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Outsourcing HR Functions Can Help Professional Services Firms Meet Their Human Capital Management Needs

Posted by Tasia Grant, PHR on September 21, 2022

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The professional services industry is still currently facing challenges ranging from financial rebounds and technological transformations to the need for human capital management (HCM) adjustments. Specifically, some of the top HCM trends affecting the professional services industry are:

  • The expectation of mobility - Employees and job seekers are looking for companies that have the structure and technology to accommodate remote work. Also, many companies have redesigned their physical office layouts and performance management plans to account for remote staff.
  • Power shift to employees and applicants - The shortage of viable talent has shifted the supply and demand dynamics where the employees and candidates feel empowered to ask for what they want and have options if those requests are not accommodated. 
  • Struggles to find the right fit for positions due to skills gap issue - Due to the great resignation and the influx of early retirees, there is a gap between those seeking work and those actually qualified for the hiring needs. 
  • Workplace balance is no longer a “buzz” term or trend; it’s a real thing - The pandemic caused most to reflect on their priorities and many changed their mindsets, habits, and lifestyles to cater to the well-being of themselves and their loved ones, even if it involved making employment sacrifices.

What does HR have to do with these trends?

The human resources function is key to effectively addressing these HCM shifts. Organizational leadership is increasingly aware that attention to the needs and wants of their current and potential employees is pivotal to their growth and success. So, they are reevaluating their processes, procedures, incentives, and benefits to account for these trends, and outsourcing HR is a part of that consideration. 

What are the primary essential functions of HR? 

The primary HR functions are Human Resources Information Systems (HRIS), Benefits Administration, Talent Acquisition & Onboarding, Employee Relations, Training & Development, and Compensation (Payroll/Total Rewards). These functions are all critical to addressing these impacting HCM trends. 

What role can these HR functions play in affecting these trends aka challenges? 

The expectation of mobility: 

Having an effective HRIS system to electronically manage and house employee data has become common and necessary to maintain efficient communication, consistency, integrity, and security. This also allows the data to be managed from any location where technology is accessible. 

Power shift to employees and applicants / Struggles to find the right fit for positions due to skills gap issue: 

Development and management of attractive, competitive benefits and compensation plans will impact retention of existing employees and attract top talent. Offering performance management and training & development that supports career development is a sign to current and potential employees that their worth is valued and sends the message to them that being with the company also brings and ROI for them. Employee relations and training & development are being redesigned so that the quality, availability, and frequency of meetings and training are consistent whether in-person or virtual. 

Workplace balance is no longer a “buzz” term or trend; it’s a real thing: 

Efficient benefits administration ensures that providing the best health insurance options, a fair and generous leave policy, a well-structured retirement plan, and additional employee perks are top priorities for a company that invests in the well-being of its greatest asset…its employees. 

“Total rewards” is the combination of benefits, compensation, and rewards that employees receive from their organizations. Where wages and bonuses are still important to employees, intrinsic rewards are equally important. So, recognition, workplace flexibility, and career opportunities provide them with that. 

Having a dedicated, experienced HR professional is a must for all professional services firms 

The HR functions needed to address HCM trends require specific skillsets and knowledge bases, such as: 

  • HRIS – Knowledge of HR software, familiarity with business analysis tools, exposure to technological functions and jargon
  • Benefits Administration – Foundation of most benefit plan designs, knowledge of benefit coverage laws and market trends
  • Talent Acquisition & Onboarding – Negotiation skills, data analytics, experience with recruiting software, social media management, sourcing experience
  • Employee Relations – Excellent communication and people skills, great listening and observation skills, conflict management techniques, knowledge of performance management plans, experience conducting appraisals and grievances
  • Training & Development – Project management skills, coaching skills, knowledge of and experience with training software, presentation skills, organizational skills
  • Compensation – Financial education background, proficient Excel knowledge, payroll experience, total rewards knowledge, ability to conduct salary analysis 

Furthermore, these descriptions just skim the surface of what’s required to perform these HR functions. The extent to which each skill set is needed or required depends on factors like the firm type, size of the firm, and firm goals. Surprisingly, some professional services firms have designated a payroll manager or executive for the task of performing these HR duties in addition to their primary responsibilities. Yet, to be most effective in addressing these HCM trends, these professional services firms need a dedicated, experienced HR professional. 

How can outsourcing HR functions help professional services firms? 

HR outsourcing is the use of an outside service to handle some or all of a firm’s HR tasks. Many firms have designated teams within the HR department to handle the different functions. Often, though, smaller organizations (100 employees or less) don’t have the physical capacity or financial ability to support multiple people performing those duties or even one full-time dedicated HR person to work in a generalist capacity. Moreover, firms that are not necessarily small but are transitioning into larger organizations, and may be assessing their needs, may want to slowly grow their core teams.   

Outsourcing HR functions can provide the necessary resources without requiring the full commitment of new employees. Especially in cases where an executive has been the designated HR professional, outsourcing HR functions will allow that business leader to focus on core business processes. Also, the employees will appreciate having a person who is specialized in employee-related issues and is not a direct decision-maker in their career trajectory. Finally, HR consultants can be an additional resource to professional services firms by providing additional support, guidance, and advice in areas where there may be a skills gap, knowledge gap or even a lack of time and resources. 

Outsourcing HR functions has many pros to help meet HCM needs 

Pros 

  • Access to HR expertise 
  • Saves money because firms don’t have to hire new full-time employees 
  • Opens access to additional benefits 
  • HR connections can lead to lower cost benefits and access to other global resources 
  • Maximizes compliance 
  • Minimizes legal risks 

Cons 

  • Leadership may feel a lack of control 
  • Might feel impersonal to employees 
  • Risks with intellectual property access 
  • Service quality control  

Undoubtedly, every professional services firm requires certain functions that are focused on HR needs/wants and provides a neutral, trusted and knowledgeable resource that supports both the firm’s and the employees’ well-being. To address the shifting Human Capital Management trends in the present and future of the professional services industry, HR professionals are a necessity. For those firms that are not able or do not want to hire a designated HR professional to handle these significant HR functions, outsourced HR is the right choice to meet these changing HCM needs. Click the image below to learn more and see if this is an option for your firm.

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Deltek ProjectCon 2022: Be There or Be Square

Posted by Cate Phillips on September 14, 2022

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After two virtual years, the annual Deltek conference is back in person. Wondering if your firm should attend this year’s Deltek ProjectCon conference (formerly known as Deltek Insight)? Well first off, let’s use some math logic, so hear me out. 

In project-based businesses, like engineers, architects, consulting firms, and other professional services organizations, it is usually important to hit the mark for a successful business. What is a mark? It’s a point different from nearby points; something to shoot at or a visible indication that distinguishes something. 

