Oracle Prime – PM tool of the future?
Oracle Primavera P3 and later Primavera P6 Professional have been market-leading project management tools for more than three decades by now; and I’m sure that the latter will continue to be so for a while.
But, project controls best practices change and so will its toolbox.
At Primaned Belgium, we have seen some very strong project management tools arising, such as PMWeb and the much-improved MS Project Online to name two. Which is the most adequate tool all depends on the business case and the functional requirements of the client. We would be pleased to assist you in making these kinds of decisions.
In the last year one particular tool has attracted our attention in such a way that we have decided to invest heavily in learning it. We have been early adopters and we currently have a team of consultants capable of successfully implementing this tool. The tool that I’m referring to is Oracle Prime and it might very well be a real game changing PM tool.
What is Oracle Prime?
Oracle Prime is essentially a solution that integrates all areas of project controls into a single application. Contrary to other project controls tools which are schedule-driven, like Primavera P6, or that focus on a different single knowledge area within project controls, Oracle Prime is a much more comprehensive application for project delivery. Project controls knowledge areas such as scope, cost, risk and documents (or files) are all established modules within Oracle Prime. Tasks, Field, Contracts and Document Exchange are niche Apps for the construction & engineering sector, but most of our initial clients and prospects are very keen on their functionalities. Moreover, Oracle Prime also has a lot of functionality such as workflows and news feeds to enhance social collaboration. On top of being a comprehensive project delivery solution, Oracle Prime is equally a tool for capital planning and project portfolio management. Altogether, the possibilities are vast and promising.
Why do we like Oracle Prime?
I must admit that I have never been more excited by the vision behind a software tool than by the one of Oracle Prime. Here are some reasons why:
- The vision behind the tool matches very well with our vision on integrated project controls. It is by successfully managing the integration between time, risk, resources, cost and scope that optimum value will be created. How can this be achieved more effectively than by having all of them in a single application?
- It is a cloud-based solution. Both our clients and Primaned can now focus on delivering business value while Oracle takes care of the IT-side.
- Oracle Prime is an application, not a framework. There might be similar solutions that are very broad and flexible, but they often require a massive technical implementation. Oracle Prime does not.
- Don’t be fooled. It is not because this tool is comprehensive that it cannot also be deep. Indeed, Oracle Prime is very deep in some functions. Monte Carlo risk simulations, lean scheduling, role leveling, contingency analysis, etc. are all part of the solution.
- Because of the roadmap, we know that there is additional functionality that will be included in upcoming releases. The tool will thus become even more comprehensive in the future. Stay tuned.
- It is intuitive and it looks great. Let’s face it, that is a valid argument.
As we want to give a balanced view on Oracle Prime, here are some current attention points:
- The introduction of this article might have been slightly misleading. Oracle Prime is not intended to be a substitute for Primavera P6. If you are a EPC contractor working on megaprojects, Primavera P6 will still be the tool of choice for Critical Path-based scheduling & control. The good news is that P6 integrates with Oracle Prime.
- Oracle Prime is cloud-based only. On-premises deployment is not possible. This remains very difficult to accept for clients coming from the nuclear sector and defense.
- It is still a new product and not yet in its ‘prime’. Where it generally makes me very enthusiastic, in some aspects it also disappoints as of now. For example, not all Apps are as integrated as one could expect and import / export functionalities are very limited. I’m convinced that most of these teething issues will be solved in upcoming releases, but until then workarounds are required.
The Way Forward
This post only serves as an introduction. The Primaned Belgium team will in the upcoming months write a complete series of blog posts on all the different Apps within Oracle Prime and in October a launch event will be organized in Brussels. In the meanwhile, our team can of course be contacted for all your requests.
Keep following us… we hope that we can make you as exited as we are about Oracle Prime.
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