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When Should My Firm Upgrade to Deltek Vantagepoint?

Posted by Amanda Roussel on May 12, 2021

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

 

Is it time to upgrade

Team Capacity

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

System Complexity

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

 

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

 

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

 

Firm Culture

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

 

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

 

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

 

Plan for Successful Vantagepoint Upgrade

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

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

Vantagepoint Transition Services Webinar

Searching for Unicorns with Deltek Talent Management

Posted by Joel Slater on May 05, 2021

Imagine this scenario, it is Monday morning, and you’ve just been notified that your business development team has secured a major high dollar construction project due to start in three weeks. While a core project team has been assigned, certain significant positions crucial to this project are not yet filled. You’ve been asked to find these key players immediately to round out the project team, and you can tell that the needs are quite specific maybe even unicorns. You take a deep breath, process everything for a minute, and think I got this. Why? Well, you’ve got the power of resume searches in Deltek Talent Management.

 

unicorn resume

The Hunt Begins

Deltek Talent Acquisition, a part of Deltek Talent, offers a resume search which allows you to check out your entire database of resumes using whatever criteria you need. You can choose a key word, specific skill certification or license and just filter the information as you need. When looking for those unicorns, having the option to easily find them is important and a real time saver.

Unicorns Don’t Stay Out in the Wild for Long

Once you’ve identified the unicorns you are seeking, finding them requires quick action so having immediate access to certain resumes is a priority. The Deltek Talent main dashboard can be configured with a search resumes widget which allows you to quickly search for your desired resumes. Once you find your unicorns, you must be able to track them down and catch them as soon as possible.

Newly Discovered Species

At times, your tracked population of unicorns is missing in your current database, but other species do exist. So being able to be notified when another unicorn meeting the specific needs appears is a nice feature to have. Resume Search Agents let you save a specific search, and you can choose the frequency of the emails coming in when certain applicants match your criteria.

Additionally, in the case of an immediate need, you have access to other databases such as Monster and Career Builder from directly within Deltek Talent Acquisition. You can import resumes from other sources right into your database. These options give you a great chance of finding a new species of unicorn.

Tag the Unicorns in Your Research

Surprisingly, you’ve been able to find and capture the unicorns you were seeking. However, you may have discovered that you didn’t need all of them at once. Since they are rare and special, you want to make sure you can find them again. In Deltek Talent Management, resume pools can be created to tag candidates that are great choices for future openings. Your Resume Search Agents can automatically populate these pools for you, keeping a list of those with the skills you are desiring.

Don’t Forget to Feed the Unicorns

Fortunately, you’ve been able to find the unicorns you needed with the power of resume searches in Deltek Talent. Your project team is now ready to go, and you can breathe a sigh of relief. However, don’t forget to feed the unicorns and keep them happy, including the ones on your team, since they are a valuable resource. As for the candidates that you tagged for future openings, using Deltek Talent Relationship Management, you can keep in touch so hopefully they will come when you call them. Maybe have some sugar cubes ready?

Deltek Talent Candidate Engagement link to demo

Common Blunders Made by Marketing Teams

Posted by Full Sail Partners on April 28, 2021

What were they thinking? #SendNoods was a social media marketing campaign launched by Kraft foods in October 2020 to coincide with National Noodle Day to promote its famous macaroni and cheese. Back in 1985, Coca-Cola released a sweeter new formula known as “New Coke” to win back younger customers that switched to Pepsi only to be mocked for sacrificing its own identity. Then in 2010, Gap decided to redesign its beloved and established logo. After what must have been countless hours in meetings and who knows how much money, Gap released its new WordArt inspired logo. It caused a massive backlash from loyal customers and is known as one of the largest rebranding blunders in history. 

 

Whether your company is a big national brand or a small to medium sized business, everyone is prone to having a mishap when executing a marketing campaign. 

 

Perplexed by a blunder

Architecture and engineering firms are no different. Have you heard of the same firm submitting on the same proposal? Or, someone from your firm meeting with the same client the week before and you had no clue? 

 

However, it seems like many of these marketing snafus were avoidable if more due diligence was practiced. Reflecting upon the aforementioned marketing blunders, here are some common areas marketing teams overlook when creating an effective marketing campaign.  