However, think of a project lifecycle. I would say that most of the time folks in our world visualize the life cycle of a project as a circle. In fact, go ahead and Google “the project life cycle” and check out the images…they pretty much all include a circle. A sphere doesn’t really have a point, and by its nature, the circle is not like other shapes. As we can agree that the project lifecycle is usually a circle and that circles don’t have points like other shapes, clearly the next logical step is that since your firm really can’t “be square” then you should be there at Deltek ProjectCon 2022!  

My logic is not convincing? Here are other reasons you should attend, and as I know you’ve been thinking about it, let's just say that the new name for Deltek’s annual conference will in no way change the “insight” you will get for attending. 

Gain Some Valuable Deltek Product Insight 

We all know conferences are for learning; that’s basically the entire business case and why you or your firm is paying to be there. So, get knee-deep in your Deltek knowledge at ProjectCon. Obtain a certification through a free Deltek University exam. Add more skills to your resume and get paid more. Learn how to solve your complex challenges using Deltek technology. 

Meet, Greet and Network with Insightful Experts  

Go and have some fun gosh darn it; you’ve earned it. You made it through a pandemic and can finally see your friends and business connections in person for the first time in over two years. There are networking events being thrown just for you at Deltek ProjectCon, so don’t turn down a free party! Even better, you can finally connect with the actual experts about Deltek products, not just your colleagues.  

Fresh Insights and Latest Trends 

Best practices are game changers for professional services firms. At Deltek ProjectCon, learn how your peers are getting things done and get all juiced up on innovative new technologies. Attend the keynote and learn what “The Power of Connectional Intelligence” means. Think about robots; artificial intelligence is the future not just in cars but also in data-driven organizations. 

Future Insights Through Product Roadmaps 

For many project-based firms, there are upgrade questions such as when is Vision's end of life? At ProjectCon, you can find out more from Deltek representatives and see the updated road map. Here you also have the opportunity to ask questions that would make the Deltek staff seriously consider adding your favorite missing feature to the next version of your software. It is critical to understand the journey your firm is on, and that’s hard to do without a map.  

Deltek Newbie? Acquire Insight, Historically Speaking 

There is no better way to meet seasoned groupies than to attend a conference like Deltek ProjectCon. You know you want to hear about what happened at this conference 20 years ago. Go soak up the old-timers’ knowledge or attend beginner sessions and feel less alone.  

Upcoming Insights from Full Sail Partners at ProjectCon ‘22 

Want to see us walk the walk and talk the talk? Join seven of our incomparable consultants as they lead the following sessions. You can search out the sessions by title, topic, presenter, etc. by visiting this page: Deltek ProjectCon 2022 | Project Success Starts Here | Session Catalog 

[VPSPON-03] Single Source of Truth Between Vantagepoint and ADP 

Discover how Vantagepoint and ADP can work together to enhance your payroll experience. During this session, learn how the Blackbox Connector offering from Full Sail Partners securely and seamlessly integrates 3rd party software platforms with Vantagepoint. The Vantagepoint Payroll Interface allows firms to efficiently move Vantagepoint project hours to ADP payroll hours based on business rules. Employee data can now be integrated between ADP Workforce Now and Vantagepoint with a single point of entry upon the employee hiring process. Presented by:

Scott Seal, VP of Consulting, Full Sail Partners 

Rick Childs, Principal Consultant, Full Sail Partners 

Jennifer Wilson, SQL Developer, Full Sail Partners 

[VP-66] New and Improved Vantagepoint Accounting Features to Automate Your Business 

Join this session to familiarize yourself with the new and improved features in Deltek Vantagepoint to help automate your accounting department and business. The presentation will cover the latest and greatest features including approvals, billing, AR, reporting, dashboard, and other features to improve your accounting processes. This is a must-attend session for your financial team to learn from two consultants that have spent more than 1,000 hours helping more than 100 companies upgrade from Vision to Vantagepoint. Presented by:

Terri Agnew, Principal Consultant, Full Sail Partners 

Theresa Depew, Senior Consultant, Full Sail Partners 

[VP-22] Create a More Collaborative and Efficient Team Environment with Vantagepoint: One Firm's Story 

Welcome to the future of managing the project lifecycle for professional services firms! With Deltek Vantagepoint, see how one firm created a more cohesive and streamlined method for operating project-based businesses. JCJ Architecture will take you on a journey through its new project lifecycle. Learn how their team reimagined their processes from pursuit identification to final project execution, resulting in a more collaborative team environment. Better data provided better analysis, which resulted in better decision-making and a better business! Presented by:

Rana Blair, Principal Consultant, Full Sail Partners 

Amanda Roussel, Senior Consultant, Full Sail Partners 

Michelle Chapman, Senior Project Accountant, JCJ Architecture 

Jeanne Muscolino, Principal | Hospitality Sector Leader | Business Development Manager, JCJ Architecture 

Register for 2022 ProjectCon Today 

With all of these reasons to attend ProjectCon, we know you are thinking about what to pack already. Don’t miss the Full Sail Partners’ booth in the XPO hall. For all the latest information about ProjectCon 2022, hit up Deltek ProjectCon 2022 | Project Success Starts Here. This year it’s in Nashville from November 15 – 18th. I hope the insights you gain and the fun you have inspire you to do more in your own spherical world of projects. 

 

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The 43rd Deltek A&E Clarity Study Predicts Positive Changes for Business Development

Posted by Amanda Roussel on September 07, 2022

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According to this year’s Deltek Clarity Architecture & Engineering (A&E) Industry Study, it is looking to be a landmark year for the architecture and engineering industry with net revenue growth forecasted to grow to 17.6%. A&E is doing quite well despite the pandemic with the highest net revenue growth in the last ten years at 11.4%. This increase is assisted by A&E’s market position, which is expected to either grow or remain steady in markets across the board. Most notably water/waste/stormwater, transportation, and industries that fall under the “other” category (such as life sciences and senior living) are predicted to see great increases. As a result, firms will not only need to strategically pursue the right projects but will also need to grow and develop a staff to deliver on these projects.

 

Top Business Development (BD) Challenges 

The ever-changing nature of the business world is continuing to keep firms on their toes with new challenges. Unlike the previous year, a majority of firms (78%) have identified that finding and retaining qualified staff has been a struggle for them. This is coupled with other mass-reported problems such as staffing shortages and difficulty retaining employees. Staffing challenges have a direct impact on business development, not only lacking adequate staff to conduct business development activities but also not being able to provide the most qualified teams to win and deliver on projects. 

