Remarks by Chris Capossela, Senior Vice President, Information Worker Product Management Group
Microsoft Project Conference 2009
September 16, 2009
ANNOUNCER: Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome Seth Patton. (Applause.)
SETH PATTON: Good morning everyone. How are you all doing? Very good. So, welcome to day two of the conference. I hope everyone had a great day yesterday. Judging from the pictures, I think you all had as much fun as I did at the rodeo event last night. Some good laughs and some good times there. So, thank you all for coming. (Cheers and applause.)
So, the theme for yesterday was celebrating customer and partner success. The theme for today is the unveiling of the next release of Project. Microsoft Project 2010. (Cheers and applause.)
Now, to help get us in the mood, let’s take a look at the new Project 2010 look and feel.
So, are you ready? (Cheers.)
With that, it’s my pleasure to introduce our keynote speaker this morning, Senior Vice President with the Microsoft Business Division Chris Capossela. (Cheers and applause.)
CHRIS CAPOSSELA: Thank you, sir. Good job.
Well, good morning everyone. It is just fantastic for me to be back here at the Project Conference. In the last couple of years, we’ve had the pleasure of Steve Ballmer keynoting this, and I did it a few years back. I’ve been at Microsoft for about 18 or 19 years, and two of the best years I’ve had were walking on the project team, working incredibly closely with Keshav, and Ludo, and many of the other folks that are now leading the business. So, it’s wonderful for me to be back here. It’s a space that I absolutely adore, and a product that I completely love.
So, it’s wonderful to be back. Thank you for welcoming me back. I mean, only at a Project conference do you see one of our Project partners trying to tackle a calf wearing flipflops. I mean, flipflops, unbelievable. So, the passion that you all have for this space, the dedication that you have for the space is just wonderful. We feed off it, and I really thank you for your dedication to the business.
We are very excited about today. Today really is the unveiling of the most important release, the biggest release of Project 2010 in the last decade. So, let’s sort of jump right in, and talk about how we’re thinking about Project 2010, what’s going on broadly at the company, and go from there.
First of all, this has been, and will be just an incredibly important year for Microsoft. Broadly speaking, you look at Windows 7 as the flagship product for the company, and the reception that the beta of that product has gotten, not even the final release, the product reviews, the millions of people using the product. It’s just incredible wind to have in our sails pushing us into the year. And we feel incredible excitement behind it. That’s obviously wonderful.
Bing. Bing came out of nowhere, really, four or five months ago, and we’ve seen a big groundswell of people saying, wow, this is a very, very competitive, excellent product when it comes to competing with Google and in search. So, again, a really nice boost to another consumer product that hundreds of millions of people are exposed to.
Project Natal we unveiled at the big gamer conference, and just completely blew people away with that technology for letting your body be the controller of your Xbox. So, the three massive, major consumer products that touch millions and millions of people and form their perception of Microsoft are on an incredible trajectory. And that is obviously very important.
When it comes to developers, when it comes to the heart and soul of people who have made Microsoft successful, you see, of course, we’ve got a lot of momentum with Windows Azure, our cloud-based platform, to compete with Amazon and many others. Windows Server 2008 R2 comes to market later this fall. SQL Server 2008 R2, another very important release, and it’s important for Office, Excel, and SharePoint as well. So our developer platform story, we have some wonderful innovation that we’re bringing to the marketplace.
When it comes to productivity, of course, a brand new release of the big dog, Office 2010. A brand new release of SharePoint, a brand new release of Exchange. So, when you think of these nine products, just an amazing breadth of innovation that we’re bringing to the market, it’s going to be a phenomenal, phenomenal year.
Now, I get to work on the part of the business that’s on the far right hand side of this slide, Office, SharePoint, Exchange, Project, Visio, Office Communications Server, and so let me talk a little bit about how we’re going to be bringing these products to market, and how we talk about the value of our business productivity infrastructure.
Many of you have seen a slide like this, or perhaps this exact slide. We really talk about the business productivity infrastructure as the technology that provides value for the business, and choice for IT, incredible value for a business and for the end users in a business, with wonderful choice for IT. That’s essentially the two elements of our proposition to our customers.
And we do that through three major ways. No. 1, we really feel like we’re the only company in the world that lives and breathes creating powerful end-user experience across the PC, the phone, and the browser, the PC, the phone and the browser, the PC, the phone and the browser. We will talk about that time and time again as the three end points that our customers use, and that we need to invest in to make their experiences really fantastic.
We’re all very familiar with Outlook, Outlook on the PC, Outlook on a phone and Outlook in the Web, with Outlook Web Access. That’s something we’ve sort of taken for granted. With Office 2010 we expand that to Word, to Excel, to PowerPoint, and to OneNote. And we give you fantastic new versions of all the Office applications for your PC, but we also bring them to the Web in ways we’ve never done before, and to the mobile phone, to Windows Mobile phones. So, we’re extremely excited about that. And Project is no exception, as I’ll talk about later on today.
So, No. 1, we’ve focused incredibly hard on building the best end user experience across the PC, the phone, and the browser. No. 2, we provide choice for IT. A lot of our competitors in the enterprise space, be it IBM, or Cisco, or others, are very focused on on-premise offers, on-premise technologies. And for many industries on-premise will still be king for many years to come.
But, more and more customers are telling us that they do love the benefits of on-premise, but they’re extremely interested in the cloud. They think about moving mail to the cloud. So, we’re investing not only in Exchange Server, but also in Exchange Online, not only in SharePoint Server, but also in SharePoint Online.
Many of our consumer competitors, be it Google, or Yahoo!, or anyone who really offers mail, they’re very focused on the cloud, and they don’t have any on-premises offer. And that’s a huge problem, it’s a huge shortcoming. We’re really the only company, we believe, that’s laser focused on providing choice.