 

Not Really Knowing Your Clients 

 

Thinking you know what your clients like and want can quickly upend any marketing effort before it begins. Because believe it or not, your assumptions are likely wrong. However, you can gain insight into your clients by practicing some due diligence by asking about feedback on previous marketing efforts and having conversations with key decision makers about their experience with your firm. What you thought your firm excelled at might actually be one of its biggest downfalls and this is something you surely do not want to promote as it will lead to future failures.  

 

At A/E firms it’s common to make assumptions about what’s really important to a client for a particular project. Your marketing and business development teams may craft an entire message campaign, including the proposal and presentation, based on those assumptions. What happens if you made the wrong assumption? Getting that feedback directly from the client helps to minimize the risk of making assumptions. 

 

Unclear Messaging 

 

Convincing a consumer to make a purchase is already difficult enough. Adding confusion with misleading or hard to comprehend information is for certain a marketing campaign killer. When creating your core messaging, you need to identify what problem you are solving with your product and how this benefits the end user. Additionally, this needs to be tested and optimized to resonate with your audience in a clear and concise fashion.  

 

Common in our industry is messaging that includes industry jargon and overusing acronyms. To ensure a more effective message, make sure the content can be understood by even those with no technical background. 

 

Using Bad (or No) Data 

 

Today, great marketing efforts are formulated around data. There is so much data out there and your firm probably collects and stores endless amounts of information about your clients, contacts, and projects. However, if your data is poorly organized and maintained, it’s likely old and misleading. In other words, bad data is just as bad if not worse than having no data.  

 

Having a robust CRM system, like Deltek Vantagepoint, will allow you to organize your data, and be able to analyze and find trends you can use to strengthen your marketing efforts. A CRM system also allows you to track what potential projects your firm is pursuing and contact interactions. This helps avoid the embarrassment of multiple people from your firm bidding on the same project! 

 

Testing 123... 

 

Great marketing campaigns are the result of trial and error. Even the brightest of marketing minds will agree that not all great ideas are effective. However, there are things that can be learned by testing that can be incorporated into a strong and impactful marketing campaign. Furthermore, most marketers use a A/B testing which uses two forms of something to learn which is more effective. This testing allows marketers to ensure their messaging resonates with their audience and does not offend anyone. 

 

Failing to Follow RFP Instructions  

 

In the AEC industry, many proposals are crafted with a focus on team qualifications rather than fee. Strong proposals can take countless hours and may never be “perfect.” The hope is that your client will read your proposal and select your team for the work. However, what if it never makes it to the review team?  

 

When a request for proposals is advertised, there are often fine-print details regarding the deliverable, such as font size, spacing, and page limitations. Even one page too many could disqualify your team from the review process. Before you put countless hours into that large, or small, proposal, be sure you read, reread, and understand the submittal details before getting started.   

 

Learning from Past Experiences 

 

Doing the same thing over and over again is considered insanity to many people. Well, if anything, it will probably drive you insane to continue to see the same poor results repeatedly. During the execution of a marketing campaign, it’s important to keep track of what is and isn’t working, and noting lessons learned that can be applied to future marketing efforts.   

 

Noting the results and best practices in a marketing campaign record is easy with Vantagepoint. This way your entire marketing and business development team can access and learn from the past experiences.  

 

Are You Willing to Share?  

 

Have you experienced a marketing blunder at your firm? Or, seen one in the industry? Share your experience in the comments below so we can learn from each other.

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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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Setting the Tone for the Candidate Interview Process

Posted by Tasia Grant, PHR on April 14, 2021

After the countless interviews I have done over the last twenty years, one of the greatest compliments I’ve received from a hiring manager was, “You bring an energy that makes candidates feel comfortable enough to be themselves.” With every interview opportunity comes the ability to explore a match for a candidate with the position and firm. When candidates are prepared and at ease during an interview, much can be learned about their personalities and potential to fill open positions. As the interviewer, you want to know with confidence that you’ve taken the time to make the whole process positive and done your due diligence when selecting the “right fit,” not just on paper. 

