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Project-industry software                                progress delivered at  Iyno                          Deltek Insig...
A Better Way to Manage Change and Transitions in Project Manufacturingrequire committed IT and programming resources for e...
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Project Industry Software Progress - Deltek Insight 2012


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Jeffrey Hill visited Deltek's Insight 2012 Customer event and describes the big news: Touch, Kona, Cloud and Costpoint MES.

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Project Industry Software Progress - Deltek Insight 2012

  1. 1. Project-industry software progress delivered at Iyno Deltek Insight 2012 AdvisorsBy Jeffrey Hill, Iyno AdvisorsI recently attended the Deltek Insight 2012 Conference which was held from October 15 ththrough the 18th in Nashville at the Gaylord Opryland Resort. There were about 3,000attendees, including Deltek people, and Deltek put on a good show, even though therewasn’t a major release of their flagship project-based ERP product, Costpoint 7. This is notto say that there weren’t plenty of product announcements and demonstrations of productsthat connect with Costpoint. There were three products that caught my interest: DeltekTouch, Kona, and Costpoint MES.Touch: Deltek is clearly making a major commitment to mobility with Deltek Touch, aremote window into Costpoint running on an iPhone, iPad, Android smartphone or tablet.The first application announced for Deltek Touch is project time entry and reporting, whichis a familiar use of Costpoint for the many government contractors who use it for projectmanagement, project time entry and reporting. As you might guess, time reporting is thetip of the iceberg. Deltek’s goal is to use Deltek Touch as a way to access Costpointfunctionality without needing to be at desktop or a laptop with a web browser. Using amobile device for these tasks will make it much easier to enter time on contract or projectwork at any time of the day which might have the effect of increasing the accuracy ofproject accounting. Many conference attendees kept their conference schedules on theirsmartphones and tablets using Deltek’s conference app, and given the pervasive use ofmobile devices throughout the enterprise, I am quite sure that Deltek is headed in a theright direction with this approach. Deltek is offering Deltek Touch to Costpoint customers ona per-user, subscription basis.Kona: The second product of note was Kona, which is still in development. Kona has hadextensive use within Deltek, but this conference was the first time customers had a chanceto try it out. Kona is a collaboration web space that is free -- you don’t have to be a Deltekcustomer to use it. One you’ve set up an account and created a space, you and anyone youinvite into the space can access Kona from a web browser or a mobile device running aniPhone or Android app. Kona’s features right now are centered on collaboration, such assharing documents and holding informal conversations with other people. There are alsotask management and calendar features, so that a task could be assigned to people in yourspace.To be clear, Kona is a standalone application with no integration with Costpoint at this time.The Kona marketing people insisted that there will always be a free version of Kona, butthey also suggested that there may be a “pro” version of Kona that features integration withother Deltek products on a subscription basis someday. If this sounds a bit vague, it’sbecause Kona isn’t fully formed yet – the product is still in beta form. So, the question is:whither Kona? Kona’s idea of simple, ad hoc collaboration gets to the heart of the problemof collaboration – applications like SharePoint can be difficult for casual users and certainly© 2012 Iyno Advisors
  2. 2. A Better Way to Manage Change and Transitions in Project Manufacturingrequire committed IT and programming resources for enterprise deployment and use. So,open an account at, try Kona out, and keep an eye on Deltek for futuredevelopments.SaaS & Cloud: Deltek also talked about SaaS and cloud-based applications centered onCostpoint. This is an obvious direction for Deltek to take, as corporate acceptance and useof cloud services is rising rapidly. From my perspective, it also raises the possibility of acafeteria-style offering of Deltek’s software without the necessity of owning and maintainingan infrastructure, which would, I believe, be attractive to many more potential customersfrom a cost and resource standpoint.Costpoint MES: I’ve saved the best for last. Deltek took the wraps off Costpoint MES, aproduct designed to bring Deltek’s signature project and financial management capabilitiesto project manufacturing. MES is not a standalone application because data is stored inCostpoint. The MES product is aimed at complex project manufacturing environments andprovides features essential to reducing manual paperwork such as online documentation,work instructions, revision control and routing information. Two additional modules, ShopFloor and bar coding, further extend the benefits of MES to the shop floor environment,especially in the areas of reducing paperwork and providing up-to-date assembly and partinformation, all of which support lean manufacturing goals. According to Deltek, theyweren’t originally planning to publicize MES at the conference, but there was considerableinterest in the product from users, so they went ahead with it. Judging by the attendance atthe exposition booth and at the sessions presenting MES features and functionality, therewas serious interest from users in evaluating the product for their companies.The interest in MES is not surprising; my colleague Julie Fraser’s work over many yearsdemonstrates its value. Manufacturing is often managed by spreadsheets today, so havinga truly consistent central view helps – and this MES also helps enforce standard processesand the sign-offs required by customers and regulators. Project manufacturing is inherentlyuncertain, but MES provides visibility into the actual status. By integrating the plant wideMES functions in with the Costpoint project management, accounting, human capitalmanagement, sales, supply chain planning and government reporting, all disciplines in acompany can stay synchronized to serve customers more effectively.Company Conclusion: I had the opportunity to talk to a number of conference attendeesand most of them seemed happy with the overall product roadmap Deltek presented at thekeynote session. Deltek reassured their customers that their recent acquisition by privateequity company Thoma Bravo would signal no changes in product direction or companymanagement, but would help fund the future development of Deltek products. Underneaththe lighting pyrotechnics and insistent rock backbeat, which has become a required part ofcomputer conferences, is a company which is enthusiastic about its future direction whichseems to please both current and potential customers. Iyno Advisors Iyno Advisors combines experience, intuition, intellect, and research to focuses on how manufacturing and production companies and their network of partners can best benefit from software applications and services. +1 508.362.3480 PO Box 463 Cummaquid, MA 02637 USA© 2012 Iyno Advisors 2