You want all the benefits of running your own servers and controlling everything about them? Great, we have great products for you. You want us to run those for you, so you never have to deploy another server in your life, you never have to patch another server in your life? Great, we’re going to have fantastic cloud services for you. And you can see that with CRM Online, SharePoint Online, Exchange Online, CRM Server, Exchange Server, SharePoint Server, just as three examples with many, many more to come.
So, a second big area of investment for us when it comes to our business productivity infrastructure really comes down to providing phenomenal IT choice. And then the third major element of it, of course, is taking a very broad view of what business productivity is. It’s not about a spreadsheet, or a word-processing document alone on our PC, on your hard drive. We’ve moved beyond that 10 years ago.
When we think of business productivity we think about integrated infrastructure that brings together these five major areas into one integrated solution that you manage the same way, you administer the same way. End users interact with them in an incredibly familiar way. They’re not going to different point solutions for all of these. It’s just one solution, for unified communications, business intelligence, enterprise content management, collaboration, enterprise search.
Bringing all of these together in one solution, with Office on the PC, phone and browser, and with servers that you run yourself, or that we or our partners host for you. That really is what we’re all about when it comes to business productivity. And we find that we’re one of the few companies that takes this incredibly broad vision and thinks about all of these things and how we can bring them together across our products.
So, I wanted to spend just a minute giving you a sense of what the innovation to come from a company perspective is, and then how we’ll plan on talking about our business productivity platform, particularly to mid-sized companies and above, before diving into Project itself. But now, let’s take this, and let’s double click on it, and let’s talk about Project Management.
We’ve been in the Project business for many, many years. And, of course, we started out with a laser focus on just project managers. But over the last few releases, we really started to realize, you know what, project managers are fantastic, but for them to be successful, we need to take a much broader view of project management itself. We can’t just think about the life of a project manager. We need to actually redefine project management into something bigger, something more holistic, something that brings together executives, information workers, or team members, IT professionals, and project managers into a much more functioning virtual team to get their work done.
So, in the halls of the Project team, with Ludo running the team, you have people talking about work management far more than you have them talking about traditional project management. And work management has a couple of dimensions to it. No. 1, we certainly have got to make the life of all of these end users far, far easier. We think that working with the tools just needs to become a lot simpler than it is today. For people to embrace working on projects, to embrace statusing their projects, or doing time sheeting. We have to just make it easy, much, much easier than it is today. So, we want to broaden how many people interact with this type of work by making it simpler.
We also, though, want to go deeper, we want to go deeper with solutions. We don’t just want to think about the project manager as a breadth solution, we want to actually make sure that the work we do, and the work that our partners do accrues to solutions for the major areas that we see customers trying to manage very, very complex projects. So, IT governance, you have CIOs managing hundreds, if not thousands, even tens of thousands of projects. How do we combine end user tools that people love with technology on the backend that allows them to manage thousands or tens of thousands of projects effectively with fewer resources than they’ve ever had before.
Project and portfolio management, innovation and new product development. If you’re an R&D type organization, be it a pharmaceutical company, a software company, an aerospace company, any company that’s building massive products, spending a lot of R&D dollars to innovate, this is a prime space where project management can help them be more successful.
So, it’s not just about bringing it to the masses through ease of use. It’s also about going deeper with solutions that go all the way to the end point for IT governance, for portfolio management, and for innovation.
Now, a key to all of this is letting people use the things they already have. They shouldn’t have to learn new tools, they shouldn’t have to build new systems. We want to take advantage of what people are familiar with, and let them use the technology that they’re already quite familiar with, and have invested in.
So, what have we invested in when it comes to Project 2010? Keep in mind, our work management vision is a multi-release vision. This is not something we get done in one release. This is an evergreen vision that we will constantly be expanding, and then every single release is an important milestone in making that vision come to reality. When it comes to Project 2010, we really think of this as providing work management solutions for individuals, for teams, and for enterprises. The only way we win is by taking the broadest view possible and by really, really aiming for the stars in making all of these things work, not just for the big customers, but really just for an individual inside an organization, an occasional project manager has to love our tools.
So, the team sat down at the beginning of the release and said, hey, we’re going to focus on making this a reality, and we’re going to focus on it in four key ways. We’re going to do a lot of work to simplify and make the end user experience far more intuitive. We’re going to do a much better job in letting people collaborate, and report on the project work that they do. We’re going to unify the project and portfolio management experience. We have Project Server, and we have Portfolio Server. We’re going to bring those things together to make it just far simpler to do that in a unified way. And, of course, we’re going to build a scalable and connected platform.
So, these are the four pillars of the release. This is a slide you will see again, and again, and again, from us in talking about Project 2010. It really is the value we think we’re bringing to market. What I would love to do is just visit each one of these pillars, and give you a taste for some of the work that we’ve done, and we’ll take a look at a couple of demos as we go.
So, first, simple and intuitive user experience. It’s always so hard to write down a few features to highlight because the teams have worked incredibly hard to do a lot of things across the product. But if we take a step back and think about some of the highlights, what are the things that will pop for people immediately when they use this product, we think that these four or five things on this slide are really going to be things that people say, wow, this is quite different than before. This is really the biggest release in a decade.
First of all, of course, the ribbon. We built the ribbon into Word, Excel, PowerPoint last time around, and the whole concept of the ribbon is to expose the power that are in these applications to your average end user, who knows that they’re not getting at everything that these applications have to offer. So often we hear, hey, I only use 10 percent of what’s there, but I know there’s a lot more. The ribbon is a new user interface mechanism designed to take that 10 percent and expand it, expand it to 20 percent, 30 percent, and get you far more of the capabilities right at your fingertips. And we’ll show that to you.
And if there’s an application that the ribbon is incredibly well suited to in terms of having incredibly powerful capabilities, it’s Project. And so we’re quite excited to expose that through the ribbon itself.
