New Partnership for Deltek Vision and Deltek Professional Services consulting

I am excited to announce the official launch of Version X Solutions!

Version X Solutions is a new partnership that brings together a combined 30 years of Deltek Vision knowledge and experience under one umbrella.

We offer a wide and practical range of products and services including custom modules, custom reports, and even a cloud hosting service.

We’ve put together the beginnings of an inventory, and will continue to add to it as we come up with new ideas and do more interesting work for clients. If you have an extension we need, we’d love to hear about it!

Of course we still offer hourly consulting for nebulous or “figure it out as we go” projects.

You can read more about us and our current offering here.

What does this mean for existing customers?

Our new partnership will not adversely affect the existing relationships I have built with you over the years.

You will continue to get the same great friendly, responsive and most importantly, knowledgeable consulting services you have come to rely on from me.

Thank you for your continued business and I look forward to working with you in the near future.

From now on, please refer to the Version X Solutions site for information about products and services offered.

 

 

 

The “next” version of Deltek Vision – Deltek Professional Services

There has been a lot of discussion lately around the current iAccess platform and Deltek’s new offering coming up titled “Deltek Professional Services” or DPS. Some of that discussion has been concern about what will or not be available in the new platform, what will need to be upgraded or dropped entirely, and if the platform will be “better” than the current Vision 7.6 (Deltek’s latest and apparently last version).

Deltek Professional Services is the “next major upgrade” for Deltek Vision. That means in the next 5 years, you will need to upgrade if you want to continue getting official support for your ERP platform.

I attended a webinar yesterday with many of the same questions you probably have and came away with these important answers to my questions:

Question: What is DPS generally? Is it just a Vision 8.0, or is it iAccess or what?
Answer1: DPS is a much needed overhaul of some features of Vision, while preserving many core back office functionality. From what I saw, there is a major focus on re-imagining and re-designing most front office user experiences and ways of managing information. From what I gather, “front office” users are all the people not in the accounting department.  Keep in mind that for the longest time, Vision’s strongest functional set has been in accounting. Now the focus is on better crm, project management and executive tools.
Answer 2: DPS also brings us browser agnostic functionality. I’m pretty sure this means you can use it on a Mac OS based device as well. This is great news for your marketing and design teams who tend to prefer Mac based products.

Question: Do we HAVE to move to the cloud? Can we still have an on premise version? This question is especially important for large firms with lots of integrations with other systems and customizations of Deltek Vision.
Answer: NO you don’t have to move to the cloud. An on premise version will be made available later in 2018

Question: What about all the money we’ve invested in custom reports, workflows, user defined infocenters and other components? Will we be required to re-write all the SSRS reports we have like when Vision reporting moved from Actuate to SSRS? (remember that? yuck!)
Answer: All your customizations (I read that as “most”) will port over just fine. From what I can tell, the things that will suffer or have to be replaced entirely are any cubes-based functionality, heavy outlook integrations, proposals and the VPM module. At least that’s for version 1.0 (yes, they’re starting new versioning since it’s been renamed).  I can’t say what’ exactly will happen with later versions.

Question: What if we are already on the cloud version (hosted by Deltek)? What will happen and when?
Answer: According to Deltek, “All Vision cloud customers will get DPS as a part of their annual subscription.”
I read this as – you’re going to get migrated to DPS whether you like it or not if you’re on Deltek’s cloud version.  It’s just a matter of when. This is one of the reasons I advise my customers against moving to Deltek’s cloud provided version.  If you are tired of maintaining servers and a staff to maintain Vision (especially smaller firms), stay tuned for an alternative cloud offering coming up next week that allows you control, access to the database, and no forcing of upgrades or major changes to your current licensing agreement.

Question: What should we be doing to prepare our firm for this upgrade?
Answer: According to Deltek you should be doing the following:
1. Check out the DPS portal (you should have received a link to it in an email if you’re a customer who’s kept up with licensing and maintenance fees)
2. Deploy and get used to iAccess (it’s free with all versions 7.X)
3. If you are in the cloud, request a preview (testing) environment.
4. Call me for help. No, of course they didn’t say that, but if you’re looking for an independent expert without obligation to sell you stuff, then you should.

