Customers plaster gold stars all over PlanView for its responsiveness and software that’s at the head of the class, though some say the 225-person company lacks deep expertise of certain industries, such as health care.
PlanView’s overall grade? “They get an ‘A’ from me,” says Ben Stivers, director of the project management office at Ceridian, which provides outsourced human-resources services. PlanView consultants spent a week with Stivers and his team when Ceridian upgraded to version 7.32 of its software last year, providing ideas about where it could improve its project management processes. “If we were dealing with a great big vendor,” he says, “we’d just be another fish in the sea.”
Jerry Stanley, vice president of the information-technology project office of Commerce Bank in St. Louis, also finds PlanView unusually tuned in to itscustomers. He’s “especially pleased” with the company’s technical support:”We see them as being one of the better vendors we have in terms of reacting to our needs.”
And PlanView’s “very solid” financial shape has let it focus on enhancing its product, according to Cheryl Randle, manager of Hallmark Cards’ information-technology project office. “We liked the fact they’ve reinvested into R&D to improve the package,” she says.
The software handles project and portfolio management as well as—or better than—any competing product, says Marc C. Andiel, vice president of strategic business management at Baylor Health Care System in Dallas. PlanView, in his opinion, provides a complete set of functions, from tracking time sheets and managing schedules to analyzing groups of projects. “It has everything we need, currently,” he says.
But Andiel also wishes PlanView provided portfolio assessment tools tailored to health care, such as being able to analyze what effect a new project would have on patient safety in relation to its cost. “Not every project we do is financially driven,” he says. “It would be nice if PlanView had a selling point that said, ‘We understand your vertical [industry].'”
Similarly, Hallmark’s Randle believes one area PlanView still needs improvement is its business management expertise. “They really understand I.T. strategically … but PlanView didn’t have those people in place with business knowledge,” she says. “Now they’re filling that gap.”
Revenue, 2004: $37.0M
U.S. sales, 2004: $22.2M
Annual growth, 2003 to ’04: 30%
Venture funding: $25M from Apax Partners, Nov. 2004
Users: 350,000 employees
BMC Software, Business Objects, EMC, IBM, Microsoft, VeriSign
Austin, Texas (headquarters); Atlanta; Boston; Boulder, Colo.; Chicago; Dallas; Denver; Houston; Irvine, Calif.; Jacksonville, Fla.; Philadelphia; San Antonio; San Francisco; Seattle; Washington, D.C.
Paris; Frankfurt, Germany; Reading, U.K.; Milan, Italy; Rome; Schiphol-Rijk, The Netherlands
Releases its first Web-based project management software
Signs deal to resell ProSight’s portfolio management product; deal ends a year later
Relocates Austin headquarters to larger offices
Receives first outside funding, $25M from Apax Partners