Gartner Report Underscores the Value in Strengthening Service Line and Portfolio Management Processes

A report, ‘The Gartner Scenario for IT Services Providers: The Future of IT Services’, published earlier this month, really struck a note with us at Changepoint. According to its authors, IT services leaders are slowly losing market share, largely due to their inability to respond to market forces quickly enough. This report highlights the shifting landscape for IT service providers including how buying patterns are changing as IT procurement spreads out across the enterprise, new technologies and delivery mechanisms are shifting, and user expectations are evolving as the empowered consumer starts to make waves in the workplace. Professional service providers need to keep pace with these changes or they will slowly become irrelevant.

For professional service providers, it is no longer enough to solely conduct annual reviews to decide which direction the company should move, what geographies to target, or what products and services to sell. These factors are ever changing and to stay ahead of the curve companies must be able to make improvements and streamline operations on a continual basis to allow them to offer cheaper, faster, and higher quality solutions to customers. In his accompanying webinar, Eric Rocco, Managing VP for Gartner explained it this way: “To capture future growth and be positioned on the right side of the fast-shifting IT services marketplace, IT service providers of every type need to bridge their legacy offerings and new delivery paradigms.” Professional service organizations must become increasingly agile and have the right data in place to support business decisions if they plan to respond to opportunities in real-time.

Rocco highlights that to do so providers must strengthen their service line and portfolio management processes in order to be successful. Professional Services Automation (PSA) and Product Portfolio Management (PPM) are two critical tools enabling them to do just that–respond to changing markets quickly and with greater accuracy. By providing easy access to actionable data about where demand is being generated and what requests customers are making, organizations using these solutions can make timely changes in their delivery of IT and business process services.

It is not only that; PSA and PPM also allow organizations to keep track of all the moving parts within their services businesses. As providers start to introduce new services and territories, it is easy to over-extend – having this control and visibility thus becomes invaluable. By understanding the cost of delivery, while managing resources and human capital in a more effective way, providers can build business models that deliver a streamlined service for the customer in a more cost-effective way; everyone’s a winner!

We would like to hear more about how your organization is using PSA and PPM solutions to stay ahead of the curve in your industry. Feel free to post your thoughts in the comments section below, or reach out to us on Twitter at @Daptiv.

Adapt 2014 User Conference Wrap-up

The Changepoint Adapt 2014 user conference for Daptiv PPM has officially wrapped up and we are excited to share the details, especially for anyone unable to attend or thinking about making the trip next year. This year’s three-day conference consisted of two lecturing days and one hands-on training day with Daptiv PPM. Topics covered during the lecturing sessions included customer case studies, integrating Daptiv PPM into multiple project management methodologies, portfolio planning, applications, and reports among others. View the full schedule here.

“Adapt 2014 was designed to help you to take the next steps to personalizing, vitalizing and optimizing your PPM practice.”

Attendees were treated to luxury accommodations and conference rooms at the W Hotel and finished the two-day lecturing session with bowling and socializing. Throughout Adapt 2014 attendees interacted with the official social media channel #Adapt2014 and gave everyone at the conference the benefit of attending all sessions. Check out some of the engagement before and after conference sessions:

Jake Brittingham ‏@Jvbritt 

Just had lunch with Hamish Taylor at #Adapt2014 and I am blown away by his presence. Absolutely amazing keynote speaker this morning!

Chris Padilla ‏@WHavenCommuter 

“If you want a breakthrough…look outside your environment” – Hamish Taylor #Adapt2014

Kumudha G ‏@KumudhaG 

Discovering the problem to solve is our biggest challenge. via @Sanjayradhakrishnan #Adapt2014

Melinda Rings‏@ringoswife

Loved the mixology challenge!!! The ‘Seattle Shermanator’ should have won!!! #Adapt2014 pic.twitter.com/c7ONOJOVHG

The 2014 user conference was a huge success and we are looking forward to planning the next. Check back in to our blogs and social media channels to stay updated and get the jump on our next user conference. If you attended the event feel free to tell us what you thought in the comments section or interact with us on social media.

To everyone who took the time to get the most out of our Daptiv PPM tool – thank you for your time and we hope you found the sessions useful. See you next year!

Changepoint social media – @_Changepoint

Daptiv PPM social media – @Daptiv

 

 

Project Fatigue: Taking Its Toll on Your Employees?

If your business runs slowly no matter how many changes and projects you throw at it, perhaps your employees are suffering from project fatigue. David Blumhorst, the Vice President of Solutions and Services at Daptiv, recently sat down with Cornelius Fichtner on the PM Podcast to chat about how to spot project fatigue and ways to prevent it.

Understanding what project fatigue is and where it stems from is the first step to prevention. At a basic level, project fatigue occurs when a company implements too many projects at once. However, it typically refers to projects that directly impact an employee’s usual workflow. A background interface project to speed up internet connection isn’t likely to meet resistance, but changing the way someone goes about their daily job will almost always illicit some level of opposition unless handled correctly. Companies suffering from project fatigue generally experience one or more of the following:

  • Employees are unmotivated and choose to complete tasks with dated techniques.
  • Business processes are slow and do not show improvement after project implementation.
  • Even with new projects the business is not meeting its target goals.