 

Employee Interview

 

Initiate Attraction

The job description for an open position is a very significant piece of the pre-interview process, and if written well, it transitions nicely into the actual interview. Oftentimes, job descriptions get recycled over and over while the job itself has gone through many evolutions. Many factors can impact the scope of a position like change in the size of the team or leadership, new technology, and change in the needs and goals of the company. In the AEC industry, particularly, industry standards and regulations can impact the requirements for certain job titles.

So, in preparation for interviewing for a specific position, the job description must be clearly written to reflect the qualifications expected of top talent. Candidates should then be able to see exactly what is required by the job description in advance and come to the interview able to prove how they match the needs and fit in the overall organizational plan. Interviewers having previously provided what they are looking for in a clear job description will receive candidates that are ready to showcase what they bring to the table and make the interview process flow easily and successfully.

Make a Good First Impression

If candidates are able to come into the office, they should feel not only welcomed but excited about sharing their qualifications with you. Greetings and initial contact in person should be done with polite professionalism such as acknowledging their interview time and offering water or a place to sit and wait for their time slot. The interviewer should come out and walk candidates back to the pre-set-up room and inquire as to any needs they have before the interview begins. For a Zoom or phone call, candidates should still be greeted on time with a positive attitude and made to feel that their time is valuable.

Break the Ice and Establish the Mood

As the interview begins, candidates should be encouraged to relax with some comforting initial conversational questions. Afterwards, they should be reminded to take their time and think through their answers asking for clarity if a question isn’t understood. With most interviews these days being conducted virtually, you want to create an environment that removes the technical barrier and gives the same energy you would if you were in-person. For the interview questions, minimize the predictable, classic, broad questions like “Tell me your strengths and weaknesses,” or “Do you work well with others?”

Remember the goal is to find out who the person is, not just what they think you want to hear. You should ask Behavioral Questions that allow candidates to talk about their past work experiences. Behavioral-based interview questions focus on how they previously handled various work situations such as “Tell me a situation which was challenging and how you handled it?” Especially for highly technical and labor-based industries, like AEC, ensure that the questions are specific to the position and structured to reveal the candidates’ skills, abilities, and thought processes.

Candidates, having reviewed your job description in advance and feeling at ease with the interviewer, should be able to relate to the needs of the open position and provide some good examples of their past experiences. As mentioned before, a well written job description pre-interview should provide top talent the chance to come to the interview prepared for identifying their skills. You should wrap up the interview by allowing the candidates to ask any other questions and give them an overview of the remaining steps in the candidate selection process including the approximate date you have targeted to have the position filled.

Carefully Choose Your Match

When possible, conduct post-interview discussions immediately after the interviews or within a few days so that impressions and thoughts about the candidates are still fresh in the mind. Many companies use a rating system to rank the candidates’ interview performances. Using the ranking system can work in conjunction with post-interview discussions, and it provides measurable data to support the final decision.

After all interviews have been completed, make the selection of your candidate a priority. Efforts to determine who will move to the next step or to choose the final selection should be made within a week to increase the probability that your top choices are still available when you are ready to extend an offer. Every interview that is completed requires a follow-up indicating the status in the selection process or thanking candidates for their time if not chosen.

Keep in mind that those candidates that are not picked for current positions might be good matches for future positions, so it is important to have open communications all the way through to the end. Also, maintaining these connections will ensure good public relations going forward. You never know when a position will open up again so setting the right tone for the entire candidate interview process is a must in order to attract and find the best fit for your firm.

Automate Job Postings

 

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

Recruiting Top Talent in the New Normal: FACT vs. FICTION

Posted by Tasia Grant, PHR on March 24, 2021

The “new normal” is not so new anymore as we are still operating in a different state of existence. There is so much conflicting and confusing information being disseminated out there about the job market and the current state of unemployment that both employers and candidates aren’t sure how to approach meeting their specific needs. Let’s break down common myths about the current market and what’s important to job seekers a year after the pandemic began. Knowing the truth between fact and fiction in the present recruiting climate will help determine what’s really important to top talent and will guide talent acquisition.

questions marks

FICTION: Things should “get back to normal” later this year. 