The team has done some excellent work to make Project feel a lot more like Excel, make it far easier for you to understand what’s going on, and frankly be in control of the way your scheduling works. So, there’s sort of this concept of user-controlled, or user-managed scheduling that we’re very excited to bring to market.
Timeline view and the team planner view we will show you in a minute. We think that the early feedback on these two has just been fantastic. They really make it easy for you to look at your project at a glance, and take a very people-centric view of your project when it comes to the team planner view.
And then connecting teams with a great feature that we call SharePoint Sync, so right from within Project Pro, I can synchronize task lists up into Windows SharePoint Services, and get far more people interacting with those just with Project Pro and WSS, very nice occasional project management capabilities.
So, these are four or five that I think are really going to pop for people. To give you a look at them, I’d love to invite Keshav Puttaswamy. Many of you know Keshav. He’s a group program manager for the Project Team working for Ludo. I would like to invite Keshav out to give us a look.
Keshav, come on out. (Applause.) Welcome.
KESHAV PUTTASWAMY: Thank you. Hello everyone.
Are you ready to see the first ever public demo of Project 2010? (Cheers and applause.) All right. Let’s get started.
I’m going to start first in Outlook where I have an e-mail sitting in my inbox with some tasks. You see that the tasks are indented. I’m going to copy this task list and fire up Project Professional 2010. Now, when I paste, you’ll see that Project not only preserves the formatting, but also the indentation of the tasks, making it really easy for me to get started.
So, now I want to start working on my plan top down. The project now supports top down planning. This means I can actually enter values into the Project summary task. I can even go down and fill out the phases. That’s supposed to be one week, go ahead and fill this out. And now, using the handy new zoom control, I can zoom out, zoom back out a little, and to schedule these phases, I can simply drag and drop these tasks, and now I have a high level plan ready to get started.
So, now I’m going to work on some of the details in my project plan, and I expand out the requirement space. The first thing you’ll notice is that these tasks don’t have a duration, a start, or a finish. A new feature in Project called User-Controlled Scheduling puts me, the user, in control. Now, if you like to work in the 2007 and earlier mode, you can always change the mode back to auto and work that way. But let me show you what manual scheduling is all about.
So, this task, I’m ready to get started, it needs to happen today. And this one, I actually need to talk to Bob. Just like you can, in Excel, you can enter that information right when you have it into the plan. So, now I’m going to zoom in a little bit more to take a closer look, and I actually want to leverage the power of Project scheduling.
It’s at your fingertips, just select the tasks you want, hit the auto schedule button, and you’ve got all the power of the scheduling engine right there. I can put in more values, more details here, like that’s three days long, maybe this one is four days long, do all the things that you do in Project, like linking, and so on.
One of the things you’ll notice if you look closely is that the subtasks have actually gone beyond the summary task. Again, it’s about putting me, the user, in control. I get this red squiggly, just like the spelling checker in Word, showing me some scheduling problem. Just right click, let me right click, and I get some options to fix it. I can choose to ignore the problem if I wish.
CHRIS CAPOSSELA: Kind of like that.
KESHAV PUTTASWAMY: Or, I can choose to fix the problem in the new Task Inspector. The Task Inspector gives me a lot of information about my task, but even better is it gives me some repair options. I can switch the task to auto, or I can extend the finish date of the task, and resolve my scheduling problem. (Applause.)
CHRIS CAPOSSELA: Very nice.
KESHAV PUTTASWAMY: So, as I’ve been working on my task, you’ve seen me use the task ribbon already. In addition to that, we have a resource tab for all the resource commands. We have the project tab. And you won’t believe how many functions we have around views, and all of those functions are now neatly organized in the view tab. In addition, we have what’s known as contextual tabs that come up depending on the type of view you’re in. So, since I’m in the Gantt Chart, I get a Gantt Chart format contextual tab.
To show you more of that, let me go ahead and open a file that’s further along. Now, with the format contextual tab, with one click, I can show you the project summary tasks. I want to change the Gantt Chart format, one click away with a gallery. And, if I want to show critical tasks, just hit that check box, and you’ll see all the critical tasks highlighted in my plan. (Applause.)
CHRIS CAPOSSELA: That’s great.
KESHAV PUTTASWAMY: So, Project really makes it easy for me to get started. And you’ll notice that in this plan I’ve got some resources assigned, but managing resources effectively is a real challenge. You see here that I’ve got some tasks that are over-allocated. I’ve got a task here that doesn’t have an owner yet. And this one still needs dates. To help with managing resources, we have a new feature in Project called the Team Planner.
The Team Planner view takes a very people-centric view of all my work in my project. On the left-hand side, I see all the people in my project. And on the right are all the tasks laid out. It highlights things like over-allocations. Here is an area where unassigned tasks, or rather unscheduled tasks reside. And then tasks that still need an owner, they’re right down here. So, this gives me great visibility into my work. But even better, though, in Team Planner, is the view is interactive. This means I can just drag and drop that task, resolve that over-allocation. This task that needs to be scheduled, just drag and drop it, now it’s scheduled. (Cheers and applause.) And this one that needs to be assigned, just drag and drop it, and now I’ve assigned the work.
CHRIS CAPOSSELA: Very nice.
KESHAV PUTTASWAMY: So, you’ve seen now the Team Planner gives me the visibility and the power to effectively manage my resources. So, now my plan is ready, and I need to communicate it out with the rest of the team. I’m going to go back to the Gantt Chart. And we all love the Gantt Chart view. It’s a great planning and scheduling view. However, if I want to communicate key dates to stakeholders, it isn’t as effective. For that, we have the new Timeline view. Now, even before I create any tasks in the timeline, I can do things like panning, and zoom. (Cheers and applause.) So, it’s helpful already.
