Primavera links resource management, portfolio planning

Evolve-ProSight integration aims to help companies better prioritize, plan for IT projects

Primavera Systems next week plans to announce a new version of its Evolve resource management software, which will be integrated with the company's ProSight portfolio management system to help companies better prioritize IT projects and identify the right people to do the work.

The integration with ProSight allows companies to use the new Evolve 8.9 resource management software to obtain a holistic, strategic view of the business from pre-planning for new IT projects through project selection, resource assignment and execution, the company said.

The new version of Evolve also includes links to Microsoft's Project Server 2007 software, enabling project and resource information to be shared across applications and thus eliminating the problems associated with critical data being trapped in disconnected silos, Primavera said.

Sabre Holdings Corp., which has been using Evolve product for two years, had started searching for a resource management tool after a 2004 query from the company's CEO to IT officials concerning new investment in IT development, said Greg Bronson, Sabre's director of strategic planning. At the time, the company was using a homegrown tool that would take three months to determine IT's capacity to take on new projects, he added.

"The ultimate business driver for us was resource management," Bronson noted. "Our homegrown tools could tell us what projects we were working on. We could do some real crude resourcing, but it was so high level, we really didn't know who was working on a project and our available capacity."

Fast forward to 2006, when 3,500 Sabre workers use the Evolve tool set and the results of such analysis is quite different. "I was able to run an analysis in four hours that showed us if we took on this very large new customer in Europe what the effects would be," Bronson said. "Before, the same analysis had taken three months."

The company, which is now moving to implement the 8.9 version of the Primavera tool, has also relied on Evolve to help eliminate the use of spreadsheets to plan and prioritize IT projects, Bronson added. Before using the tool, the company began planning new IT projects in July and finished the process in January.

The tool lets the company plan for new projects every quarter. A recent request from the company's board to move up the presentation of the proposed new IT projects by one month would have required months to accommodate with the old method, Bronson noted.

"Because of the capacity of the tool, we had the projects in the system and we had them prioritized," he said. "We were able to come up with a draft in a week."

Bronson said the integration of Evolve with ProSight will allow the company to further improve the planning and prioritizing of IT projects.

Other new features of Evolve 8.9 include:

--Stronger security and audit controls.

--Permission auditing for more visibility into users' rights within the system.

--New custom field types to improve data management and reporting.

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