Deltek digs deeper into EVM field

Firm uses acquisitions to capitalize on federal mandates to use EVM

New federal policies and practices have created a flood of new earned value management (EVM) users, offering opportunities and competition to software providers that have EVM tools and expertise.

One of those firms, Deltek, has established itself in the industry by providing EVM scheduling, cost and analysis capabilities.

Deltek has been around as a project costs systems provider since 1983. But in the past year, the company has expanded. In October 2005, it acquired competitor Wind2 Software, along with its 3,000 clients. In March, Deltek bought Welcom, adding Cobra cost-tracking and Open Plan scheduling programs to its offerings.

Deltek's 11,000 customers helped the compmany report $150 million in revenue last fiscal year. Last month, it acquired C/S Solutions, which will bring in 550 more clients, many of them federal EVM customers. Deltek will also gain some contractor clients, such as Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Pratt and Whitney, Sikorsky, and Bell Helicopter.

Deltek has added C/S Solutions' Winsight EVM analysis product, which the Defense Department has made a de facto standard for evaluating EVM data in the government sector. 'We are closing the loop between the various business elements within a project-based business of planning, measuring and controlling projects,' said Rick Lowrey, executive vice president of Deltek. Open Plan/Cobra is Winsight-compliant.

Deltek is competitive in both the contractor and government EVM markets. Companies can use Open Plan to schedule a project and Cobra to track project costs. Agencies can use Winsight to analyze the company's reported data.

Because many competitors feed data directly to Winsight, the negative impact on government EVM customers will be minimal, said Greg Humphries, president and chief executive officer of Humphries and Associates, an EVM consulting firm. But contractors may increasingly come to rely on Cobra as it becomes more intertwined with Winsight, he added.

Deltek is one of the few companies offering software that manages project schedules and costs and includes an analytical viewer.

'Because the DOD customer uses Winsight, the other competitors to Deltek would be crazy to disengage from its use,' Humphries said.

In the scheduling and cost arenas, Primavera Systems, based in Bala Cynwyd, Pa., is Deltek's main competitor. Microsoft Project, combined with Excel, is another competitor, but it hasn't fully entered the EVM market.

Deltek is looking at further expansion, with a goal of 'improving the prediction measurement and control of projects for our customers,' Lowrey said. 'EVM is such a key attribute to project life cycle management, we felt like that was part of our domain expertise that we needed to have.'

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