EPM Live Acquires EPK Group Product Line

EPM Live, a global leader in Enterprise SharePoint Project and Work Management Solutions, announced today at the Gartner ITxpo their acquisition of EPK Group’s EPK-Suite product line. The result of this acquisition and upcoming development efforts will produce an integrated system that truly revolutionizes the way organizations manage work using Microsoft SharePoint.

“WorkEngine and the EPK Group founders share a joint vision to evolve the traditional, powerful capabilities of EPK Suite Portfolio Management, Resource Management and Cost Management and extend the same value-driven concepts to all work areas of the business using Microsoft SharePoint,” said Joe Larscheid, CEO of EPM Live.  Earlier this year when they announced WorkEngine 2010, Joe stated, “This launch will not only confirm our commitment to an aggressive product roadmap, but will fill the gaps in the technology market allowing us to meet market demand and further enhance our market position.”  “The acquisition of the EPK products reinforces our commitment to take the necessary steps to add maximum value to the systems our customers require.  As an organization’s work takes the shape of all different sizes and complexity, WorkEngine will now be able to help meet the Portfolio Work Management and Resource Management objectives of most organizations, to increase growth and profitability for an overall competitive advantage,” Joe added today.

The EPK Suite acquisition and the product integration development already underway, will add an array of enhancements to WorkEngine and Microsoft SharePoint that will help address customers’ needs by offering a deeper level of portfolio work management, and highly functional resource management and cost management capabilities.

About EPK Group

 

 

The EPK Group founders average more than 30 years experience in the project management field, including consulting, implementation, and project management systems development. They have led the development and introduction to the marketplace of many of the project management systems used over the past 30 years, including the Enterprise Project system Microsoft acquired in August 2000. As part of the acquisition of Enterprise Project, they became members of the Microsoft product development team and participated in the development of Microsoft Project Professional and Microsoft Project Server.

Effective Work Management with Microsoft Project 2010 Professional and SharePoint 2010

EPM Live’s EPM WorkEngine offers expanded Microsoft Project Professional and SharePoint capabilities that give organizations the ability to manage both projects and all other work with one solution.  By providing the proper toolsets to track and manage all work and associated costs, EPM WorkEngine is empowering businesses of all sizes and types to extend their current project management practice into a full work management discipline.

Join us in this half hour presentation to see how you can leverage your current Microsoft Technologies to achieve effective work management across your organization for maximum productivity and increased ROI.

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EPM Light with Microsoft Project 2010 Professional and SharePoint 2010

Microsoft® Project Professional 2010 offers Project Managers a powerful tool for scheduling, planning and assigning project work within their projects and programs.  Microsoft SharePoint® Foundation 2010 provides its users with an easy to use, intuitive platform for effective team collaborationis and continues to be the most widely used collaboration platform on the market today.

Although many organizations leverage both tools for improved business productivity, many times these solutions operate in parallel and therefore aren’t even beginning to scratch the surface for reaching their true potential .

Join us in this 30 minute presentation to see how EPM WorkEngine combines the power of both technologies to provide a powerful EPM solution for effectively managing project, operational, development and all other types of work in your organization.  Join this session to learn how leveraging a common platform and getting more value from technologies you already own, can streamline your operations, save money and have direct impact to your bottom line.

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NASA Improves Project Visibility, Reduces Costs, with Enterprise Solution

As a part of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) is responsible for numerous missions including explorations of Mars and Jupiter. The laboratory employs over 5,000 people and is running a large number of projects at any given time. JPL’s project schedulers were using Microsoft Office Project Professional 2007 to manage project timelines on their desktops. However this meant that the schedulers were creating copies of schedules for other employees to view. JPL also wanted to increase the role of its engineers in managing project schedules and facilitate greater collaboration within project teams. JPL decided to deploy EPM WorkEngine from EPM Live, an enterprise project and work management solution that integrates Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 and Microsoft Office Project Server 2007 to achieve improved schedule visibility, greater collaboration, and to reduce costs.

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Project Management 2010- "I have seen the future!"

