Gartner Cloud-Based PPM MQ: Vendor Strengths & Cautions #pmot
It’s time to dissect the Gartner “Magic Quadrant for Cloud-based Project and Portfolio Management Services” published June 27, 2012. Thirteen vendors were prodded, probed and ultimately plotted. It’s easy to get pixel envy and focus on the MQ graphic and not the vendor commentary. Each vendor gets three strength and three caution bullets. From what I can tell, the strengths are relative to the vendor itself as well as relative to the cloud competition. They don’t seem to be overtly relative to the broader PPM vendor landscape (i.e., relative to the traditional on-premise providers).
I counted the total mentions of various capabilities in the strength and caution column and included in the graphic below capability that was mentioned more than once. Each bullet may include multiple strengths and it’s somewhat of a challenge to categorize capabilities (e.g., are new and improved resource management reports a reporting strength or a resource management strength?). So, if anyone is disturbed enough to try to re-create this, be forewarned that your mileage may vary. The bars represent the number of mentions (the highest number of mentions was "Integration" with 11 cautions).
So, did this exercise lead to any useful insights? Here are my comments; I’ll let you decide.
First, it’s clear that integration is a real hot button for Gartner, especially with respect to agile development and ALM environments. Cloud vendors need a strong integration story to combat the perception that the traditional vendors -- which include a lot of contiguous products in their product portfolio – have a one-stop shopping advantage.
Second, the graphic is a reminder that ultimately PPM is inherently a collaborative endeavor and it’s especially challenging to optimize communication and collaboration in our geographically distributed workplace. A few vendors including Instantis have integrated social networking concepts and technology to stay on the leading-edge of PPM collaboration.
It should be no surprise that Gartner views strong top-down portfolio management as strategic for PPM vendors and their customers. This contrasts with the traditional focus of some SaaS PPM vendors on the nuts and bolts of bottom-up project scheduling, task management, time reporting, etc. This has been a theme of their research for the past couple years. The prevalence of comments related to dashboards and reporting is obviously no surprise. At the end of the day, if you can’t get the information in the hands of the decision-makers quickly and in a format they can consume and act upon, the PPM initiative is doomed.
It was interesting that NPD support is on the radar. We are betting our future on the concept of Enterprise PPM or the ability to support multiple project portfolio types -- such as IT PPM, NPD, CapEx Planning, business process management – in a single system which can be configured to be culturally acceptable to all user communities.
I’m a bit surprised there weren’t more comments on either side of the ledger relative to resource and capacity management as well as usability/UI. Resource management is the number one driver of Instantis EnterpriseTrack sales, followed closely by reporting/dashboards and usability.
How do these cloud PPM vendor strengths and cautions map to your hot buttons?