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Should You Consider Deltek? Well it Depends…

Written By: josh chalifour
Published On: February 8 2003

Introduction

Based on Deltek's responses to the Technology Evaluation.Com (TEC) request for information, TEC determined what sort of customer could make good use of the type of solution Deltek provides. This analysis is useful to both Deltek in determining the prospects likely to benefit from Deltek's solutions and to companies looking for the type of solution Deltek offers.

The ideal candidate for Deltek's Costpoint solution will need a high-level of financial management support. This candidate will also require support from all the other modules, though not necessarily at such a high degree. Finally, this candidate will need a full feature-set from certain manufacturing management areas, but not necessarily need every possible feature that could be provided.

All the data used to compose our graphs is directly from Deltek's responses to the TechnologyEvaluation.Com (TEC) request for information. We measure the vendor's level of support for over 3,000 criteria and then compare these, from a high level, to see what sort of customer could make good use of the type of solution Deltek provides.

Profiling the Ideal Candidate for Deltek

There are two types of information that we graph for each of the high-level criteria TEC uses to analyze a product. One type of graph is a baseline graph. In the baseline graphs, we normalize all criteria to an equal relevance, which allows you to see how a vendor's product scores on its own merit and without regard to any one module taking precedence over another. By comparing a graph of the vendor's supported functionality against a normalized baseline, you can see the modules the vendor most emphasizes.

In the other type of graphs, we prioritize by adjusting the baseline to correspond to the vendor's focus. You can see if the functionality you need in an ERP solution is equivalent with the areas in which the vendor focuses. In the prioritized graphs, Deltek's strengths visibly stand out against its weaknesses.

Examining Deltek

From the high-level view, most of the modules in Deltek's Costpoint solution provide a nearly equal level of functionality. Deltek's highest rated functional area is its financials module but as we examine the other areas more closely, their differences surface. The areas that, at first glance, appear to contribute the least to Deltek's scores are its manufacturing management module and the product technology support. Deltek's solution is not necessarily weak in the manufacturing management area; it has several points that are very strong, such as its product costing and product management. The company however, relies mostly on third party customization to support its field service and repairs, and product/item functionality.

The following graph (Figure 1 below) shows the high-level ratings of Deltek's modules against a baseline that has equal weight given to each module. By examining this graph, one can see that if every module is equally important, Deltek Costpoint would fare closely in accord with the baseline for almost every area. This graph however, is not the most useful for discovering how well your company's requirements might match what the Deltek product provides. To see if your company's requirements match well with Costpoint's features, we need to look at the graph that is prioritized to show the strengths and weaknesses of the product.

Figure 1.


In Figure 2 we've modified the graph's baseline so that it follows the strengths and weaknesses of Deltek's Costpoint product. The blue-block line now follows the solid line, which means that in the financials module, for example, as an area with very strong functionality, the module receives a higher weight, or contributes more to the product's functionality in relation to the other modules. In adjusting the product's scores this way, we match areas that contribute a lot to the product's functionality to what a company would most need from its implementation. Essentially, the graph shows that if your company has strong requirements for financials, purchasing management, and inventory management, you would want to look more deeply at the Deltek solution.

Figure 2.


Consider the Criteria in More Depth

Let's consider the criteria in more depth. We'll start with financials since it stretches the furthest to the edge of our graph (see Figure 2). The reason Deltek's financials module is so strong becomes clear when we see the financial criteria graphed on their own. In this case, just about every group of criteria in the module is well supported. Upon adjusting the baseline to fit the product's levels of support, we can see that most of the groups of criteria come equally close in their contribution to the module's overall strength. Figure 3 shows a bar-graph view of only our adjusted global priorities for the criteria, and this is matched with the actual functionality in Figure 4.

Figure 3.

The only noticeably significant changes are in the cash management and accounts receivable criteria groups. In this case, cash management is simply not an area with many criteria so its score does not contribute much to the graph. Deltek, in fact, supports eleven of our sixteen criteria for scoring accounts receivable. Remaining criteria, such as calculation of expected cash resources and uses, the company makes available mostly through modifications.

Accounts receivable however, holds a large group of criteria that contribute to the graph and Deltek does support most of these criteria. The one area that affects the vendor's slightly lower result in this particular group is its lack of support for various credit and collections management functionality. According to Deltek more than half of the criteria in this section will be included in a future release.

Figure 4.


Like a number of ERP solutions, human resources (HR) functionality is not an area that the company emphasizes the most. Nevertheless, Deltek does support quite a few features for human resources. If your company requires certain HR functionality such as benefits, personnel management, payroll and data warehousing support, the Costpoint product would provide your required features. All things being equal, let's check, in Figure 5, on the areas that Deltek supports.

Figure 5.


Costpoint's results are high in a few areas, for example, it supports almost every criterion in the payroll group and anything not supported outright, Deltek can provide in the form of a modification.

Manufacturing Management

One area that contrasts against Deltek's other modules, is in the manufacturing management group of criteria. This group contains a variety of features with fluctuating ranges of support. Deltek emphasizes some features—but to the other extreme the company does not support certain groups of criteria at all. See Figure 6 below:

Figure 6.


We see a good deal of support for product costing and project management. The area that weakens the Deltek manufacturing management module's contribution is its lack of support for a product/item configurator. A product/item configurator would include functionality to ask, define, and then populate the attributes of a product for an individual customer. If your company needs to be able to determine if it can satisfy a customer's "to-order" requirements using a software tool during the order-entry process, this would present a problem for the Deltek system. It may not be important to your set of requirements, though another area that is not a strong point for the Deltek system, field service and repairs, might be important to consider.

Our group of criteria in field service and repairs covers a range of features, including call management, service order management, field service management, service contracts management, processing and statusing, and finally service training management. Of these groups, Deltek does already offer some service order management support and plans to increase this feature-set in a future release. You can expect the product data management group of criteria to increase its contribution toward the graph results in the future. Deltek is working on supporting many of the criteria in this group for a future release and those that are not currently supported are mostly offered through customization.

One of Deltek's strong points in its manufacturing management module is its product costing functionality. Costpoint has a strong purchasing management module. In fact, Deltek supports forty-seven of the forty-nine possible criteria we use to measure the module's functionality. Its reporting and interfacing functionality, in particular, would be well-suited for a company with such requirements.

Figure 7.


The main area in the graph (see Figure 7) that lessens some of the module's contribution to Costpoint's resulting scores is the repetitive vendor procurement group. In this case, Deltek has scheduled the criteria for support in a future release but it does not currently support that functionality.

Conclusion

As noted previously, Deltek's product technology area is one of the areas without much to contribute to the entire product score. This is mostly because it does not provide standard support for a lot of business or metadata modeling criteria. It does however, support multiple platforms and both Oracle and Microsoft database systems. Your company might be inclined to do more research on Costpoint if you require a well-supported financials module and a product that addresses, at various levels, a wide-variety of criteria.

 
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