UMT360 Blog

Blog Posts from the Leader in Enterprise Portfolio Management

Archive for January, 2014

Marquette University Shares How UMT360 Helped Them Get More from Project Server

Written by Ben Chamberlain on January 28th, 2014 at 8:00 am

Marquette University has expanded its use of Project Server – adding UMT360 capabilities to help it maximize the value of its PPM platform.  The university went from using Project Server as a simple repository of project schedules to doing so much more including using it for the capital selection process.

At Microsoft’s Project Conference next week in Anaheim, Dan Smith and Aaron Ott from Marquette will share what went into their decision to upgrade, how they’re using UMT360 to add capabilities and the lessons learned from their experience.  If you’re attending the conference, join them Tuesday, February 4th from 5:00 to 6:15pm in room 204A.  Want to know more about how UMT360 helps Project Server customers get more from their PPM?  Contact us at sales@umt360.com today.

 

Cumulative Update 1 (CU1) for UMT360

Written by Ben Chamberlain on January 27th, 2014 at 12:41 pm

UMT360 is pleased to announce the release of the UMT360 Cumulative Update 1 (CU1).
This update includes a number of improvements in:

Performance and Reliability

  • Improved queue reliability and consistency when processing changes such as removing or changing level for nodes on large financial structures
  • Addressed issues with intermittent registration of the Resource-related events (onChange, onDelete)
  • Significantly improved load and save performance for financial grids

Core Financial Concepts

  • Added the ability to combine Project Server Custom Fields and Intrinsic Fields for the Financial Timeline start and end date
  • Additional warning on the consequences of changing calendars between Standard and Fiscal
  • Addressed issue with a new reporting period being opened when using Close Financial Status Periods even when the Automatic Progression to Next Period option was unchecked

Data Import

  • Removed requirement for time stamp to be set to 23:59:59 when using the StartDataImport() API method
  • Addressed issues with sequences of comma characters (,) not being properly handled
  • Projects with an empty value for the Custom Field used as an unique identifier are now skipped without additional errors being logged

Project Fields web part

  • Improved error handling when Custom Fields are deleted without being removed from existing dependencies
  • Improved condition evaluation when using the is less than or equal operator and when using multiple Custom Fields based on Lookup Tables
  • Addresses issues with custom labels being read-only outside the context of an Enterprise Project Type, and with missing custom labels for the Project Departments Custom Field
  • Fixed handling of SharePoint validations when using a choice drop-down column with special characters
  • Fixed handling of Dependencies and Validations when using special characters as part of the Name field, or when using Custom Fields of type Date
  • Overall reliability improvements for Dependencies and Validations under various configurations

Workflow Visualization web part

  • Addressed rendering issues with connecting arrows and text at the bottom of the visual diagram, or at small screen resolutions

API

  • Improved parameter validation for the ReadFinancialValuesForProject() method

Other

  • Addressed issues with inconsistent behavior on using an entity as part of multiple relationships
  • Fixed storage for project names to properly save up to 255 characters, from the previous limit of 50
  • Improved translation for Actuals and Forecast in the German language pack
  • Fixed the additional details hyperlink in the Change Request or Workflow Approval email notifications
  • Added the Review Workflow Stage permission to the UMT360 Financials (Legacy) module

UMT360 recommends customers test CU1 in a test environment based on your production environment before taking it live.  CU1 can by downloaded on the partner and customer portal available at www.UMT360.com.

Visit the version history page for version details.

UMT360 Gives Utility Financial Intelligence

Written by Ben Chamberlain on January 27th, 2014 at 8:00 am

Frank La RoccaCon Edison’s Director of Financial Governance Frank La Rocca is using Microsoft Project Server and UMT360 to provide financial intelligence across the company’s $2 billion portfolio.    He discussed how UMT360 is helping him optimize the capital spend and drive results during the Microsoft Project Conference in Anaheim earlier this year.  He also shared his governance framework for increasing financial intelligence, building a credible PMO, establishing a ‘sweep process’ to dynamically reallocate capital spend and more.

