Friday Nov 15, 2013

Enabling Cloud-Based Project Visibility at the University of Utah

With an eye on transparency and financial discipline, the University of Utah in Salt Lake City has taken a cloud-based approach to manage its over 300 capital projects totaling more than US$900 million. cloud-based project portfolio management solution

The University of Utah is a leading education and research institution that serves more than 33,000 students. It offers more than 90 undergraduate degree programs and more than 100 fields of study at the graduate level, including law and medicine.

Maintaining aging facilities and constructing new facilities to meet the needs of the students, educators and researchers is a continuous and complex task. For years, the University of Utah’s Facilities Management department had used an in-house database for construction project tracking. In an effort to improve project visibility and enable more stringent financial controls, the university deployed Oracle’s cloud-based Primavera Unifier project management system.

Greg Colf, senior business systems analyst in Facilities Management at the University, recalls, “We went from a simple database system with limited access to a cloud-based, robust cost management and contract control system that provides greater flexibility to end-users, reduces IT management costs and enables project transparency.”

The University integrated Primavera Unifier with its PeopleSoft Financial environment to manage contracts, automate payments to vendors and ensure fiscal transparency.

In the near future, the university plans to integrate its Primavera Unifier system with facility operations, maintenance management and geographic information systems for greater data management, transparency and sharing opportunities.

Read the complete article here.

Visit the microsite to read more stories like this one.

Tuesday Jul 23, 2013

Q&A: Project Portfolio Management Can Help Financial Services Firms Succeed

As executives in financial services organizations across the globe face intense regulatory scrutiny, the project management office is playing a more crucial role in maintaining agility and strategic project planning, according to a new Oracle white paper, “The PMO—The Key to Surviving Financial Services Reregulation.”

Mike Metcalf, Oracle’s strategy director for services, says the right enterprise project portfolio management (EPPM) solutions and a central project management office can help financial services firms become less reactive and better equipped to deal with regulatory challenges.


Q: What problems are financial services organizations facing in the aftermath of the financial crisis?

A: Legislators in various countries have decided to tighten up regulations after a period when some rules were being loosened. So for financial services organizations, the challenge today is how to survive in an era of reregulation. The first obstacle they face is that new regulations may span different areas of banking operations, so some regulations may overlap and conflict with each other. Organizations must be sure that responding to one regulation doesn’t impact some other area.
Second, many organizations address these regulations in silos—different parts of the organization are responding to regulations independently, and they are tracking compliance with ad hoc tools, such as spreadsheets. This leads to increased risk because these tools are not conducive to collaboration or to creating a centralized view of all the regulations that need to be addressed.

Read the complete interview here.

Wednesday Jul 10, 2013

Oracle Receives a Positive Rating and Is Named a Leader in New Gartner Reports

Gartner, Inc. evaluated Oracle enterprise project portfolio management solutions in two reports recently.

The Gartner MarketScope for IT Project and Portfolio Management Software Applications, published in May 2013, gave Oracle a positive rating.
The IT project and portfolio management (IT PPM) products included in the Gartner MarketScope address the challenges of portfolio, program, project management office leaders; program/project managers; and resource managers. The report says that these groups continue to struggle with selecting IT programs and IT projects, prioritizing them, executing them at the right time, matching and/or balancing IT supply with IT demand, monitoring and reporting IT project status and IT expenditures to date, improving IT project execution efficiency, proactively addressing emergencies on IT projects, and tackling changes to the existing and planned IT projects triggered by shifts in business direction. Read the full Gartner MarketScope for IT Project and Portfolio Management Software Applications report.

