In 1995, UMT360 founder Mike Gruia had just completed a consulting engagement to help a leading financial institution identify ways to transform its business. But something crucial was missing. The project management practices of that era were simply not equipped to help organizations align business transformation strategy to their investments. What was needed was a tool that organizations could use to actually manage investments and not just projects.
The emergence of portfolio management
To address this need, Mike’s consulting firm UMT dedicated R&D resources and took advantage of advancements in portfolio management techniques to develop a tool that went beyond traditional project management to manage project portfolios. By adopting “portfolio management” as its specialty, UMT ignited a completely new approach that would transform how organizations manage their enterprise investments.
UMT’s invention gets Microsoft’s attention
Fast forward to 2005… Microsoft was looking to extend the capabilities of its Project Server offering. The vision was for an integrated project and portfolio management solution that enables both excellence in project execution and better decision-making in prioritizing and funding those projects. In its search for a best-in-breed portfolio management firm, Microsoft found UMT, and acquired the software and intellectual property assets that comprised UMT’s portfolio management solution.
Microsoft’s decision impacts the industry
This changed the game for project management professionals. Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said at the time, “UMT will help us meet customers’ needs for deep portfolio management capabilities. By combining our software and expertise, we’ll also create a new range of solution development opportunities for customers and partners.” Industry analysts Gartner, IDC and AMR Research all agreed that this was an important inflection point, with Gartner noting that Microsoft’s acquisition of the UMT Portfolio Manager software suite would “bring innovative analytic techniques into the mainstream.”
During the next few years, key UMT team members, including Mike, Catalin Olteanu and Ben Chamberlain worked within Microsoft to integrate those portfolio management capabilities directly into what became known as Microsoft Project Server. With a significant portion of the missing capabilities identified from that 1995 client engagement now in place, what’s now popularly called PPM had become a reality. But the team knew that there was one more piece required to complete the vision.
Launch of UMT360 continues PPM evolution
After successfully integrating portfolio management into Microsoft Project Server, the team launched UMT360 with a mission to develop the next generation of PPM tools and management practices. Leveraging collaboration with clients and their broad experience in deploying PPM software, today’s UMT360 team continues to pioneer ways to further refine PPM best practices and incorporate these crucial principles of enterprise investment:
Connect everything in the enterprise
Integrate financial management and business controls
Establish strategic, operational and investment roadmaps
A unique combination of technology & expertise
UMT360 is unique in this space – as it’s neither a management consulting firm nor is it only a product company. Our willingness to continue evolving to meet the needs of our clients has made us a pioneer of innovative, effective and pragmatic solutions for running enterprise investments. UMT was founded with a vision that it might one day change the way companies execute their strategies, and UMT360 is continuing to carry that vision forward.
With true PPM innovation and the ability to deploy it into action, UMT360 has driven real change and results for organizations continues to execute against that vision. The secret sauce is a collaborative team of business and technology experts that possesses the vision to see opportunities, a passion and dedication for solving customer problems and an authoritative understanding of PPM processes and technology.