Bristol Bay Shared Services Turns to Deltek Costpoint In the Cloud to Support Growth and Provide Stability

June 09, 2022
An interview with Patrick Patterson, President and CEO and Jennifer Gentry, Senior Business Analyst, Bristol Bay Shared Services

Established in 2005, Bristol Bay Shared Services, LLC (BBSS) located in Huntsville, Alabama, provides back office support Bristol Bay Native Corporation (BBNC), an Alaska Native Corporation. Today, BBSS has over 3,000 employees, supports over 60 entities with cost-efficient shared solutions, and maintains a strong relationship within the government contracting community. BBSS made the move to Deltek’s Costpoint GovCon Cloud to help support their company’s growth strategy and overcome IT challenges they experienced when originally hosting Costpoint on premise and then with a third-party hosting provider. Moving to Costpoint GovCon Cloud enabled BBSS to realize the benefits of a cloud based deployment model while having confidence in the service and support they receive from Deltek experts.

Tremendous Growth, Increasing Challenges

"Back in 2005 when the Shared Services organization was created,” says Patrick Patterson, President and CEO of BBSS, “we were just the third entity in the BBNC group. We were running Deltek Costpoint on premise and we were continuing to grow, adding a fourth entity and then a fifth and then many more over the years.” As BBSS continued to grow and add more entities the stress on internal systems grew as well. It wasn’t even just growth that exposed the issues of trying to successfully maintain servers on premise ─ in 2011, it was an act of nature! “We had a tornado rip through Huntsville causing extensive damage, knocking out power for a week or so, which meant our phones were down, our timekeeping was down including our reporting tool (Costpoint),” said Patterson. Despite eventually getting a generator and the power back, it wasn’t easy to get systems up and running. It was at this time, that BBSS decided to enlist a third party to better support their on premise solution.

New Host, More Challenge

For almost a decade, BBSS remained on premise with the support of a third-party hosting on their servers, and hoping to alleviate some of the challenges they had with maintaining their servers on their own. In 2019, however, the ongoing challenges the third-party provider was unable to resolve were taking a toll on the business. Jennifer Gentry, Senior Business Analyst at Bristol Bay describes it as a difficult time, “if the environment was down for a period of time, we had users all over the country struggling to manage all aspects of their projects. We're not centralized in one location since we support so many different employees across the United States. So trying to operate with these persistent challenges was very hard for us.”

Recognizing a Change was Needed

As growth continued and stability issues increased, including required daily restarts, issues with server nodes, challenges with closing support tickets and overall lack of skilled resources to troubleshoot the issues, it became increasingly clear BBSS needed a different system to support their growing government contracting business. “We started asking around and hearing that moving to the cloud could be an option for us,” says Gentry. "In the beginning, we never even considered a cloud solution. Financially, we thought it was going to be too expensive. But the more we talked to Deltek we realized, this is something we can do and would be a good solution for us.” BBSS knew they needed a trusted cloud-based solution that could handle the complexities unique to their project-based business.

Patterson shares that in addition to financial considerations there were several key factors that went into their evaluation and decision to choose Deltek Costpoint GovCon Cloud. Most critical of these considerations being Deltek’s knowledge and expertise that would allow for the improved performance, greater ability to scale as needed, robust customer support and the stability they required. “Deltek develops their own software, they are known throughout the industry, and they know how their solutions work best, so we felt confident going with a proven leader,” said Patterson.

"We met with the Deltek team at one of the local Huntsville user group meetings and they were willing to come talk to us, one on one, when we were thinking about the Deltek Cloud as a solution. It helped to have the team in-house talking us through the issues we were experiencing. They came in and said, we understand, we can identify how to help you resolve those issues,” added Gentry.


"Deltek Costpoint also helps us remain compliant with all of our operations. It helps with the government's oversight too. When they see our system, it has established credibility. It's very nice that it comes credentialed with the system."

– Patrick Patterson, President and CEO


An Experienced Partner Guides the Way

After analyzing the issues, understanding that the financial investment would help reduce costs over time, and reviewing the many benefits of the Deltek Cloud, from stability, improved performance, ability to scale, compliance, security, and a strong customer support system, BBSS saw that the Deltek Cloud was the right solution.

In 2020, BBSS started implementation with Deltek partner, Infotek. "The implementation went smoothly and Infotek was key in making that happen. They were very familiar with our existing environment and our structure, which was very helpful,” explains Gentry.

Benefits of the Deltek Cloud

Among numerous benefits, communication turned out to be an important one after making the move to the Deltek Cloud, says Gentry. "Now we get notices all the time if there's a big update happening or if we're going to be upgraded or changes that are coming through our system. ­­­We're excited to be getting upgraded to Costpoint 8.1 and have known about it for a while. Knowing in advance helps us prepare and ensure we are ready for any changes." She adds, "Deltek also lets us update in the test environment before we go into production. It's nice to have that opportunity to work around the changes that are coming.”

BBSS is also thankful for the support they’ve received since moving to the Deltek Cloud. “The Deltek team is very responsive, and they take care of us, says Patterson. We talk individually with our support team. When something time-sensitive comes up, it’s been nice to be able to tap into Select Care, so we can get things accomplished quickly. The online system is also great; we've used the chat boxes a lot for general questions. And now that we have so many users, it's nice to give them access to go in for basic functionality questions, open up a chat and get support there when we need it.”

Additional Benefits of the Deltek Cloud

From improved performance to working with a true partner, throughout the process BBSS also discovered some additional benefits with the Deltek Cloud, including the power of CMI ─ Costpoint’s content management integration. “We knew it was part of our Cloud when we implemented it, but at first we didn't pay attention to it. We've since implemented a lot of that across the enterprise and it's been a huge success for us,” says Patterson.

In addition, Gentry mentioned, “It has also been great seeing how Deltek is listening to our needs, trying to understand our environment and how we're structured and then figuring out what we can do and how we can make the system best work for us. Any time I have an issue or concern or am trying to find the best solution, they're willing to listen and try to understand where we are and where we need to go.”

"Deltek Costpoint also helps us remain compliant with all of our operations. It helps with the government's oversight too, says Patterson. "When they see our system, it has established credibility. It's very nice that it comes credentialed with the system.”

Patterson says there is no question moving to the Deltek Cloud has proven to be the right decision for Bristol Bay, “It has been very successful for us.” As for the future, Patterson shares they are in the middle of implementing Costpoint’s Contract Management module which will be brand new for BBSS. They’re also looking at adding inventory control functionality down the road as they begin to support more commercial based businesses. 


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About Bristol Bay

Bristol Bay Shared Services, LLC (BBSS) was initiated in August 2005. Since the inception of BBSS, its customers have had tremendous success in contracting with local, state, and federal governments. Bristol Bay Shared Services, LLC is a subsidiary of Bristol Bay Native Corporation, an Alaska Native Corporation with operations in government services, construction, industrial services, and tourism.