A few weeks ago I discussed Deltek’s journey from its founding in 1983 until its recently announced impending delisting from NASDAQ and going private under Thoma Bravo’s ownership, for the second time in its history. The article presented some opposing views on what this acquisition might mean for Deltek, its customers, and partners.
In light of the company’s recent quarterly results and the upcoming Deltek Insight 2012 user conference in mid-October 2012, this post features my conference previews discussion with Patrick Smith, Vice President, Corporate Marketing and Communications at Deltek.
New Products Discussion
PJ: I know that iBASEt Solumina is the embedded product in the Deltek Costpoint MES offering. Why did you pick it and not other technologies?
PS: iBASEt is a clear leader in our project-based, engineer-to-order (ETO), build-to-order (BTO), and maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) type environments. For heavily regulated, project-based organizations, iBASEt Solumina stands out as one of the few solutions that has really addressed the engineering process and the end-to-end traceability, including engineering change notices (ECNs), revisions, quality inspections, and corrective actions. Our new manufacturing execution system (MES) offering has been a big hit—we are filling a real need in the marketplace, and there is a ton of sales activity around our project manufacturing suite among aerospace and defense (A&D) companies.
PJ: Deltek First and GovCon Essentials—what is the difference between the two, and what is their lineage, i.e., is there any relation to GCS Premier? What functions do you put in those “essentials” products
PS: Deltek First is our umbrella product family for small and midsize businesses. To meet the needs of smaller companies, all Deltek First solutions are delivered through a software-as-a-service (SaaS) cloud model. The Deltek First product family includes full financial management solutions for government contractors, architecture, and engineering firms, and professional services firms, along with various solution bundles for CRM, business intelligence, and more. GovCon Essentials, Vision Essentials, and Maconomy Essentials, each come with various solution bundles that can also be purchased. Deltek First for government contractors is an evolution from GCS Premier. It uses similar underlying characteristics.
The foundation of each Deltek First solution is project accounting, time keeping, job costing, and reporting for various roles within a company. For government contractors specifically, this basic functionality allows a company to get up and running quickly so that they can invoice the government, understand what is happening in their business with their projects, and pass an audit. We also offer “Plus” bundles for government contractors that include budgeting and planning, deeper reporting, and business intelligence (BI)/analytics. In addition, companies can purchase related products delivered through the cloud, including Deltek GovWin IQ, Deltek CRM, and more.
PJ: Deltek Capture Analytics—is it a brand new product, or something else renamed? On what technology was Capture Analytics built and to which Deltek product line does it relate?
PS: Capture Analytics is a unique brand new product, which takes the power of analytics that is often used on the financial management side and applies it to all of the aspects of a business development process. It is an OEM-ed solution, whereby we use QlikTech’s product from QlikView as the engine. Capture Analytics is a government contractor (GovCon) product that goes hand in hand with our GovWin capture management solution.
PJ: What about Deltek Kona? Is it generally available (GA) yet, as I’ve been seeing some Deltek staffers tweeting about using it? Can you provide examples on what you folks are using Kona for, as well as on what you will offer to customers when it becomes GA?
PS: We have rolled Kona out internally at Deltek, and Kona is gaining traction in the marketplace and is available now for Deltek customers. You should sign up and start using it for free. It is making strides and is quite exciting. As for specific Deltek examples, we use Kona to manage product launch activities. Kona has played a large role aligning our global team to deliver our Insight 2012 user conference. Some Deltek customers are using it internally for collaboration. Some charitable organizations have used it to successfully manage charitable projects with groups of volunteers. In short, the possibilities for using Kona at work and at home to get things done are almost endless. Here is what customers can expect to see in Kona when they use it the first time:
We also have some other interesting ideas in the works on the content front that we can talk more about in the coming months. These are quite exciting, so stay tuned…
PJ: What is the bread-winning product line at Deltek? Also, what is the hottest product of late, and do you consider any product to be a door opener?
PS: The GovCon part of our business has been exceptionally strong over the last year. We have posted many quarters in GovCon recently. People ask, “Why is this the case when government spending is scrutinized more than ever, which should affect the contractors?” We believe that Deltek is more valuable than ever. When the market is competitive, you need the best information and tools to find and win the best business for you (solution: Deltek’s front-office capabilities).
When times are tough, you must deliver that project on time (solution: Deltek Integrated Program Management). When margins are shrinking, you must be more efficient and lower costs where you can (solution: our ERP and project manufacturing solutions). The rise of our SaaS ERP solutions for small contractors has been a huge hit, too.
On the professional services side, the architecture and engineering (A&E) industry has recovered somewhat, helping sales of our Deltek Vision solution. We have also seen success selling Vision to more parts of the world than ever—in Europe and even in Asia. We have seen traction in other segments of the broader professional services market, too, like in the certified public accountant (CPA) world, and have continued our strong presence in the marketing agency and research spaces.
Finally, one of the hottest products at this stage is Costpoint MES for project manufacturers, and Deltek First for professional services firms and government contractors has been a great door-opener for us. In the professional services market specifically, we can unlock the massive global professional services market with our SaaS solutions. This is a huge new product for small A&E firms, consulting firms, etc.
Dear readers, what are your comments, opinions, etc. on Deltek’s future and strategy? What are your experiences with Deltek’s solutions and services?
TEC blog post (Apr 2012): Deltek Providing Clarity for Government Contractors
TEC article (Aug 2011): Deltek, We Hardly Knew Ye: New Deltek at Insight 2011