 10 watched webinars of 2020, you will likely notice that many of them are part of our “Powering Project Success with Deltek Vantagepoint” mini demonstration series. Enough with the introduction, here are the top 10 webinars you and your peers watched in 2020.

Top 10 Full Sail Partners’ Webinars of 2020

  1. Deltek Vantagepoint – The Best All in One Package – This webinar is an ideal webinar to watch if you are new to or have very little knowledge of Vantagepoint. If you watch this webinar, you will learn what Vantagepoint is, what resources and information are available, and you will learn more about the steps to upgrade from Vision to Vantagepoint. Make sure to check this traditional one-hour webinar out to also learn about our favorite new features. Did I mention that this webinar aired live in 2019? It made the 2020 top watched list since the on-demand video was downloaded by so many people.
  2. Powering Project Success with Deltek Talent – Candidate Engagement – Professional services firms are quickly realizing that acquiring and retaining industry top talent is becoming a necessity to stay competitive. Deltek has recognized this need as well and created Deltek Talent to assist firms in automating the employee experience and lifecycle. This mini demo hosted by Joel Slater features Deltek Talent and the specific tools within this human capital management system that support the candidate engagement experience to help attract the future leaders of your firm.
  3. Powering Project Success with Deltek Vantagepoint – Update Your Timesheet Using the Deltek Calendar– Billable employees struggling with staying organized with meetings and client appointments will benefit from this mini demo. No one wants to worry about completing the dreaded timesheet. With Vantagepoint, the challenge of keeping up with all your daily tasks has been simplified with the Deltek Calendar. During this mini demo, Nicole Temple will show how the Deltek Calendar helps users keep up with their billable engagements and how this information easily transfers over to a user’s timesheet.
  4. Powering Project Success with Deltek Vantagepoint – Quickly Build Project Plans – Maintaining successful projects requires all team members to have the information they need when they need it most. Furthermore, project plans often necessitate adjustments during the life of the project and this must happen quickly and easily. This mini demo is hosted by Rana Blair and shows users how to quickly build project plans and update them in Vantagepoint. This is a must watch for project managers.
  5. Tale of Two Firms: Tackling Business Intelligence –Business intelligence (BI) is booming in all industries as more and more BI tools enter the market. But you don’t have to take our word for it! During this webinar moderated by Sarah Gonnella, two of our clients that represent different firms share how the Informer 5 BI tool has revolutionized their business analytics capabilities. Make sure to watch this webinar on-demand to learn ways your firm can embrace the power of BI.
  6. Powering Project Success with Deltek Vantagepoint - Mobile CRM – Getting out and talking with existing and prospective clients is a standard part of business development and essential to winning new business. With Vantagepoint’s mobile capabilities, updating touchpoints while on-the-go has never been easier. Watch this mini demo hosted by Kevin Hebblethwaite to see how Vantagepoint streamlines the business development process with mobile functionality.
  7. Powering Project Success with Deltek Vantagepoint – Create Flexible Billing Terms – Not all projects are the same, nor are project billing terms. However, this is not a problem for Vantagepoint users. During this mini-demo, Scott Gailhouse shows how simple it is to create unique billing terms for projects in Vantagepoint.
  8. Powering Project Success with Deltek Vantagepoint – Streamline and Expedite the Invoice Review Process - In any business, getting paid is the name of the game. However, professional services firms have a lot to track to create accurate invoices that can be sent to clients. With Vantagepoint, the old days of printing invoices and marking them up by hand are long gone. Now project managers can use the invoice review features to streamline the review process. If you are in accounting or project management, you will want to see Rick Childs’ demonstration that is available on-demand.
  9. Powering Project Success with Deltek Vantagepoint – Capture Project Information for Proposals – As many of you know, having high quality proposals that address all the requirements contained in an RFP is essential for winning new projects. Even more, proposal teams are usually up against tight timelines to draft and finalize a winning RFP response. With Deltek Vantagepoint, this struggle can be better managed. This webinar is a guided tour by Lindsay Diven to show users the features in Vantagepoint that enable the quick creation of winning proposals.
  10. Powering Project Success with Deltek Vantagepoint – Project Templates and Plan Settings – The most popular webinar of 2020 was part of our Vantagepoint mini demonstration series. During this presentation, Theresa DePew shows users how to quickly create templates that have the correct pre-defined WBS so that entering data into the correct fields is the only task a user has to complete. Watch this outstanding demo to see how Vantagepoint has made planning a new project quick and easy.

