Clarizen users are about to find themselves rich in cool new project management (PM) features. The reliable and easy-to-use system has been outfitted with a data visualization presentation tool, a financial planning module, and a Microsoft Excel import option.
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The Slide Publisher is the crown jewel of Clarizen's new features. It lets users pull company data and branding into Microsoft PowerPoint slides. The wizard lives inside the PowerPoint application and lets Clarizen clients automate the slide creation process by pooling team member information into pre-built PowerPoint templates.
The Clarizen slider lives on the right-hand side of the PowerPoint software, enabling slide builders to drag and drop fields into the slide in a What You See is What You Get (WYSIWYG) template. The fields and tables you insert into these templates will automatically populate new data as projects progress. This means account managers will no longer have to chase down data from remote team members, copy and paste the data into a blank slide, and touch it up to look neat for clients. The tool does it all automatically.
That's not the only visually appealing update to the tool: Clarizen has built a Rich-Text incorporation element into the tool that's designed to let you combine standard Clarizen data with custom-designed visuals. This includes things such as hyperlinks, images, rich text, and tables.
"What's hiding behind collaboration is the need for our customers to be more agile," said Yoav Boaz, Vice President of Products at Clarizen. "They see Bay Area companies moving very fast. What they want from us is to help them be more business agile." Boaz said Clarizen is focused on delivering new features centered around three themes: collaboration, efficiency, and time-to-value.
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Financial Planning and Spreadsheets
Along the lines of these themes, Clarizen has also added a financial planning module to the tool to let users organically track resources and expenses between Clarizen and a third-party financial system of record. The module tracks budgets, forecasts, capital and operational (billable and non-billable) expenses, and, of course, revenue.
"Our customers want the finance team to be up to date on how projects are progressing. You don't want them to find out a few weeks late that a project isn't progressing," said Boaz. "We built the financial planning tool to be focused specifically around projects. If our customers have a finance system of record, we help them integrate with that system. So [this means] they don't have to build financial aspects within Clarizen. However, what we provide [within the financial planning tool] is more project-focused."
Additionally, Clarizen has added a Microsoft Excel import feature that lets users work offline on desktop spreadsheets, and then upload them into the PM tool where they can be added to existing workflows.
Existing Clarizen users can access all of these features, except for the financial planning module, at no additional cost, starting today. The Financial Planning module is currently available to a limited number of users. If you're interested in trying to module, then you'll have to contact your Clarizen account manager. The financial planning module will be generally available during the second quarter of 2017, Boaz said.
More About Clarizen
Clarizen, which is focused on higher-end enterprise users, comes in two pricey tiers: the Enterprise edition, which costs $60 per user per month, and the Unlimited edition, which costs $80 per user per month. Those prices aren't fixed so it's possible you'll get a different quote when you contact the company. However, when we reviewed the tool last year, our reviewer was given these figures.
Both plans are feature-rich, letting you manage an unlimited number of projects, and giving you budget tracking, time tracking, expense management, and limited customization. The Enterprise plan gives you access to up to 500 GB of storage space per license, while the Unlimited plan offers an unlimited amount of storage.
Clarizen gives you everything you'll need in a PM tool, including giving you the ability to add milestones, a Gantt chart view of a project's tasks, and reports of which tasks are on track and which ones are slipping. Clarizen also comes with an approvals system for timesheets and expenses, which can be directly tied to the applicable task or project. You can share views of almost any module, report, or dashboard with your team members; it also has a built-in chat app.
The tool's app marketplace is a treasure trove of software that the company and its customers have built to help you expand your PM solution. Extensions such as user analytics, lifecycle reporting, financial highlights, and a theme editor can be directly plugged in from this page. External integrations include plug-ins for Active Directory (AD), Atlassian Jira, Microsoft Excel, and Salesforce. The tool also features an open application programming interface (API) that lets you build any plug-in you'll ever need.