Deltek Remains the Master of Its Selected Few Domains Part Five: Deltek’s Major Product Lines

Event Summary

Deltek Systems, Inc. ( ), the leading provider of enterprise software and solutions for project-based businesses and professional services firms, remains committed to a potentially unique, high level of investment in product development as compared to other software companies. According to Kenneth E. deLaski, Deltek President and CEO, the average public software company only invests approximately 14.5 percent of its revenue in product development and, at 24 percent, Deltek customers should take this as a strong sign that the vendor is deeply committed to continued investment and improvement of each of its product suites for project businesses and professional services firms. Deltek also announced that, once again, it achieved strong profitability and cash flow for fiscal 2002, which reportedly marked the 18th consecutive year of profitability for the company. In addition, the company added more than 300 new customers during the year in a variety of industries including aerospace, construction, engineering, IT services, consulting, architecture, and project-based manufacturing.

This is Part Five of a six-part note.

Parts One and Two covered product announcements for 2003 and 2002.

Part Three provided the company background and discussed market strategy.

Part Four detailed product's differentiators. Part Six will present challenges and make user recommendations.

Deltek and CRM

Within its marketing and proposal automation product, Deltek has an emerging CRM derivative known as client relationship management, which should help firms (such as accounting practices and law offices), other professional service companies; technical services; and, project-based organizations track client relationships in a more sophisticated manner than referrals or word-of-mouth, which were appropriate during the start-up phases of such companies. Subsequently accessing a client's record in Deltek Vision will also list the client's employees and former employers via hyperlink, enabling users to keep tabs on industry movement and turnover.

In a project-based business, there are no dedicated sales teams on the road chasing and securing new business since most senior partners and project managers bring in their own business and look after their own client portfolio. Consequently, traditional sales calls or consumer internet storefront ordering approaches become inappropriate in these situations. Therefore, the critical element of the client relationship process is to secure new business through proposal development. However, trying to recall the details of relevant past jobs and those who worked on them plus gathering the hard copies of such information from different people can be a nightmare. To that end, Deltek proposal management system allows a contractor to organize projects by various categories such as people, projects, designs, and expertise allowing appropriate information (e.g., resumes, document boilerplates, etc.) to become easily retrievable in the preparation of new proposals. Users can then track the progress of a proposal, share the information with other team members, review similar proposals, and analyze awarded jobs through a product that offers both government and customized commercial proposal generators.

Recent Product Groups Organization

In order to cater to the peculiar requirements within the aforementioned target markets, Deltek's products are currently organized in three primary application areas: 1) enterprise solutions for larger, sophisticated organizations, 2) integrated applications for professional services firms, and 3) applications for small to mid-sized firms having contracts with the American Federal Government. Respectively, its three branded solutions, Deltek Enterprise, Deltek Vision and Deltek GCS Premier, encompass seven front- and back-office software categories including CRM and proposal automation; employee T&E; project and resource planning; budgeting and control; accounting and billing; procurement and materials management; HR management; and, BI. The three solutions also have different technological foundations and a level of web-enablement, as it will be later explained.

1) Deltek Enterprise product suite is targeted to larger project-oriented businesses with sophisticated accounting and business requirements. It has the following software applications:

Deltek Costpoint is a major component of Enterprise. It is a back-office/ERP solution for organizations having complex project, accounting and business requirements operating in a variety of project-oriented industries. It includes over twenty-five modular applications ranging from project and financial accounting to human resources and materials management that are completely integrated with one another. The product also meets the common American federal regulatory and reporting requirements for businesses with federal government contracts. Through its open data architecture and the use of drill-down inquiries, on-line analytical processing (OLAP) tools and standard reports, Deltek Costpoint provides managers with timely and pertinent information. It also utilizes a relational database architecture on the server and a Microsoft Windows operating system on the desktop client PC. Costpoint can be operated on a variety of network operating systems, including Windows NT, Unix, and Novell Netware and currently supports Oracle, Microsoft SQL Server, and Centura relational databases. Deltek Costpoint employs 32-bit technology and was developed with the extensive use of object-oriented programming techniques utilizing a fourth generation language (4GL) with C++ and database-specific stored procedures to maximize performance. As a result of this architecture, Deltek Costpoint is scaleable and can be utilized in organizations with 3 to 300 concurrent users.

