April 24, 2006
Deltek Vision Small Business Offers a Vision to Small A/E Firms
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Susan Smith - Managing Editor

by Susan Smith - Managing Editor
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Welcome to AECWeekly! Deltek has been in the business of providing solutions for small and large A/E firms for many years. As a result of that experience, its most recent offering, Vision Small Business, is a pre-configured solution designed specifically for small businesses and based on their experience. This product also applies expertise from the Wind 2 FMS product team (Wind 2 was
acquired in November 2005).

AECWeekly is a news magazine featuring important industry news profiles, a summary of recently published AEC product and company news, customer wins, and coming events. Brought to you by AECCafe.

AECWeekly examines select top news each week, picks out worthwhile reading from around the web, and special interest items you might not find elsewhere. This issue will feature Industry News, Acquisitions/Alliances/Agreements, Announcements, Contract Awards, Awards, New Products, Around the Web and Upcoming Events.

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Industry News

Deltek Vision Small Business Offers a Vision to Small A/E Firms

by Susan Smith

Deltek has been in the business of providing solutions for small and large A/E firms for many years. As a result of that experience, its most recent offering, Vision Small Business, is a pre-configured solution designed specifically for small businesses and based on their experience. This product also applies expertise from the Wind 2 FMS product team (Wind 2 was
acquired in November 2005).

Eric Brehm, executive vice president of Herndon, Virg.-based Deltek, said that the advent of Vision Small Business stems from their work with smaller firms that began in 2002. “With Vision, somewhere around 25% of the 1,000 firms that have already adopted Vision are firms that we would consider smaller firms, of under 50 employees.” For the 250 smaller firms that are already Vision customers, Deltek developed a series of best practices, based upon what those users experience with the product was. “From that experience we have put together a solution that is specifically geared for smaller firms, that includes packaging of the product in an easy to implement, out of the
box solution,” Brehm said. “Both product and a set of services are geared toward what a small firm would need out of the product. So a 30 person firm can get all the power of Vision that a 1,000-2,000 firm gets out of it, but they get it from a solution that is out of the box and easy to implement.”

What do smaller firms need specifically? After working with thousands of small firms, Brehm said that they know the best type of structure for that type of firm. “With Vision Small Business we recognize that small businesses set up their structures, account structure, and security roles in a certain fashion. We've developed certain practices around those structures. Rather than setting all those up on a one off basis for each individual firm, we put all that together in a single solution so it's easier to implement. We can set it up and walk in the door and most of the structure is already set up for the firm, and they can be up and running. In addition to the implementation services
that we provide geared around the needs of smaller firms, knowing which modules they typically implement, how they implement them, we also have some other new offerings, one of which is a hosting offering. If you're a smaller firm and you don't want the responsibility of installing Vision Small Business on a server or servers within your offices, we can host it for you, rather than you buying that equipment and having people to support it. You are paying a monthly service fee to have it hosted by Deltek.”

This is a new offering that customers have just begun to embrace. For these customers, their core competency is designing buildings or engineering bridges, and Brehm said they don't generally have core competency in setting up networks and infrastructure. “We can take that responsibility away from them, get them up and running in a day with access to the system, but in just weeks, we can get the full system implemented.”

Having it hosted removes the technical infrastructure component; it doesn't take any more or less work for the actual implementation when you're hosted, according to Brehm. “The implementation is more about deciding how you're going to utilize the product, getting the appropriate folks trained on how you utilize the appropriate portions of the product.”

The learning curve on Vision Small Business is quite short and dependent upon what part of application you're going to use. “If you're a power user of the product responsible for doing the billing, accounts payable, etc. there's more training,” Brehm pointed out. “If you're coming off one of Deltek's other systems, the training is minimal. For core accounting people, i.e. project managers, principals, and other operational folks around the company, the training's pretty minimal. They are using parts of the system that are extremely easy to use and aren't process oriented. We have programs where they get trained in no more than a day for casual users.”

Dave Marvin, former CEO of Wind 2 is leading Deltek's effort to launch Deltek Vision Small Business. Wind 2 has had a great deal of expertise and success with smaller firms in the A/E community.

Deltek has a history of acquiring popular companies, such as Harper & Shuman in 1998. Harper & Shuman's flagship product, Advantage, has morphed into Deltek Advantage and 3,000 clients still use it. The same type of integration has taken place with Wind 2's FMS being fully supported by Deltek (now Deltek FMS), and integrated into Vision and Vision Small Business.

“We also give our client base the choice of moving to Vision and we have automated utilities to help with that process, to move their data from whichever product they are on to the Vision product,” said Brehm.

About ½ of the 1,000 firms that have adopted Vision so far have come from another Deltek product, including those moving from FMS.


Fakespace Systems Inc. announced that it is working with Lockheed Martin and the U.S. Army's Command and Control Directorate at Fort Monmouth, New Jersey in support of research in the Directorate's C4ISR Automated Virtual Environment and ROVR laboratories. C4ISR, which stands for Command Control Communications Computers Intelligence Surveillance Reconnaissance, is an initiative in support of the U.S. Army's command and control operations. Fakespace has delivered reconfigurable and portable visualization systems and is providing Fakespace's Conduit software enhancement and application development services as part of the Lockheed Martin team.

Avatech Solutions, Inc., provider of design and engineering, product lifecycle management, and facilities management solutions, and Autodesk Consulting have joined forces to provide outstanding services to several high profile clients, including Marnell Corrao Associates, HMC Architects, Parsons Brinckerhoff, Leo A Daly, and Mercedes Homes.


Research and Markets has announced the addition of Architects Offices - Industry Profile to their offering.

Brief Excerpt from Industry Overview Chapter:

The US architecture industry includes about 17,000 firms, with combined annual revenue of $20 billion. The industry is highly fragmented: only about a hundred firms, like Hellmuth-Obata-Kassabaum, Daniel-Mann, and Gensler, have annual revenue over $100 million. The typical architecture firm has ten employees and annual revenue of $1 million.

Bentley Systems, Incorporated announced that registration is now open for
BE Conference 2006, to be held at the Charlotte Convention Center in North Carolina, May 21-25.

The BE Conference is an annual gathering of Bentley software users and their managers who want to sharpen their skills and expand their knowledge. Attendees better themselves, better their organizations, and better the ways they can improve the world's infrastructure. Year after year, BE Conference scores a 99 percent satisfaction rating among attendees.

The Blue Book, in conjunction with its affiliate partner Quest Solutions, has taken another significant stride towards bridging the gap between buyers and sellers in the construction industry.

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