But, let me show you how easy it is to create a timeline. Just select the tasks you want, and just drag and drop it onto the timeline, and now you’ve got a timeline. (Cheers and applause.) The Timeline view has a format contextual tab, where very easily I can change colors here. I’m going to pick different colors for the phases, just like that. Now, that looks pretty good. I’m ready to share this out. I’m going to hit copy. I’m going to go back to that e-mail that I had in my inbox. Let me hit reply, here’s the timeline. And when I hit paste, I get that same Timeline view that I saw in Project. (Cheers and applause.)
But what’s even better is that the timeline gets pasted as Office Art. This means I can do things like make minor changes, do some additional formatting. I can even put some reflection, if I like.
CHRIS CAPOSSELA: Shameless reflection, shameless.
KESHAV PUTTASWAMY: A great feature. And now my timeline is ready to hit send.
CHRIS CAPOSSELA: Beautiful.
KESHAV PUTTASWAMY: So, back in my project plan, I want to collaborate with the rest of my team, and almost all of us have access to a SharePoint site these days. I’ve got one here, it’s a standard 2010 SharePoint site. It’s got things like documents, lists, all this stuff you’re familiar with.
CHRIS CAPOSSELA: This is WSS.
KESHAV PUTTASWAMY: This is WSS. Now, when I go back in Project, a new feature in 2010 is the ability to sync your tasks from your project plan into a SharePoint list. Let me show you how easy it is. I just go to the file tab, and this is the new Backstage View that’s common across all the Office 2010 applications. Go to share, sync with task list, enter the URL, and I get a choice of the task lists that already exist on that site. I’m going to create a new one. We’ll call it CRM tasks. And when I hit sync, Project takes the task from my plan and syncs it up to the SharePoint site. (Applause.)
We’ll go back into that SharePoint site, and let me hit refresh, and there’s that new list. Let’s click on it. We’ve made improvements in SharePoint that allows me to get a better view of my Gantt control. I can even do things like zoom out.
CHRIS CAPOSSELA: So you see the ribbon. You’ve seen the ribbon right here in the ribbon UI in SharePoint itself, very consistent with what we just saw in project.
KESHAV PUTTASWAMY: That’s right. I can drill into a phase. I see all the details of my task. The best part about this view is it’s interactive. It’s fully editable. This means team members can just come in here, enter progress, maybe even create a new task. Let’s enter a date. And at any time the project manager back in Project goes back to that Backstage View, hits sync, and all those updates flow right back into the plan. So, there are my task progress and the new task. (Applause.)
CHRIS CAPOSSELA: Very nice.
KESHAV PUTTASWAMY: So, that’s a whirlwind tour of some of the new announcements in Project 2010. Project really helps users easily get started, manage resources effectively, and better communicate with the team.
CHRIS CAPOSSELA: Good job, Keshav. Wonderful, it looks great.
KESHAV PUTTASWAMY: Thank you. (Cheers and applause.)
CHRIS CAPOSSELA: So, there’s a tremendous amount to be excited about, all focused on sort of end user innovation, simplicity, ease of use. How many organizations don’t use Project today, but you can see Project Pro connected with just the simple WSS infrastructure that has become incredibly widespread, and that’s a huge step up to the way they can collaborate, and sort of work together. It’s very, very exciting to see the work that’s been done on the Project Pro client itself. And you get a sense for why we think this is really the biggest release of Project in the last decade.
Let me switch now to the other three pillars, before we take a look at a Project Server demo. The next pillar that we talked about was enhanced collaboration and reporting. And for this one, of course, the first thing to understand is just the incredible success that we’ve had with SharePoint Server itself. When it comes to building enhanced collaboration and reporting, we’re building on top of SharePoint Server. And when we think about SharePoint Server we think about it as the business collaboration platform for the enterprise and the Web.
We’ve been very pleased to see massive partner acceptance, and massive customer uptake of SharePoint. We announced to Wall Street last fiscal year that we did over $1 billion in SharePoint revenue, over 100 million seats licensed to end customers. So, it’s really become a ubiquitous collaboration, business collaboration platform, and the project team has built a tremendous amount of capabilities on top of SharePoint Server itself.
Now, this is a graphic that depicts the value of SharePoint Server 2010. We will talk about it as the business collaboration platform for the enterprise and the Web. And it really brings together a whole bunch of different technologies into one integrated server. Technologies for Web sites, be they internal team sites or project sites, external extranets, customer-facing Web sites, just a whole set of different capabilities for different customer Web sites that you may need, or business Web sites you may need.
Communities, social networking falls in this category for us. Content management, allowing you to manage all of your electronic content, whether it comes from Office or some other product, text files, HTML files, you name it we’re going to do a great job on enterprise content management. Enterprise search is a core part of what SharePoint does. What we call Insights, which is all around business intelligence, and allowing you to get Insights from the vast amount of data. This is particularly interesting for project and project server as we have an incredibly structured set of data for portfolio and project management information that we can derive insights out of.
Then composites is a solution area, or a technology area that allows developers to build very interesting applications that essentially link to external data of some kind, and in many ways Project Server is taking advantage of a tremendous amount of this composite technology to build its application itself.
So, we’ve built all of our collaboration and reporting technology right on top of SharePoint Server itself, and that’s important for customers to realize. They’ve made a big investment in SharePoint, we’re going to let them leverage that investment and get more value out of the SharePoint infrastructure that they’ve already put in place.
So, Project Server 2010, it is built on SharePoint Server 2010. That means that we can create fantastic dashboards, fantastic key performance indicators, great, deep reports using the SharePoint report center, and SQL Services Analysis and Reporting Services. There’s just a wealth of information and a wealth of technology that Project can take advantage of, because we’re building on SharePoint itself.
We’ve done a lot of work to do a much better job on time and status reporting. The teams worked very hard on what we call single entry mode. So, you have one user interface for time-sheeting and for statusing, which we think is a big step forward. (Applause.)