La Rocca has a sharp understanding of the importance of Portfolio Financial Intelligence.  When he was named VP at a major northeastern utility company, he says the CFO and COO told him they wanted to ensure IT spending was aligned with corporate strategy.  To answer strategic alignment questions, he went in search of information about the total portfolio spend and value but says that information was difficult to come by.

“The answers had to be culled from many different systems and spreadsheets and from interviewing the right people.”

La Rocca says having financial transparency was key to his being able to achieve his team’s goals and support the organization’s overall strategy.  At the Project Conference, Frank discussed financial intelligence, his experience identifying the software that would best help him achieve his goals, and how it is working for him today.

Click the links below to view the series of complimentary UMT360 webinars presented by Frank La Rocca.

Portfolio Financial Intelligence Boosts ROI 
Build a Dynamic Sweep Process to Reallocate Funds 
Benefits Realization – Unleash the Power of the PMO 

How UMT360 Helps AGCO Capture & Track Financials

Written by Ben Chamberlain on January 24th, 2014 at 10:33 am

Sudanese SpenceWhen it came time to look at ways to manage its project portfolio including a comprehensive financial lifecycle, American agricultural equipment manufacturer AGCO decided to go with Microsoft Project Server and UMT.  The company’s Director of the Global Portfolio Management Office Sudanese Spence will discuss the roadmap she used to select those solutions to implement Enterprise PPM at AGCO during the Microsoft Project Conference in Anaheim early next month.

Spence says UMT360 helps the company look across their portfolio of projects to capture and track project financials, and compare forecasts and actuals against financials approved.

“We also use UMT360 to take point in time copies of our projects and to compare data on a month by month basis to identify project slippages to budget and cost.  Overall, the data captured through UMT360 allows our PMO to generate project scorecards and portfolio reports for senior IT management.”

Attending the conference?  Check out her breakout session on Tuesday, February 4th at 1:45pm in Room 207A.

It’s time to venture beyond PPM!

Written by Ben Chamberlain on January 22nd, 2014 at 4:41 pm

UMT360 is gearing up for the Microsoft Project Conference early next month in Anaheim.  Among the most anticipated UMT360 presentations is a discussion about organizations making the move from PPM to Enterprise Portfolio Management.

UMT360 Chief Product and Marketing Officer Ben Chamberlain and UMT360 President Catalin Olteanu will show how UMT360 is helping our customers effectively integrate financial management best practices with their PPM to gain transparency and optimize the capital spend across project and program portfolios.  Topics include building stronger business cases, automating financial tracking and variance reporting, establishing a benefits realization framework, application rationalization, building and maintaining an application catalog, deriving application total cost of ownership, and transformation roadmaps.

Leading companies including Conoco Phillips, Nielsen, TransAlta, Con Edison, AGCO and Marquette University are among those currently using UMT360’s powerful Enterprise Portfolio Management capabilities to take them beyond traditional PPM and gain the complete transparency needed to maximize ROI from every dollar invested in their product, project, program, application and IT service portfolios.  Join us in Anaheim on Tuesday, February 4th at 3:15pm in room 201A for this great breakout session.

Not attending?  We’re happy to answer any questions you may have or schedule a demo.  Contact us at sales@umt360.com.

 

 

Gartner & UMT360 Discuss Most Important 2014 PPM Trends

Written by Ben Chamberlain on January 20th, 2014 at 4:29 pm

Donna Fitzgerald, Gartner

UMT360 invites attendees of the Microsoft Project Conference in Anaheim next month to attend a session when we’ll be joined by Gartner Research VP Donna Fitzgerald to discuss the Most Important PPM Trends for 2014.

Gartner has identified significant PPM changes underway and will share insight into how you can leverage them for success. Donna Fitzgerald will be joined by UMT360’s Chief Product and Marketing Officer Ben Chamberlain to reveal the emerging trends that all PPM leaders should be prepared for, why many companies are now embracing Enterprise Portfolio Management to address these changes and what opportunities and threats this presents for the PMO.

