Oracle’s Primavera Product Update

It's been one year after the Oracle acquisition of Primavera. Has anything changed? What will Oracle do next with this product line? Should PPM competitors care or worry?
Written by Brian Sommer, Contributor

Introducing EPPM

It’s now been about a year since Oracle acquired Primavera. So I thought I’d check in with the Oracle folks and see what’s been going on. To that end, I recently spoke with Dick Faris, SVP Oracle Products Primavera GBU.

First though, let’s get the background on Primavera. This was a company founded in 1983. The founders of the company created a couple of tools that got a lot of uptake in the Architecture, Engineering and Construction (ACE) world. Project management was the product line’s strong suit. The company and its founder were also big proponents in the Earned Value concept. In the last decade or so, Primavera acquired Evolve, a provider of high-end PSA (professional services automation). Francisco Partners bought a stake in Primavera a few years ago. I spoke at their 2007 or 2008 User Conference and that event drew several thousand attendees.

Now, under Oracle’s ownership, the Primavera products are being tightly coupled with some of the myriad products that Oracle possesses. Mr. Faris told me that Primavera applications are now integrated with the Oracle e-Business Suite (EBS) of products as well as to the JD Edwards Enterprise One applications. The latter is a good call by Oracle as a number of ACE firms use the JD Edwards products on the AS/400 or Unix platform. Whether (or when) the products are integrated with the PeopleSoft applications is unknown; however, I did mention to Dick that PeopleSoft integration may be of value to the Evolve users.

Oracle should be able to cross-sell these project management (or project portfolio management (PPM)) solutions to its existing install base. I believe the in-fill sales potential within the Oracle customer base to be pretty good. This should take off as the economy (and by extension the ACE world) improves. As more non-ACE firms add services to their solution mix, these firms will need tools that promote collaboration, track project progress, monitor all projects within an enterprise and adjust project portfolios to take advantage of changing business conditions and business strategies. In fact, if a company does work across country borders, it probably needs a solid PPM tool.

Oracle will be promoting the concept of EPPM – Enterprise Project Portfolio Management – more aggressively in the near term. EPPM will be of value to task/work centric organizations and to organizations that use more dynamic teams rather than rely on old-school command and control organization structures. You can also expect Oracle to sell EPPM higher up within an account/prospect and to firms in non-project-centric industries.

I asked for a follow-on briefing. In that call, I want to understand more of how Fusion and Primavera will work together and what Oracle thinks of the updated Microsoft Project with Sharepoint solution. Until then...

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