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Clarizen Touts ProjectMail SaaS as Effective Alternative to Microsoft Project

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Clarizen Touts ProjectMail SaaS as Effective Alternative to Microsoft Project

June 06, 2008
By Michael Dinan
TMCnet Editor
Saying traditional project management programs rarely move beyond planning, a San Mateo, California-based company is hailing its new SaaS (News - Alert) product as a fast, effective and secure means to project execution.  

Clarizen’s Web-based solution is designed to keep everyone working on a project in communication by integrating e-mail updates with project status updates, documents, notes and discussions that can be retrieved with any Internet-ready device.
Avinoam Nowogrodski, Clarizen’s founder and chief executive officer, said the new solution represents a new category in project management.
“A good company is a company that can sense and respond immediately,” Nowogrodski told TMCnet in an interview. “But if you don’t know where you are, how will you respond? It’s like driving a car at night.”
Billing its product as a less complicated version of Microsoft (News - Alert) Project – Clarizen officials even offer new customers a $300 rebate if they’re migrating from the Microsoft software – Nowogrodski says individuals working on a project often are reluctant to use a system that they find overly complex.
“Once you move into the execution area, many of the planning tools are no longer functional,” he said. “Some tasks you are doing, some others customers are doing. This is exactly where the system will be helpful. It’s a way to track a project and get real-time visibility to make a better decision.”
Offered with a free 30-day trail, the system costs $24.95 per month for the first 10 licenses, with discounts for larger package purchases, according to the company.
According to Nowogrodski, the majority of Clarizen’s clients are SMB’s across a wide range of service industries in marketing, engineering, manufacturing and software development.
Leaders from one of those clients, 24-by-7 Service Inc., a telecom services firm based in Denver, say the new software offers a user-friendly way to manage projects.
The company’s president and founder, Charley Ellison, told TMCnet in an interview that Microsoft Project “had been overkill,” leading employees to develop their own band-aid Excel spreadsheets and communicate with one another through e-mail – an inefficient exercise.
“We’re very much a collaborative type of company, we serve enterprise and government accounts, usually through a channel, so that ability – to be alert, to stay on top of projects with multiple partners, share information status updates and have flexibility about how much we’re showing, that’s been very effective,” Ellison said. “We have one project manager that uses it as a key communications tool. We’ve even extended it as an offering of ours and added value to our portal.”
For Nowogrodski, a major feature of the Clarizen service is that the solution is designed to ensure that all relevant project workers are communicating effectively.
“You need to bring the entire team on board and get everybody on the same page, and this serves as a sort of project repository, where all documents, e-mails and discussions are located,” he said. “You’re linked into it and you can get the overall picture of a project or look at specific items or components.”
Michael Dinan is a TMCNet Editor. To read more of his articles, please visit his columnist page.
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