Deltek began development of Deltek Costpoint in 1992 and commercially released the product in June 1995. So far, it has licensed approximately 900 Deltek Costpoint systems, mostly to organizations having annual revenues in excess of $50 million. As mentioned earlier, Deltek Costpoint is currently being re-written in EJB, which will make the software completely web-based for its general release slated for late 2004. The following table lists the principal Deltek Costpoint application areas and modules:

  • Financial Suite - general ledger; travel; accounts payable; fixed assets; accounts receivable; workflow; consolidations;

  • Accounting Suite - multicurrency

  • Project Accounting Suite - project setup; project billing; project reporting; project cost and revenue processing; project budgeting; project management interfaces

  • People Management Suite - labor/leave; benefit tracking; payroll; labor/payroll interfaces; human resources; employee self-service

  • Materials Management Suite - product definition; sales order entry; purchasing; receiving; production control; procurement planning; routings inventory; engineering change notices; bills of material; requirements planning; materials estimating

Deltek CRM and Deltek Proposals products provide a solution for most front-office communications, business development and marketing challenges. Designed to enhance customer relationships and increase productivity, these tools provide SFA, opportunity management, CRM, marketing automation, and proposal generation tools. It provides the tools that sales, marketing and business development need to create winning proposals and feature embedded reports, activity tracking, forecasting, calendaring, and MS Outlook and e-mail integration.

Deltek Time Collection (formerly ET Enterprise) and Deltek Employee Expense products provide increased management visibility and control of projects and operations by tracking daily labor activity and historical data. It gives supervisors, project managers, and executives access to pertinent information in a timely manner thus preventing costly project overruns, reducing billing time enabling federal contractors to comply with American governmental auditing regulations. This product interfaces with all Deltek products and enterprise applications from PeopleSoft, SAP, Oracle, former J.D. Edwards, Automatic Data Processing (ADP), PayAmerica, and MBS Solomon.

Deltek Enterprise Planner handles corporate-wide financial planning, budgeting and forecasting needs and automates the process for evaluating, budgeting and balancing project and task-specific resource allocations. This application, which interfaces with Deltek Costpoint and Deltek GCS Premier, offers an environment for project managers to set initial budgets for projects and then automatically creates rolling forecasts updated with actual project hours and costs.

The Deltek Business Intelligence module was designed to leverage internet technology making information easily accessible to everyone in the organization as well as to customers. Functionality includes managed web reporting; web-based analysis and trending; web query and reporting; BI portal; ad hoc query and reporting; analysis and trending; visualization; data warehousing; and, its Quick-Start Program.

Deltek e-Business applications include Deltek Employee Self Service and Deltek eProcurement. The Deltek Employee Self Service application allows every employee in the organization to maintain, update, and review critical information regarding their benefits, including electronic pay information, ultimately eliminating one of the most time consuming jobs for HR professionals. Seamlessly integrated to Deltek Costpoint, this application ensures that timely changes to personnel information are maintained without the need to re-key information, or make redundant reviews of payroll and benefits information. Deltek eProcurement is a web-based solution that automates complex internal workflow processes and dynamically links via eXtensible Markup Language (XML) to any vendor catalog, buying exchange or customer-specific catalogs. By converting paper-based procurement practices to internet processes, controlling unauthorized purchasing and creating more efficient internal workflow processes, the product delivers operating efficiencies that most project businesses need. Consequently, Deltek terminated its OEM agreement with E-Plus in 2003 and is evaluating internal development of this functionality versus an external OEM agreement.