Time to nurture client relationships is the top business development challenge for A&E firms according to the report. With favorable market conditions, new opportunities will be plentiful which poses a challenge for firms to keep up with their clients. Time is money and time is also in short supply. With the reporting firms revealing an average work backlog of nearly 9 months, it is clear that companies must find a way to increase productivity. Upskilling business development talent and streamlining the BD process will help to free up time to strategically nurture client relationships. 

Other top BD challenges from the study include increased competition and identifying prospects. Firms must differentiate and hone branding across thought leadership and social marketing channels to distinguish themselves in the marketplace. Additionally, with a positive industry outlook this year, firms will need to be more strategic in pursuits that work best for their company’s strengths. 

Increased Formal Business Development Process 

Of the companies surveyed, 45% have a formal business development process, which is an increase going up from 39% the previous year. Though this means that 55% of firms surveyed still do not have any formal business development process. In these cases, responsibility for business development tasks is most often pushed to the executive team, project managers, and marketing staff. While dedicated business development staff may not be necessary in every case, it is important not to overlook the kind of work they do. Most notably, they tend to client relationship development, proposal development and networking, but they have plenty of other duties as well. Their jobs help to create new business opportunities, and within the last year active client relationships, requests for proposals and networking placed in the top five sources of new opportunities in the surveyed firms. 

A Positive Year for Proposals Requires Evaluation 

As suggested by the Deltek Clarity study, operating in a market with limited resources but high demand, the go/no go process is significant to evaluate the projects firms will pursue. While the number of firms employing the go/no go process has increased in the last year, there is still a large population who do not utilize it in the slightest. Of the companies who reported, 22% don’t use any kind of go/no go process. Listed below are the top three questions that businesses ask when deciding whether or not to accept a proposal: 

  • Is it a good fit for the type of work we do? 
  • Do we have an existing relationship with the client? 
  • Do we have the staff to deliver the project?   

This method of weeding out less profitable projects is more useful than ever, as a significant rise in the number of proposals submitted and the number awarded in firms of all sizes was observed. In-kind, the average win rate of proposals has increased in the last year to 49.2%, the highest it’s been since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. The average capture rate is also up from the previous year, now standing at 48.5%. 

Marketing Techniques Present and Future 

A majority of businesses reported using social media posts for marketing, with only 16% not indicating any use. This was followed by client-specific marketing at 67%, trade shows/exhibits at 56%, email marketing at 54% and thought leadership at 42%. The order of these marketing methods is projected to change, however, with the study offering up that client-specific marketing could overtake social media marketing within the next five years. Thought leadership is predicted to advance to third place among important marketing techniques, with trade shows/exhibits and email marketing falling more and more by the wayside. 

Business Development Initiatives 

Based on this year’s study, some of the priority business development (BD) initiatives for A&E firms are hiring additional staff, earlier identification of opportunities and requirements and expanding geographically. Since BD has not been spared from staffing challenges, and firms are seeing more proposals, projects, and nurturing opportunities, the focus on obtaining the best-qualified staff is of tantamount importance. Another area that has grown in importance is the geographic expansion of firms requiring yet again additional staff. One more initiative to identify opportunities and their requirements remains top of the list as well. Teams shouldn’t be wasting time and their resources on projects that are not winnable. 

Final BD Outlook from Deltek Clarity 

The 43rd Deltek A&E Clarity study found that while the world still is not clear about the pandemic, things are looking up for the industry. The top problems of participating firms are not dire, and by focusing on the employee base and current client relationships, these issues can be fixed. This year’s Deltek Clarity report also noted that freeing up time is necessary to clear the obstacles in the way of each business regarding BD. To remedy this, employing the go/no go process and better utilizing the tools provided by Deltek to streamline the BD process is suggested. 

How does your company stack up to those that participated in the survey? For a more in-depth look at the data behind the 43rd Deltek A&E Clarity study, use the link below to receive the report for free right now! 

 

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Best Practices from Professional Services Firms Who've Upgraded from Deltek Vision to Vantagepoint

Posted by Lindsay Diven on August 31, 2022

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Having now partnered with hundreds of architecture and engineering firms to upgrade from Deltek Vision to Vantagepoint, Full Sail Partners has gathered a treasure trove of lessons learned and best practices. While professional services firms can certainly benefit from what has been discovered by Full Sail Partners, in this article, they can also hear directly from different engineering and architecture firms about their own experiences. Once again, firms looking to make the Vantagepoint transition can get advice as well as discover lessons learned and best practices from their counterparts’ Vantagepoint upgrade experiences. 

This is the third article in the series where professional services firms can “hear from their peers” who have either made the upgrade or talk about experiences during the upgrade process. The first article focused on preparing for the upgrade and the second article shared their users most loved new features of Vantagepoint. In this final article, the participants will share some best practices from their Vantagepoint upgrade experience. 

Featured Firms

The clients that are featured in this series are a mix of small, medium, and large firms. Also highlighted are specific contacts who serve in different roles within their firms. They each were in a different phase of the upgrade process when we met with them. The clients providing their feedback include the following:  

Argus Consulting, Inc. 
Nancy Smith, Project Controls  
Karen Pattison, Controller   

CSHQA 
Andrea Kier, Business Development 

RIOS 
Jessamyn Davis, Chief Operating Officer  

Structural Integrity Associates, Inc. 
Paul Arnone, Applications Support Manager  

Ware Malcomb 
Brad Mathias, Director, Financial Planning & Analysis  

Treat the Upgrade Like a Project 

Karen and Nancy from Argus Consulting approached the upgrade like a project. They assigned a project manager, in their case Nancy, to lead and she was the one person to be in charge of the efforts. Nancy also was sure to engage the end users, and she coordinated with people from marketing, project management, etc. She particularly worked hard on having a lot of interaction within each group along the way. 

Structural Integrity Associates took a similar approach in their upgrade. They established a task group to evaluate the entire upgrade. However, their task group was about 15 people who were on weekly calls including vice presidents and other executives. Paul now thinks it might have been more beneficial to have had smaller groups made of targeted areas depending on the meeting topic for that week. It might have helped the process move quicker and maximize everyone’s time.  

Communicate and Prioritize Across Departments 

Andrea from CSHQA recommends communicating and understanding what the users need from Vantagepoint and to ask a lot of questions. It is also important to realize that everyone is busy and that the upgrade tasks might not be their main job. So, it might take longer to review information and make decisions for the different end user groups.  

Remember, it’s Just an Upgrade, not a New ERP Implementation 

Jessamyn’s big take away from RIOS upgrading to Deltek Vantagepoint is to remember that this is just an upgrade. It’s not a migration to a new system. Most of Vantagepoint works the same as Vision, except that it’s in the browser. She wants firms to not be intimated by upgrading to Vantagepoint. While it is a lot of work, it is definitely nothing compared to migrating to an entirely new ERP system.  