A quarter of the way, even halfway through 2020, firms were holding on to the thought of being able to pick up where they left off before the pandemic, especially if the firm was operating at its highest level at the pandemic’s onset. At that time, they were viewing any adjustments or changes as a temporary fix to make it through what they hoped would be the end of this catastrophic event. Taking their lead, employees were anticipating the same, even avoiding getting their hopes up of maintaining their virtual work status and the savings racked up from a decrease in spending on gas, lunch, and clothing. Candidates, as well, took a wait and see approach assuming that virtual work would not be the long-term expectation. 

Now, some employers realize there is no such thing as “getting back to normal.” Therefore, they are beginning the process to identify permanent adjustments that need to be made. To make the hiring process for new candidates smoother and more effective, they need to evaluate what would work best going forward virtually. 

FACT: In the AEC industry, employment has been consistent. 

According to data from a monthly supplement to PSMJ’s Quarterly Market Forecast (QMF) survey of AEC firms in the 4th quarter of 2020, the AEC industry has weathered the crisis better than most. The survey also found that less than 5% of responding firms suffered “significant” staff reductions, and under 15% said that their project delays and cancellations were “major” as opposed to moderate or minor. However, the industry must still proceed with caution because the stagnation in construction employment in January may foreshadow further deterioration in the industry as projects that started before the pandemic finish up and companies hold off on awarding new work. Project-based top talent should be kept in the loop as to the status of upcoming projects to ensure availability when needed. 

FICTION: People are so desperate for work they aren’t looking for competitive salaries. 

In the current environment, with so many workers facing lack of income or the threat of losing their current salaries, the assumption may be that candidates will take what they can get. This may give employers the false sense of security that they can offer lower salaries and still obtain top talent. What we are seeing is that job candidates are seeking out firms that provide competitive salaries, and even more importantly, firms that are flexible and truly care about the wellbeing of their staff. Top talent will remember how they were treated during the pandemic.

FACT: It is now easier to find top talent. 

This is partially true. The challenge is that HR professionals may see an increase in applications for some positions making it harder to sift through the resumes and find the right candidate in a timely manner. HR teams that have an automated screening system will be in a better position to filter out unqualified individuals. Furthermore, employers that have established HR processes in place to proactively recruit and nurture candidates will be able to cut through the noise more quickly.

 

FACT: Work from home (WFH) options remain viable. 

The AEC industry will see a mix of in-person and WFH. For the architectural and engineering industries, WFH can be accomplished by the majority of positions. To the contrary, the construction industry will have a significantly smaller portion of its workforce that is able to work remotely. 

Throughout the pandemic, AE firms have found enabling employees to work from home much easier than originally thought. Those that have embraced it wholeheartedly have reaped the benefits. This mindset shift now requires HR professionals to think about moving forward on how they will accommodate both in-person and WFH positions as this becomes more prevalent in the industry. In the end, top talent will be enticed by the work options. 

FACT: Work/Life balance is a critical consideration for all.

Transitioning staff from on site to remote work was a big adjustment for many firms, and some found the balance to be a challenge. As more firms continue to offer WFH positions, HR professionals will need to identify ways to help employers manage employee expectations and become more flexible with schedules. According to Tiger Recruitment Salary and Benefits Review 2021, Work/Life Balance ranks third most important to salary and job security, when it comes to attracting candidates to their next role. 

Human Resources Must Be Front and Center

Today, acquiring top talent means new approaches and viewpoints to ensure firms are staying competitive. Superior candidates will be looking for a virtual means of recruitment and hiring, acceptable salaries and flexible work options. Maintaining a strong firm culture with a fragmented and remote working staff puts the burden on management to mentor, communicate, and collaborate with teams. HR processes must be adjusted and updated to help firms adapt to the changing times, and Human Resources must stand front and center in the firm’s overall business strategy.

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Entrinsik Informer Ranks High According to the BI & Analytics Survey 21

Posted by Chris Simei on March 17, 2021

Completed by BARC (Business Application Research Center), the worlds’ most comprehensive survey of business intelligence (BI) end users, the BI & Analytics Survey 21, was conducted from March to June 2020 and included 2591 responders in all. It examined user feedback on BI product choices and use across 36 KPIs. This extremely detailed survey provides great insights into the benefits and drawbacks of a plethora of BI tools.

Not surprisingly, Entrinsik Informer achieved excellent results and customers reported an outstanding user experience. Additionally, Informer received high ratings for its ease of use, ad hoc query capabilities, operational BI, and data preparation. Informer also demonstrated business benefits and business value and received praise for self-service and functionality.

