CA Clarity PPM Review

The new UI should solve our issues around adoption, but they need to build more capability and unification into the reporting


What is our primary use case?

We are in the business management office. We use it for our portfolio and project management and planning activities.

We are using an older version. Therefore, it is fairly limited, but I think what we are seeing in the newest version addresses a lot of the concerns that we are having.

How has it helped my organization?

We are still in the older version. We still have a ways to go. With the new UI, I think we will get through some of our adoption problems.

That in and of itself will help drive adoption, because the problems that we are having right now are that we do not have a great level of adoption or voluntary adoption. It seems very much as a top down enforcement type of thing. If people are not using it in the day-to-day, then your data quality is not very high. If your data quality is not very high, then you can't really leverage the tool for much more than the bare minimum.

What is most valuable?

In the new solution: It is good for us. 

  • We can have a centralized view that we can have in our delivery and business organizations.
  • Collaborate on certain levels.
  • On priorities, investments, and those kinds of things, it is very helpful. With some of the things that they are rolling out with a bit more of the collaboration and social aspects, that that will help drive that even more.
  • I love the new UX. The problem that we have had around adoption has been pretty much around the clunkiness of the old interface. So, we were encouraged by what they started doing with project management and personas a year or so ago. Now, seeing it flow through the rest of the tool is very encouraging.

What needs improvement?

I like what they are doing with the UI. I am interested to see, with the purchase of Rally, what they are doing with agile and integrating some of that.

I am greatly encouraged by some of the integration with the third-party BI tools. We have not been a Jaspersoft adopter. For us, the value in this data is unifying it with our other corporate data.

Jaspersoft really does not enable us to do that. I would like to see a more flexible user-friendly way for users to do some of their own visualizations, not having to understand Jaspersoft. We are looking at a tiered reporting architecture, where if I have a project manager in the tool to do their project management, it is not just an out-of-the-box status report. Can they do some sort of Jaspersoft customizations and do that all on the tool rather than having them go to a back office reporting solution? 

Our back-end business management, finance teams, and program owners probably will live more in the back-end reporting solution because it has our other data elements, our corporate workforce plans, and those kinds of things in it. Therefore, they can do the bigger picture reporting that we need for executives.

Putting a little bit more ad hoc reporting in the tool for the boots on the ground type people would be good, and they are doing more of that, essentially with the task boards and some of those things. I think to take those additional capabilities and turn those into things we can status, report, or leverage outside the tool would be good. 

With this next release, they are simplifying the connection to the back-end data warehouse stuff. This is good for me, but they are putting a lot of things now in the tool with task boards and the social things that it would be nice to see if you are doing a status report. You could pull up your out-of-the-box status report and pull in some of those comments from the task board or something else to illustrate where you were at the project. Pointing to what is going on with your dev lead saying this is the problem here rather than having everybody retype things.

To build more capability and unification into the reporting. They will get there. They are just building the capabilities now.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We have not had too many problems. We are getting ready to transition to a SaaS solution. I think we have got some concerns there, because we are all used to owning our own things, touching them ourselves, fixing them, and monitoring them. However, I have been doing some networking around it and I have not heard too many concerns about it.

In the end, we are not necessarily mission critical. So, we do not have to be 24/7.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We have had some issues in the older version on-prem with some of the back-end database stuff. That has all been addressed and we will be doing some changes going to SaaS. 

I think we will be fine. Plus, we hold onto everything all the time. So, it is partly our own issue/downfall. We are sort of our own worst enemy at times. I am fully acknowledging that.

How is customer service and technical support?

I have not used technical support. I am on the business owner side, but I know my development manager has used them quite a bit.

How was the initial setup?

I was not involved in the initial setup.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I have not looked at the competitors lately, but it seems to me that CA has made some significant advances. They were already sort of in the top tier in the industry anyway. So, it is good to see the investment that they have put in the last couple years. It seems to be just accelerating the feature sets.

What other advice do I have?

Understand your business processes first, in great detail. Then, understand your data structures and you will be home free.

Most important criteria when selecting a vendor: 

Since we are a global, multinational company, we require all of the following:

  1. They have got to be on our preferred vendor list, before we are allowed to talk to them.
  2. Relationship
  3. Price
  4. Support.

We look at how can we leverage the product and how can we get pricing and scalability across the whole enterprise.

Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
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