No Functionality Cutbacks for 2009 (unlike client spending)
Lately, I’ve written a lot about several PSA (professional services automation) and PPM (project portfolio management) vendors. While I’ve discussed a number of vendors like OpenAir, CA Clarity, QuickArrow and Oracle (nee Primavera nee Evolve), I haven’t discussed one of the biggest and robust players: Compuware’s Changepoint. Let’s correct that now. While I’ve known of this product for about a decade, the Changepoint folks were kind enough to do a call with me that had the side benefit of hearing about the new Changepoint 2009 products.
Compuware, the owner of Changepoint, has been around about 35 years, has over 6000 employees and operates in 30 countries. Compuware is an enterprise software and IT services provider that has a vested interest in having an outstanding, global PSA/PPM solution.
Compuware executives believe that a PSA/PPM solution is critical to the regular operations and success of their business (and, by extension, to the IT organizations using Changepoint). In particular, they believe that fast time to value (TTV) and dependable value delivery of IT projects are the main accelerators behind the market adoption of PSA/PPM products. In different words, they see the speed of business accelerating and their PSA/PPM solutions must change at the same change rate that their clients face.
The Changepoint product is oriented for IT organizations and the investments they must make. While some PSA/PPM products are used in non-IT environments (e.g., oilfield services), Changepoint’s best fit occurs when an IT organization uses the product to manage its planning, project and application portfolios. Some users have taken the product to the executive committee as a means of providing program management office (PMO) functionality and reporting to the leadership of the company.
Graphic courtesy of Compuware
Changepoint 2009 contains a number of enhancements and extensions focused on three key areas: resource management, financial assessment/reporting and broader user adoption. In the financial assessment/reporting area, the software complements traditional financial accounting systems that use fiscal calendars and reporting periods. While the application integrates with financial applications, Changepoint can capture and report inception-to-date costs and benefits across any reporting time window. These time windows can transcend many fiscal years and parts of some years to see the entirety of a project’s or program’s costs (or remaining effort, value delivered, capital purchases, etc.). This flexibility gives portfolio managers and program managers a much easier ability to understand the current or future cost/value of a project or program.
In the resource management area, Changepoint is making it possible to see everything that impacts an employee on a single interactive view. The system can show project level resource management but can now give resource managers, project managers, etc. a more insightful look into the totality of staff person’s commitments (e.g., to other projects, training, internal or operational efforts, etc.).
New enhancements are improving overall product usability. Users can now select where user-configurable fields and system defined fields can be positioned so as to make data entry and workflow more logical for users. Additional report distribution capabilities (e.g., to Internet Explorer, Firefox in html format or Microsoft Excel) for non-Changepoint users such as business executives have also been added. To extend existing dashboard Portal capabilities, role-specific Portal templating has been added. Now, users only input or complete the information that is relevant to their position and/or project. Managers have access to reports via their portals that are specific to the initiatives under their control.
This product is available in SaaS (software as a service) or on-premise modes.