Utilize the Expertise of a Trusted Partner & the Vantagepoint Readiness Report 

The best practice that Brad from Ware Malcomb recommends is to get the help of a trusted Deltek Partner. In his case, they used the services of Full Sail Partners and the Vantagepoint Readiness Report. The Vantagepoint Readiness Report identified everything that was needed for their upgrade instead of having to figure it out on their own.  

Start Cleaning Data, Even if the Upgrade is Far Away 

Another important thing that Brad always recommends is reviewing the data in Vision, especially if the firm has been using the system for a long time, like Ware Malcomb. Their data wasn’t necessarily bad data but there was a lot of duplicate data. Having the data as clean as possible will make the upgrade process go even smoother.  

Want to Hear More From Your Peers?  

As this article is the last one in a three-part series, be sure to check out the other “hear from your peers” topics.  In part one, different project-based firms shared their Deltek Vision to Vantagepoint upgrade experiences. Then in part two, the same firms shared their most liked new features of Vantagepoint. Hearing from peers is a great way for professional services firms to get comfortable with the transition from Deltek Vision to Vantagepoint. Take advantage of their experiences and learn how to make the move go smoothly. 

To listen to their upgrade experience, watch the webinar that is linked below. 

 

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Automated Bank Feeds with Deltek Vantagepoint for Professional Services Firms

Posted by Joel Slater on August 17, 2022

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Most likely of great interest to Vantagepoint users is that Deltek is continuing to roll out rapid enhancements to Vantagepoint in order to drive purposeful innovation and efficiency. One of the latest improvements being made possible is by a new partnership and integration with Plaid. This integration with Plaid offers professional services firms the ability to automate the update of transactions in Bank Reconciliation in Vantagepoint. Well, what is this all about, and how can professional services firms make this happen?

About Plaid

Plaid powers thousands of financial apps and this convenient integration will allow professional services firms to connect their banks to Deltek Vantagepoint in a secure way. With Plaid, firms can control whom their data is shared with and for how long. Additionally, whenever firms use a Plaid-powered app, their security is of the utmost importance meeting or exceeding industry standards. 

Bye-Bye Manual Entry 

Most Deltek Vision clients were already aware of the ability to manually upload a file from their bank to import bank transactions. The key word here, being MANUAL. Now check out the good news - with Deltek’s latest release of Vantagepoint, that process has now been vastly improved with automated bank feeds. That’s right! No more manual import is required. The integration currently supports over 11,000 banks across North America, with more being added regularly. As of the Vantagepoint 5.0 release, this integration is available to both on-premise and Deltek Cloud clients. There is no separate purchase or licensing required.   

 Instead of the more time-consuming, manually administered import process, a professional services firm’s latest bank transactions are seamlessly imported into the accounting system. After import, they are reflected in the Bank Reconciliation record. It is then taken a step further by automatically matching imported records to posted payments and cash receipts.  

Setup Using the Plaid Assistant 

Most Deltek Vantagepoint clients can get started with this convenient solution today. They will first need to connect their supported bank within Vantagepoint settings (Settings > Cash Management > Banks). From there, that process will guide them through selecting their bank, logging in using their existing bank credentials, and then selecting the account that they want to connect to all using the Plaid setup assistant.  

If their banks require multi-factor authentication or OAuth, the process will be similar, while still incorporating those additional security steps to enter needed credentials. For step-by-step instructions, professional services firms can reference this video, or the relevant Deltek Vantagepoint help file 

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After the connection is established, transactions which have cleared a professional services firm’s bank will automatically feed into Deltek Vantagepoint Bank Reconciliation on a nightly basis. System administrators can change the date on which Vantagepoint starts the daily transaction import into Bank Reconciliation in addition to the time of day that the import is run. Firms also have the flexibility to manually refresh transactions through the day.  

Automatic Bank Feeds in Vantagepoint

Need More Help with Bank Feed? 

 If there is ever an error related to a firm’s bank connection with Plaid, there are some messages now displayed in Vantagepoint to help with troubleshooting. Firms should note the IDs and let Deltek customer care know. Here are some common scenarios that have been dealt with already. 

Streamlined Bank Reconciliation  

Professional services firms using Deltek Vantagepoint now really have it made in the shade. With the Plaid integration and ensuing automatic bank feeds, bank reconciliation has become even more streamlined. Without the need for manual downloads, firms now have much more time to manage other financial matters, ensuring improved efficiency. Firms should get started with this latest enhancement today! 

 

Click the image below to learn about how Deltek Vantagepoint powers project-based firms. 

 

Image button link to the Project Lifecycle of Deltek Vantagepoint webinar

Top A&E Firm Human Capital Management Challenges from the 43rd Annual Deltek Clarity Study

Posted by Tasia Grant, PHR on August 10, 2022

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It’s no surprise that finding and retaining top talent is a challenge facing every architecture and engineering (A&E) firm in North America but what specific human capital management (HCM) challenges are there? How do firms compare to the industry and what do the numbers really tell them? This overview is the first piece in a two-part series that will dig into the HCM specific challenges revealed from the 43rd Annual Deltek Clarity Study.  

Every Department Impacted by Staffing Shortages

Almost every area of the Deltek Clarity Study cited human capital management (HCM) towards the top, if not the number one challenge to growth. Many industries, including A&E, have been affected by the great resignation. Specifically, firms are saying it’s hard for them to win more business because they’re not necessarily certain that they can go ahead and staff projects. Hiring additional staff has become of paramount concern for A&E firms right now.  

The top financial challenges indicated from the Clarity study are finding and retaining qualified staff. This isn’t about a certain number of staff, but really finding qualified people that can handle the type of work and the different projects the firms have. This need is leading to more career development and training initiatives by A&E firms.  

Similar top challenges are cited in the project management area, including staff shortages and inexperienced project managers. So, how do firms develop project managers? How do they get the project managers up and running so they manage projects effectively? Part of the solution is hiring more experienced project managers, but other top initiatives include developing internal project manager best practices and investing in internal project manager training. 

Top Challenges for Human Resources 

The study asked what the top three challenges were for managing human resources. The number one response was retaining employees followed very closely by employee engagement/experience. Firms are realizing that they need to really become proactive in their retention and engagement efforts.  

No longer are firms just competing with companies in their own geographic region. With the rise of remote work, A&E firms are competing with other firms located across the country and talent is being recruited away from other areas. Other top challenges included career development, planning and performance management.  

