In November I got a chance to catch up with Deltek, a company that pretty much coined the term “project-based ERP.” It is a company that develops and delivers enterprise software and information solutions for project-based businesses. My last real interaction had been back in 2010 when the company acquired Maconomy. Since then a lot has happened. It has:
- Expanded globally, led primarily by Maconomy’s strength in Europe
- Acquired Acumen and its set of tools to facilitate project planning, along with performance risk analysis
- Moved three of its products to the cloud: Vision and Maconomy (although both are still available on-premise), and most recently Costpoint
- Almost doubled in size and has gone private
- Acquired Sohnar and its Traffic LIVE cloud-based resource planning solution for creative marketing communications agencies
- Acquired Axium, bringing A&E solutions to smaller, non-government organizations
- Gone mobile with Maconomy Touch
- Gone social with Kona project collaboration tools
- Introduced a new user experience including Maconomy Navigator
- Launched a new, cloud-based next generation CRM to power the front office of project-based businesses
All these activities bode well for Deltek to continue its growth, bolstered by what Mint Jutras sees as tremendous opportunity for project-oriented software. The Mint Jutras 2014 ERP Solution Study captured the “top five” areas survey respondents were most likely to invest in next. Project Management ranked #1 overall with 22% of almost 800 respondents selecting project management.
But it is project-based businesses that present the most opportunity for Deltek. These project-based businesses span a wide range of industries, from project-based manufacturing like aerospace and defense (A&D), to architectural and engineering (A&E) firms, to professional services organizations (PSO) to marketing communications agencies. While these businesses all share a common thread of projects, they are actually very different types of businesses. And Deltek has different products to address each.
As Deltek continues to grow, expanding both geographically and also stretching the boundaries of its solutions, the trick will be to effectively scale its business. Each of its products addresses a different type of project-based business, so product road maps need to be tailored to individual industry needs. At the same time Deltek would be well advised to leverage certain tools such as Kona and CRM across multiple product lines to better leverage its development efforts across different product lines and different segments of its customer base.