How has IMS evolved since its inception? Also, help us understand how has the company leveraged its partnership with Oracle over the years?
We started out as a provider of project management services in 1993 on large/complex projects in the Aerospace/Defense, Oil & Gas, Chemical and Engineering and Construction industries.In the late 90’s, IMS served as an advisor/ consultant and the first business partner of EagleRay Software Systems, which designed and developed the software now called Oracle Primavera P6.In 1999, EagleRay software systems was acquired by Primavera Systems. IMS became the first partner of Primavera Systems for the new product, then called TeamPlay and then P3e, P3e/c etc.Being the first organization to be intimately familiar with the product, we were provided the opportunity to implement the software forover a hundred customers including Weyerhaeuser, Boeing, Northrop Grumman, Aflac, HP Software and many others.This experiencegave us a wealth of wisdom and an opportunity to provide what we learned to our customers over the last 18 years via a wide range of value-added services.
In 2009, Oracle acquired Primavera Systems and we became a Platinum Partner, Business Process Services Partner and Training Partnerfor the Oracle Primavera Global Business Unit, now the Construction and Engineering Global Business Unit. The collaboration enabled us to startlaunchingnew project management related products and services. While we continue to ensure that the Oracle Primavera products are implemented correctly, our main focus is making sure our clients maximize the value of their investment in the system. We provide technical, functional, and process expertise to enhance our customers’decision-makingcapabilities, providing them visibility to make timely and critical decisions. Our services include implementation, integration, training, custom reporting, cloud hosting, and help desk support. Furthermore, we augment our customers’ teams with talent, people who understand the project management process, have Oracle Primavera application expertise and experience in their specific industry.
With the help of Oracle Primavera applications, we deliver innovative project management solutions to help businesses manage their projects successfully.
What,according to you, are the challenges in the project management landscape?
Executive Reporting is still an enormous challenge, especially for most construction contractors. They utilize data from various applications like Scheduling & Resource Management, Contract Management, Financial Management, Procurement Management and Customer Relationship Management. This data maybe sitting in siloed databases or even spreadsheets. They must extract the data from the various applications mentioned above, aggregate it and then prepare a report. Sometimes, they’ll extract some of the information, summarize it and put it into a Power Point slide to provide executives the highlights needed to make critical and timely decisions.
As you can imagine, this process is cumbersome, riddled with quality issues, is labor intensive, time consuming, expensive, and often, the reporting is based on older data. These reports are only valuable if the information is accurate and current, since the purpose of these tools is for management to have the information needed to help forecast outcomes. Executives need to make critical and timely decisions. If there are quality issues or the data is out of date the report becomes irrelevant.
IMS overcomes this challenge by improving our customers’ business process and providing a dashboard technology, called ProjectInfoCenterthat automates and aggregates this task.
Could you talk about the company’s project management solutions and services?
We bring together the technology, processes, and people to simplify project management for our customers’ businesses. ProjectInfoCenter, our newest product, allows us to provide dashboards as a service, workflow as a service, and knowledge management as a service. ProjectInfoCenterprovides an aggregated view of all projectsstored in the Oracle Primavera database. In addition, we also host Oracle’s Primavera applications and others in the IMSCloud, located in FISMA compliant data centers in Dallas, TX and Manassas, VA. If required, these applications can be moved into a FedRAMP secured environment in the same data centers.
We provide professional services with our application and technical expertise for successful project delivery.Our professional services include help desk support and training on a subscription basis. We also provide staff augmentation services to organizations to manage their complex projects by helping them adopt the project management tools they already have.
Please share the company’s approach towards initiating a project and assisting clients with their project management requirements?
We like tostart with an assessment, which begins with interviewing key stakeholders, and reviewing relevant artefacts such as reports, process, organizational charts etc. Assessment helps us to further understand the root causes of the customers challenges. It also helps us understand the gap between where the customer wants to be and where they are currently. Furthermore, we can identify the risks or obstacles that can prevent the initiative from being successful.
The key is to understand the requirements and roadblocks, furthermore making sure everyone is on the same pagebefore starting any engagement.After the assessment, we come together for an open discussion to exchangethefindings and recommendations along with the roadmap to success, time frame and budget to effectively execute the plan.
While there are several key success factors in implementing any type of solution, there are two that stand out. The first is to make sure the sponsor of the initiative is on board and involved. Communication within the organization regarding the purpose, expectations, and benefits of the initiative is vitally important to helping everyone involved understand how the organization’s goals can be positively impacted. The second key success factor is to educate the stakeholders. Understanding the solution and how to use it increases buy-in from stakeholders and helps mitigate the risk of change management issues. Initiatives like new system implementations often fail when organizations cannot fully adopt the change.
Share a case study where IMS has helped its clients overcome their business challenges and achieve desired outcomes?
Improving our customers’ project delivery success rates by advancing project portfolio systems and capabilities has always been a top priority for IMS. When a large government agency wanted to establish a comprehensive enterprise wide end-to-end revenue solution, IMS was tasked to assess the nine most important projects. The technical project scope was comprised of nearly 100 databases, 50 individual J2E applications, 60 system scheduler applications, 100 ETL programs, 25 Cobol programs, and 25 BRIO reports. We provided guidance and consulting in the areas of risk management, program management & scheduling, and earned value management. The risk management effort consisted of developing an enterprise-wide risk management strategy to assist CBO in leading a focused transformation business practices. Risk analysis tool Primavera Pertmaster was implemented to support risk analysis. The program management and schedule effort involved developing a Program Plan and implementing an integrated master schedule using Primavera P6. The earned value management involved the creation of an Earned Value Management Plan and several EarnedWork Credit Methodologies.
Currently, we are striking the right combination of technical, functional, and process expertise to assist our clients. As mentioned above, a lot of organizations already have project management tools in place, it’s just a matter improving on what they have in place to maximize the value their receiving. That’s our strength.
One of our latest initiatives is to focus on outsourcing project scheduling, cost control and risk management processes for an organization’s project or portfolio of projects, bringing the technology, processes and people to deliver the value for flat fee; all whileutilizing Oracle’s Primavera solutions.