Top Talent Acquisition Challenge 

The Deltek Clarity Study asked about the top acquisition challenges A&E firms are facing. The top response was the availability of good candidates in the marketplace. Based on this, it might be a good time for firms to step back to look at how they can change their practices or modernize their efforts to support recruiting.  

Specifically, this requires identifying what a good candidate means to the firm. The firm should ask what makes somebody who handles a role in the firm successful at it? Does the firm basically just review previous job descriptions or job profiles and reuse those? Has the firm really looked at what makes people successful in their specific role and in the firm as a whole from a culture perspective? 

After doing this initial analysis, the firm should evaluate what it is doing to diversify. Diversifying the talent pools makes sure that the firm is putting itself in the best position to find candidates that meet the profile developed. Also, the firm should consider what roles can be handled remotely. 

Firms should think about this from both angles – first doing a good job of understanding what makes people successful at the firm and then diversifying the talent pools to widen the marketplace. 

A&E Industry HR Statistics  

To give some idea of how a firm fits within the North American A&E industry, here are some high-level statistics related to human resources from the 43rd Deltek A&E Study: 

  • Employee turnover has increased a little from the previous year and is at 13.6%. 
  • Staff growth overall is up to 3.2% which means that despite a higher turnover rate, firms are still growing.  
  • However, offers accepted decreased and is sitting at 77.4%.  
  • Only about 50% of firms in the survey had more open positions last year, while this year’s survey saw 65% of firms with more open positions.  
  • The time to fill positions is becoming longer and longer, with 50% of firms saying it’s taking 60+ days to fill open positions.  

Gen Y Has Taken Over 

The Deltek Clarity Study looked at both generational composition firm wide and by management level. Firm wide, the Millennials (Gen Y) have taken over the greatest portion of staff making up 39%. It’s important to note that Gen Z is coming right up behind which really starts to play into how firms develop their culture and organization.  

The top-level leadership roles in organizations are currently held by Gen X, nearly 70%, but the study reveals that in the first to lower-level management, the younger generations are beginning to take over a lot of those positions. This is great because firms are starting to see new thoughts, new processes, modernization, and a lot of variety and diversity. A&E firms will continue to see this trend in terms of those generational shifts to the younger generation from a management perspective which will affect recruiting, retention, and talent development.  

Top Tools Used to Develop Talent 

Firms cited coaching and mentoring, external education programs, and leadership development programs as their top three tools used to develop talent. The very top method is coaching and mentoring. Firms should ensure that coaches and mentors are available to make the best impression on employees. Firms should not just rely on who has been at the firm the longest for choosing their mentors and should make sure that these mentors are equipped with the right skills to bring other staff along.  

Engaging Employees Too Late 

The Clarity study showed that 86% of firms conduct exit interviews, but these interviews are often too late. Many times, these type of exit interviews are not as effective for getting honest responses from the employees because they are simply trying to get through the exit process and leave the firm. Unfortunately, many firms are spending a lot of time on this strategy rather than on other strategies such as stay interviews or pulse surveys.  

Only 30% of firms conduct pulse surveys. Pulse surveys are quick hit surveys where the firm can get answers. They can be sent to the recent hires on their onboarding experience, for example. The idea is to gauge the pulse in real time throughout the course of the year.  

Dig Deeper into the 43rd Annual Deltek Clarity Report 

To get more details on A&E firm HCM trends or other interesting findings, download the full Deltek A&E Clarity report. Click the image below to grab a free copy of the report along with a scorecard to chart the firm’s results. Don’t forget to stay tuned for the second installment in this series that will share some ways firms can use this information to improve processes and help meet some of these HCM challenges. 

 

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More Features of Deltek Vantagepoint 5.0

Posted by Terri Agnew, CPA on July 27, 2022

 

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In a previous blog, we discussed many of the amazing features of Deltek 5.0. However, there are even more features of Deltek Vantagepoint 5.0 available to include new mobile capabilities and ways to manage contacts. Here we will review those additional features and see the improvements made particularly in resource planning. 

 

Multiple Rows in Labor Grid for Resource Planning 

This enhancement provides more parity to the Deltek Vision Resource Planning. With this enhancement, users can change the view of the resource plan itself. The project manager can add multiple sub rows (as shown below) to the labor grid in planning. Choices include: 

Note: The Resource Planning Module is required for this feature. 

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The ability to be able to change this view and select sub-row settings is set up on a global level. The firm can decide what’s allowed in Resource Planning Settings. Meaning if the firm doesn’t want to use baseline, for instance, this sub-row could be turned off in Settings.   

Add Assignments Under Inactive Levels in Resource Planning 

This new feature allows firms to add resource or generic assignments to inactive project levels and their respective “child row” if it’s not dormant. The dormant levels will remain closed for adding resources and their respective “child rows” and will keep the “no add” icon.  

Firms do not need to have the Resource Planning module to take advantage of this new feature. 

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Expanded Resource View in Resource Management 

In Deltek Vantagepoint 5.0, users can search for resources with additional field options inside Resource View. This feature does require the Resource Planning module.  

The additional fields that are now available in Resource View are any standard drop-down or look-up fields in the Employee Hub as well as any user-defined drop-down or look-up fields.  

Controlling which fields are allowed is a Global option that is configured in the Resource Planning settings. However, Hub Security is not honored. So, for example, if a user doesn’t have access to the Travel Preferences field in the Employee Hub, but it’s made available in Resource View, that user will be able to see that information.  

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New Projects Filter and Expanded Column Options in Resource Management 

In Resource View, users now have the ability to filter projects at the very top of the grid itself. There are several options to filter the projects including: 

  • Project status
  • Charge type
  • Project manager
  • Project organization
  • Stage
  • Stage step
  • Probability 

Note: The Resource Planning Module is required for this feature. 

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Mobile Enhancements 

There have been enhancements to both the CRM and Time & Expense (T&E) mobile apps in Deltek Vantagepoint 5.0. Those enhancements include: 

  • Business card scanner – A contact can be created by snapping a photo of a business card in the CRM app. The contact will be created with the data from the card using ICR (Intelligent Character Recognition) makes entering contacts on the fly even easier.  
  • Updated Login Assistance – Both the T&E and CRM apps now have a new “forgot password” assistance button.  
  • Enter time and dates using the keypad – Stop the endless scrolling with this new feature! Users of both the T&E and CRM apps now can enter the time or date using the keypad.  

Pipeline Dashpart Enhanced 

In the pipeline dashpart, firms now have the ability to show the pipeline forecast based on the method of the project, only spread evenly across the timescale. It also introduces the Revenue Forecast values.  

Note: Both resource planning and CRM modules are required. 