What to Expect in 2021?

In 2021, we are planning on hosting a mix of traditional one-hour webinars and continuing to add to the “Powering Project Success with Deltek Vantagepoint” mini demonstration series. We will continue to promote these webinars using our newsletter and email notifications. Please make sure to pay attention to the amount of time allotted for a specific live webinar event on the registration page. Mini demonstrations are typically 30 minutes long with the actual demonstration being from 7 to 15 minutes long followed by live QA with the presenter.

We hope to see you at our live virtual events in 2021! In the meantime, catch up on past webinars you may have missed that are available on-demand. Enjoy learning!

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Valerie Kelleher Transitions into a Sales Accountant Position with Full Sail Partners

Posted by Ryan Felkel on December 03, 2020

Valerie Kelleher

Full Sail Partners, a Deltek Partner and creator of the Blackbox Connector, is honored to announce that Valerie Kelleher has grown into a new role as a Sales Accountant. With over 20 years of accounting and finance experience, Valerie is great fit for the recently created Sales Accountant position.

As the Sales Accountant, Valerie Kelleher will be managing the accounting for software sales, SaaS renewals and maintenance billing. With an increase of clients moving to the cloud, Full Sail Partners wanted to ensure client renewals were managed with consistency. She has previously served as an Account Manager for Full Sail Partners servicing our southwest region clients.

“Over the years many of our firms have preferred the convenience of a cloud subscription and have migrated to the cloud. Valerie’s attention to detail made her the perfect candidate to manage the renewal process,” Wendy Gustafson, General Manager at Full Sail Partners explained. “Even more, I am more than confident that Valerie is the perfect person to fill this new role as we continue to grow as a company.”

Valerie Kelleher has been active in the Deltek community for five years as an Account Manager at Full Sail Partners. Additionally, she has an extensive accounting and finance background that combined with her experience with Deltek clients, gives her the unique skill sets to continue to provide top notch service to our clients.

“I am completely overjoyed with my new opportunity as the Sales Accountant,” stated Valerie Kelleher. “I have learned so much about the value of Deltek products for our clients and this opportunity is going to give more chances to learn more about the Deltek ecosystem.”

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

What is Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning?

Posted by Ryan Felkel on September 30, 2020

Just the terms artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning can cause some confusion as many relate these with robotics. Based upon common knowledge, this is a rational thought, but in actuality, AI and machine learning technologies are being incorporated into numerous software applications and personal assistant tools such as Siri and Alexa. It is important to note that AI and machine learning have some slight differences. Let’s take a look at how Deltek is using these technologies to improve the experience for Deltek Vantagepoint users.

Artificial Intelligence

Getting Smart with Artificial Intelligence

Simply stated, AI is the principle that machines can make smart decisions and complete tasks using logical intelligence. In theory, this means that machines using AI exhibit cognitive functions like those performed in human minds. AI works by using algorithms, and in many cases, multiple complex algorithms stacked on top of each other. Typically, these algorithms can learn from data enhancing the ability to make smarter decisions.

The late Larry Tesler, a computer scientist who worked for many major corporations, tried to define AI. His theorem stated that “AI is whatever hasn’t been done yet” meaning that intelligence is ever changing. However, once something becomes common, it transitions to machine learning. Tesler’s theorem is often referred to when discussing the difference between AI and machine learning.

