CA Clarity PPM Review

If you need it to do something, you can make it do that. It comes with reports out of the box.

What is most valuable?

I like that it’s very flexible. If you need it to do something, you can make it do that. That's a good thing.

For example, out of the box we use the SaaS version. It's not highly customizable as if we'd installed it locally, but out of the box there's no process to load the data warehouse on any regular basis. So you have to make a job to schedule and run this process according to your schedule. They give you the tools to do all these different things.

How has it helped my organization?

Previously, we used a different tool that didn’t have very good reporting. Clarity PPM came with reports out of the box, and we can make more, as we need. That was a really good thing.

It doesn’t help us collaborate more so than before. We're trying to open it up to other areas of the company. Right now it's just used within IT.

For a lot of people, it's just a place to put your buckets for your time. I'm not on the team supporting the tool; I'm on the technical side. Whereas we have a team of people that support the PPM and deals with business strategy.

The main benefit of the SaaS version is the cost. Also, I'm not responsible for any server maintenance, which is nice. If their servers go down, it's somebody else that gets a call at 3 a.m., not me. I like that.

What needs improvement?

I would like to see some of the automations that I've implemented included as part of the tool. For example, prior to a couple weeks ago, our administrator would have to go in every week and manually open next week's time sheet and close an old time sheet. We got some code that automated that process for us. I don't see why that couldn't be something that was just a part of the tool.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It's been very stable for us. We've been using our PPM implementation as a means by which to encourage the company to get more on-demand solutions because it's been successful for us.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We haven't had any stability issues.

How is customer service and technical support?

I have used technical support. You need to get to the right person and that can be challenging. We've had tickets open for months, and we would try to reach out and say, "Hey, what's going on with this?" "Well, we're working on it, we'll get back to you." In certain situations, that would go on for months.

Finally, I'd get a phone call or an email from another person saying, "Oh, I was just assigned this ticket, here's the two-minute thing you need to do to fix it." Once you get to the right person, it’s great. But now I know who to go to.

Which solutions did we use previously?

We used Primavera for almost ten years. People were generally unhappy with it. They felt that it was inflexible and wanted something new. We have other products from CA, and they came and offered us PPM if we got a bundle. It was a big change for us to go from an old tool to the new tool.

I was not involved in the selection process. That was much higher than me, so I don't know what they did.

How was the initial setup?

I was involved in the initial setup. Just setting up the system was very easy, because they did it all and it's on demand. Trying to make it work in our world had it's moments. For many projects, we had to get the old data from the old system into our new system. That posed some interesting and unique challenges.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I would have to look at Primavera all over again, because I know they're changing and evolving.

What other advice do I have?

My advice is to plan, plan, and plan. Just know what it is you want and then go for it.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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