The 2016 Deltek Insight conference was held in the Washington DC area this year at the end of November. As with prior years, the conference was full of content that made it worth the trip. One of the biggest benefits I get from these conferences is interacting with other users of the Deltek suite and seeing/hearing what they struggle with and take advantage of. This year was no different and included some good presentations by users. The biggest thing I took away from this year’s conference was around the direction of the overall Deltek Project Management Suite.
This was the first year that I came away from the conference feeling that the talk of an integrated project controls ecosystem had some real action behind it. It’s a topic that has been around since Deltek started purchasing some of the “Best in Breed” (to use a throwback term) but until this year’s conference there wasn’t a lot of visible traction. The entertainment seemed fitting as a farewell nod to the 90’s concept of Best In Breed with the lead band being a jam session of Sugar Ray, Better Than Ezra and Tonic leads opening for the trending LOCASH.
The Four key takeaways from the conference were:
- Consolidation of the PPM tools – There is a concentered effort to make all the PPM tools look and feel like each other. This trend looks like it will continue as the different parts of the tools continue to become more and more tightly integrated. The initial emphasis is on the look and feel of the tools, but there are tighter integrations in the works.
- MPM to Cobra Migration should be coming in 2017. While long expected, the migration of MPM users to Cobra looks like it will become a reality in the next year. With some key changes in the Cobra interface over the last year smoothing the learning curve between the tools converting users from MPM to Cobra will become a reality. Look for the pace of conversations to pick up in 2017 as the barriers to converting are pulled down with the latest updates to the Cobra tool.
- Acumen Suite is expanding its footprint to include the newer DCMA data driven metrics to streamline their Contractor Surveillance. Building on the capabilities of Acumen to define complex metrics and analyze large amounts of data quickly, Deltek is building the new metrics into Acumen libraries. To facilitate the analysis there will be changes in Cobra, specifically, to ensure the proper data is captured at its source to be fed into the Acumen engine. It is still to be seen when the new data driven metrics will become commonplace, but based on what was shown at Insight, Deltek will be in a good position to support their users to meet the data call.
- PM Compass (PMC) is also getting into the common look and feel too with updates to their icons, menu options and ribbons. The updates help present a more seamless feel to the tools as you move from one to the other. In fact, one comment I heard talking to audience members was they lost track what application they were in…from my take a good thing!
In addition to the look and feel improvements in PMC the big news was the integration with Microsoft Project Server allowing for users of PMC to status their Server files directly from within the PMC interface. The improvements represents a step forward to the ultimate goal of having your team have a one stop store for all of their project controls interactions. With PMC’s process tracking the opportunities to build an environment of constant improvement look attractive.
We’re looking forward to seeing what Deltek has in store next year as they continue to move down this path of consolidating product’s look and feel. As a Deltek Partner we’re excited about the opportunities this move brings to the market. See you next year in Nashville!