Today I attended Deltek’s webinar for presenting their Navigator replacement called “iAccess”.
My bottom line conclusions from today’s event are as follows:
- They are segmenting their user audience into 3 groups; back office (Deltek Vision Core), mid-range users (Deltek Vision iAccess) and road warriors and lite users (Deltek Vision Touch – for smart phones).
- Deltek has re-discovered the value in purely web-based platforms and has made the iAccess functionality available through most recent browsers of any device with a large screen. It’s not designed for phones, but supports any screen size 1024×768 nicely.
- The core product of Deltek Vision has changed very little, while their iAccess product is well developed with intuitive, interactive interface elements like list filters, info bubbles and informative graphics. Thus, it seems that most of their product development resources have been allocated here lately. I recommend spending your company’s resources on getting used to this product.
- They continue (for better or worse) to leverage the ideas that are in the market and meld them into their product feature set. Thus, the collaboration and business development components of iAccess look quite similar to some other Vision add-ons we’ve seen before.
Here are some details (screen shots) from the presentation and my thoughts. (all images are from the presentation and are thus property of Deltek, Inc.)
Deltek is considering the fact that there are different levels of Vision users with different sets of needs. Thus, they’ve divided it up into 3 camps as follows:
Time and expense modules are available. With nicer interfaces. This is a good example of a better way to display the WBS.
Some interface elements serve to clarify where data is being entered, like when you enter hours for timesheets:
… and you can upload receipts to expense line items directly if you’re using an iPad. Very nice.
It looks like some common sense renaming is taking place. For example, CRM is now being called “Business Development”. Another noteworthy item; I always recommend that my clients change the infocenter “Clients” to “Companies”. Looks like these guys finally caught on:
iAccess is a truly multi-tabbed, browser-based app now. No more silverlite!!! Yay! You can have multiple sessions of Vision iAccess open in a browser, making it way easier to manage data in multiple areas.
You have interactive list reports available right there (not in a separate window). Some great features include changing parameters on the fly, filtering and sorting, and clickable items that allow you to navigate to other portions of your data inside the same app window.
Wow! Live project health indicators in your project list if you’re a project manager… this is nice.
All underlined links in iAccess provide more info, including some explanation about what the numbers mean. This is helpful for sure.
I found the planning interface to be much easier to read and sensible.
Last but not least, something VERY interesting they’re unleashing (not sure how it works yet or how well it works yet). accounts receivable review and Invoice approvals right here in iAccess for use by PM’s. This is an invaluable tool and will save a lot of trees as well as round trip times for invoicing.
Good job Deltek!
p.s. I have not personally tested any of this functionality. However, I will be helping clients implement most of this functionality in the coming months. If you would like help with your Vision implemenation, please contact me now to schedule time for later this year.