BARC BI Survey logo

Ease of Use 

One of the biggest advantages to Informer for the majority of its customers and a huge strength of the product is its ease of use. The interface is accessible and allows for the creation of personalized dashboards and reports. Even more, the analysis pipeline is simple to use with drill down capabilities on visualizations and simple exploration of data using pivot tables. Therefore, technical professionals are not required anymore.

Ad Hoc Query Capabilities 

The BARC report indicated that ad hoc query is a key function of Informer, and it offers the ideal synergy for report creation. With a drag-and-drop functionality and easy data access, the query process is quite fast and simple. Yet it remains both versatile and scalable with many options for data sources. 

Timely Operational BI Data

Informer has implemented an effective pipeline for using near real-time updates. Initial reports can be sent out that end-users can custom update when needed. This setup creates an agile work environment for all users granting situational awareness all of the time.

Simplified Data Preparation

Informer users appreciate the data preparation and transformation process which happens in the Data Flow interface. Data Flow allows a review of the incoming datasets such as appending incomplete entries and normalization of inconsistent fields. This feature also has options for data governance and security.

Tangible Business Benefits

Users consider Informer to be beneficial to their business development and consider it to be a market leader in the BI software realm. Informer has a solid understanding of market niches and drives insights which provides for a more collaborative effort. Futhermore, value is given by the ability to query and access data across the organization.

Proven Business Value

Which BI tool creates value for your business is a key metric to consider when selecting the right solution. Informer’s good ratings show that the promise to increase reporting productivity does hold up and this core competency has delivered on every level. The value-add comes from accessibility empowering all departments to create their own reports working with real-time insights to make decisions.

Self-service Abilities

Informer enables all users to benefit from the BI tool. Simply put, elaborate SQL knowledge is not required, and it appeals to clients with multiple data structures allowing flexible integration of a variety of data sources. With its easy set-up, all users can generate insights and reports which drive business decisions without having to rely on IT.

Intuitive Functionality 

Client needs are met with the capabilities of Informer with its dashboards, ad hoc query and distribution of reports. Entrinsik continuously looks to improve these core functionalities such as the update in April 2020 including more flexibility with personal alerts and scheduling individual data updates. Informer 5 focused on client concerns and found solutions that are useful to them. 

In the BARC survey, Entrinsik was also rated as a top vendor in customer satisfaction, price-to-value, vendor support and implementer support. Furthermore, Entrinsik recently made major enhancements to Informer with the version 5 which includes visual attractiveness enhancements. Additionally, Informer has an intuitive report creation that is easy to set up and runs directly on databases, flat files or operational business applications. As far as customer base, Informer is mostly used by mid-sized firms between 100 and 2500 employees. Entrinsik’s familiarity with its clients allows them to anticipate and handle their growing needs timely and thoroughly.

Price-to-Value

Based on the survey results, Informer has a lead over the competition with consistency and its delivery at a bargain price. Two-thirds of clients have stated that the price-performance ratio is a main reason for choosing the tool. Many Informer clients like that it follows a subscription-based pricing model so that costs are predictable and flexible based on use.

BI Product Customer Service

BARC’s data shows that around a third of clients said their good relationship with Entrinsik is why they purchased Informer. The responsive support of Informer shows the commitment to clients after the purchase is made. Entrinsik also has an online presence which offers supplemental instruction in the way of tutorials, webinars and manuals.

Product Implementation Support

There is the right balance of individual flexibility and assistance with Entrinsik. Clients are able to rely on implementation specialists for help with integration and installation. Also, the Development Toolkit offers an internal development team to adopt solutions. Everything is targeted at a fast implementation time period so clients can pursue their own business agenda.

Entrinsik Informer is Worth the Investment 

According to BARC, the Entrinsik Informer BI tool is mainly used for reporting based on 97% of its customers who depend on it for reporting and the ad hoc query functionality. 85% of survey participants used the tool to view data insights and two-thirds of users found benefit from using the available dashboards. These functions of Informer make it the perfect self-service tool for IT and BI professionals, and even those not familiar with BI can use Informer to gain insight.

The BARC B&I Analytics Survey 21 download link

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

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