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.

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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.

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Thursday Oct 22, 2015

Swinerton Elevates Project Controls and Collaboration with Primavera Cloud

By: Yasser Mahmud, vice president industry strategy and business development, Primavera Global Business Unit, Oracle

Swinerton Builders, a construction and construction management services company operating throughout the Western United States, has been building excellence for more than 125 years. That is no small feat in the engineering and construction sector, where volatility is the norm and competition is consistently fierce.

Innovation has been fundamental to the company’s success, whether through its 100 percent employee-ownership model, focus on green building initiatives (which have garnered numerous awards), or the creation of its Center for Excellence in Project Delivery, designed to help the company adopt advanced construction technology even faster.

Most recently, Swinterton embraced innovation in the form of the cloud and Oracle’s Primavera enterprise project portfolio management (EPPM) platform to bring project controls, collaboration, and client satisfaction to a whole new level. Mike Murphy, corporate manager of project controls, Swinerton Builders, recently shared the company’s cloud journey in an exclusive webcast. There is a lot of talk about cloud and project portfolio management, and I think Swinerton’s story offers some valuable information and lessons that can help break through the noise.

So why cloud for EPPM? Based on its experience with Oracle’s Primavera P6 Enterprise Project Portfolio Management Cloud Service, here are Swinerton’s top five reasons:

  1. Extend collaboration and project controls across the business. A single repository for all project-related data provides stakeholders with access to real-time data, supports continuous improvement and best-practices adoption across the company, and eliminates cumbersome, paper-based spreadsheets. It also enables them to establish enterprisewide standards. The company now has a complete and accurate picture of project performance and supports consistency across the firm using standards, which include codes and templates.
  2. Gain new visibility into and control over critical projects. Key stakeholders—including project owners—can instantly check the progress of active projects, accessing up-to-the-minute information from their mobile devices as well as PCs and laptops. In addition, Swinerton executives can view critical data for all construction projects in progress across all divisions from a single screen, providing unprecedented insight.
  3. Scale up system users quickly and cost-effectively to match construction sector growth and project demand. The group can add users in minutes, with the confidence that the process is managed by a world-class IT support organization, while avoiding additional on-premises hardware investment. The flexible, cost-effective model also enables Swinerton to roll out the solution to more stakeholders, such as partners and project owners, which widens visibility and collaboration while accelerating decision-making.
  4. EPPM innovation. Right now. Swinerton gets instant access to the latest functionality, empowering users with the most up-to-date capabilities.
  5. Get out of the IT business, and put the focus back on what Swinerton does best—engineering and construction. The cloud solution alleviates strain on IT as it reduces the need to coordinate support for the application with the technology that sits below it.

To learn more about Swinerton Builders’ move to Primavera cloud, check out the full webcast with Mike Murphy and Garrett Harley, director, engineering and construction strategy, Oracle Primavera. And if you haven’t already, be sure to register for a Primavera Day event in your area and get additional information about Primavera cloud, including Primavera P6 Cloud, Primavera Unifier Cloud and more.

Monday Oct 19, 2015

Gain a Cloud Advantage: Maximize Your Investment in Primavera P6 Enterprise Project Portfolio Management

From lower costs to quicker time to value and faster access to the newest functional enhancements and technical advancements from Oracle, your organization can benefit from moving to Oracle’s Primavera subscription-based cloud solutions. A new webcast details the benefits of the new offerings.

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Monday Oct 05, 2015

Don’t Be Late

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

Don’t be late, be better informed

If nothing else, construction and engineering projects present ample opportunity to fail. Complexity in assets, supply chains, finance, workforce skills and client requirements all present risk that could jeopardise success. A small slippage or error in any of these areas can easily cascade through the project to contribute to catastrophic failure. It’s little wonder construction and engineering project management is such a tough job.

In a survey of 304 senior executives from a variety of asset-intensive industries, more than a third said they miss their budget (39%) and schedule (34%) targets on major projects at least a quarter of the time[1]. The study by the Economist Intelligence Unit also found more than 60 percent blamed unexpected change for at least half of all project overruns.

The answer is in the data

It’s true that data is everywhere. But finding that nugget of data can help to reduce risk and improve the chances of success. To achieve this, you need to have the ability to manipulate your data in searching for better questions….this is where there is real value.

Every project creates a huge volume of data. From the bid process through to the project’s handover to clients or operators, there is a myriad of Word files, spreadsheets, PDFs and databases. But is the small valuable data easy to find and use? And is it available to the right people at the right time?

There are five main areas where construction and engineering firms are benefiting from improving how they organize and access data:

1. Lead to contract execution: win the right work with the right customers, at the right margins

2. Project and construction execution: manage change while reducing risk and improving margins

3. Digital handover: simplifying the transition to Operation and Maintenance

4. Project visualization: simulating construction sequences and spotting challenges

5. Lifecycle data hub: organizing data and making it coherent

But as with anything in life, it’s impossible to eliminate risk. But you can improve the chances of success.

To discover more, read our latest business brief.



[1] Building in change: Project construction in asset-intensive industries http://www.oracle.com/us/products/applications/primavera/building-in-change-eiu-report-1489240.pdf

Wednesday May 27, 2015

Transform or Die – How Organizations are Transforming with EPPM

By Mike Sicilia, senior vice president and general manager, Oracle Primavera Global Business Unit

Take any company on the S&P 500 list from 1960, and you could expect that company to exist for about 60 years. Fast forward—do the same test for a company today, and the average lifespan is less than a third of what it was—just 18 years.

