Changepoint: Same Script, Different Theater

By Joshua Weinberger Print this article Print

Changepoint doesn't want merely to manage your portfolio—it wants to run your entire life.

Aptly named Changepoint has certainly adapted—to stock-market hiccups and software-market shifts. The firm shelved its 2000 public offering, but had roughly $40 million in venture capital as a cushion. Since then, the firm says it's had two profitable years in a row, growing revenues while shrinking headcount by a third.

The company first catered to the professional-services industry, where requirements rarely exceeded time-tracking and resource-billing. The recent expansion of its technical skills into portfolio management may not seem intuitive, but given the slowdown in consulting, rivals such as Lawson Software have made similar moves.

Integris Health's Avery Cloud says that model is actually appropriate for technology units. An outsourcer, he says, "would use professional-services applications to deploy its experts to its customers to meet their business goals; I.T. must do the same." Changepoint, he says, "is not just a project-management tool, and not just a portfolio tool. It's an I.T.-management tool. We use it like a portal," albeit one that also handles balanced scorecards, business cases, knowledge capture, and "all kinds of opportunities to manage information about the portfolios."

For some of Changepoint's other early adopters, though, implementation has been incremental. "We're not doing portfolio management right now," says Gerhard Kraus of Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals. "We're still defining a prioritization procedure," which will help "decide which projects should come first." Boehringer doesn't "expect to have [portfolio-management features] up and running until the start of next year," Kraus says. The company wants to compile baseline data first.

Boehringer had been using other project-management software, but in Changepoint, Kraus says, the company saw "one single, integrated solution for managing I.T. operations and the I.T. portfolio." By introducing Changepoint, Boehringer hopes to reduce complexity and streamline business processes.

At Precision Response Corp. (PRC), "We had six different systems that we could at least partially replace using Changepoint," says PRC's Rae Towsley, "That was part of the ROI." The ability "to have a [top-level] snapshot and at the same time drill down will change the way we measure projects," Towsley says, and improve levels of customer satisfaction. That's the kind of adaptation Changepoint's counting on.


30 Leek Crescent Richmond Hill
Ont., Canada L4B 4N4
(800) 263-7189 www.changepoint.com

Employees: 180
Gerry Smith
President, CEO
Was VP, Consulting Services until his 1994 promotion. A licensed engineer, he previously held senior positions at engineering-consulting firm Gore & Storrie Ltd. Was named one of Canada's "Top 40 Under 40" in April.

Paul Lupinacci
VP, Product and Customer Management
With the company since 1992, he's responsible for the product roadmap and release strategy, and for customer satisfaction.

Rick Moreau
VP, Client Services
Promoted to the post in October 1997, he joined in 1995 after 10 years in technology management at Ontario Hydro.

In addition to its professional-services functions, Changepoint 8.0 can be used by corporate technology departments for prioritization and performance evaluation.

Reference Checks

Integris Health
Avery Cloud
(405) 949-3977
Project: In one of the most advanced technology-department deployments, the Oklahoma-based hospital operator is using Changepoint as a central hub. Also tracks user resources and available skill sets, and can create different portfolios of projects to give executives the ability to mix and match.

Mike Weaver
VP, Global Professional Services
(770) 813-3506
Project: NCR's data-management division has 9,000 licenses for Changepoint—more than any other customer—using them primarily for tracking its professional-services staff.

Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals
Gerhard Kraus
Dir. of I.T., Program Management Office
(203) 798-9988
Project: Drug manufacturer deployed Changepoint 8 in September, and is ramping up its methodology in expectation of portfolio management in 2004. Intends to have Changepoint be the one source to provide all technology-related information.

Precision REsponse Corp.
Rae Towsley
VP, I.T.
(305) 816-2310
Project: InterActiveCorp subsidiary's technology department went live with time-entry function in July and has been streamlining its application portfolio, taking early steps toward project-portfolio management.

Sprint Canada
Zoran Stakic
VP, Information Systems & Technology Solutions
(416) 718-6338
Project: Telecommunications company has turned to Changepoint to help automate the portfolio-management methodology already in place.

Executives listed here are all users of Changepoint software. Their willingness to talk has been confirmed by Baseline.

Customer Milestones:
2001: NCR's Teradata division
2002: Microsoft Consulting Services and Sprint Canada
2003: Legal and General, Siemens Power Generation, Sun Life Financial Canada and Boehringer Ingelheim
Founded: 1992
Investors: VenGrowth Capital Partners, XDL Intervest, JMI Equity, Updata Capital, Trimark, Altamira Investment, O'Donnell

This article was originally published on 2003-10-01
Assistant Editor
After being on staff at The New Yorker for five years, Josh later traveled the world, hitting all seven continents in a single year. At Yale University, he majored in American Studies, English, and Theatre Studies.

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