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My Upcoming Assignments Dashpart 

It is strongly recommended to add the “My Upcoming Assignments” dashpart to each employee’s dashboard if the firm uses Resource Management. If the employee is planned on any project, that employee can automatically see what assignments they have upcoming using this dashpart.  

The employee can see the upcoming assignments in three different views – by planning hours, scheduled %, or utilization %. The employee can also change the forecast range from the next four weeks and up to 20 weeks into the future.  

This dashpart acts as a mini resource management view for the employee to see including the “Heat Map” features.  

Note: The Resource Planning Module is required for this feature. 

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Utilize More New Features in Deltek Vantagepoint 5.0 

Who knew how many features would now be available with this newest version of Vantagepoint? The mobile enhancements and resource planning features in Deltek Vantagepoint 5.0 now enable even more efficiency in the system. Why wait, start using them now! 

Click the button below to see how Deltek Vantagepoint can support your project-based firm. 

 

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What’s New in Deltek Vantagepoint 5.0

Posted by Terri Agnew, CPA on July 13, 2022

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From project managers to accountants to business developers, almost every role at project-based firms will benefit from the new features in Deltek Vantagepoint 5.0. The new features go beyond usability enhancements like drill-down capabilities for dashboards to entirely new ways to manage timesheets. Let’s take a look at some of these new features of Deltek Vantagepoint 5.0.

Search Navigation Improvements

The search navigation bar for top-level searches has been redesigned. Users can now find any record without needing to select a search criterion such as “active.” This is different than in Vantagepoint 4.5 when a user wanted to find a record. Deltek has revamped the new search navigation to be closer to how the Quick Search function was in Vision.

A new filtering option was added as shown below to the right of the search field. Users can filter by the saved searches. A user can select a saved search, and a preview of the project records meeting those criteria is displayed. From this view, a user can either select multiple projects, or all projects can be selected by clicking “Done.”

To learn more about the redesign of the search improvements, watch this mini-demo.

Saved Searches

Saved Grid Views

Another general enhancement is the ability to save grid views. If records are displayed in a list view, as shown below, the order and type of columns displayed can be saved. Then users can toggle between different views based on their preferences.

saved Grid Views

The types of views that can be saved are:

  • Columns selected in the grid
  • Order of the columns selected
  • Column width
  • Pinned columns

Saved grid views are currently available in:

  • Hub records in list view
  • Edit Project Structure grid
  • Transaction Center lists
  • Transaction Entry grids such as AP vouchers
  • Interactive billing grids

Saving grid views has been added to the “Save Rights” section with Reports, Search & Options in User Security. These security settings allow for users to save grid views for themselves, their role, or globally.

See how grid views are saved in an upcoming mini demo in September. Check this page to sign up when it’s available.

My Preferences Option

The next general enhancement is in the My Preferences area. There is a new feature that was added at the bottom right of the My Preference box (shown below).

Users can now decide how they want the General Ledger accounts to be sorted – by account name or account number. This is going to be helpful for those people who enter GL accounts, such as the accounts payable professionals. It’s helpful when that user is in the transaction area because they now can search lists sorted by account name or account number.

My Preferences

Sorting of Timesheet Line Items

This enhancement has been highly requested and it’s finally in Deltek Vantagepoint 5.0. It was a feature in Vision, but not only did Deltek bring it back, but it greatly improved the functionality. Now employees will be able to sort their timesheet line entries by project name, client name, and project number or have no sort at all. No sorting will leave the timesheet lines in the order in which they are entered on the timesheet.

When there are multiple lines for the same project, they will be sorted by Phase, Tasks, and then Labor Code (as applicable).

In addition, when the employee adds a new timesheet line item, the timesheet will automatically sort based on the sort option chosen.

Timesheet sort options

Timesheet and Floor Check – User Options

Another efficiency enhancement with timesheets is the ability to sort or see employees by first, last name, employee name or period ending. This is especially helpful for those approvers who have many employees to approve. This is available in both the timesheets and floor check.

Timesheet sort options - user

Expanded Use of Accounting Email Templates

Vantagepoint 5.0 has expanded the use of the email templates, specifically for interactive billing, draft invoice approvals, and in the invoice history area. Users can create invoice templates and save them to use again.

Sharing saved templates is controlled by Role Security under the “Save Rights” section. Users can preformat any of the email items including the To, CC, subject line, and body message. Fields can also be inserted into the subject line and body of the email to make it more personalized.

Accounting email templates

Billing Clients Can Change Over the Project Lifecycle

Vantagepoint 5.0 now allows for the billing client to change over the project lifecycle and maintain its invoicing history. Now, when a billing client is changed on the accounting tab in the Projects Hub, it’s updated on the Team and Invoices tabs.

In addition, the history of the billing client at the time of any previous invoice remains the same. This means if a previous invoice needs to be reprinted, the initial original billing client will stay intact. Any detail reports, dashboard statements, etc. are also going to now retain the history of whatever the billing client was.

Other Accounting Updates

The other accounting updates in Deltek Vantagepoint 5.0 include:

  • The automatic bank feed is available for on-premise clients. This allows the firm to import transactions from a bank directly to reconciliation. Cloud clients had this ability beginning in Vantagepoint 4.5.
  • Automatic creation of cash receipts from bank reconciliation imported receipts that are not already entered. However, posting is not yet supported directly from bank reconciliation.
  • The integration between Vantagepoint and Corpay (previously Nvoicepay). This simplifies and automates payments to the vendors. The integration processes payments in Vantagepoint and sends the file to Corpay to issue the payment. It does require initial onboarding with Corpay, a 3rd party application.

AR Detail Base Dashpart Update

This is another great enhancement to Deltek Vantagepoint 5.0. While previous versions of Vantagepoint had the AR Detail Base dashpart, this latest version has added the AR Comments column. Not only does this column show the latest comments, but it gives the ability to add new comments directly from the dashboard.

AR detail base dashpart

Other Dashboard Enhancements

Other enhancements to Vantagepoint dashboards are listed below.

  • New feature to schedule daily dashpart updates. This reduces the need to have “always rebuild” checked on the dashpart.
  • The calculated fields on dashparts now support date ranges!

Start Using These New Features in Deltek Vantagepoint 5.0

The new features in Deltek Vantagepoint 5.0 touched nearly all of the areas of the system. From usability enhancements for dashboards to entirely new ways to manage timesheets, many improvements have been made. Start using these new features today! Additionally, be on the lookout for the next blog regarding more 5.0 enhancements pertaining to resource planning and CRM.

Click the button below to see how Deltek Vantagepoint can support your project-based firm.