The Deltek Enterprise Suite enables companies to analyze profitability by answering important questions such as

  1. Are our projects profitable and inclusive of the applicable share of indirect costs (fringe, overhead, G&A, etc)?

  2. Are all our billing formats and formulas automated?

  3. Is our revenue process automated?

  4. Does our accounting software enable us to increase revenues and decrease costs?

  5. Can we identify potential problems?

  6. Can we truly steer our business towards increased profitability?

2) PSA solutions for small and mid-sized professional services firms include the following:

Deltek Advantage is an integrated, project-focused accounting system for professional services firms. It was originally designed and developed by Harper and Shuman, a company Deltek acquired in May 1998. The product currently includes modules for project control, accounting, billing, accounts payable, payroll, profit center reporting, timekeeper, multiuser, and expense keeper. It also employs 32-bit technology, and provides a user interface utilizing current Microsoft Windows platforms, and either Microsoft SQL Server or Access database platforms. Deltek Advantage can operate on a stand-alone PC or within a local or wide area network (LAN/WAN) environment. It has fewer modules, is generally less complex, is easier to implement, and results in a lower total cost of ownership (TCO) than Deltek Costpoint. Accordingly, Deltek markets it primarily to small and mid-sized professional services firms with relatively less complex requirements. The vendor began development of Deltek Advantage in 1995 in response to the technical maturation of the CFMS product line, and it was commercially released in December 1996. It has been licensed to approximately 3,000 organizations, primarily architecture and engineering firms to date.

The Deltek Sema4 product family, acquired in August 2000, is a fully integrated project and financial management software system designed for the small to mid-sized architectural and engineering firms. Sema4 Windows is used by approximately 2,000 companies with sizes ranging from 5 to 900 employees. Although Deltek is still selling new modules and employee series upgrades to existing Sema4 Windows clients, it no longer sells this product to new prospects. Additionally the company's strategy is to eventually migrate current users to its new PSA solution, Deltek Vision.

Deltek Vision, as previously described, was released in 2002 and is intended to become Deltek's primary offering to professional services firms. It is targeted to existing Deltek Advantage and Deltek Sema4 customers, as well as new customers in all types of professional services industries.

3) Government contractor solutions (GCS) are primarily offered within the following two application suites:

System1, a DOS-based system, was Deltek's original accounting system for federal government contractors. Approximately 2,000 companies have licensed System1 since it was commercially released in 1985, while approximately 600 customers are still actively using and paying for ongoing support services related to System1. However, since the introduction of more advanced GCS Premier and Deltek Costpoint systems, sales of System1 have significantly declined. Deltek's strategy is to continue to migrate System1 users to the Costpoint and GCS Premier products, which are delivering similar functionality with modern technology and updated feature sets. To that end, Deltek provides significant discounts to customers migrating from System1 to GCS Premier and Costpoint.

Deltek GCS Premier is Deltek's Windows-based, enterprise accounting solution currently marketed to small to mid-sized businesses focused on earning revenue from government contracts. This product was released in March 2000, and, in addition to its Windows-based interface, features flexible, component-based software construction achieved with MS Visual Basic 6.0 and ActiveX controls. GCS Premier was designed specifically to ensure that Deltek's System1 customers could easily migrate to GCS without the necessity of data conversion while preserving System1's critical processing programs, complex reports and other time-tested legacy programs. GCS Premier's Windows-based user interface tightly integrates with its process-oriented design, while its pull-down menus are workflow-like in their functionality and are intuitive making it easy for users to learn the application by navigating from process to process.

Consequently, Deltek's large installed customer base of over 8,000 customers should at least enable the company to generate revenues from ongoing services and product enhancements provided to these customers. The vendor's strategy is to 1) maintain and strengthen relationships with the existing customers by providing ongoing support services; 2) derive additional revenues by migrating clients to more advanced products within its product line, licensing add-on application software products and offering its customers additional consulting and training services; and, 3) target existing customers to purchase front-office add-on solutions such as Deltek CRM and Proposals, Deltek Time Collection, Deltek Employee Expense, Deltek Enterprise Planner, Deltek Employee Self-service, and Deltek e-Procurement.

This concludes Part Five of a six-part note.

Parts One and Two covered product announcements for 2003 and 2002.

Part Three provided the company background and discussed market strategy.

Part Four detailed product differentiators.

Part Six will present challenges and make user Recommendations.

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