We’ve made a lot of improvements to Project Web Access as you’ll see. One of the big things, of course, we’re enabling is Web-based project creation, and Web-based project editing. So, we can really allow people to create lightweight projects in the browser, richer, bigger projects perhaps on the client, and let you manage them all together in one unified project and portfolio system. So, we’re very excited about all of that.
So, a lot to be said here for the work we’ve done on collaboration and reporting, and if you’ve invested in SharePoint this is going to be a wonderful step up for you as you move to Project Server 2010.
Now, with Project Server 2010 we’ve also worked very hard to build a single server with end-to-end project and portfolio capabilities. As many of you know, last release we had Project Server, we had Portfolio Server, this time we’ve brought them together into a single server, only one thing to manage, one thing to administrate, that gives you the end-to-end project and portfolio management capabilities.
I mentioned flexible project capture and initiation abilities. The ability to capture information just through the browser, and use pre-defined workflows, or workflows that you create that are custom to your organization that then allow projects to flow through your standard approval process to manage across all of the sets of work that you have to do. That we think is going to be a big, big win for our customers. And we’ve done a great job not just integrating the portfolio analytics that we had with Portfolio Server, but actually extending them, extending them to resources not just costs. So, we’re quite excited about that.
So, the goal here is for us to really just make this far more simple, far more intuitive, and unifying these together in one cohesive server product is a big, big step in that direction. The last area I wanted to touch on was really this scalable, and connected platform. And here this comes down to a few things that you can see listed on the slide. When it comes to extending interoperability one of my favorite capabilities is the fact that we’ve integrated Project Server with Exchange Server. So, now if you want to do task reporting or statusing, you don’t ever have to download an Outlook add-in again. You can do it from Outlook, you can do it from Outlook Web Access, and Outlook Mobile on your phone. (Applause.)
So, as you move from machine to machine, or if you’re using mobile devices like a Windows Mobile phone, anything that can get to Exchange Server now gives you the ability to do your statusing and your tasking. That’s a big, big step forward for us, and we’re excited about that.
We’ve also extended our interoperability to doing new work with the Visual Studio team. So, with Visual Studio Team Server we connect with Project Server and Project. So, now you can really have a more cohesive solution when you’re doing application lifecycle management. So, if you’re a software development company, or you have a software development team inside of your IT organization, we really provide a pretty nice vertical solution for software developers, by combining project, and Visual Studio together. And that’s quite exciting.
Underneath extending interoperability we’ve also extended the work that we do with our Dynamics products, both on the ERP side, and on the project accounting side with Dynamics SL. So some nice integration into Exchange, into of course SharePoint, which we’re built on top of, into Dynamics and into Visual Studio that we’re quite excited about.
When it comes to simplified administration there’s really one key thing here, and that is, of course, that we’re bringing together Project Server and Portfolio Server into one product. And we’re bringing together the administration into one central admin UI that we think will be a big, big timesaver, and just allow people to get on with their job.
The team has also done a nice job improving delegations and permissions, so that you don’t need an IT admin to do all of the permission setting. If you actually want a team member to delegate statusing to somebody else, because they might be going on vacation, the team member can do that themselves. So, we’re putting that delegation in the hands of the end user. (Applause.)
Finally, when it comes to improved developer productivity – sorry, I don’t want to miss the rich platform services, sorry about that. The team has worked very hard on allowing developers to become a lot more productive in a couple of key ways. No. 1, the PSI, or the Project Server Interface has been extended to cover portfolio management. So, last release the PSI did a nice job covering the, let’s say, traditional Project Server capabilities, but it didn’t really extend to Portfolio Server. As we’ve integrated Portfolio Server into Project Server we’ve also extended the PSI to cover the portfolio capabilities. And that makes it a lot easier to connect with third party systems as you’re doing your portfolio management. That’s one nice example of the work that we’ve done.
The team has also worked very hard to make sure the PSI is backward compatible with all the work that you’ve done on top of Project Server 2007. So, we think people will be – (applause.) Ludo likes that one in particular. That’s a great piece of work so people can move to 2010 very, very quickly.
Then, because we’ve built on top of SharePoint developers get all of the rich capabilities that they can do as a developer on top of SharePoint. And we think one of the big things that people will be very excited about is all the workflow capabilities, where you can build custom workflows using Visual Studio, to really tailor your project portfolio management process to your customer, to your particular customer scenarios. And there’s a lot more in SharePoint that developers will be able to do that just flows up through the Project Server solution, which is really fantastic.
We’ve done some nice work with the Visual Studio team to make sure that you can use Visual Studio Tools for Office to extend the project client, and then, again, extending those workflows is a big step forward for developer productivity. So, there’s a lot to love in this particular focus area, as well.
So, I’ve thrown a lot at you. Let’s actually have Seth Patton come out and show you how some of these things manifest themselves in the product itself, with a Project Server demo.
Seth, come on up.
SETH PATTON: Thanks, Chris.
CHRIS CAPOSSELA: Welcome back.
SETH PATTON: Thank you. I’ve got my demo gear on here.
CHRIS CAPOSSELA: I see you changed shirts on us.
SETH PATTON: Yes, that’s right.
CHRIS CAPOSSELA: OK, take it away.
SETH PATTON: All right. So, I’m super-excited to show Project Server 2010, and there’s a bunch of stuff to show here, but I’m going to focus the demo on three key areas, Web-based project editing, which Chris talked a little bit about, unified project and portfolio management, and the new BI and reporting enhancements. So, let’s go.
So, this is the new Project Web Access home page, and it’s customized for a fictitious company called Contoso.
CHRIS CAPOSSELA: I know them well.
SETH PATTON: You do, yes. So, you’ll see that this looks and feels like a SharePoint site. Under reminders we have things like tasks, status reports, issues and risks. And in the left-hand navigation is the SharePoint quick launch bar to move between Project Server views.
CHRIS CAPOSSELA: And that launch bar gets simplified based on the role I’m playing in the company. So, if I’m an admin I see everything, if I’m just a team member I’m going to see a simpler view than that.
