Friday Feb 05, 2016

The Fourth Dimension Has Arrived

By: Garrett Harley, Director, Engineering & Construction Strategy, Oracle Primavera

Making sense of the BIG picture

It’s a construction manager’s nightmare. Once work starts on site, it’s blatantly obvious the plans are flawed. Calls to architects and engineers might be able to resolve the issue, but what does this mean for materials, building products, subcontractors and specialists? Implications for all of these resources need to be considered in the light of the new redesign and even, throughout the project.

The arrival and popularity of building information modelling (BIM) is helping to make light of this situation. Redesigns can be considered on screen rather than onsite, on paper. What’s more, the consequences for materials and products can also be calculated.

BIM has been around for a few years, but now it’s entering the new dimension. This means that as well as three spatial orientations, the software also maps out how construction will progress through time – and it while accounting for the financial dimension too – it really delivers the BIG picture.

But BIM isn’t everything

To manage a whole project from start to finish, and through to operator handover and ongoing maintenance, BIM needs to be extended and integrated.

Construction and engineering managers need to map and display the embedded construction schedule on to the 3D model. They need to verify personnel clearances and spot any design incompatibilities. Another challenge is that construction contractors are investing in standalone BIM systems which need to be integrated with other enterprise systems, including ERP, supply chain and financial management.

Oracle makes all these systems, as well as producing project management software which can keep huge organizational projects on track. Bringing BIM into this environment can put construction managers in a better place when planning and executing building projects. And with the data managed in the Master Data Management platform it means that as changes are made throughout the project and at speed – it means you can visualize all the interconnected outcomes.

To discover more, read our latest business brief.

Thursday Jan 14, 2016

When The Unexpected Strikes

By: Krista Lambert, Director, Engineering & Construction Strategy, Oracle Primavera

Tales of the Unexpected

Expect the unexpected. That’s a mantra every construction manager could do with heeding. But it’s easier said than done. The one thing we don’t want is the unexpected.

The bigger the project the harder it seems to keep it on track. In the US, the Big Dig, which involved rerouting and tunnelling Boston’s Central Artery to the heart of the city centre, was set to be finished by 1998. In December 2007 the project was finally finished, with a cost overrun of 190 percent at $14.6 billion, much of which was attributed to unexpected changes.

Such is the complexity of these mega-projects it’s tempting to think that overruns and cost inflation are inevitable. Certainly change is unavoidable in a project of this scale and length. But how you manage change, can make a big difference.

Preparing for change

In a recent Economist Intelligence Unit survey of 300 executives in asset-intensive industries like construction, more than 60 percent blamed unexpected change for at least half of all project overruns. More than half of respondents rank their organizations as average or below average at anticipating change (55 percent), measuring the impact of change after its implemented (55 percent) and making contingency plans to accommodate potential change (51 percent).

There is clearly room for improvement. The question is, what can be done about it? Enterprise project portfolio management software can now track and aggregate all sorts of data vital to complex projects. This helps project managers map out “what if” scenarios to assess the impact of possible changes before they happen, and figure out how much to invest in mitigating these risks. Data can be shared with all internal and external stakeholders. It can also be extracted and integrated from ERP, finance and other enterprise systems.

Managing change has always been tough, but now there are tools to help. Ignoring them could simply lead to digging a bigger hole.

To discover more, read our latest business brief.

Monday Dec 14, 2015

Discover the latest version of Oracle's Instantis EnterpriseTrack and EnterpriseTrack Mobile

Oracle's Instantis EnterpriseTrack is the leading, cloud-optimized enterprise project portfolio management (PPM) software used to improve strategy execution and financial performance through better work and resource management.

Join us for our webcast and live Q&A to learn about significant improvements in the 15.2 version.
Register Now . [Read More]

Tuesday Dec 08, 2015

The Risks of ‘Word of Mouth’

By: Garrett Harley, Director, Engineering & Construction Strategy, Oracle Primavera

Where’s Bob?

When a kitchen appliance isn’t behaving as it should, it’s best to consult the manual. That’s if you can find it. In the digital, searchable, online world, it is easy to forget how much valuable information is hidden away. Until someone really needs it.

Multiply this problem by thousands and the difficulties in the maintenance of large capital assets become clear. Information needed by maintenance engineers might be in the architect’s drawings, the engineer’s calculations or in any documents from thousands of suppliers. It might be in the notepad of Bob, who heads up electrical engineering, his team made some changes to the set-up of the security schematics. Where is he? And where is the information?

The problem is that it might even have been mentioned in any number of project meetings and even the handover meetings between the construction contractors and the owner-operators. But where was the information captured?

With many different specialists (Bob#1, Bob#2, Bob#3, etc) working on a single capital asset, information gets stuck behind ‘tribal’ boundaries and sits in silos. Bob’s scenario is all too frequent and the complexity throughout the project lifecycle is magnified.

