Primavera and Oracle Join Together to Improve Enterprise Visibility into Projects
by Marta Bright, May 2009
Oracle has long offered robust solutions for global project management, including contracting, project planning, budgeting, forecasting, resource management, collaboration, risk monitoring, and project accounting. Recently, the company extended its offerings when it acquired Primavera, a 25-year-old leading provider of project portfolio management solutions for project-intensive industries. Profit spoke with Joel Koppelman, Oracle senior vice president and general manager, Enterprise Project Portfolio Management, about what Oracle customers can expect to gain from the purchase of Primavera.
Profit: Tell us something about Primavera.
Koppelman: Primavera was founded 25 years ago with the advent of personal computing. Over the years, it became the leader in project management and more recently in the more all-embracing space of Project Portfolio Management [PPM]. PPM describes a shift away from traditional management of individual projects toward more rigorous, standardized methods of project management, risk analysis, and performance measurement. It seeks to analyze and collectively manage groups of projects, with a goal of determining the optimal mix and sequencing of projects or proposed projects to best support an organization’s overall strategic goals.
Profit: What is the importance of PPM?
Koppelman: Every business has projects, whether it is in a project-intensive industry or not. It makes good business sense for corporations to carefully plan projects; to assess the risks and the possibilities, figure out where they’re going to find the resources with the right skills to carry out the projects, and to track and control those projects so they get done in a timely manner and produce the intended results. Projects usually change course over time, so it is important that project management is a dynamic, connected process, integrated with other operational areas, such as finance and human resources.
Profit: What is special about the Oracle Primavera offering?
Koppelman: It is a very comprehensive solution for organizations that manage projects and programs of all sizes. Our systems are highly scalable. They enable large corporations to plan virtually everything that’s going on around the globe in a project sense. Most importantly, many of our customers integrate our project solutions with enterprise resource planning (ERP) solutions. They can weave together an accurate look at what’s happened so far on a project, while also looking forward to analyze scenarios of what might happen in the future based on alternative courses of action.
That’s really the key to the value proposition for the Oracle customer, this ability to integrate project portfolio management so closely with ERP solutions to provide very comprehensive management.
Profit: How does that scenario differ from typical project management?
Koppelman: Unfortunately, in most organizations, project tracking is one set of processes, completely separate from planning, prediction, and analysis. And that is impractical, because one effort really ought to inform the other. So certainly for Oracle customers the real value proposition comes from tying these processes and details together, to be able to prioritize strategic investment, meet requirements of customers and clients, and meet regulatory requirements. Enterprise project portfolio management is the way to bring all this together in one system and to use information on a global basis to enable people to collaborate in the best way possible.
For example, if you want to staff a project, you would ask, "Who are the people who have certain types of talent and expertise? Where are they located? What are they working on? When will they be available? Are they willing to work in a particular location? Do they have related experience?" When you connect your project planning to a human resources system, you get a more-accurate answer to those kinds of questions in a matter of seconds. And that’s very illustrative of Oracle’s drive for integration and for achieving greater agility using the applications that are already in place in your business.
Profit: What are some of the other benefits for Oracle customers?
Koppelman: Oracle has been a great leader in the project management space. Adding Primavera’s robust, in-depth functionality in the time-based planning area of project and risk management really gives Oracle customers an advantage.
Organizations build their future through the projects and programs that they carefully select and successfully complete. This is a high-priority, high-visibility area because of the magnitude and importance of business investment. The better the grasp they can get on the investments they’re making and depending on, the more certain their future is likely to be.