With the launch of WorkEngine 2010 comes a lot of excitement!  Over the last few years, EPM Live has committed to an aggressive roadmap to ensure our customers the best of the best in project and work management technology.  In order to meet these goals and stay on the critical path to innovation, we asked ourselves these key questions:

  • Question #1 – How can we offer a cost effective solution that will still meet all of the requirements for both small and large organizations while at the same time meeting the needs of the individual users to guarantee usability?
  • Question #2 – What are the current issues with Enterprise Project and Work Management Solutions on the market today that we can help resolve with our technology?
  • Question #3 – What makes these types of Enterprise systems out of reach for organizations and how can we make them available to everyone?
EPM Live has been in the consulting business for many years and we have seen and felt the pain points of organizations struggling to accomplish goals that are critical for reaching strategic objectives.  We wanted to do everything in our power to make those goals a reality.  In order to do so, we had to answer a few questions:
  • Answer #1 – Let’s build our solution on the fastest growing collaboration tool on the market, Microsoft SharePoint!  Not only can organizations get more out of their existing infrastructure investments but it’s easy to use, familiar, and flexible.  Now teams can leverage the WorkEngine applications built on SharePoint to meet any business need and get up and running immediately!  EPM WorkEngine’s ability to integrate with Microsoft Project also allows users to manage schedules in a familiar tool and still allow complete work management by offering those who don’t use Microsoft Project a tool to collaborate, build lightweight schedules and manage all other work in the same system.
  • Answer #2 – Project and Work Management can be difficult already, why bring in additional complexity?  We didn’t have any desire to build a system that carries through all the current issues in the market today, we needed to resolve them.  In Enterprise systems today there are several common pain points: 1) If you implement a system for one area of the business such as a PMO, many times that same system can’t offer other teams or other areas of focus the same benefits.  2) Users will always vary.  You most likely don’t have a business where all employees are the same personality type, the same level of PM maturity, are responsible for the same tasks and have the same expertise.  A system must be flexible and must accommodate all users.  3) Teams will always have different ways of managing their work, different methodologies, and different work in general.  Finding a tool that will do it all is almost an impossible task.  WorkEngine has resolved all of these common pain points by offering a solution that ensures each user a system that works the way they work.  Regardless of methodology, processes, areas of focus or complexity, WorkEngine has the solution for everyone all within a single platform.
  • Answer #3 – Any time you throw the word “Enterprise” into a solution, there could potentially be high costs involved.  Not only for the hardware, but software, training and licenses as well. It takes a lot of funding to build a solution that will work for the entire Enterprise….not anymore.  WorkEngine offers COST EFFECTIVE Project and Work Management to all organizations.  You can now manage your work more effectively than ever before.  We have solutions that will work for one Project Manager, small teams, and large organizations.  It is simply not out of reach for anyone.  With online models, on premise models and even hosted solutions, we cover the gamut for every need, every budget and every user.

As for the title of this blog…..well, as I mentioned earlier, we have a lot of excitement around WorkEngine 2010.  Check out what one of our trusted WorkEngine Partners has to say about WorkEngine 2010 at Demeter.com.

EPM Live has also been positioned in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for IT PPM, has won the award for Top 100 Tech Companies by Red Herring and has been named one of Inc 5000’s Fastest Growing Companies for the 3rd year in a row!  It simply just keeps getting better!

WorkEngine Announces its Accelerator Marketplace- Prebuilt Templates to Accelerate your Implementation

To help organizations reduce the time to market when implementing an Enterprise Project and Work Management Solution, EPM Live has built a WorkEngine template gallery that will help meet the needs and requirements of almost any organization.  WorkEngine’s Accelerator Marketplace offers powerful, easy to use predefined solution templates, feature templates and WorkEngine Partner’s third party products that optimize the dynamic features of EPM Live’s WorkEngine and accelerate the implementation process.   WorkEngine Accelerators will ensure that your organization’s Solution deploys efficiently and meets specific and unique requirements.

WorkEngine Accelerators significantly improve time-to-benefit at minimal risk. Our Accelerators are built with leading industry and business best practices imbedded in the configuration.  WorkEngine Accelerators enable rapid adoption and standardization of world-class best practices.

WorkEngine Accelerators help organizations:

  • Decrease implementation cost and risk, while increasing ROI
  • Build in and  Standardize best practices surrounding their business processes
  • Ensure Early adoption

To access EPM Live’s WorkEngine Accelerator Gallery please click here.

August 08 EPM Live Launches WorkEngine 2010 Live Built On SharePoint 2010 Enterprise

Since EPM WorkEngine’s inception, EPM Live has continued to align with its vision to evolve the traditional, powerful capabilities of PPM (Project and Portfolio Management) and extend the same value-driven concepts to all areas of the business.  EPM Live continues to ensure that its customers have the tools they need to be productive, achieve maximum quality in their projects and work and do it all within the constraints that affect every executable work item; time, money and resources.