A lack of clear, consolidated, searchable data on components, materials and construction techniques can making maintaining buildings highly inefficient. It also creates a risk of the building being poorly maintained. Mistakes here lead to costly reactive work further down the road. It’s not a good place to be.

But there are better ways to manage the hand-over of large-scale capital assets. There are tools available that allow the main contractors to capture all the data in a coherent but flexible workflow. With so many people involved in a large project, keeping track of all the adjustments – it can make maintenance a lot easier, creating massive savings in the lifetime cost of the asset and more to the point – fewer ‘where’s Bob’ moments.

To discover more, read our latest business brief.

Thursday Dec 03, 2015

Optimize Maintenance Operations to Reduce Operating Costs

by Guy Barlow, Director, Industy Strategy,  Oracle

The impact of maintenance on the bottom line has never been greater. By skimping on maintenance, you run the risk of increased downtime and decreased revenue generation.

Millions of dollars and the success or failure of critical projects are on the line every time a skilled craftsman lays a wrench on an important piece of machinery.

Similarly, maintenance is tasked with keeping equipment running longer and more efficiently as the combination of an aging infrastructure and many new plants coming online challenge a diminishing maintenance work force.

As a result, maintenance and reliability teams are being asked to do more with less.

Read more....

[Read More]

Tuesday Nov 24, 2015

The Benefits of Moving to Cloud PPM

To stay ahead in today’s competitive landscape, business units demand access to innovation. They want it fast, and they want it now. But increasingly, IT groups can’t keep up with rapid advancements in technology. In fact, the No. 1 problem facing IT departments today is nonstop demand, according to research firm Gartner. Demand for more capabilities, faster connection to the Internet, more computing capability, storage, networking and human resources is increasing at a rapid rate, with no let-up in sight.

Businesses that want a competitive edge today are moving to the cloud to keep pace with innovation. Right now, more than 360,000 projects are being managed in Oracle’s Primavera cloud, representing $250 billion in project budgets managed each year.

These companies know that moving software to the cloud can bridge the growing gap between current software and the newest versions while raising the bar on performance. Overloaded IT personnel have the help of trained professionals and can focus on keeping the business satisfied. Updates are regularly scheduled, all the newest capabilities are available and handled by the service provider, and security is ensured as partners and contractors access systems to collaborate on projects.

Cloud computing yields substantial economies of scale and skill, while lowering costs, according to The Hurwitz Group. The total cost of ownership of running software in the cloud can be 77% less than on-premise, according to the Yankee Group.

Still not convinced? Oracle’s Primavera P6 Enterprise Project Portfolio Management Cloud Service offers even more benefits to moving to a SaaS model.

A Platform for Business Agility

Cloud services allow companies to take advantage of world-class infrastructure and a much more robust IT environment than what most currently have in house.

The cloud infrastructure supports high speed, load balanced environments, which means companies can quickly scale up or scale down without over- or under-utilizing their investment spend on servers. It also guarantees system availability of more than 99%.

Primavera spends over a million hours of development effort every year to quickly bring new capabilities to users. Of course, it would be nearly impossible to consume all those updates in house while tackling other IT responsibilities. With cloud services, you can upgrade seamlessly to make sure you’re always on the latest version and can take advantage of new capabilities.

Primavera schedules two releases every year for its flagship Primavera P6 PPM suite -- in the fall and spring – so you can plan on innovative functional enhancements being introduced at a regular cadence. If you’re in the middle of a project or a critical issue and want to hold off, Primavera’s cloud team can schedule the upgrade to match your schedule.

Enhanced Support and Best Practices

Cloud services take a lot of pressure off IT departments when it comes to break-fixes, uptime and best practices. In the cloud, Oracle is responsible for your success. Subscription models replace upfront license fees, so Oracle’s entire business model of recurring revenue is dependent upon customers’ satisfaction and usage. They’ll work hard to make sure you stay.

Companies can also keep up with best practices by taking advantage of the cloud’s staging environment. Here they can test new software before moving it into production.

Taking the Plunge

Moving to the cloud may seem daunting, but Primavera’s team of professionals can do most of the work for you.

Scalability – When you’ve decided on Primavera P6 EPPM as a service, a team of Primavera’s most seasoned developers is the first to start work. The team’s highly skilled pros are responsible for sizing and configuration options to ensure you’re going to get the optimal solution.

Security – There’s always some nervousness when thinking of moving corporate data to the cloud. The Primavera cloud uses a single tenant model. That means only a single instance of a software application and supporting infrastructure serves one customer. They set up an environment that is solely used for you.

