An Affordable Solution – Project Lite Combined With Project Online
A Pennsylvania based paper products manufacturing company uses Microsoft Project Server as a project management tool for monitoring its various projects managed by different business units spread across the country. At this time, only individuals in project management roles have been added as users. Project related data is collected using Excel sheet based MISs that are maintained at each location and then entered into the Project Server implementation. Details related to project expenses such as, project-costs, were entered manually by project management administrators at each location.
With time as the business grew, they started facing challenges managing geographically dispersed teams. Coordinating between the various teams was getting difficult. Viewing timesheets or reviewing tasks put together by employees across locations turned out to be tedious. The company was looking to migrate to a cloud-based project management solution that would be used by all project participants, but at a lower per user cost compared to Project Server. That’s when they reached out to Apps4Rent seeking a solution to this problem.
Challenges That Client Faced
A paper products manufacturing company situated out of Pennsylvania contacted Apps4Rent to provide a solution to their project management woes. The company creates cylindrical packaging solutions that mostly involves making corrugated boxes for pharmaceutical industry. The company had grown from a small paper company to a mid-sized one in a span of just 7 years. Their operational facilities and production plants now spread across 7 locations in the country, saw them having increased business activities.
However, as the business grew rapidly, it required increased coordination between teams. The excel-based MISs that each team was maintaining were not updated on time, the lag time between a task completed and the ticket being raised honoring the same was widening by the day. Each team always second guessed about activities that were conducted on other location plants and as a result the right information almost never reaches the management.
They needed a common platform where the coordination and project details could be shared. They could update tasks on time, view timesheets or review activities. As of now, only the project managers were added as users on the Project Server site. They were looking for a way to migrate to a cloud-based environment and give access to the Project Server instance to all project participants. But it turned out to be an expensive option and made them hold back their decision.
Apps4Rent suggested them the idea of deploying a Project Lite site in combination with Microsoft Project Online. This helped them minimize the cost significantly yet avail benefits that a powerful project management tool such as Project Server offers.
How Apps4Rent Got all Project Stakeholders Onboard?
Apps4Rent – a Tier 1 CSP reseller with Microsoft Gold accreditation for Content, Collaboration, and Hosting is amongst the first few service providers in the world to have offered Microsoft Project Server 2016.
Our engineers initiated the deployment of the Project Lite site by first carrying out an assessment of the client’s business’s present scenario. We realized the information flow both upstream and downstream from various plant sites and offices to the management was scattered all over. There were MISs that were not updated for weeks, sometimes same data were updated multiple times. There was no single database or centralized repository where all the information was collated. Manual entries of project-costs were dubious and full of errors.
It took us more than a month to clean up all the data. After acquiring the Project Online subscriptions and necessary licenses, we added the Project Lite subscriptions too. We started migrating the data from the excel MISs to the demo server on staging. Once the data was loaded, we carried out rigorous testing that went for few weeks. Finally, the Project Lite subscriptions were added and the appropriate rights and permissions were granted depending on the user roles. Guidance documents and videos were prepared to help train the new participants to enter project related data and generate useful reports.
Benefits that Client Gained
The Project Lite site now enables the project team members to view timesheets, enter hours, add, or remove tasks from timesheets and turn in timesheets.
With Project Lite, team members can now report the progress of tasks, add new tasks, assign themselves to existing tasks, and assign their tasks to the management or other team members.
Team members can now add information about project issues and risks and are able to link issues and risks to specific tasks on the plan.
Project Lite delivers a perfect collaborative environment for project teams store and work on project documents, view other projects across the organization, view updates that have been submitted for approvals etc.
One great advantage with Project Lite is that team members can be productive from virtually any device from anywhere
Project Lite enabled team Members to ramp up quickly, collaborate with one another and manage their tasks effectively.
The biggest benefit that the client got was saving huge costs. They availed most of the powerful features of Project Server at one-fourth of the price, by combining the Project Online and Project Lite subscriptions.
We were looking for a solution that would extend all the benefits of a Project Server installation without having to pay as much as a Project Server deployment would cost. Project Lite in combination with Project Online turned out to be a good option that Apps4Rent suggested us.
Apps4Rent engineers are very competent. They helped migrate the relevant data on our active projects to the Project Online solution in less than 2 months. They know well how to deploy and install Microsoft hosting products. Their professionalism and expertise impressed us enough to leave our online project management implementation to them.
Access your Project Server site on-the-go through the browser based tool Project Web App (PWA) in Project Server site. Further, it helps you control access to content you want to give your users.
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