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Microsoft Project Server

The Real Cost of Microsoft Project Server Implementation

Sometimes we get asked: “how does Easy Projects compare to MS Project?”

Well, the answer is – they don’t. Easy Projects is a web based solution that relies on and fosters collaboration between all team members. MS Project – is a tool used primarily by a single project manager to plan and track project progress. MS Project is reactive by its nature. It needs an input from the PM to build a new plan or re-schedule an existing one. Easy Projects is pro-active based on the real-time status updates from every single project member.

So to compare apples to apples, one needs to put Easy Projects side to side with MS Project Server (also known as Microsoft© Enterprise Project Management or EPM which offers similar collaboration functionality.

There are four criteria that need to be considered in the comparison:

  • Cost of Implementation
  • Cost to Maintain
  • Functionality
  • Implementation Time
  • Team Adoption

Let’s talk about each one of these items.

Cost of Implementation

Below you’ll find a typical breakdown for a 100-user MS Project Server + SharePoint roll-out (on-premise option). You can always get a more precise quote from one of the Certified MS Project solution providers.

Description Cost
(Based upon 100 users)
Total
Microsoft© (EPM) Project Server Software Licensing $850/user for Client
$300/user for Server
$115,000
Issue Management & Document Attachments Modules Requires SharePoint Portal and custom configuration at $300/user consulting time $60,000
Implementation Costs
Typical consulting, configuration, customization, and training costs
Time and material from Microsoft top tier consulting companies:
$200+/hour (or more), 2 People,
$128,000 to $192,000
Phone and Email Support (annual) $245 per phone call
$99 per email
$10,000
Hardware and Operating software variable $10,000-$120,000
Total $323,000 – $497,000
Average cost per user $3,230 to $4,970

 

Here is the same price break for 100-user Easy Projects Enterprise deployment (hosted annual option).

Description Cost
(Based upon 100 users)
Total
Easy Projects Enterprise Annual Subscription $162/user/year $16,200
Issue Management & Document Attachments Modules included -
Implementation Costs
Typical consulting, configuration, customization, and training costs
Easy Projects “Path to Success” Enterprise package $5,000-$30,000
Phone and Email Support (annual) included -
Hardware and Operating software included -
Total $21,200-46,200
Average cost per user $212 – $462

Cost of Maintenance

One part of the equation that is often forgotten – is the cost of ownership or solution maintenance.

Of course, you might already have an IT department and spare servers. Nothing to worry about.

It can be true in certain cases when your IT team has spare time and is not working on anything else. In reality, you should consider the following tasks associated with managing on-premise enterprise-wide MS Project Server implementation.

  • Cost of hardware maintenance and upgrades;
  • Server redundancy planning and setup (what downtime will your team, management and customers tolerate?);
  • Ongoing security monitoring;
  • Daily backup procedures (onsite and offsite);
  • Ongoing MS Project/Sharepoint Configuration and Tune-up;
  • Adding custom reports or features that are not available out of the box.

You might need to hire a new IT tech person to deal with all of these tasks or wait until your existing IT resource free up. Either way, there is a labor and infrastructure costs associated with any on-premise installations. For the enterprise products like MS Project Server those costs are usually in the range of $20,000 – $50,000 per year depending on your existing IT arrangements.

With Easy Projects you reap the benefits of Cloud Computing. Easy Projects is SaaS: software as a service, so everything is taking care of and paid for. We handle backups, security, network infrastructure and complete hardware redundancy. We will also work with you to add new features or modules, when your IT team is helping your core business.

Cloud computing drives down IT labor costs both up-front and on an on-going basis. You no longer need to plan, procure, manage, and depreciate your IT infrastructure. You can replace large up-front expenses with more predictable costs that scale with your business.

When you get your software and infrastructure as a service, you free up skilled resources to concentrate on the things that help drive the business. Instead of getting caught in the trap of building larger teams that do more and more undifferentiated datacenter administration, you enable people to spend time on designing and delivering high value technology for the business.

Functionality

If we were to list every single feature that MS Project Server offers, the list will definitely be much longer than the one from Easy Projects.
That’s ok. It was never our intent to compete on the number of features. We compete on the added value to our clients.

In some cases Easy Projects might not be a good fit for your organization. For example, if you’re managing a complex construction project (e.g. building a bridge) you’ll be better off with MS Project or specialized construction project management software.

However if you’re like most of the organizations we worked with over the last 9 years (thousands of small business and Fortune 500 companies), then most likely your team will only ever use 20-30 most useful project management features and tools. The good news – we got most of them. In fact, Easy Projects has more collaborative and business automation tools out of the box than MS Project.

  • Here are some of the Easy Projects features that are not built into MS Project:
  • Service Requests: Customers can create service requests/ideas that can be grouped into projects
  • Bug/Support Tracking, Change Management, Feedback: Tracking and organizing client feedback on projects.
  • Time and Status Reporting - No accounting for the hours spent on issues, changes, risks, action items, or support. (But Easy Projects can tracks time on ALL aspects of project management for a full accounting of where people are spending time.)
  • Skill Tracking – Easy Projects includes the creation of custom fields in the database to track skills, competency levels, years of experience, etc.

You can see the comparison table here: http://www.easyprojects.net/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/Easy-Projects-vs-MS-Project-Comparison.pdf

Implementation Time

The typical implementation time for MS Project Server quoted by most consulting companies is 8-12 weeks. Usually this time frame doesn’t include team training. However it’s not uncommon to encounter 8-12 months implementation schedule.

With Easy Projects you will be up and running in 1-1.5 weeks with your entire team fully trained.

Team Adoption

This is the most critical part of any software implementation. Millions of dollars have been wasted on software packages that became “shelfware” because they were never adopted by the team.

Imagine a typical employee: s/he usually has multiple tasks on their hands with a deadline yesterday. The last thing they want is a new tool learning which will become a project in itself. That’s why people hate complicated software.

With Microsoft Project Server you should be ready to extensively train your entire team on how to use the product. A typical MS Project training course takes on average 4-7 days. Cost: $2,500 – $3,000 per attendee.

Easy Projects was built with the employees in mind. We have a special page called “My Assignments” which was designed for rapid adoption and acceptance across the company. On that page employees can see everything they’re responsible for and what is coming down the pipeline. They can collaborate with their team mates and project manager using the message board or the file repository. They can update the status of their assignments or log their time – all on one page. Employees love this page since it take only 10 minutes to learn and in most cases it has everything they need.

 

At the end, whatever product you chose will work for you if you implement it properly, train your team and ensure product adoption. Just be aware of all hidden costs, timelines and challenges ahead of you.

Request a Free Demo of Easy Projects

Let's talk! During a personal demo we will walk you through Easy Projects and show you how your entire team can collaborate on your projects easier, faster and more efficiently than ever before.

Easy Projects has been an easy decision for us. We're spending a quarter of the time and money we needed to invest in our prior systems and we're seeing twice the results.

Aaron Hamilton,
Director of Information Technologies National Underwriter Company

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