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Mavim Interview with the Director of Microsoft Project

This past Thursday, the Microsoft Project and Portfolio Management (PPM) Summit for European partners was held at Microsoft Netherlands. It was here that Microsoft announced the latest product road map and showcased how PPM continues to empower the needs of the modern business. According to Sajan Parihar, Director of the worldwide Project and Portfolio Management business for Microsoft, the PPM Summit was an opportunity not only to keep partners up to date about the latest happenings within the Project community, but also an opportunity for Microsoft to get feedback from PPM partners and the multitude of customers they represent. Microsoft Project has grown steadily over the past couple years, and now occupies the largest share of the market space with more than 20 million end-users across businesses of all sizes. With Office 365 and the numerous customizations offered by the extensive partner ecosystem, Microsoft Project provides an integrated PPM experience that enables consumers to customize the product to fit their specific needs. Additionally, as more businesses transition to the cloud, Project Online (built on top of Office 365) offers a solid foundation for organizations to achieve agility and scalability. “Cloud-First” Is the Future While the conference focused on all the opportunities PPM has to offer, Project Online and the progress it represents clearly excited Sajan most. After repeating the oft-heard Microsoft mantra that “cloud-first” is the future, he emphasized that the cloud-first mindset is really a boon for the modern consumer, as much as it is for the business provider. Sajan supported the declaration by noting that public cloud usage makes it easier and quicker for Microsoft to respond to customer needs. Additionally, the cloud provides an increasing number of available customizations due to the accelerated pace of innovation. Gone are the days when functional roll-outs only happen once every three years. Sajan said that as the pace increases, the need for Microsoft to keep communicating with its partners and customers about the rapid changes intensifies. While the thought of moving to the cloud conjures nightmares of a loss of data and internal control for many consumers, Sajan argued convincingly that it is worth the hassle. Because Project Online is built natively on top of Office 365, end-users can rest assured that they are already compliant with industry standard regulations. Implementation Hurdles When asked about the major hurdles customers face with the successful implementation of Microsoft Project, Sajan laid out two significant factors. The first is the product fit. Is this the right tool, customized with the appropriate functionalities to address all the problems a particular customer is facing? The second is change management. He also noted that due to the vast array of customizations offered by the partner ecosystem, product fit is the easier of the two hurdles to overcome. Change management, however, offers a whole other host of issues, especially with major transformation initiatives. Transformational change is difficult to manage with pre-determined, time-bound projects alone. What often happens is that an organization's overarching strategy will change as new information emerges. What is more, the desired future state is often so radically different from the norm that the workforce and culture must simultaneously undergo a transformation for the change projects to be successfully implemented. This requires collaboration and buy-in from the leaders and the workforce alike. Not only do external structures and systems need to undergo transformation, but the new systems require new behaviors that inspire cooperation and support. The Mavim Difference This is where Mavim comes in. The Mavim Enterprise Transformation Platform is a business management tool that aligns strategy, operations, and information technology. The Mavim Enterprise Transformation Platform is designed specifically to ensure your strategic projects are executed successfully by offering an interactive business portal that allows you to manage change projects and facilitate collaboration throughout your organization. Additionally, the Mavim ETP connects all relevant business information, which creates insight into the impact a given project will have when implemented. Due to the integration with Microsoft Project PPM and Microsoft Power BI, the project portfolio can be executed, managed and monitored. The essence of ETP is to bridge the gap between business and IT, between strategy and change. The support that the Mavim solution lends to Microsoft Project led Sajan to say: “Mavim is a Microsoft partner based out of the Netherlands that offers a really unique solution built on top of Office 365 and Visio, which helps business leaders drive enterprise transformation and alignment between strategy and execution.

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