 

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Hear from Your Peers Most Liked Features of Deltek Vantagepoint

Posted by Lindsay Diven on July 06, 2022

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With Vantagepoint, Deltek has completely reimagined Vision, but what truly are the most liked features of Vantagepoint? Don’t just rely on the thoughts of Full Sail Partners, hear directly from your peers about what they consider to be the best features. In this second article of a three-part series, architecture and engineering firms were asked what their most liked features of Deltek Vantagepoint are for their firm’s users.  

Featured Firms  

The clients that are featured in this series are a mix of small, medium, and large firms. Also highlighted are specific contacts who serve in different roles within their firms. They each were in a different phase of the upgrade process when we met with them. The clients providing their feedback include the following: 

Argus Consulting, Inc. 
Nancy Smith, Project Controls 
Karen Pattison, Controller  

CSHQA
Andrea Kier, Business Development 

RIOS 
Jessamyn Davis, Chief Operating Officer 

Structural Integrity Associates, Inc. 
Paul Arnone, Applications Support Manager 

Ware Malcomb 
Brad Mathias, Director, Financial Planning & Analysis 

Easy-to Navigate, Modern User Interface 

A user interface (UI) guides users – it’s a chain of screens, pages, buttons or any visual element that interacts with a user. Having a good user interface can ultimately change the way users work and process information for the firm. With Vantagepoint, Deltek completely re-imagined the Vision interface making things more efficient, quicker, and it easier to find and analyze information. It’s not going unnoticed.  

Andrea – What I noticed right away [in Deltek Vantagepoint] is there’s a much more user-friendly, visual with the interface. It seems more appealing. I think a lot of our staff were avoiding Vision because it looks like something that’s difficult to figure out or something that is, you know, very techy. Vantagepoint now is a web-based interface. It just changes the feel of what you’re dealing with. For me, that was really encouraging.  

Jessamyn – For some reason for the casual user, it being a web interface really changes how often they’re willing to jump in Vantagepoint. I can’t relate to that, but it’s really made a huge difference rapidly.  

Intuitive Dashboards 

Dashboards are one of the most beneficial and functional parts of an ERP system, like Deltek Vantagepoint, and yet are often the most underutilized. As part of Deltek’s re-imagination of Vision, a lot of thought was placed into the ease of use and design of the Vantagepoint dashboards including pre-built dashboards ready for new users. Here’s what a peer had to say: 

Jessamyn – For our everyday users, the visual nature of the dashboards and how easy it is to create and customize them from the dashboard library is a great feature. It’s just fantastic. It’s a total game changer for getting people in the system and using it every day. 

It’s not just dashboards but saved searches and reporting that gets improved in Deltek Vantagepoint. Watch this webinar to explore the changes related to the system visuals and what firms should do to prepare for the change.  

One Project Record for the Entire Project Lifecycle 

For project-based firms, managing the project lifecycle efficiently is essential to having a profitable business. Even more, the processes that drive the firm’s project lifecycle must be in sync with the systems used to manage it. Deltek Vantagepoint meets this challenge with the creation of the Projects hub, which allows firms to track everything from project identification through project closeout in one record. Users agree this process is simpler and more efficient when managing their project lifecycles.  

Brad – The combination of opportunities and projects into one project lifecycle is an insanely great improvement.  

Jessamyn – The combination of opportunities, projects, and project plans into one record and not constantly trying to link one thing or a project, etc. has been a big change. It’s a very big improvement in logic of the system.  

Nancy – The new Projects hub is different than in Vision. Projects are now in their own hub with everything in the same project record.  

See how Deltek Vantagepoint supports the entire project lifecycle from lead identification to pursuit and final project execution in this webinar 

Full Sail Partners’ Input on Best Features 

Even though this article focuses on what peers most liked about Deltek Vantagepoint, we couldn’t leave you without sharing the Crew’s most liked features. Check out this webinar to see what sets Vantagepoint apart from Vision and why you should be excited. It covers the Top 10 features along with some honorable mentions.  

Want to Hear More From Your Peers? 

This article is the second in a three-part series, so be sure to check out part one where different project-based firms share their Deltek Vision to Vantagepoint upgrade experience. Whereas the first article covered how the firms prepared for the upgrade, the last article in the series will share some of their upgrade best practices.  

To listen to their upgrade experience, watch the webinar that is linked below. 

 

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How These Project Based Firms Prepare for the Deltek Vision to Vantagepoint Upgrade

Posted by Lindsay Diven on June 08, 2022

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Just how was the Deltek Vision to Vantagepoint upgrade for project-based firms? As consultants, Full Sail Partners can speculate on how the process will be for firms but feel it’s better coming from the clients who have been through it.  

This article is the first in a three-part series where clients, in different stages of their upgrade journey, share different aspects including how to prepare for the upgrade, the Vantagepoint features that are most liked by users, and best practices that other firms can use as they upgrade. Hear from clients who work at small, medium, and large professional services firms throughout the series. 

Featured Clients 

The clients that are featured in this series are a mix of small, medium, and large firms. Also highlighted are specific contacts who serve in different roles within their firms. They each were in a different phase of the upgrade process when we met with them. The clients providing their feedback include the following: 

Argus Consulting, Inc.  
Nancy Smith, Project Controls 
Karen Pattison, Controller  

CSHQA 
Andrea Kier, Business Development 

RIOS 
Jessamyn Davis, Chief Operating Officer 

Structural Integrity Associates, Inc. 
Paul Arnone, Applications Support Manager 

Ware Malcomb 
Brad Mathias, Director, Financial Planning & Analysis 

When Should Our Firm Upgrade to Deltek Vantagepoint? 

A common question that Full Sail Partners gets asked by clients is when their firm should upgrade to Deltek Vantagepoint. Here are a few perspectives from Deltek clients. 

Jessamyn – We first learned about Vantagepoint and how it is a vast improvement to Vision at the Deltek conference a few years ago when it was in Florida. It was then that I realized that we needed to get on a path to upgrade. But for us, the question about when the upgrade would take place was when Vantagepoint had enough functionality to make it worthwhile, and we made the upgrade in March 2021 after working with Full Sail Partners for about four to five months to prepare. 

Karen – We started looking at Vantagepoint about three years ago at the Deltek Insight [now ProjectCon] conference. Similar to Jessamyn, we were waiting for more functionality, especially with the accounting features. We got serious about the upgrade process in 2021 and that is when I selected Nancy to be the project manager for this effort.  

Andrea – We decided that because Vantagepoint had been out for a while already, the major kinks were worked out. So, our firm made the decision to move forward.  