SETH PATTON: That’s right.
CHRIS CAPOSSELA: Got it.
SETH PATTON: That’s right. So, I’m going to actually hide the IE address bar, just to give us a little more room here. Let’s go to Project Center. Now, the first thing you’ll notice is the new JS Grid, which makes it easy to edit projects online and it also eliminates the need for ActiveX. (Cheers and applause.)
CHRIS CAPOSSELA: Fantastic.
SETH PATTON: The next thing you’ll notice is the new server ribbon user interface, which makes it easier to discover commands in the context of your work. So, on the projects tab, for example, we have commands that are organized by project, navigation, data, and sharing. Now, we’re currently looking at a view of projects, each of these is a project, grouped by workflow stage. I’m going to go ahead and open up a project to show how easy it is to edit projects online directly from Project Web Access.
So, the first thing I’ll do here is select edit project. And now at this point I can do a lot of the same things Keshav just showed with the new Project Professional 2007 from directly within my Web browser, so things like zoom in and out, build team, insert and delete tasks, auto-schedule, or manually schedule, save, and publish.
So, let’s go ahead and insert a new task. I’ll call it a task review, and let’s say at this point I don’t know the duration. That’s fine. Just like in Project Pro I can say TBD. So, I’ll enter the start date here, and I can come back later and enter duration. Now, you’ll see the new task has been created here, and at this point I can add resources to the task, but I’ll simply link the task and schedule.
CHRIS CAPOSSELA: Great, fantastic. (Applause.)
SETH PATTON: So, at this point, in a manner of seconds I was able to dynamically create a new linked task, and just like with Project Professional you can see here change highlighting showed me the impact of my change on the rest of my plan.
CHRIS CAPOSSELA: Very nice.
SETH PATTON: The other thing, in case you’re wondering, the answer is yes, multi-level undo now works on the server, too. (Cheers and applause.)
CHRIS CAPOSSELA: Very nice. So, you’re editing an existing project that’s part of this massive portfolio of them. You can create brand new projects?
SETH PATTON: You can create them brand new, just like I created a new task I can start from scratch and create a new project.
CHRIS CAPOSSELA: Great.
SETH PATTON: So, this shows how Web-based project editing brings the power of Project Professional to the Web. Now, let’s see how Project Server 2010 unifies project and portfolio management.
So, I’ll go back to Project Center. Let’s start with project capture and initiation, which Chris talked about. With Project Server 2010 we can capture all project proposals and work requests across the organization in a centralized demand management system. Now, to start a new project request I select new project, and in the drop down menu here I see all of the available project types that have been defined by Contoso, and each project type can have its own workflow and business rules associated with it.
CHRIS CAPOSSELA: Fantastic.
SETH PATTON: So, the minor project proposal may have limited, or no workflow. I’m going to select the software development project type. You’ll see here the new project initiation from. This is also configurable, and this is where users enter high-level information about the project, and then submit the request, which kicks off the appropriate workflow. Now, to save time I’m going to go to a project that’s a little further along in the initiation process. Let’s go to a project that’s in the select phase., my catalogue publishing project.
CHRIS CAPOSSELA: OK.
SETH PATTON: Now, I can see from the workflow that Contoso has defined that this project is in the select phase. Now, the next step would be to get approval and move into the execution phases. Now, in the previous phase, the defined phase, the user completed a business case with information like strategic impact, cost and benefits, and schedule.
CHRIS CAPOSSELA: And these are all things that we provide some templates for, but clearly Contoso has done some work to cater it exactly to the way they want to run their portfolio management system.
SETH PATTON: That’s right. So, strategic impact measures the contribution of a project on the business priorities that have been defined by the department, or the organization. So, in this case this project has an extreme rating against expand into new markets, but it has a none rating for improved customer satisfaction and employee satisfaction.
Now, at any point I can select project information to get a summary view of the project at each stage. So, here you can see department, justification, start date, total cost and benefit. So, this shows how Project Server 2010 streamlines project capture and initiation, but for this project or any other major project, to get approved and move into the execution phase, we need to evaluate the project against other potential projects, and against available resources. And that’s where portfolio analysis comes in.
So, you can see here portfolio strategy, and all of the portfolio analysis from portfolio management is now integrated in.
CHRIS CAPOSSELA: Great.
SETH PATTON: So, Project Server includes the portfolio analytics from Portfolio Server, which helps organizations prioritize projects, and align their resources with business priorities. Now, we’re looking at the cost analysis view. And this shows, in the right hand pane here, which projects have been selected or unselected in the portfolio based on budget constraints. Now, the projects are listed in priority order, and these are based on relative cost versus return, and strategic impact, which we just talked about.
Now, in this case all of the projects are selected, because I haven’t entered any cost constraints. So, if we were going to execute all of these projects the total cost we can see in the metrics summary here would be over $19 million. And you can see here the total projects selected.
Let’s assume we only have a budget of $6 million. I’ll enter $6 million as my cost constraint and recalculate. Now, the analyzer at this point is going to move some projects out, as you see here, based on relative cost versus return. We all know sometimes in the real world we need to force in and out projects, maybe due to compliance. Project Server 2010 supports that. So, I’ll go ahead and force in this data parsing tool project.
CHRIS CAPOSSELA: I see pet project in that list, too.
SETH PATTON: You like that one?
CHRIS CAPOSSELA: It’s a good executive –
SETH PATTON: This is configurable, Microsoft is not having you do that. We don’t want you to do that necessarily, but for your organization you can. So, I’ll go ahead and recalculate here, and you can see my compliance project has now moved in, and we had to move two projects out in order to make room.
Now, for those of you familiar with the Efficient Frontier feature from Portfolio Server, we’ve brought that over to Project Server, and we also have this nice scatter chart view, which shows a visual representation of my portfolio selection.