You can expect to hear what’s missing from your PPM, why you should integrate financial management best practices across the PPM lifecycle, how the shift from a project to product based framework will impact you, and what the payoff can be from adopting Enterprise Portfolio Management practices. UMT will also show how UMT360’s Enterprise Portfolio Management capabilities are helping Project Server customers take their PPM to a new level, delivering the complete transparency necessary to maximize ROI from every dollar invested in product, project, program, application and IT service portfolios.

The session will be held from 10:30-11:45am on Tuesday, February 4th in Room 201D.   Donna will also be available to answer questions at the UMT booth on the exhibit floor on  Tuesday starting at 1:00pm.  Click here for more information about the Project Conference.  We look forward to seeing attendees.  If you want more information or would like to set up a meeting or demo to learn about UMT360, contact sales@umt360.com.

See you at the Microsoft Project Conference in Anaheim.

Written by Ben Chamberlain on January 13th, 2014 at 12:23 pm

UMT360 is proud to be a Platinum Sponsor of the 2014 Microsoft Project Conference being held in Anaheim next month.  We’ll be speaking with Microsoft customers about how UMT360 is increasing the value businesses get from their existing PPM investment.   UMT360 is currently the only Enterprise Portfolio Management solution on the market built on Microsoft SharePoint; it provides seamless integration with Project Server.

At the conference, UMT360 will lead several breakout sessions during which representatives will discuss topics including:  Benefits Realization, Automating Financial Tracking and Variance Analysis, Building Stronger Business Cases and Rationalizing the Application Portfolio.  Attendees will also hear from UMT360 customers including ConocoPhillips, Con Edison, Nielsen and Marquette University who will show how UMT360 is helping strengthen their business performance.  UMT360 Chief Product and Marketing Officer Ben Chamberlain and Gartner Research VP Donna Fitzgerald will discuss the most important PPM trends for 2014.  Click here for more information about UMT360 and the 2014 Project Conference or contact us at marketing@umt360.com.

Ushering in 2014 & Your Application Spend

Written by Mike Gruia on January 6th, 2014 at 8:29 pm

As we ring in 2014, IT spending is on its way up.  Gartner is forecasting a 3.1% increase in worldwide IT spending this year taking it to an estimated $3.8 trillion.  Also on the rise, the amount of software budgets dedicated to applications.  In a Gartner enterprise IT spending study last year, respondents indicated the largest portion of their software budgets, 36%, is focused on enterprise application software; 33% of the budget goes to infrastructure software; and 31% to vertical industry-specific applications. The increase in funds dedicated to enterprise application software is necessary largely due to organizations working with outdated application systems.  In most mature markets, those systems are more than a decade old and replacement of the antiquated technology is critical to remaining competitive.

This is a good time to review your own 2014 application spend asking yourself whether your budget as currently written will be able to help you achieve your business goals and new business needs among the ever changing market conditions.  As well, how will the move to the cloud impact your spending?  Gartner reported last year that only 38% of organizations they surveyed were using cloud services, yet 80% of respondents indicated they would be using cloud services over the next year so certainly the cloud will have a strong impact on spending in 2014.

Here are some recommendations and thoughts we share with our own customers as they step into Q1 – subjects we’ll be discussing more throughout 2014:

  1. Shining a light – Prepare an IT strategic road map and ensure it’s aligned to business strategy.
  2. Time to get started – Develop a APM approach to rationalize or modernize your application portfolio.
  3. Product revolution – Use the more agile product-focused thinking when examining your IT spend.
  4. Tracing spend – Prevent the failure to control the life cycle cost liabilities of your portfolio.
  5. Playing responsible – Assess the ability of existing APM, PPM and Financial Governance mechanisms to effectively support your strategic direction and change.
  6. There is only one portfolio – Integrate APM and PPM decisions to create and sustain competitive advantage.
  7. Where are the benefits? – Business benefits and their tie to business engagement will be increasingly important this year.