The best way to combat project fatigue is to avoid it all together. Blumhorst recommends the following tips for implementing projects to evade the negative effects of project fatigue:

  • Determine the amount of change your business can handle at once – Some companies and departments are able to handle multiple changes at once while others need to have projects broken down and implemented one at a time.
  • Understand how your organization will approach change– Startups and smaller companies are better at picking up new processes without resistance, while larger more established companies with dated workflow techniques will need to coach and prepare employees more extensively before project implementation.
  • Align projects with specific business targets that are backed by employees – Employees are more likely to accept and learn new processes if they understand how the changes further a business goal. Knowing why their workflow is being altered and how their adoption of the new system will ultimately meet a previously discussed business objective will create a project friendly environment.
  • Communicate, communicate, communicate – Employees are emotional beings, therefore it’s important to give them the opportunity to voice concerns before and after project implementation to increase acceptance. Knowing how a project will change day-to-day activities before they are actually changed and then providing a forum to ask questions afterward creates a more comfortable and seamless transition.
  • Use a PPM Tool for better planning – Having the ability to see how projects line up with each other is crucial to determining where issues will occur. If there are too many workflow altering projects back to back, spread them out and give employees time to adjust before throwing them another curveball. Just because the technology is ready doesn’t mean the people dealing with the changes will be.
  • Understand that project implementation is only the beginning –The day a project goes live is only the beginning of ensuring smooth project implementation. Although project teams could have worked behind the scenes for months before a project goes live, this is the first time many of the end-users may have interacted with it.

Blumhorst reiterates Project Portfolio Management (PPM) leaders must also realize strategically planning for projects before, during, and after implementation increases the chance that their employees will accept and flourish in new work environments.

For more information on avoiding project fatigue, listen to the entire PM Podcast online. We would also like to hear about your projects. Have you or your business experienced project fatigue, and if so how did you reverse the negative effects? Feel free to post your thoughts in the comments section below, or reach out to us on Twitter at @Daptiv with the hashtag #TooManyProjects

Daptiv Is Now Changepoint!

ChangepointToday I am very excited to announce that Daptiv will be joining Changepoint to bring unmatched project portfolio management (PPM) and professional services automation (PSA) solutions to the market. Changepoint has acquired Daptiv as a very strategic step in building a strong future for the new combined
company that will truly benefit the customers, employees, and partners of both organizations.

For those unfamiliar with Changepoint, it is a Toronto-based based company that provides on-premise and hosted PSA and PPM solutions to businesses around the world. Like Daptiv, Changepoint is a Gartner Magic Quadrant Leader, but the solutions serve different markets within the space and together create a highly robust, complementary and non-competitive portfolio of world-class PSA and PPM solutions.

Now that the acquisition has been announced, I want to assure you that none of the Daptiv products and services you’ve come to know will skip a beat. It will be business as usual and all services will be supported throughout and beyond this acquisition. This acquisition creates a broader portfolio of world-class solutions, making Changepoint the only company to have recognized market leading solutions in both PSA and PPM with complete customer delivery flexibility, including on-premise, hosted, and pure SaaS. 

This is great news for Daptiv customers…

  • Changepoint’s acquisition of Daptiv is focused on investing in and growing the business to continue to provide customer value.  This new organization will be stronger and better positioned to innovate and lead in the industry.
  • Our customers are critically important to us. We greatly value your business and will work hard to make sure the transition is seamless and the acquisition creates added customer value.
  • We will continue to fully support, maintain and invest in both the Changepoint and Daptiv solutions.  We know many of you are currently deploying and/or expanding Daptiv and we will work hard to ensure your businesses see positive near and long-term benefits from this acquisition.
  • Finally, we will keep the lines of communication open and make every effort to answer all of your questions. We will make sure your account managers and our executives are available for you to answer any questions you might have.

We look forward to working with our now vastly expanded customer community to find new ways to encourage communication and sharing of ideas, best practices and product direction. The quality and breadth of services you’ll have access to will only expand with this acquisition.

You can follow us through this acquisition on Twitter to learn more about additional benefits in the coming days (@Daptiv, and @_Changepoint). For more information please view the official press release here and a letter from Jim Byrnes, president and CEO of Changepoint here.

Daptiv’s Growth Skyrockets in First Half of 2014

It’s been a great first half of the year and we are excited to publicly share the results we’re seeing with you. In the past two quarters, we have seen our new business pipeline flourish both in North America and abroad. We have achieved record new business growth during the first two quarters of 2014, up more than 30 percent from the same period last year. In addition to strong growth in North America, these gains stem in large part from tremendous momentum in international markets, with over 200 percent year-over-year combined bookings growth in the EMEA and APAC regions.

Major customer wins and market demand for enterprise-class SaaS-based PPM solutions provided further fuel for our record breaking first half of the year. We saw brand leaders across diverse markets select our PPM tools to serve their project and portfolio management needs in 2014, including Panasonic North America, Precor, Chicago Public Schools, and the Department of Education (UK).

We attribute all this customer momentum to the targeted shifts we’ve made aimed at meeting heightened demand we’re seeing from the enterprise for a flexible and scalable SaaS-based PPM solution. Organizations in the healthcare, education, technology, and financial services industries, among others, continue to turn to us for PPM solutions that help run their businesses more efficiently and effectively. Our goal is to make it possible for these companies to streamline their employees’ day-to-day interactions, dramatically reducing the complexity of managing multiple teams, projects, and tasks.

Other key milestones that have contributed to this year’s strong performance include:

The first half of 2014 has been fantastic and we anticipate the growth to continue in the second half, fueled by our aggressive product and services advancements and continued strategic investments in both domestic and international markets. Remember you can follow our progress in-real time and interact with us on Twitter/Facebook/LinkedIn.