Last week in Dallas Deltek’s customers and partners gathered for its annual user conference. As usual it was well attended and the audience was very enthusiastic. Deltek’s customers are some of the most loyal and vocal I’ve seen in the enterprise software business. While there were many product announcements with lot’s of new features and offerings, I want to focus on three things for this post; Kona, Acumen and Deltek’s move into and focus on the large enterprise.
Kona is a cloud based product I’ve written about before here. What’s new though, is the release of the enterprise edition and some interesting new capabilities. For personal use Kona remains free with some very generous terms; unlimited spaces, unlimited space members and 1 GB of storage per user. For the enterprise the Business Edition, which is priced at $10/user/month or $110/user/year, adds feature packed Premium Spaces, a private enterprise social network, 2 GB of storage per user, templates, reports, analytics, administration, APIs and widgets. Some of the enterprise features include: polling, file integration to Box, Dropbox, Google Drive and Microsoft Sharepoint links, and shared team tasks and calendar. Kona mobile, which has been out for awhile, continues to evolve and is available for both IOS and Android.
Projects are among the most social activities that a companies do on a regular basis. The lack of communication and collaboration tools and processes is a high contributor to projects failing to meet expectations. A social collaborative tool like Kona is invaluable to the routine execution of project work and goes way beyond the traditional project “management” tools in individual and team capabilities. In addition to the value as a project execution tool, it can also provide a platform for employee collaboration by establishing an ESN backbone and integrating to other collaborative tools.
From an IT perspective the Kona Business edition adds critical management and security features while providing a consumer-like user experience. The management tools provide the capabilities to manage members, administrators, spaces and data through a permissions based model, providing necessary security and privacy controls. The admin tools also provide control over storage and backups.
One of the other reasons projects get into trouble is insufficient planning and risk management. Recently Deltek acquired Acumen, a company that provides a set of project tools to facilitate more effective project planning by providing a clearer picture of project risks. The Acumen suite of project tools provide a library of metrics that can be used to diagnose and resolve project schedule issues, complete project risk and analysis tools as well as tools to support advanced project analytics. Within the suite there are scenario based scheduling tools that help project managers “what-if” schedule change ideas and work out the more effective plan changes. Combined with Kona, the two offer a very unique project execution solution set. Currently they operate independently but there are plans to integrate the two for an even more powerful solution set.
Deltek has generally targeted customers that range from mid-size firms to department and divisions in larger companies. This is shifting though, through a company wide initiative that has resulted in an enterprise focused go to market team. Deltek’s solutions have proven to be quite scalable and effective for a broad range of companies and industries, with a broad portfolio of products. In the large enterprise they are gaining traction and recently closed a full SRP solution deal for a very large European IT consulting organization (the name is NDA for now, but should be public shortly) where the team / products beat out short listed larger vendors SAP and Microsoft.
Deltek continues to grow its cloud portfolio and expand its overall product offerings through both acquisition and organic development. It has also moved to adjacent industries from its traditional industry verticals of government contracting, architectural and engineering and professional services to industries like project manufacturing and PR/Marketing/Advertising.
(Cross-posted @ Michael Fauscette)