As you may have seen over on my EPM Guidance blog, Microsoft has now shown Project 2010 and Project Server 2010 at its Project Conference in Phoenix last month. HMS was in attendance at both the Project Conference and the Ignite Airlife immediately preceeding the conference. HMS is one of the longest standing partners of Microsoft Project. Our link between TimeControl and MS Project dates back to 1995 and we’ve maintained a continuous relationship with Microsoft since then. With my participation for five years on Microsoft’s EPM Partner Advisory Council, I’d already seen much of what Microsoft had intended in both Project and Project Server and, while nothing we saw in Phoenix was a big surprise for me, it was nice to see the version I’d spent so much time on coming close to fruition.
Some people have asked us already what the future of TimeControl and Microsoft Project will be and since the announcement of Project and Project Server 2010 is quite fresh, it’s a good time to make sure our existing and prospective clients are up to date.
First of all, TimeControl will have a link to both Project Server 2010 and Project desktop (meaning Project Standard and Project Professional) 2010. We will be releasing updates to both the TimeControl 5 and TimeControl 6 families closely following the release to market (RTM) of Microsoft of Project 2010. Microsoft will be releasing Project and Project Server 2010 simultaneously along with the rest of Office 2010 in “the first half of 2010”. Our release will happen shortly thereafter. HMS already has access to the “Technical Preview” version of Project and Project Server so we’ve been able to work on the link since late in the summer.
If you’re wondering if TimeControl’s relevance will change with new functionality in Project Server 2010, the answer is no. TimeControl’s position as a full timesheet application will be just as critical as it is now. The timesheet in Project Server 2010 has definitely improved and we think users will like it but as soon as you consider using a timesheet for both the updates to Project and for use as a financial system for example for payroll, the functionality of TimeControl for things like payroll rules, multiple rates, rate tables and more become essential. Plus, remember that TimeControl can link directly to Project Standard and Professional. We’ll be publishing an updated factsheet on TimeControl closer to the release of Project 2010.
One of the things that users of the new link will enjoy will be a huge improvement of performance on the TimeControl to Project Server link. Microsoft has updated the code in their PSI module that will make moving timesheet and task update data back to Project Server way easier than it’s been so far.
Stay tuned in the new year as there will be a number of announcements on the new link.