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 Invoice grouped by Team instead of by Project, Phase, Task

Here’s an interesting take on a Deltek Vision custom invoice I just completed for a client headquartered in Houston, TX.

They needed Labor, Units and Expenses grouped by the Team Supervisor instead of project element (project, phase, task), and only when there was a Team Supervisor on the project.

For these types of projects needing this new format, the team could post to multiple places on the project itself, so the grouping by project, phase and task had to be hidden or circumvented.

Lastly, a project might not show team data exclusively.  Meaning, that some of the invoice items needed to be in the standard format with standard groupings.  Thus, on the same invoice you might have billing items that were grouped and displayed in the “old” format, as well as data displayed in the “new” team based format.

Since the invoice in Deltek Vision is basically a giant SSRS report with 25+ sub reports, it took a bit of work to do this one.

First, I had to create a new sub report that displayed Labor, Units and Expense data using team supervisor groupings instead of Project, Phase and Task.

Then, it required modifying the queries of all the sub reports so the standard invoice format wouldn’t show the team data, but would still show the non-team data if there were both types on the same invoice.

The summarized items report required queries that pull data differently from the invoice than the normal Vision standard report does.

Here’s a screenshot from an example print out of just the team data after exporting to Excel… names and other elements have been changed to protect sensitive information:

Ensite Invoice w Callouts

If the Billing Invoice Template editor in Deltek Vision isn’t meeting your needs, contact me to discuss what can be done about it.

Looking forward to working with you.

 

 

A set of good looking reports for Deltek Vision 7.4 in the cloud; combining Project Infocenter data and Project Planning data on one report

I just delivered a set of reports for a new client in London. They had some interesting and challenging requirements to combine multiple projects and plans data into one report in a multicurrency and multicompany environment.

These are just screen shots of the results, with identifying and confidential data removed:

Project Planned vs. Actual Data with revised plan taking into account JTD cost metrics

sample

 

Project Portfolio – a collection of master projects with data from all sub projects combined. Each column is the combination of a master project and all its children.
portfolio-sample

 

Project Summary – one master project and its sub projects displayed together, with the consolidation of everything in the left most column.


summarysample

It’s not obvious in these images, but these reports incorporate:
Project data across companies
JTD Actuals data
Planning data

What these reports do not provide:
They do not provide all the data at a “presentation currency”.  While it is possible to do, the client did not ask for it. If needed, it can be provided at a transactional level, and with currency translations happening on the data of the transaction, rather than at a specified date.

While these kinds of reports take a lot of work and can be pricey, they are often used by many different levels of users at the firm and become a main tool for performance and project health measurement across the entire enterprise and project life cycle. In other words, they are well worth the investment.

Have an excellent remainder of your week!

 

 

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

Quick one: SSRS – upgrading Vision from version 6 to 7

Today a customer called me and said:

“We converted to Vision 7 and now the custom invoice you created for us is not showing”.

Solution: If the report files are missing for your custom reports, you will need to re-load them.  But first you must:

1. make sure you have BIDS 2008 installed

2. open every single .rdl file in BIDS 2008 and close it again (meaning the .rdl files you are interested in loading, meaning your custom reports or invoices)

3. when you close each file, BIDS should prompt you to save them

4. re-load your reports in 7 as you would normally.

This is assuming you have your own back ups of these files in case something goes wrong.

What it does:

It converts all your .rdl files into a more recent version of SSRS reports, most notably doing away with the <table> object and introducing the <tablix> object.

Cheers!

CREDIT CARD TRANSACTION IMPORT AUTOMATION – PART 3

Ok I’ve made a lot of progress over the past two weeks. This is quite a complex project actually… but it’s about finished.

The final results look basically like this:

1. use SSIS (Sql Server Integration Services) to grab the csv files from designated directory and import them into a raw data table.

2. move any transactions from raw import data to the processing table… exclude any transactions that have already been imported.

3. using some data transformations in the form of user defined functions (UDF), make the data look like expense detail transactions

4. insert the expense detail transactions into the expense reports for the corresponding employees

5. allow employees to edit their expense transaction details in their pre-populated expense report

6. show the entirety of credit card expense transactions in a report… that shows the imported data, next to the matching expense detail records in Vision, allowing employees to accurately fill out details on their expenses, and make sure that everything has been accounted for.

7. for the payment to the credit card company, assign the cash disbursement to the different project, phase and tasks reflected in the expense detail transactions so that projects show the cash out for those expenses.

So I’ve completed everything except step 7, which I will complete over the next day or two.

Some really cool things this does:
– puts the CSV files in an archive folder and assigns a unique, logical name to them so you don’t have to worry about losing raw data history

– allows you to compare imported data from the CSV file to the actual data in expense reports by employee and expense report

– allows you to trace any imported transaction back to the actual CSV file it came from… it shows you the file name on the report

– reconciles the amounts imported vs. the amounts in the employee’s expense report so you can make sure you didn’t miss anything

– shows data that was imported into the processing section, but didn’t actually make it into an employee expense report

In a couple weeks I will provide more details on how it actually works with some screen shots of the results.

In the mean time, here is a snapshot of the entire process looked up wrapped up in an elegant diagram in SSIS. Of course, this doesn’t show any details or code… just the big picture logic of it. It’s interesting all the same.

Have an excellent day!

I’ll be at Deltek Insight in a couple weeks, and will be teaching a break out session:
PS-80 Putting Data in the Right Place

If you happen to be at Insight feel free to come say “hello” and give me some feedback on my blog!

Cheers!