Paul – The upgrade was on our radar beginning the spring of 2020 and by that summer we had a test environment set up. We had established a task force and were meeting regularly, mostly weekly, to get the Vantagepoint preview environment set up the way we wanted it. However, things got put on hold when we decided to wait for newer features to be added to Vantagepoint.  

Brad – We were in a very similar situation to Paul, waiting for the features that we needed to be available in Vantagepoint. We utilized Full Sail Partners’ Vantagepoint Readiness Report to identify all the things that we needed to pay attention to. We were originally supposed to go live in April 2021 but based on that report we had a massive data issue that we needed to clean up. We decided to focus on that before the upgrade. We also decided to bring CRM into Vantagepoint after using another CRM system for a couple of years. So that combined with the data cleanup has delayed our upgrade a bit.  

Who Was Involved in the Upgrade Process? 

Once the firms decided it was time to begin upgrading to Vantagepoint, the next step was to determine who in the firm and other outside resources, if any, to involve in this effort. 

Nancy – We established a core team with a representative from each user group. My recommendation would be for each of those people to be positive and tech-savvy.  

Andrea – We have three accounting people and three marketing people. Vision wasn’t widely used by a lot of people at our firm. It was seen as more of an accounting tool and the upgrade to Vantagepoint was seen as a marketing thing because it was very CRM-focused. I would agree with Nancy to have a representative from each user group because having only accounting and marketing limited our transition to just the training on the CRM and accounting aspects. Because we were the only ones involved, we were the champions and were the people who could ask questions. So, I think the level to which our staff embraces Vantagepoint would have been boosted more if we had had project managers and principals as part of the core team involved from the beginning.  

I think our challenge is that the project managers and principals did not really use Vision before. So having them on the transition team did not really make any sense for us. However, I would recommend that if you can include them, that do you include them, especially if you are creating new processes. We basically took this opportunity to start over and do a lot of new stuff that we never really did before. So having users be able to contribute to those new processes and provide additional insight would have been even more helpful for us.  

I have been involved in migrations and upgrades in other past positions outside the AEC industry. I have seen a number of times when you do not involve the right people, you end up with this giant mess afterward. Then it takes a lot more time and money to fix and you end up getting frustrated and burnt out.  

So, I would recommend involving a small group but trying to get equal representation from different user roles.  

Paul – Over at Structural Integrity, we established a task force of about 15 people representing all the different departments. We tried to identify all the processes in Vision that we have now. Then the goal was to make all those same processes continue to work in Vantagepoint.  

Brad – This upgrade was handled a little bit differently than what we did for the last upgrade in Vision. The upgrade when we went from the earlier Vision version to Vision 7.6 was a heavy lifting exercise that we did all by ourselves.  

Like a lot of companies, marketing is a very powerful piece of your operation, and marketers tend to have their own tools and software that gets connected to Vision. Part of the exercise this time was bringing marketing into Vantagepoint which brought in a whole new team and a whole lot more mojo. If you can find a way to embrace Vantagepoint as an option for CRM, in addition to your backbone of accounting, you are going to get a lot more attention and a lot more buy-in. That is what I can suggest – having marketing and accounting being on the same team and working on the same initiative was refreshing.  

Jessamyn – We had a core team that was our project accountants and our project planner because we use resource planning heavily. Since we also use CRM, we also had three people from our marketing team. We held some workshops with our project planners and project managers to understand what they would like to see out of dashboards and what they felt they were not getting now. We did not include them on our core team, and I think that was for the best. We delivered Vantagepoint to the project managers as a finished product rather than including them in the “making of the sausage.” I think it went really well. I think it was very successful, and then we did a lot of training when we went live.  

What Resources or Support Did You Need for the Upgrade? 

Having helped over 200 firms make the upgrade from Vision to Vantagepoint, Full Sail Partners understands that there can be different levels of support and resources that firms need. This can be due to the unique modules or features which the firm uses or to the amount of customization the firm has built into Vision. Hear from a few clients about what resources and/or support they utilized, if any, to make the upgrade. 

Brad – There was no way we could do this upgrade on our own. We are a large firm with over 600 employees. Accounting, marketing and HR, plus our support teams, are always understaffed. We also have customized Vision quite a bit. It would be very difficult for us to make any type of upgrade alone. We utilized the Vantagepoint Readiness Report and help from Full Sail Partners because of this. 

Jessamyn – The Vantagepoint Readiness Report shows you the exceptions or areas in your system where something is going to throw back a problem. Things like duplicate records for vendors and clients, project plans that have something wrong with them or all the customized reports and when the last time they were used - All these types of information. The first time we ran the report, it was overwhelming because we had years of data that had probably never been cleaned. We had two interns work full-time for four months cleaning up the data. Then we ran the report again and just kept doing that until we felt like we were at a manageable place.  

Andrea – We set up significant training time beforehand. We really didn’t understand Vision very well, and we didn’t use it in the way that it was designed to be used. We had years of different processes and data with different people in and out who decided they wanted to do something one way, and there wasn’t global communication. So, we had a lot of training before the upgrade. I was focused on the CRM stuff. I worked with the CRM specialists at Full Sail Partners for a while because we really needed to transform how we use the database. I wanted to make sure that I understood the logic behind how the system was supposed to work. If your organization is really organized, you have clean data, and you’ve got someone who has time to lead the efforts, then it’s totally possible to do this on your own. Yet even with the skills and having a strong foundation that would normally make this kind of transition seamless, it was helpful and time-saving (which can also be money saving) to have a team of Full Sail Partners’ people to help us.  

Just looking at the Readiness Report can be overwhelming. You realize that maybe the data is not as good as you thought. You spend a lot of time on that cleanup, and with so much time you are investing, you want to get it right. So having a team of experienced people to help guide us through was definitely useful for us.  

Paul – We are a firm of about 300 people, and I cannot imagine going through this on our own without the help of a company like Full Sail Partners. I have worked with Full Sail Partners in the past on several different customizations and we have always been happy with them. When Vantagepoint got on our radar, it just seemed like a great fit to just work with them and use the tools to help make this upgrade an easier process.  

Karen – I would highly recommend getting support. There is just no way we could have upgraded on our own even though we are only a 70-person firm. We needed the help of Full Sail Partners. We have used them a lot. We get all our questions put together. Then Nancy and I worked with a Full Sail Partners’ consultant to help us answer the questions. There are a lot of things that we just would not be able to figure out on our own to make this happen in our timeframe. 

Hear More from Your Peers 

This article is the first in this series where different project-based firms share their Deltek Vision to Vantagepoint upgrade experience. Future articles will include topics like the favorite Vantagepoint features of users and upgrade best practices.  

To learn more about upgrading to Deltek Vantagepoint visit the page linked below. 

 

 

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