CHRIS CAPOSSELA: Very nice. (Cheers and applause.)
SETH PATTON: Now, at this point I have an optimal set of projects based on cost constraint. But, I don’t know yet whether I can execute all this projects based on available people resources, and given their proposed start dates. So, that’s where the new resource analysis feature comes in. So, I’m going to go ahead and save this scenario as Cost Analysis One. And I can select analyze resources.
Now, resource analysis lets analysts do a couple of things. One, they can model headcount scenarios. The other is they can identify resource surpluses and deficits. And finally they can adjust project schedules. So, in this case I can see of my previously selected projects, based on cost constraints, I can only actually execute two of them, based on available people resources and start dates. So, at this point I can do some further analysis around resource capacity, and requirements. But, I basically have two options. I can either move some project start dates out, or I can hire new resources.
So, let’s see what happens if we move the start date out for our catalogue publishing project from March to June, and I’ll recalculate. So, you can see here our catalogue publishing project now is able to be moved in. Let’s see what happens if we hire new resources. So, this is modeling headcount scenarios, this could be employees or contractors. Let’s assume we hire three new resources, and see if we’re able to bring some more projects in. So, that brings three more projects in, and you can see now that I have six projects ready to go. (Applause.)
CHRIS CAPOSSELA: That’s great.
SETH PATTON: So, that shows how Project Server 2010 unifies project and portfolio management. Now, let’s take a look at the new BI and reporting enhancements.
So, I’ll go to the new report center. And you can see here, Project Server 2010 can be used to create powerful dashboards, using SQL Server reporting services and the SharePoint reporting infrastructure. Now, we’re currently looking at a corporate dashboard, with information across a number of different departments. And we can see here from our key performance indicators, the IT department is struggling a little bit.
CHRIS CAPOSSELA: You’re always throwing IT under the bus. It’s always IT.
SETH PATTON: Sorry. So, I’m going to go ahead and drill down to the IT dashboard view, and you can see here the KPIs specific to the IT department, and I also have a view of my projects, so a project-level dashboard. And I can see here that I’ve got some issues with this online news publishing tool, and it’s part of my problem. So, at this point I can drill down into this specific project to see the project workspace for the project. And at this point I can see some project-specific level KPIs, and I can also see from these charts that I’ve got an issue with actual cost, and actual work. And I can follow up with the project owner.
So, that shows how Project Server 2010 can be used to create powerful dashboards, and drill-down reporting. But now I want to show how easy it is to create and modify reports on the fly using Project Server 2010 and SharePoint Excel Services.
So, we’ll go back to the IT department dashboard. And let’s say I want to change this project by phase chart, which is currently a bar chart. Let’s change it to a pie chart. And let’s say we want to take a look at things as a percentage of projects by phase.
So, at this point, I open up the reports library. And I have two options. I can either create a new report based on report templates that come with Project Server, and those are within this folder. But at this point, I just want to modify an existing report. So, you simply locate the report here, and I’ll select edit in Excel. And that will open up the new Excel 2010 client. At this point, I can make any number of changes, including editing and adding new fields. But I’ll simply just change the chart type from bar to pie, and we want to take a look at this as percentage of projects by phase.
CHRIS CAPOSSELA: This is a perfect example of how people can use the tools they’re already familiar with. In this case, Excel, going after the Project Server data to create whatever view of data they want, publish it up to SharePoint, and the Project Server UI is going to surface right through as if it was some custom built that needed code to get the data to show up.
SETH PATTON: You don’t need to be a BI guru to do this. You need to be able to locate the report, and then publish it back to our IT dashboard.
So, when I save this, it should render via Excel Services back. Let’s take a look. So, this is my IT department dashboard. I’ll refresh the page, and there you go. It’s easy as that. (Cheers and applause.)
CHRIS CAPOSSELA: Very simple. Excellent.
SETH PATTON: So, that’s it. Project Server 2010, we saw Web-based project editing brings the power of Project Professional to the Web. It unifies project and portfolio management, and you saw the new BI and reporting capabilities.
CHRIS CAPOSSELA: Seth, great job. Well done. It looks good.
SETH PATTON: Thank you. (Cheers and applause.)
CHRIS CAPOSSELA: So, again, it’s really just the tip of the iceberg. You know, 10 minutes exploring some of these capabilities, but you get a sense for the level of investment that we’ve put into the server, and how much new capabilities we can bring to the fore in a simple way that we think customers and partners are really going to love.
When it comes to the packaging, it’s relatively straightforward. Last time around, we had Project 2007, we had two client SKUs and two server SKUs. The only change this time around is, we’re bringing those servers together into one product. So we have Project Server 2010, Project Standard and Project Pro remain very similar in their packaging.
You’ll notice we also dropped the “Office” name from the beginning. So, we’ve sort of shortened the name a little bit. (Cheers and applause.) Who would have thought. Shockingly, there aren’t that many people who don’t think of Project in conjunction with Office. And something about Microsoft Office Project Portfolio Server 2007, it gets kind of long. So, it kind of shortened things up a little bit, a little bit cleaner look, and you’ll obviously see just the three SKUs coming to market and obviously bring existing customers forward if they had the Portfolio Server.
Target audience is relatively straightforward. We think of Project Standard as being very geared towards the individual, and occasional or a part-time project manager. Project Pro is really the big product that’s our big seller, and that’s really for professional project managers. And then the server, as soon as you put that server into place, of course, it expands the reach of the people who are going to interact with the information, the IT, the project management office, engineering, R&D, product development, operations, many times HR. It gets much, much, much broader as soon as you go to Project plus Project Server. So, a little bit simplified packaging should make things a little bit easier on administrators, and we think that will serve us well.
Now, you see a lot of excitement, I think, from the team, from Nicole, and Ludo, and Keshav, and everybody up here, and that’s great. But obviously the proof is in what customers and partners say when they get their hands on the product. We’ve had a very vibrant TAP community working with us on these products, both made up of customers, and of partners, and we just highlighted some of the quotes here from our TAP customers.
