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PCM News from Collaborate 2012

As with any user conference, there was some insight as to the future of Oracle Primavera’s Contract Management (PCM).  Many exciting things are in PCM v14.1, which is scheduled to be released in the second half of CY 2012.

The big item will be the availability of PCM via tablets and smart phones. Unlike the P6 application, this is to include Apple, Android and Blackberry. The focus will be on the field users, naturally.  Planned modules will include Daily Reports, Requests for Information (RFI’s), as well as,  Submittals and Punchlists. Additional functionality around Issues, Companies, Action Items, and Attachments was reported.  Even the ability to certify Payment Requisitions is in the works.

Another planned feature of PCM v14.1 is the use of e-mail to engage users.  This should allow for users to review and approve documents right from their inbox, and hopefully, their smart phone, if remote.  There was also mention of a Daily E-mail function, which should alert users to outstanding Actions and Alerts, as well as, RFI Questions and Answers.

PCM v14.1 should also enhance the out-of-the-box P6 integration.  This should include Search and Type-Ahead for both the Project and Activity lists, as well as, the visibility of Project ID in the Project list.  Exposure of the project’s WBS and better date refreshing are also planned.

The last area of improvement mentioned was around PCM Security. They are separating Contract Security, at least for Budget and Committed types.  I hope this will also include the Custom type and Purchase Orders.

Long term roadmapping of PCM may include Analytics, such as, Cashflow. Under development are also some pre-built BPM Workflows highlighting the ability to have alternative user interfaces and increased project collaboration.

Service Pack 1 for PCM v14.0 includes some nice updates as well.  The ability to select which attachments to include when emailing out of PCM, as well as, the ability to specify an alternate ‘reply to’ address. In the area of security, they have added the ability to apply updates to access Templates to existing assignments. Even the Project Tree is getting some attention with the ability to now sort the list.

Exciting Stuff! The release of PCM v14.x does require you to update your existing licenses to take advantage of the supporting technologies, so be sure to reach out to your CBA Account Executive.

The drawback to PCM v14.x is the retirement of Sybase’s InfoMaker as the reporting tool. Oracle has changed to BI Publisher for PCM and P6 Release 8.x. This is a challenge for those companies with an extensive library of customized forms and reports, as there isn’t a simple conversion utility out there today. Contact us for a review of your library and an estimate of the effort to migrate.

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