What is most valuable?
Overall, I would say this software deserves an 8/10 given the overall balance of features it provides and its flexibility to adapt to organisations.
Planisware integrates in a powerful way project scheduling, resource & costs management amongst other things. Such a mix is extremely useful in R&D matrix organisations. It is not a surprise if PLW is a market leader amongst Pharma companies, which struggle to maintain product portfolios with decreasing resources.
How has it helped my organization?
The integrated resource management capability enables fully-loaded project costing, more transparent portfolio reviews and budget preparations. Senior Management has access to one, single truth on projects in the portfolio.
What needs improvement?
Reporting out of PLW has been a definite weakness. But the recent PEX module is addressing that issue quite nicely, even if the product is still being improved.
For how long have I used the solution?
All in all, I have dealt with PLW for about eight years. Initially I used it with Legacy systems, then used it to build a brand new project & portfolio management platform (following a rigourous review of three other competitors)
What was my experience with deployment of the solution?
A project this size generates LOTS of issues. Next to change management challenges and the complexity of building such an intregrated, transversal solution amid an existing landscape, the deployment has been, in retrospect, relatively smooth.
What do I think about the stability of the solution?
We worked hard on building a solid and generic data model, which has allowed us to avoid major stability issues.
What do I think about the scalability of the solution?
Not really. The solid data model, and selection of state of the art servers has guaranteed very decent system performance. Users located across Europe, US, and Asia continue to enjoy stable and equal performances.
How are customer service and technical support?
We have worked directly with PLW consultants. Their expertise and dedication levels have allowed us to find solutions to the questions and issues which would come up along the way.
Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?
Other than stand-alone MSP plans, not really.
How was the initial setup?
The solution we have implemented spans across the whole organisation. As such, we have raised a lot of organisational operating issues and misalignments during the design phase. It was a conscious effort to use the opportunity to challenge and revisit the way the organisation operates.
As a consequence, it is fair to say the technical set-up has been complex indeed.
What about the implementation team?
We worked with dedicated vendor consultants AND an in-house support team already knowledgeable about PLW. I can say that PLW consultants are, as a rule, dedicated, straightforward, competent and experienced individuals. I have dealt with about 10 different consultants (Paris office) and they have all contributed to my general satisfaction of the PLW product.
Which other solutions did I evaluate?
We did review four options, in an effort to truly choose what would be best for the company. We looked at the (then - around 2010) key names around, i.e. Oracle Primavera, MS Project, and SAP (given the extensive use of that ERP at the company). PLW came out in the end as the most flexible and capable solution for the business needs which had been identified. Please note that the advantage it had in terms of data migration (PLW was already being used in legacy systems) was excluded as a criteria during the selection process.
What other advice do I have?
Know precisely what you want to do. PLW is a very flexible toolbox (as stated by PLW themselves), so make sure to define clearly your goal, keep the end-user in mind and enjoy the trip!