Questions: Why does Deltek want us to move to their cloud offering so bad?
Answer: Call me for a frank discussion on this.
(contact page here)

 

Deltek Vision Custom Report: Missing Timesheet Days

Deltek Vision 6.X and 7.X provide you with a standard report for missing timesheets. But that only tells you if someone has filled out an entire timesheet or not. It doesn’t tell you if an employee has gaps in their timesheet.

If you want to know what days an employee has not entered time for at all inside of a timesheet that is not actually missing, then you need this report.

This report shows you days that are either entirely missing, or just haven’t met the allotted Hours Per Day amount.

Missing Timesheet Days Report
Features:

  • Set your own end date
  • Set how many days back you want the report to look
  • Use any PROJECT search to filter the report (you can filter this report as you would any Project report in Vision; using Organization or Profit Center, related Employees, Employee status, or any other attribute of the Projects or Employees infocenters or related infocenters).

Customizations: Contact me to discuss adding features to this report.

Base Price: $1,200 – No maintenance fees.

Screen shot:

scg_missing_timesheet_days

Custom Infocenter + Custom Invoice = Good invoice expense groupings

Recently I had a client making a lot of requests about how to group expenses on their custom invoice.

The requests looked something like this…

“Can you sum up all Per Diem expenses using these accounts… 5010, 5050, 7050”

“Can you sum up mileage expenses using these accounts… 5025, 5033”

“Lodging expenses use these accounts, they need to be summed up as well:
lodging 5027
Meals 5028
Lodging/Meals combined 5030”

Custom Invoices in Vision are just another custom report. They are one of the more difficult reports to create b/c of the complexity of the invoice. An invoice in Vision actually is comprised of 25 or so sub reports all on one master report. Each sub report has its own underlying SQL statement, formatting, etc… That’s why customizing the invoice is so expensive!

In any case, here is what a grouped/summarized piece of the invoice looks like when it comes out. Notice it’s grouped by employee, then also by expense category (so this section probably represents a week or two of transactions… which would take up a lot of space on an invoice if not grouped).

expense_group_example

Keep in mind it’s easy enough to create sql statements to group on particular account number values in an invoice… once you’ve mastered creating custom invoices in Vision 7 that is.

However, what happens when you want to add more categories or an account gets changed? If you have the account values hard coded into the statements, then every time an account number changes or one gets added, or even if the client wants to add a grouping category, it’s going to cost them money to update the report. While some consultants may enjoy that type of relationship with their clients, I prefer to build things that last.

Thus, instead of putting actual account values in sql statements or formatting the report around groups that would most likely change, I did it using a custom infocenter. That infocenter looks like this:

expense_group_infocenter

Here’s how it all works:

1. When clicking on the “Magic Button” a stored procedures goes and gets all accounts from any transaction that has appeared on an invoice and populates the “expense groups” grid with those accounts.

2. The user assigns any or all account to an “Invoice Group” by selecting from a drop down.

3. The user then identifies the type of unit that will be used when describing that group… like “Miles” for a mileage account or “Days” for a per diem account.

4. They click the “Magic Button” again which populates the “expense sort” grid on the right, where they can put the order in which they want those expense groups to appear on the invoice for that particular employee. The “Expense Sort” grid on the right will only populate with actual expense group categories used in the grid on the left.

5. Clicking on the “Magic Button” at any time will update both grids with any new accounts used in expense section on invoices, as well as update the Expense Sort grid with any new categories created or assigned.

6. Any expense item that gets billed to an invoice will show up in this matter.

Now… you might be saying to yourself “why didn’t they just use expense categories for all this?” Well, what if the expense categories you use internally are different from what your client wants to see on invoices? Or what if you have different requirements for different clients?

This allows you to set up multiple expense category configurations and assign that set of configurations to any project… that’s the last part:

7. Assign this template for invoice expense grouping to any project, and the invoices will use that grouping.

Feel free to comment with questions or contact me directly.

Thanks for stopping by!