For over a decade, Microsoft has delivered flexible software for Project Portfolio Management (PPM) through editions of Microsoft Project Server and Microsoft Project Professional. Now the proven capabilities in Project Server are available as Project Online, a cloud service which offers increased agility and a smaller IT footprint. Project Online works with the SharePoint platform and enjoys the business benefits of Office 365, which modernizes productivity infrastructure without any compromise.
Like building a house, in project management it’s very important to use the right tool at the right time. Many teams start with lightweight spreadsheets for organizing and tracking tasks. When they want to add collaboration and let team members manage their own reporting, task lists in SharePoint are a great way to organize the team’s work in accessible and inclusive ways. At some point, lists of tasks become too complex for simple spreadsheets. They have dependencies, shared resources, unique constraints, or maybe the list just becomes too long and unwieldy.
That’s when the humble task list can “graduate” into becoming a project, and Project Professional is the perfect tool for the job. Almost inevitably, businesses will accumulate a number of projects, and at some point require another sophisticated tool to manage all these projects in one place. Project Server provides this ability to look across many projects and keep the business running smoothly; and now, Project Online does this as a cloud service.
Like Project Server, Project Online integrates seamlessly with Project Professional, Microsoft’s signature project management software embraced by project managers everywhere. When an organization’s many individual projects are managed in Project Online, everything the Project Management Office (PMO) and business leaders need to manage project portfolios and make key decisions is available in one place, accessible from virtually anywhere on nearly any device.
Trends in hardware virtualization delivered substantial cost reductions for companies across many industries in recent years. As virtualization technology becomes mature and standardized, the leading edge of cost control is moving to cloud services, in which workloads that are not mission critical can be accessed with more flexibility, lower costs, and without investments in unnecessary infrastructure. Many enterprises understand that sustained competitive advantage results from strategically directed operations more so than administration of server farms.
Project Online addresses these realities and unlocks opportunity for teams to boost autonomy and scale. Since it’s a service delivered through Office 365, Project Online is always up to date, accessible from virtually anywhere, and can be trusted with sensitive data and mission-critical workloads.
Office 365 leverages best practices and adds unique innovations to give users the power to mix and match the right set of tools to meet business needs. Project Online brings SharePoint Online capabilities with it, and the experience only gets better when licenses are added for Lync Online communication, Exchange Online email services, and streaming Office applications like Word, Excel, and PowerPoint to personal computers virtually anywhere. Visio Pro for Office 365 is also available as a subscription, enabling integration of business process modelling, zero-code workflow design for demand management, data-connected dashboards, and traditional diagramming.
–Mark Sargeant, Product Marketing Manager, Microsoft Project