Situation: You need to bridge MSProject Desktop, SharePoint and/or Groove
John Milan, Senior Architect and Founder of Team Direction recently sent me a message regarding a new software add-in they've created for MS Project. I asked him about some specific value points - sort of a "this would valuable to a company if..." angle. Here are his responses.
TeamDirection would be valuable to a company if they...
1. Already have MS Project 2003 licenses for everyone on projects.
TeamDirection does not require licenses for everyone on projects. What you saw in the demo is the ability to publish and synchronize tasks from MS Project (2003 and 2007 supported, btw) to a SharePoint Task List (again 2003 and 2007 supported). Team members can then participate in the project via their browser. Since SharePoint services ship with Windows Server 2003, this can be very cost effective.
2. Already have SharePoint or Groove licenses for everyone Yes. Again we work with the SharePoint services shipping with Windows Server 2003, or we work with hosted providers running portal and SharePoint 2007. And, if you're an enterprise MS Office customer, Groove will be available.
3. Want to sitck with Tools they already have in house and are used to. Though its difficult to describe, rather than changing the process to fit our software, our software adapts to a company's process. For example, we also have a product that integrates with Mindjet MindManager and publishes topics to SharePoint and Groove. We also have another rich desktop that people can deploy so any user can see a rich gantt view of projects. And our features try to anticipate user needs to communicating in order to complete projects-- integration with Windows messenger for example.
4. Do not want to take on a big implementation effort. MS Project *Server* 2007 is built on the SharePoint platform, but you have to be willing to jump into that IT/Consulting pool to get to it. MS Project standard does not give you Project Server/SharePoint capabilities, you must use Project Professional. MS Project Professional out of the box does not talk with SharePoint, you must purchase Project Server. And even then, MS Project does not work with Groove-- the third leg of Microsoft's collaboration group. We work with MS Project Standard, Professional, SharePoint and Groove right out of the box.