Will OPC be a game changer in 2021?

Frédéric Debouche
Frédéric Debouche
Lead Technology

First launched in 2014 with the vision of being the tool that will cover all the knowledge areas within project controls, Oracle Primavera Cloud (OPC), formerly named Oracle Prime Project, formerly named Oracle Primavera Prime, is really getting more and more interest from the market. We believe 2021 might be the year of breakthrough for OPC...

Included topics
  • Oracle Primavera Cloud
  • Aconex
  • Integrated project controls platform
  • Scheduling
  • Critical Path Method
  • Risk Analysis
  • Portfolio management
  • Reporting & dashboards

Some history

When Oracle Construction and Engineering team (also, at that time named differently, a.k.a. Engineering and Construction…) presented us Oracle Primavera Prime in 2014 we were as well loving the idea (of having one single integrated project controls platform) as being dubitative because we have heard that “we can do it all” speech quite a lot and it remains mostly a sales talk by many software vendors (sorry guys). I guess the first years have been difficult for Oracle but they kept investing in that idea. In 2017, we at Proove were one of the first to go for it. Today, that client is very happy with it and widely uses it.

Then, Oracle acquired Aconex… My first thought was something like “Oh my god, they had already the best platform when it’s about time, now they just bought one of the best tool for project communication”. We were full of hope, but what we noticed quickly is that it was actually somewhat conflictual with the entire “one for all” idea of Oracle Prime Project. They had now 2 solutions that were intended to cover that “single platform” idea and none of both was fully up to speed. Therefore, Oracle had to make choice and decided to rename Prime to “Primavera Cloud” as reference for “the best in class solution for scope, time, risk, resource control”.

Now, the idea is that they take the best of both solution and merge them into that new, even more powerful, one single platform. It is now a matter of time before we see that happening and I even believe it’s coming sooner than we might think.

Why would 2021 make a difference?

Until few months ago, maybe half 2020, when we were in a discussion about OPC, we were always taking some reserve due to the fact, even in 2020, the tool was still leaving us with unfulfilled requirements on some small elements. Things like loading a schedule with cost, which you would expect from any scheduling tool, were not possible yet (don’t worry, now it is 😉). However, Oracle has worked quite hard and is continuing that way such that, by the end of 2020, and even more now in 2021, we can clearly state that OPC is a strong and reliable tool which does what it’s intended for and even more!

So, at the moment we have a solution which:

  • Is a very strong competitor in the scheduling software solution market, in few words, it has the strength of P6 while being easier to use and brings wonderful enhancements to it. Baseline management, creating and comparing scenarios, integrated DCMA schedule check, … are some of the elements that are much easier in OPC compared to P6. It sometimes even goes to small things like the “remaining curve” starting at the end of the “actual curve”. Today, I believe most companies using P6 should choose OPC over it (especially with the upcoming EVM improvements which we’ll talk about later this year).
  • Is nearly the only platform that integrates Lean and the Critical Path Method (CPM). This is, still today, one of the first reason to choose for OPC and it has been (and still is) improved every month.
  • Includes a strong quantitative risk analysis which can directly compete with Primavera Risk Analysis (PRA) and many other of that kind while being integrated with the scheduling environment (avoiding loads of import/exports, duplication of data, …). This month (January 2021) they even brought some new weather type of risks enabling you to perform risk analysis based on probabilistic calendars (more on that in an upcoming blogpost)!
  • Not only is a multi-project risk & time control tool, but is a very strong portfolio management, workflow based, project selection solution! One of our customer has implemented it such that they have both project portfolio management and project management until the task level (lean). We’ll most likely tell about that brilliant case later this year.
  • All of the above is, of course, supported by a reporting & dashboard engine and the platform itself is one of the easiest to use.

The above listed point should, to me, be enough to seriously consider OPC when choosing a project management solution today. However, keep in mind that it’s a cloud & evolutive solution which will continue to be enhanced while you’re already using it. And then, if we look towards the future, there are 3 very good reasons to believe in the future of this solution and we think, 2021 will be key for those.

  • First of all, this evolution will continue and the suite will be better every month
  • Then, Oracle Primavera Cloud and Oracle Aconex will continue to merge to, in the end, make that one single integrated project controls platform we have been dreaming of.
  • Also, Oracle silently released its Construction Intelligence Cloud which uses your past data to make suggestion and benchmark using machine learning. We have very good reason to believe it will, very soon, be applied to OPC as well!

In other words

We have had quite some history with OPC. We were one of the first Oracle Partner to believe in this idea and I think we can start 2021 by confidently stating that we were right. All our implementation were very successful and client satisfaction is high. Today it’s a super strong solution for a company that wants integrated project controls (and they should of course 😉) but what is even better is that, every time we have a call with product development from Oracle, we feel a strong alignment on the end goal!

Let me wish OPC a happy 2021 and we’ll see in one year if I was right writing this blogpost! (wishing happy new year to a tool… Now, I understand why they call me the technology geek at Proove!)

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