This is more than a stat. It’s a sign of the transformative times that we’ve entered—a Renaissance-age driven by the connective power of the Internet and the exponential increase of all the possible nodes that can connect to it, from a smartphone to an oil rig. So the message to business leaders is clear—transform or die.

But businesses don’t need to just transform what they do. They need to transform how they operate. “Planning” no longer means creating a budget and the schedules to align to it. Rather, it is now about managing a continuous portfolio lifecycle of what you have today and what you hope to achieve in the future. It has evolved from the more traditional role of managing projects to a role of improving business outcomes by leveraging the latest tools and technology to drive projects with insight, collaboration, and visibility.

With that in mind, here are three types of transformations that businesses need to be aware of, and how Project Portfolio Management (PPM) plays a role.

Subscription Economy

Tom Goodwin of Havas Media wrote in TechCrunch on March 3rd, “Uber, the world’s largest taxi company, owns no vehicles. Facebook, the world’s most popular media owner, creates no content. Alibaba, the most valuable retailer, has no inventory. And Airbnb, the world’s largest accommodation provider, owns no real estate. Something interesting is happening.”

 Indeed, something interesting is happening. These companies have used the cloud to create entirely new businesses leveraging the immediacy and the flexibility that cloud computing delivers, and in the process, fundamentally transforming whole industries. Existing businesses should look to the cloud for opportunities to build on top of their more rigid business models for these same benefits. Cloud-based solutions allow businesses to spin up new offers, quickly scale existing ones, and doing so in a cost effective way, whether in response to a new joint venture, acquisition or just the need for organic growth. It can be done—for example, an estimated 360,000+ projects and programs have been managed in the cloud using Oracle's Primavera solutions. These solutions enable companies across all industries to get a purpose built-PPM solution up and running incredibly quickly, and consume its services via an as-needed subscription model, thereby compressing time to value and increased innovation uptake.

A Shifting Workforce

According to a report from Pew Research Center, nearly 10,000 Baby Boomers retire every day, making way for a wave of Millennials to enter the workforce. By 2020, these Millennials will make up 50% of the workforce. These young employees are hyper-connected—but not just to their smartphones. According to this same report, as more Millennials come on board, the average employee today collaborates with more than 10 employees each day.

This behavioral change is something that businesses should look at carefully. This generation of workers expect visually appealing, easy to use and easy to understand technology meshing hand-in-hand with business processes. They expect to be connected; operate socially, and to be fully enabled when mobile. Primavera’s cloud-based PPM solutions provide role-based, collaborative, mobile interfaces that are aimed at engaging the new generation of workers and making it intuitive for them to collaborate both horizontally and vertically within their organization. The end result is that businesses have the potential to create a more engaged, and therefore innovative, workforce.

The Nature of Project Work

In the past, a project might have been delivered end-to-end within a single company. Not anymore. Multi-company projects and joint initiatives and partnerships drive how projects are done, which both adds to the complexity of managing the project and increases the level of scrutiny and pressure on time to value.

Traditional project management systems are very good at making predictions, but because those systems are based on a limited (and usually outdated) set of data points from within the company and not across the full scope of outside vendors and partners, the predictions are meaningless. Again, cloud-based tools can offer an advantage. With a cloud-based PPM solution, it can act as the network for connecting the right people and information to ensure that project work is accurate and timely, ultimately speeding time to value.

We have entered a new era of project management—one that swaps rigid processes for flexibility to change in the moment and the visibility to enable it. And Oracle’s PPM cloud solutions are designed for this new world order. With a modern platform that has analytics at its core and the power of Oracle’s scalable cloud at the foundation, we are ready to help you not just survive. It’s time to thrive.

Thursday May 14, 2015

Oracle’s New Cloud Accelerator Improves Control of Large Infrastructure Projects

The need for infrastructure investment is growing, as are the opportunities to improve productivity. To help meet these challenges and opportunities, Oracle released its public infrastructure monitoring cloud accelerator, a new solution for selecting, planning, and monitoring the performance of public infrastructure development projects. Find out how your organization can use it to track complex infrastructure projects and programs to know exactly where they stand in terms of cost, schedule, scope, and resource demands.
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Thursday May 07, 2015

Oracle’s New Contract Management Cloud Accelerator Keeps Engineering and Construction Projects on Track

The engineering and construction industry has a new resource to help achieve project goals: Oracle’s contract management cloud accelerator. The accelerator provides preconfigured business processes, enabling companies to quickly start managing contracts and controlling change throughout the project lifecycle. In addition, the solution allows for future business growth and expanded requirements. Find out how the new accelerator can help your business today.
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Thursday Apr 30, 2015

Oracle’s New Accelerator Helps Financial Services Companies Thrive During Time of Unprecedented Change

Today’s financial services institutions must manage extraordinary industry change. In this volatile environment, the industry needs new solutions to closely manage business transformation initiatives and ensure regulatory compliance. To serve this need, Oracle launched its new business process portfolio management cloud accelerator for financial services. Get the details.
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Information and insights on project portfolio trends and best practices, including cloud project management.

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