Primavera Product History

Primavera has been in business since 1983. Their business model was to build project management software and sell it through a network of distributors.  They now sell directly to major accounts, IT accounts and Government Agencies.

Until the new century Primavera focused on, and became the dominant player, in Construction and capital intensive industries, typically used on large projects with dedicated project teams. Today, Primavera has a number of products, some have their roots in the early days of the company, others have been acquired attempting to move in new directions.

Primavera Project Planner, Primavera Expedition (Primavera Contract Manager) and Primavera SureTrak have their roots from the early days when the focus was on professional project managers in large capital intensive industries.

Primavera Project Planner is a mature multi-user product still being used on many construction projects. Sometimes referred to as P3, it is for experienced project planners needing all the CPM (critical path method) bells and whistles and has been refined over many years.  It is based on client/server technology and uses the btrieve database, a low maintenance, reliable but old database that most IT departments will not want to deal with.

SureTrak is a single-user desktop product that integrates closely with Primavera Project Planner.

Primavera Expedition is a multi-user project administration and contract administration product more tightly focused on the engineering/construction industries. It incorporates document management capabilities. Support for Primavera Expedition is about to be discontinued (November 2008) and the upgrade path is to the re-architected Primavera Contract Manager which was released in 2005.

Towards the end of the 1990s it was becoming clear that the growth in the project management software market was going to be in high-tech knowledge worker environments (banks, information technology etc.). As a leading project management software vendor Primavera made moves towards this market. In 1999 Primavera purchased a small company called Eagle Ray Software Systems who had built a product targeted at the Information Technology/software development area.

Primavera released this product as Primavera TeamPlay and maintained its focus on the IT area. Primavera TeamPlay had software development terminology and IT specific features (function points, methodology management etc.). They also released a parallel version of the product from the same code-base that wasn’t specific to IT called Primavera p3e. A construction oriented version was called P3e/c.

Over several generations these products have become the Primavera P6 range. Earlier versions were called Primavera Project Manager, Primavera Project Management, and Primavera Enterprise.

The early versions of this product were client/server based using Oracle or MS SQL-Server. Subsequent releases have included web components for timesheets and collaboration and, more recently, portfolio management. Today, the Primavera P6 range has a sophisticated technical architecture for large Enterprise Project Management deployments. Its project planning and scheduling capabilities are world-class although inexperienced project planners are often perplexed by it. Pinnacle has led many implementations of Primavera for Enterprise Project Management.

In 2003 Primavera purchased Evolve software Inc. and their Professional Services Automation (PSA) product. This product, Primavera Evolve, is positioned for Enterprise Resource Management and targeted at knowledge-worker intensive organizations such as professional services firms.

Over the last 5 years project management software vendors have been improving their offerings to position them as supporting project portfolio management: the simultaneous management of hundreds or thousands of projects and a pipeline of new business. Primavera has added Project Portfolio Management capabilities to their P6 product line. In 2006 Primavera also acquired Prosight Inc. and their product which was a market leader in the Asset Management or Application Portfolio Management area.

In one sense organizations can approach Portfolio Management in either a bottom-up or top-down way.

Bottom-up would be managing the portfolios using information from detailed project plans. The P6 range of products is oriented toward a bottom-up approach that depends upon consistent project management across the organization. Primavera ProSight can work with the P6 product range but can also work independently supporting more of a top-down approach that may not even be project-oriented. Primavera ProSight can be oriented toward management of assets (applications in a software development environment) throughout their lifecycle.

Also, in 2006 Primavera acquired a sophisticated project-oriented Risk Management product called PertMaster.

Primavera’s play towards the Earned Value marketplace started with a partnership with Integrated Management Concepts and their product called Micro-Fusion Millennium. Primavera purchased a copy of the source code from IMC and now markets it as Primavera Cost Manager.

Pinnacle has led the largest implementation of Primavera products as the basis for an Earned Value Management System.  Our client wanted to use both the Primavera cost engine (Primavera Cost Manager) and the Primavera scheduling engine (P5 at the time, now P6). Many Earned Value implementations use a combination of Primavera and Deltek Cobra as well. 

In 2008 Primavera released a product called Primavera Inspire that connects Primavera P6 and SAP.

Primavera had revenue of $123m plus in 2006 and $176m in 2007.  This made them the largest independent Project Management software vendor in the world.

In 2008 Primavera was acquired by Oracle Corporation. This acquisition will certainly change the playing field in the project management software world. Pinnacle expects to see Primavera become a much stronger player in New Product Development and in the IT space.  The leading players in this space today are Planview, CA Clarity and Compuware.  We also expect to see Primavera continue to be the leader in the A&E, Construction, Plant Maintenance, and strong in Government Agencies.

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Tags: Primavera
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