With the recent launch of EPM Live’s 2010 WorkEngine product line, EPM Live committed to delivering a truly revolutionary platform that would change the way organizations manage projects and work today.  In keeping alignment with an aggressive product roadmap and delivering on its commitments, EPM Live has launched it’s 2010 WorkEngine environment built on SharePoint 2010 Enterprise.  Now EPM Live WorkEngine customers can leverage the powerful capabilities that SharePoint 2010 Enterprise has to offer while at the same time realizing the cost saving benefits of an online project and work management solution.

In addition to WorkEngine’s core capabilities and features, take a look at some of the additional capabilities WorkEngine users will experience online with WorkEngine’s new and improved foundation, SharePoint 2010 Enterprise:

My Sites– A My Site is a personal SharePoint site that users can customize. Users can change the content and design of their My Sites and include a public profile, where they can share details like contact information and colleagues. My Sites first appeared in Microsoft Office SharePoint Portal Server 2003 and was included in subsequent versions of SharePoint. SharePoint 2010 dramatically enhances My Sites with new social features, including user profiles, newsfeeds, and the “Ask Me About” section.

Excel Services– With Excel Services, users can meet their business needs by using Excel 2010 to create and modify spreadsheets. By using Excel Services, users can now maintain control over the spreadsheets in many ways and provide a single version of correct information.  People can take spreadsheets created in Excel 2010 and publish them to Excel Services in SharePoint 2010.  After defining the trusted location of the spreadsheet, they can allow other SharePoint site users to view the spreadsheet in their browsers.

Visio Services– SharePoint 2010 now includes Visio Services, which lets users render Visio diagrams and charts within a browser. SharePoint 2010 treats Visio files as first-class document types, like Word, Excel, or PowerPoint files, so users can easily open a Visio diagram from a document library. Additionally, it indexes the contents of the Visio diagram so they will be fully accessible within search results.

Form Services– With Microsoft InfoPath 2010, business users can design sophisticated electronic forms to quickly and cost effectively gather information required for an immediate business need. It is possible to customize forms with features such as calculated fields, setting default values, conditional formatting and screen tips, all without writing code. When used together with SharePoint 2010, these forms can be used for information stored in SharePoint lists.

Access Services– Business users often use Microsoft Office Access to create data-centric applications using tables, views, forms, and reports. Access applications are often designed for individual use or to be used by only a few people at the same time. These applications gain importance within the company as more people use them. Because Access is not intended to be used by many concurrent users, the applications begin to experience scale-related problems. When the importance and popularity of Access applications grow, companies eventually must redevelop them into Web applications. Depending on the complexity and size of the application, redeveloping applications can become very difficult.  SharePoint 2010 addresses this problem by helping people create applications in Access 2010 and publish them to SharePoint sites with Access Services.

BCS– In SharePoint Server 2007, users could work with external data using the Business Data Catalog (BDC).
With this powerful capability, users gained advanced search solutions and could supplement information in SharePoint lists with data from external line-of-business systems. SharePoint 2010 builds on the BDC and introduces Business Connectivity Services (BCS), helping users integrate external data into SharePoint solutions with both read and write operations.  Users can easily connect a SharePoint Composites application to external data by using Microsoft SharePoint Designer 2010 to create an external content type, which they can use in SharePoint lists or throughout the application. Users can also use the external data within Office client applications such as Word, Excel, and Outlook.

Performance Point Services– Almost every business intelligence implementation uses scorecards and dashboards. Scorecards are collections of KPIs and objectives that people use to measure multiple performance factors in a business. A dashboard is a group of related objects that help companies quickly understand their performance.  Dashboards can include scorecards, reports, spreadsheets, and diagrams; they may also contain filters that all scorecards and KPIs use to control the context of reports and visualizations. Microsoft PerformancePoint™ Services helps companies view and manage key drivers of the business and tie them to the corporate strategy.

The SharePoint 2010 Enterprise capabilities defined above are only a small subset of those now offered.  If you would like to take advantage of EPM Live’s WorkEngine SharePoint 2010 Enterprise online product offering, please clickhere to create your own SharePoint 2010 Enterprise plus WorkEngine trial environment.

Gartner PPM Maturity Model and EPM WorkEngine- A Roadmap to EPM Success

What is a PPM Maturity Model and why is it so important?  PPM Maturity Models have played an important role in history preparing organizations and IT leaders to better their Project and Portfolio Management processes.  The ability to practice these types of strategic disciplines to better align with your organization’s strategic objectives is called Organizational Project Management Maturity.

In today’s competitive market it is critical for organizations to leverage their IT infrastructure to better these processes and continue to move up the maturity curve.  It is proven that organizations with higher maturity can expect to see better return and performance on their project portfolio and could potentially lead to competitive advantage.  Why?  Because a portfolio that is managed in accordance with a PPM Maturity Model, such as Gartner’s, can help organizations identify their weaknesses, determine and set priorities, and play a key role in establishing goals to better the overall organization.