Also in May 2013, Gartner named Oracle a Leader in its Magic Quadrant for Cloud-Based IT Project and Portfolio Management Services.
The report noted that “IT project and portfolio management (PPM) leaders are under extreme pressure to improve the speed, accuracy, and agility of their project organization, while also managing risks and costs. They are looking for software solutions that can support these seemingly conflicting objectives. For years, the IT PPM software market standardized on on-premises or traditional hosting for deployment of IT PPM software functionality, but with the continued maturity of the internet as an enterprise computing platform, on-premises and traditional hosting have given way to another viable option—cloud-based IT PPM application services deployment.” Read the full Gartner Magic Quadrant for Cloud-Based IT Project and Portfolio Management Services report.

Read the complete article in the Oracle Information InDepth EPPM Newsletter here

*Read Oracle’s press release about the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Cloud-Based IT Project and Portfolio Management Services.*

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Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product, or service depicted in its research publications, and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors with the highest ratings. Gartner research publications consist of the opinions of Gartner's research organization and should not be construed as statements of fact. Gartner disclaims all warranties, expressed or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.


Monday Jul 01, 2013

Improving the Industry’s Best Cloud Project Portfolio Management (PPM) Solution – New Release of Instantis EnterpriseTrack

By Yasser Mahmud, Vice President of Product Strategy & Industry Marketing, Oracle Primavera

We know that in today’s rapidly changing world, organizations and leaders must adapt to fierce competition, business climate change and customers consistently demanding more for less. And project portfolio management (PPM) initiatives are a key component to help organizations thrive and stand out among competitors.

That’s why I’m excited to announce Instantis EnterpriseTrack 8.5. Since Oracle’s acquisition of Instantis late last year, we’ve been busy working to enhance the leading cloud PPM solution.

Here’s what’s new:

Perform more precise resource planning and management

  •  Gain more precise capacity visibility for resource planning and project execution with resource calendars that capture vacation, LOA and part-time resource availability

  • Ensure compliance and governance processes  with activity labor cost capitalization

  • Improve project labor cost estimation, tracking and administration with variable resource rates

Optimize Project Demand Management And Execution

  • Enhance productivity and analysis with project request flexible staffing plan and simplified finance estimation

  • Improve project status communication and execution with estimated time to complete (ETC) in timesheets and projects

  • Achieve audit compliance and governance with field change history for key project and project request fields

  • Enforce proper financial accounting processes with the new strict finance lock/close period option

Improve Reporting and the User Experience

  • Enhance user productivity and analysis with improved listing pages

  • Improve program reporting with new program filters in listing pages and reports

  • Run large data volume user defined Excel reports with MS Excel 2010 support

  • Accelerate user productivity and satisfaction with an improved user interface for project issues, risks, and scope changes

  • Enjoy faster system response and improved user experience with  optimized listing pages, resource planning, and application cache

  • Deliver user self-service training on demand with UPK support

And if that wasn’t enough, we’ve also made additional improvements to timesheets, field change history and finance lock/close period. Learn more about Instantis EnterpriseTrack 8.5.

Tuesday Jun 25, 2013

Just Released: Oracle Instantis EnterpriseTrack 8.5

Instantis EnterpriseTrack has been successfully integrated into the Oracle development process and the first release under Oracle is generally available. This release is a significant expansion of solution capabilities in resource management, project demand management, and project execution. It also includes customer requested product enhancements, reporting enhancements, performance optimizations, and user experience improvements. Key enhancements include:
  • New Resource Calendar functionality provides more precise capacity visibility for resource planning and increases project plan reliability.
  • Support for Activity Labor Cost Capitalization allows project teams to easily mark any WBS activity as CapEx or OpEx with Labor Expense Type and enforce proper classification of Labor Expense Type for activities by setting defaults through activity templates or at project level
  • New Variable Resource Rates functionality allows project stakeholders to specify resource rate accurately over time and account for wage revisions

Instantis EnterpriseTrack cloud and on-premise solutions provide a top-down approach to managing, tracking and reporting on enterprise strategies, projects, portfolios, processes, resources, and financials.

Upgrade now or Visit the Instantis EnterpriseTrack site to learn more.