Be Efficient with Machine Learning

So, based on Tesler’s theorem, machine learning is a subcategory of AI and focuses more on the idea that machines are able to learn and adapt through experience. Like AI, machine learning uses algorithms to perform tasks without being programmed to, but it achieves goals by learning and figuring things out over time. In machine learning, the commonly accepted approaches are divided into three categories:

  • Reinforcement learning – a computer program navigates a dynamic environment to achieve a goal. For instance, the computer-controlled players on your team when playing a video game.
  • Supervised learning – the program is given inputs and desired outputs and then it creates the connections. An example of this is creating models to predict the weather.
  • Unsupervised learning – As the name suggests, the program is given no pre-existing labels and left to figure out patterns in the data on its own. This technique is often used in marketing to identify clusters of potential customers.

Do More with Deltek Vantagepoint

Now that the difference between AI and machine learning has been clarified, it should help users better understand these types of computer sciences as used in Vantagepoint. Currently, Deltek is adding AI capabilities to Vantagepoint that will be available in later versions. According to Deltek, AI will be able to analyze data across the project lifecycle. As a result, the AI tool will provide unbiased insights into the health of projects addressing any needed changes to ensure project success.

Deltek has also announced plans for machine learning technology. One effort is to simplify the expense submittal process. Deltek has announced that Vantagepoint’s Time and Expense will have an Intelligent Character Recognition (ICR) capability. The ICR technology will give users the ability to take a picture of a receipt needed to expense and Vantagepoint will be able to recognize characters no matter the font or if it’s handwritten or typed. The machine learning will recognize groups of data like food cost, taxes and tips, and then it will total those numbers.

It’s Time to Embrace AI and Machine Learning

Identifying and clarifying the difference between AI and machine learning is important since you’ll likely be hearing these terms used interchangeably from now on and far into the future. Even more, you’re likely only to benefit as a Deltek Vantagepoint user if Deltek continues to invest and take real advantage of these technologies. If you use apps on your phone like Lyft and Uber on a daily basis, you actually already do benefit from these technologies!

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Accounting Today’s 2020 VAR 100 List Once Again Includes Full Sail Partners

Posted by Ryan Felkel on September 24, 2020

2020 VAR 100

Accounting Today has recognized Full Sail Partners as one of the top 100 value-added resellers (VARs) for 2020. Being distinguished as a top 100 VAR indicates that Accounting Today is overwhelmingly confident with the firm’s services and knowledge of business accounting principles and the software required to support operations. Each year Accounting Today selects 100 VARs to acknowledge their accomplishments in the accounting software industry. The top VARs are chosen from firms focused on sales and implementation of accounting and enterprise resources planning (ERP) software. Accounting Today uses criteria such as revenue, number of offices, and staff size to generate the list of top VARs. 

According to Accounting Today, VARs on the 2020 list noted that this is the year that has pushed the cloud over the tipping point. Furthermore, the VARs have overwhelmingly echoed each other’s sentiments stating that this year more clients than ever have inquired about cloud and software-as-a-services options. One reason the cloud demand is so high is the peer pressure from others within their industry adopting the cloud. This is a clear example of the benefits and the need to keep up with the competition. For more information about this year’s findings, click here. Also, for the full list of the 100 Top VARs, click here.

“Full Sail Partners is once again pleased to be recognized by Accounting Today as a Top 100 VAR for 2020. Additionally, Full Sail Partners has found that 2020 is the year that the cloud has become a leading topic for our clients. With several of our clients preparing to upgrade from Deltek Vision to Vantagepoint, they have also decided to take advantage of the benefits afforded them by moving their on-premise solution to the cloud,” stated Sarah Gonnella, VP of Sales and Marketing at Full Sail Partners. “We anticipate this trend to continue well past 2021.”

Accounting Today is a leading provider of online business news for the accounting community, offering breaking news, in-depth features, and a host of resources and services. The VAR 100 list is an annual report developed to rank the top technology resellers in the accounting and ERP spaces.  

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

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