And there are a couple I would highlight. From ITT, this is a really gratifying one for us to see. It says: “The Web planning capability of Project is extremely powerful. It allows us to create detailed projects from the desktop and/or builds higher level projects on the Web through the browser, and analyze them together in the same portfolio.” It’s exactly what we want people to be able to do.
Marquette University seems very excited, too. “We are very excited about the release, and expect to be running the client even before it’s released to RTM.” That is not something we recommend but it’s certainly wonderful to see people chomping at the bit to say, hey, this is high quality, we want to get this in the hands of our end users as soon as possible.
And then Rockwell is another great one: “Portfolio management will be instrumental to enable us to look at the in-flight projects we’re already doing, and do the analysis and scenario planning in order to come out of this down economy, and do the spend appropriately.” We had seen a renewed interest in this space because of the economy. So project and portfolio management seems to be on more people’s minds given the constraints on dollars and people.
So, a bunch of great customer quotes here, and recently we got together a few customers and partners at an advisory event, and we shot some very low-key videos just asking them what they thought about Project 2010. Let’s take a look at their feedback.
So, it is really great to see. Just to wrap things up, there were a couple of things I wanted to point out to you. There are certainly a lot of things you can get started on today. Of course, Project 2007 is a big release for us as well. We have excellent training and certification programs that if you haven’t already gotten trained and certified on 2007, it’s certainly the best way to prepare for 2010. There’s obviously a lot of certification programs for SharePoint as well, and given the centralness that SharePoint will play that’s an important technology for our partners and customers to really get up to speed on also to prepare for 2010.
There’s a very little known service that we have that I wanted to spend a minute talking about. It’s called the Business Value Planning Service that very few partners and customers are taking advantage of because I think awareness of it is quite low. For every annuity contract that customers sign with Microsoft to purchase Office, or SharePoint, or Project on an annuity contract, we take a portion of that contract and give it back to the customer in the form of services dollars that they can spend on business value planning with partners who have business value planning services to offer, or with Microsoft Consulting Services, who have business value planning services to offer.
And that money is largely unspent. Smart partners have built these services, and will match the Microsoft dollars, dollar-for-dollar, doubling the customer’s money, which can lead to a two, three, four-week engagement in a good-size customer that helps the customer really plan. Okay, I’ve bought Project, and Project Server. I bought it on annuity, so I’m even going to get the next one. I’m going to get Project 2010 if I buy project server on annuity today.
What are we going to do? What do we focus on first? Do we focus on the desktop and WSS? Do we focus on getting our portfolio management skills up to snuff, and we really want to get good at portfolio planning? What is it that we’re going to do together with these products to really let you realize the value of them?
So, if you are a customer with an annuity contract, make sure you’re spending your business value planning services dollars, and if you are a partner, make sure you are providing services that will be listed on our Web site when a customer goes to specify which one they want to spend with, which partner they want to spend with. And then think about matching those dollars to make them go forward. Most partners who have done this tell us that it leads, of course, after that three-week engagement is done, it leads to more business for them, and most customers have been quite excited to have this as part of their contract. They often don’t know it.
We have some offers in the market to make it exciting to get onboard with Project 2007, and with annuity. Of course, we’re here at this conference, there’s a lot of people there’s a lot of things you can do while you’re here to get up to speed on 2010. We have about 20 Project 2010 sessions, HOLs, or Hands-on Labs. We have some great upgrade and migration guidance that you can get here at the conference. Just before the conference started, we did a two-day Ignite session with about 300 partners. We will be doing more of those Ignite sessions around the world. And if you just go to Microsoft.com/project, we will make those dates available to cities as we travel around the world to do those. But that’s another great way to get skilled early before the product even comes out.
Of course, I would encourage everyone to go to the Web site, Microsoft.com/project, that’s where you’ll get lots more information as it becomes available. You can sign up for the beta. Of course, we want you to use the beta when it comes out. We want you to give us feedback. We’ve shown you some of the things we think you’ll love. There’s a lot more in there. This is the biggest release we’ve done in the last decade. And I can say that with some credibility, because I worked on a couple of the other releases we did in the past decade, and the existing team has outdone anything that I ever did. And I’m very proud to say that. It’s just a fantastic release.
Two other quick things. One, we are announcing at this conference through a press release that the Project 2010 public beta will be available this calendar year, and the product will be done and released to manufacturing in the first half of the next calendar year. And that’s the exact same timeline for Visio, for Office, for SharePoint, and for Project and Project Server. So, that’s obviously exciting. You’re all going to get a beta invitation because you attended the conference.
The other thing you may have already known is that thanks to a generous offer from Project Management Practice, Inc.; and Keystone Learning Systems; we’re making a released copy, a final copy, not a beta copy, a finished copy when the product is all done, of Project Pro 2010 available to lots of folks who are attending the conference. We learned through a blog in the classic Web 2.0 style that that offer for very good reasons from our partner is actually limited to North American customers. We’re actually a very global company. Project is a very global business. So I’m very happy to announce that if you are not a North American customer Microsoft will give you a free copy of Project Pro 2010 in conjunction with PMI. (Applause.)
So, we want to make sure everybody here gets a copy. Of course, there are certain scenarios where customers can’t accept that, if you’re in a government space, or you don’t like the taxation rules, whatever, you’re able to decline. But, we want to make sure everyone who comes gets the ability if you can accept it.
So, with that, I really want to reiterate my thanks to all of you. I want to thank you for coming to the conference. I want to thank you for the passion that you have around project management. I hope you sense that we are even more passionate, or at least as passionate about making this work management vision really, really come true, and the product is looking great. We’ve got a lot of work ahead of us to get it done. But, I want to thank you for coming along with us on this fantastic ride, and enjoy the rest of the conference.