Friday May 24, 2013

Oracle Primavera Showcases the Latest PPM Acquisitions at the 2013 Virtual Summit

At this year’s 4th Annual Primavera Virtual Summit, attendees will get the chance to learn about Oracle’s most recent Enterprise Project Portfolio Management (EPPM) acquisitions –including leading cloud based solutions Oracle Instantis and Primavera Unifier.

During this one-day, global event, Project Management Professionals in attendance will get detailed insight into how Primavera Unifier can help optimize and integrate business processes critical to project management.

They will also discover how Oracle Instantis can help organizations run multiple initiatives simultaneously, improve strategic alignment, and enhance project execution and gain financial discipline.

The 2013 Oracle Primavera Virtual Summit: Enabling Financial Discipline, Operational Excellence and Risk Mitigation, takes place on Thursday, June 13th and will be available on demand for a limited time afterwards. Project Managers in attendance will earn Professional Development Units throughout the event.

Want more information and to view the full agenda.

Register here for the virtual event.

Friday May 03, 2013

Oracle Instantis Complements and Expands EPPM Solutions

Late last year, Oracle announced its purchase of Instantis, a leading provider of cloud-based and on-premises project portfolio management solutions. Wayne Caccamo, a former Instantis executive and now part of Oracle’s Primavera team, discusses what the acquisition means for users of Oracle solutions for enterprise project portfolio management (EPPM).

Q: What new capabilities does the Instantis acquisition bring to Oracle’s already extensive portfolio of EPPM solutions?
A: Oracle’s Instantis EnterpriseTrack offers a number of complementary solutions and capabilities for the Oracle portfolio. At a high level, Instantis EnterpriseTrack brings top-down strategy execution and portfolio management capabilities to resource-constrained PPM environments. At the same time, Primavera P6 Enterprise Project Portfolio Management and Primavera Unifier provide robust bottom-up project-planning capabilities for schedule-constrained PPM use cases.

As such, Oracle’s Instantis product line has established market leadership in relatively lighter-weight project environments, such as IT; new product development; and process improvement. This, of course, complements Oracle’s traditional strengths in the capital planning, maintenance, and manufacturing environments that are prevalent in asset-intensive industries. This combination results in the most comprehensive single-vendor EPPM solution offering in the industry.

Q: Can current users of Primavera P6 and Oracle Fusion Applications integrate Oracle’s Instantis solutions into their existing platforms now?
A: Instantis EnterpriseTrack can integrate with Primavera P6, Oracle Fusion Applications, and other solutions through existing Web service APIs. More packaged integrations are on the product development roadmap. The vision is to move from the current, single-vendor EPPM solution to a single-platform EPPM solution by leveraging common cloud-service and Oracle components. At that point there will be a single, converged EPPM services layer for portfolio management, analytics, strategy alignment, and global resource and capacity management. However, there will continue to be a number of PPM-environment-specific configuration options to preserve cultural acceptability for each distinct user community in areas such as idea and demand management, project scheduling, financial modeling, and metrics tracking.

Q: What is the value of cloud computing to users of EPPM applications?
A: Often, cloud-based EPPM solutions are easier to deploy, use, administer, and afford. For example, deployment timeframes for Instantis EnterpriseTrack can be measured in days, not months. Oracle’s Instantis solutions are 100-percent Web based, which means they are easier to use since they are always on—anytime, anywhere—making it simple to support a remote and mobile workforce.

Q: Can EPPM users expect to see future upgrades and innovations to Oracle’s Instantis solutions?
A: Before being acquired by Oracle, Instantis built a 12-year track record of industry firsts and has been recognized by leading industry analysts as being innovative and visionary. With the additional resources being brought to bear under Oracle, it is expected that the rate of innovation will accelerate over time. Oracle is committed to continuous innovation in areas such as dashboards, reporting and analytics, user experience, and social/mobile PPM.

Read the full version of the EPPM Quarterly Newsletter here

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