Security extends to third-party interactions, even using mobile devices. Projects almost always involve stakeholders outside the company, and information is constantly imported and exported into systems. With cloud services, you don’t have to worry about giving access to third parties into your network. In the cloud, project leaders can confidently roll out mobile solutions and give third parties access to networks because Oracle is managing the security.

Cost – When considering a move to the cloud, companies often compare only the costs of a cloud subscription fee with the cost of on-premise software, but there are other costs to consider. When calculating costs, think about annual maintenance costs of on-premise software, yearly costs for maintenance on databases and middleware, hardware and networking costs, and floor space for hosting servers.

The Primavera P6 EPPM Cloud Solution

Primavera P6 Enterprise Project Portfolio Management Cloud Service includes Primavera P6 Professional - the desktop client, Primavera P6 Web Interfaces for project and resource management, Primavera P6 Team Member -- the solutions that lets staff enter status updates via mobile devices from the field, Oracle BI Publisher -- the reporting engine embedded in the Web, and Web Services.

Also enabled with Primavera P6 Cloud Service are Oracle BPM for workflow requirements, and Oracle’s AutoVue for in-depth collaboration with technical and business documents without the need for CAD tools.

Companies can also add on Primavera Analytics for deep reporting. Cloud functionality with this solution is identical to on-premise functionality, with no difference in the interface.

Conclusion

Today’s business pressures have IT departments overwhelmed and make it tough to keep up with software upgrades. Updating requires time, purchases, resources and money that many IT departments don’t have. Some have even settled into the status quo and have postponed upgrades to avoid disruptions or maybe even failures.

As the years go by, that gap widens between older versions and the newest software features – making updates even more elusive – at least until something major breaks, and you can’t avoid the problem any longer.

Moving to the cloud can solve these problems. Leading companies already know that moving Primavera P6 to the cloud gives them access to Oracle’s world-class infrastructure, guarantees timely updates, provides all of the features of Primavera P6, frees up IT staff and saves money.

Don’t fall into the upgrade void. Bridge the gap by moving to the cloud.

Friday Nov 13, 2015

Join us for Primavera Day, coming in your area

Join Oracle for this exclusive customer briefing and learn all about Primavera’s latest solutions directly from Oracle’s executive team.

Primavera provides organizations of all sizes, across industries and regions with a global business foundation that reduces costs and increases productivity through a portfolio of rapid value, integrated and industry-focused solutions available on premise and in the Cloud.

Attend this event and get the information you need to actively evaluate plans for moving to the latest release, leverage the power of the Cloud and mobile applications, — and find out how  Primavera Cloud can further improve your business. 

 Find out more at   http://bit.ly/PrimaveraCloudDay

Wednesday Nov 11, 2015

Stop Wasting My Time

By: Krista Lambert, Director, Engineering & Construction Strategy, Oracle Primavera

Make better bids, win better work

The average engineering and construction firm only wins one in every four bids for capital asset projects. For a $1 billion company, that’s around $75 million wasted on failed bids every year.

The industry has always worked this way, and some executives will justify the waste as a cost of doing business. But there is another way of looking at it.

Given the costs, it’s no surprise that engineering and construction businesses are picky about the jobs they bid for. The question is, whether they can target more profitable work, improve their chances of winning each bid, or launch more bids with fewer resources? The answer is they can do all three.

Unlocking the value of knowledge

In geographically dispersed businesses, bids are managed autonomously by local teams. Valuable experience and knowledge is often lost to the rest of the organization. This might be based on analysis of opportunities in the marketplace, costings for materials, researching the supply base or understanding a potential client’s wants and needs. There’s a huge opportunity to pool this knowledge across the organization and improve bid quality while lowering cost.

Currently, too many organizations are comfortable with a lack of collaboration which leads to errors and omissions, increasing costs and lowering the chances of success. But tools exist that can ensure data is shared throughout the organization, and readily available to anyone who needs it. And when you’re bidding for new jobs, knowledge is not only power. It’s also profit.

To discover more, read our latest business brief.

Monday Nov 02, 2015

New Report Finds Top Travel and Transportation Companies Use Project Portfolio Management to Gain a Competitive Edge

A new study by the Aberdeen Group reports that leaders in the travel and transportation industry distinguish themselves from less-successful peers by excelling at selecting and managing complex projects. Get your copy of the report and discover Aberdeen’s five steps for enabling transformative projects in travel and transportation infrastructure organizations.

Read More

[Read More]

Monday Oct 26, 2015

Public Sector Focus: Smart Cities Initiatives Benefit from Project Portfolio Management

In September 2015, the US government pledged US$160 million in new funding as part of a sprawling smart cities initiative. Oracle Director, Industry Strategy and Business Development Guy Barlow explains how public sector agencies throughout the world can derive the most value from large-scale infrastructure investments while mitigating risk.

[Read More]
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