Does this mean that every organization should set a goal of going from level 0 maturity to level 5 in 90 days? Absolutely not, in fact, quite the contrary.  Moving up in maturity at a rapid pace will only introduce risks and ultimately result in low adoption or acceptance for all those involved.  Organizations must realistically assess where they reside in the maturity model and set practical, incremental goals that are achievable and obtainable through gradual adoption.  The Gartner PPM Maturity Model involves 5 core dimensions and 6 levels:5 Core Dimensions:People- Your most valuable asset on any project is the people.  Their skill set, their involvement or availability and their ability to follow processes and deliver on projects are all crucial characteristics of project management maturity.

PPM Processes- Processes are the activities, tasks, or workflow that is used to establish an end result.  The granularity and complexity of the processes we use through project management disciplines whether it be portfolio management, resource management, time management or task management have a great impact on the end result.

Financial Management- All project related work, in addition to materials, have a direct impact on your projects bottom line.  How you track and manage this information will most definitely play a role in your project’s success.

Technology- This one is a sweet spot for EPM Live.  Technology is critical.  How and with what tool you will manage every aspect of your portfolio will ultimately determine your ability to improve productivity which in turn affects your resources, your dollars, your time and the quality in which you deliver.

Relationships- This one seems to require little explanation.  The relationship we have amongst our stakeholders (project teams, customers, leadership) can make or break a project.  Communication is key and the way we collaborate and nurture these relationships is of utmost importance.

So how does our technology stack up against the Gartner PPM Maturity Model?  EPM Live believes that PPM Maturity is critical for project success.  We also understand that most organizations fall between level 0 and level 1 maturity.  EPM Live’s EPM WorkEngine provides the tools necessary to help organizations improve their PPM maturity while at the same time aligning with the organization’s strategic goals as you transition up the maturity ladder.   For this reason, EPM WorkEngine offers a solution path to success that will help you determine where you are in organizational maturity, where you want to be moving forward and a roadmap to get you there!

Work Management with Microsoft Project 2010 Professional and SharePoint 2010

As we have mentioned in previous articles, Microsoft Project 2010 Professional has many new features that are well worth the upgrade, but along with the powerful new capabilities of Microsoft technology also comes a new way of thinking.  It is no longer good enough to have a centeralized location to manage all project work across your organization. You must also consider that where there is project work, there is always work, non-project related, affecting the same resources.

Common business productivity systems that are critical for projects, such as EPM or PPM don’t always include all other work that affects your project resources making true work management impossible.  It is essential to the management of any project that you properly analyze all work that has any impact on your overall project portfolio.

Microsoft® Project Professional 2010 offers Project Managers a powerful tool for scheduling, planning and assigning project work within their projects and programs.  Microsoft SharePoint® Foundation 2010 provides its users with an easy to use, intuitive platform for effective team collaborationis and continues to be the most widely used collaboration platform on the market today.

Although many organizations leverage both tools for improved business productivity, many times these solutions operate in parallel and therefore aren’t even beginning to scratch the surface for reaching their true potential .

EPM Live’s EPM WorkEngine offers expanded Microsoft Project Professional and SharePoint capabilities that give organizations the ability to manage both projects and all other work with one solution.  By providing the proper toolsets to track and manage all work and associated costs, EPM WorkEngine is empowering businesses of all sizes and types to extend their current project management practice into a full work management discipline.

To join our upcoming webinar to see how EPM WorkEngine combines the power of both technologies to provide a powerful EPM solution for effectively managing project, operational, development and all other types of work in your organization please register here.

With WorkEngine 2010, Microsoft Project 2010 Professional and SharePoint 2010 you can now get more value from the technologies you already own, you can streamline your operations, save money and have direct impact to your bottom line.

#WPC- Everyone Wins with WorkEngine, visit our Booth!

Partners and Customers Win with WorkEngine! Visit the WorkEngine booth #338 at the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference in Washington D.C., July 11-15, 2010 to learn how you can reach new markets and grow revenue by leveraging EPM Live’s Award Winning Work Management Solution built for SharePoint.

WIN A TRIP TO THE BAHAMAS!
Plus, visiting the booth each day will qualify you for a chance to win a FLIP HP Video (1 awarded each day) and a Grand Prize trip for 2 to the World Famous Atlantis Hotel in the Bahamas!
Not sure WorkEngine is right for you or your customers? Visit our booth to learn more or you can: