Last week the Project Team publicly disclosed Microsoft Project 2010 at the Project Conference 2009 in Phoenix, AZ, USA.
It was a great event with a fired up group of 1,300 customers and partner attendees.
Press and analyst coverage was very positive with the overriding themes being
- Project 2010 is the most significant release for Project in over a decade, with dramatic ease of use enhancements, unified project and portfolio management and integration with other Microsoft technologies such as Exchange, SharePoint, VSTS and Dynamics
- Project 2010 is built on SharePoint Server 2010 and may democratize project management
- Project 2010 will help organizations prioritize resources, reduce costs and drive efficiencies
To learn more, see Chris Capossela, Senior Vice President keynote: http://ms.istreamplanet.com/project/
Since then we have had a number of questions. I thought it was worthwhile sharing the most common with you.
Q & A
What is Microsoft Project 2010?
Project 2010 builds on the Project 2007 foundation and represents the next generation of the Microsoft Project family of products. It consists of Microsoft Project Standard 2010, Microsoft Project Professional 2010, and Microsoft Project Server 2010. Microsoft Project 2010 combines powerful business collaboration with advanced planning and execution capabilities to deliver flexible and easy to use work management solutions spanning simple tasks to complex projects and programs.
- Microsoft Project Standard 2010 provides an intuitive and easier way to complete everyday projects.
- Microsoft Project Professional 2010 provides an intuitive and easier way to complete everyday projects with sophisticated resource management, collaboration and planning capabilities.
- Microsoft Project Server 2010 provides unified project and portfolio management capabilities to help ensure organizations select and deliver the right projects; gain greater visibility and control of resources, leading to improved productivity and business performance.
What types of users will find Microsoft Project 2010 helpful?
Different types of people have different needs; depending on those needs, Project 2010 enables specific solutions:
- Project Standard 2010 is the choice for individual users who manage projects independently. With significant ease of use enhancements, Project Standard 2010 will appeal to everyday information workers who may be using a tool like Excel today to manage simple projects.
- Project Professional 2010 adds more advanced collaboration, reporting and resource management for more professional project managers.
- For organizations like IT, Operations, Research, Product Development, Government, Professional Services, etc., Project Server 2010 forms the basis of the Microsoft Enterprise Project Management (EPM) Solution delivering unified project and portfolio management capabilities to select and deliver the right projects, optimize resources and execute work effectively. The EPM Solution delivers capabilities for a variety of organizational roles:
- Executives who allocate funds and oversee projects by providing visibility, decision making tools and control
- Project managers and PMO staff who create and manage projects
- Resource managers who work with staff and assets by providing rich, web-based tools for tracking and planning
- Team members who work on projects by providing access in familiar tools to view work and report status
- Administrators and IT staff who manage and extend the solution by providing low TCO, a flexible platform and enterprise functionality
What are the top areas of investment Microsoft is making in Microsoft Project 2010?
Unified Project & Portfolio Management
- A single server with end-to-end PPM capabilities, designed to select and deliver the right projects
- Centralized demand management for capturing all types of work
- Best in class portfolio selection capabilities
- Powerful, extensive and easy to use reporting infrastructure
Enhanced Collaboration and Reporting
- Built on SharePoint Server 2010: Unifies world-class collaboration capabilities with best of breed Project & Portfolio Management techniques
- Receive and respond to tasks effectively through Outlook, Outlook Web Access or Mobile Phone
- Workgroup collaboration solutions to effectively connect small teams of any PPM maturity level
- Create powerful dashboards, and enable users to create and modify reports on the fly
- Integrated timesheet and task status system
Simple and Intuitive User Experience
- Project Standard combines the flexibility and ease of use of a tool like Excel with the power and sophistication of Project’s scheduling engine
- Industry standard and most widely used project management tool
- Familiar interface and intuitive design enhances adoption and appeal, whether you use the client or the browser
- Powerful views simplify communication of schedule information and help intuitively mange resource assignments
- Web-based project editing in Project Server brings the power of Project Professional to the Web
- Easily copy and paste information to and from Office applications
Scalable and Connected Platform
- Centralized administration of both project and portfolio management capabilities
- Easily and intuitively build and manage departmental cubes
- Integration with related Microsoft technologies provides a powerful, familiar and connected work management solution (Exchange, Visual Studio Team Foundation Server, Dynamics AX and SL)
- Comprehensive API makes it easy to integrate the EPM Solution with line of business applications
- Highly configurable solution with Enterprise scalability
What are some of the typical scenarios for which an organization might use Project 2010?
Project is used in a wide range of industries for a variety of functions and applications including: IT Governance, Engineering, R&D, Product Development, Quality Management, Construction, Professional Services Automation, Project, Resource and Risk Management.
What new business problems or needs will Project 2010 address? Who should consider upgrading and what are the key enhancements they’ll see?
This is arguably the biggest release for Microsoft Project in over a decade. Project 2010 will appeal to the most advanced professional project managers and the general information worker who wants to manage and report on everyday projects.
Project Server 2010 helps transform individual desktop project management by centralizing management of all work and projects across the enterprise. It creates better visibility and insight (analytics) for managers and decision makers so they can align enterprise work and resources with strategic organizational objectives.
In addition, Project 2010 makes it easier for all workers to use, even if they’re mobile or if they’re relatively inexperienced part-time PMs. It also increases performance for large enterprise deployments and makes it easier for integrators and ISVs to tap into the full power of the system (exposing key data files and adhering to a standardized database schema).
Will Project 2010 support the Multilingual User Interface (MUI) pack?
Yes, Project 2010 will support MUI and delivers full MUI compliance.
In what languages will Project 2010 be localized?
Project 2010 is localized for Arabic, Chinese – Traditional, Chinese – Simple, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese (Brazilian), Portuguese (European), Russian, Spanish, Swedish, and Turkish.
What languages are enabled in Project 2010?
Beyond the languages we created localized versions for with Project 2007, the following languages are “enabled”: Bulgarian, Chinese – Hong Kong, Croatian, Estonian, Hindi, Latvian, Lithuanian, Romanian, Serbian – Latin, Slovak, Slovenian, Thai, and Ukrainian. “Enabled” means that the UI is not actually localized into that language, but the English version and possibly localized versions for other languages are designed and tested so that they can properly handle data in the enabled language.
How quickly will we see solutions from ISV partners?
We expect most of the 500 solutions we have currently listed on 2007 to be available on the 2010 platform within 6-9 months after the release of 2010.
When is Beta, who will receive it, and where do people go?
Will there be a Project 2010 beta my customers and partners can download? If so, when?
Yes, there will be a Project 2010 beta your customers and partners can download, as announced by Chris Capossella, Senior Vice President, in his keynote address on September 16th at Project Conference 2009. The beta will available be by the end of 2009.
What products are included in the Microsoft Project 2010 Beta?
Specific products available for download are the Microsoft Project Professional 2010 Beta, Microsoft Project Server 2010 Beta, and Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010 Beta.
How do customers and partners get access to the Microsoft Project 2010 Beta bits?
Go to the Project 2010 Website, http://www.microsoft.com/project/2010/en/us/default.aspx and sign up to be notified of the Microsoft Project 2010 Beta availability. The Microsoft Project 2010 Beta will be available by the end of 2009. If you are a registered attendee of Project Conference 2009, you will automatically be invited to download the beta via email, as soon as it is available.
Where can I get Project 2010 bits for my customers and partners now?
The Technical Preview program is now closed and no more invitations can be accepted. Customers and partners must wait for the Microsoft Project 2010 Beta, available by the end of 2009.
Can I demo or present Project 2010 to my customers?
Yes you can. You cannot give them the product in any form. Remember the product you have is Technical Preview and that will be a whole step behind what is released as Beta in terms of product presentation, e.g. orange dots, and potential functionality. Take this into account when showing customers. Review the virtual press kit for some 2010 content including screen shots http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/presskits/projectserver/videoGallery.aspx
When will the Project 2010 VHD be available?
The Project 2010 preconfigured Virtual Machine with sample data based on the Project 2010 Beta will be available for public download by the end of 2009.
Packaging, Pricing and Licensing
How will I be able to purchase Project 2010?
Refer to your Microsoft representative.
What is included in Project Standard 2010?
- New in 2007: Background Cell Highlights, Change Highlighting, Cost Resources, Desktop OLAP Cube, Multiple Level Undo, 3D Gantt Bars, Task Driver Pane, Top-Down Budgeting as well as Visual Reports.
- New in 2010: Fluent User Interface, Excel-like Ease, Backstage, Save as PDF and XPS, User Controlled Scheduling, Visual Timeline View; 32 bit and 64 bit optimized option.
What is included in Project Professional 2010?
- New in 2007: Connect to Project Server 2007 for web-based collaborative project management environment.
- New 2010: Everything in Project Standard 2010 plus: Inactive/Active Tasks, At-A-Glance Team Planner, Team Collaboration and Synchronization to WSS “14”.
What are the new Project 2010 Server features?
Some of the new features customers will experience with the new server-based capabilities in Project 2010 include:
- New in 2007: Active Cache, Assignment Owner, Cube Building Service, Deliverables, Event Model, Multi-Currency, Programs, Project Server Interface, Queuing Service, Reporting Data Service, Serer Side Scheduling, and Time-sheeting.
- New 2010: Fluent Server UI, Centralized Demand Management, Unified Portfolio Selection including Business Strategy Prioritization, Portfolio Prioritization and Optimization, Capacity Planning, Online Project Editing, Time Reporting Enhancements, Enhanced Reporting and Business Intelligence including Excel Services, SharePoint Report Center and KPI integration, Powerful Dashboards; SharePoint Server 2010 Integration, Exchange Server Integration
What happened to Microsoft Office Project Portfolio Server 2007?
Project Portfolio Server2007 capabilities were enhanced and integrated into Project Server 2010, unifying portfolio management and project management capabilities to help ensure organizations select and deliver the right projects, while gaining greater visibility and control of resources leading to improved productivity and better business performance.
System and Technology Requirements
What are the system requirements for Project 2010?
- Project Server 2010 will be 64-bit only
- Project client, Professional and Standard, will be available in 32-bit or 64-bit
- Project Server 2010 will require 64-bit Windows Server 2008 or 64-bit Windows Server 2008 R2
- Project Server 2010 will require 64-bit SQL 2005 or 2008
- Project Server 2010 will require SharePoint Server 2010 Enterprise Edition
- Project Server 2010 will support Internet Explorer 7 or 8
- Project Professional 2010 will synchronize with WSS “14”
What version of SQL Server is required for Project Server 2010?
Microsoft SQL Server 2005 x64 SP3 CU3 or SQL 2008 x64 SP1 CU2 is required for Project Server 2010.
How does Project 2010 fit with Windows 7?
Project’s clients and server are built on top of, and utilize the Windows platform and continue to do so for Windows Vista. Microsoft expects to continue and enrich Windows infrastructure investments, like XML, ASP.NET, and Web Parts. Customers and developers can develop and deploy Project today, knowing that those investments are carried forward with additional customer value with the availability of Windows 7.
Where and when can I find more information about SharePoint 2010?
At http://sharepoint.microsoft.com and attend the SharePoint Conference.
You can discuss Project 2010 with your customers and partners but not features and functionality of SharePoint 2010 that Project 2010 is not dependent on. And, no features, demos, blogging or screenshots of SharePoint 2010 can be shared with customers not under NDA that Project 2010 is not dependent on until the SharePoint Conference in October.
The SharePoint public disclosure is at the SharePoint Conference in October. To find out what has already been disclosed about SharePoint 2010, please go to http://sharepoint.microsoft.com/2010/Sneak_Peek/Pages/default.aspx
See exclusive “Discussion Guides” available to EPM Specialized partners on the Microsoft Partner Portal. http://blogs.technet.com/doug_mccutcheon/archive/2009/09/21/effective-selling-discussion-guides-for-microsoft-project.aspx
Microsoft Project 2010 User Certification
What are the Project 2010 user certifications?
The two Microsoft Project 2010 User Certifications will be:
- Microsoft Project 2010, Managing Projects
- Microsoft Project Server 2010, Architecting , installation and configuration
What are the benefit of the Project 2010 User Certification for Project Managers, IT Pros, BDMs and EPM Partners?
- Project Managers: The certification allows Project Managers to demonstrate and validate their application and tools competencies
- IT Professionals: Helps ensure consistent user practices that simplify design, deployment, and system administration, for better supportability and reliability
- BDMs: Helps match qualified PMs to specific PM roles and allows organizations to optimizes project resource & work pipeline planning
- EPM Partners: Provide validation of sufficient skills to deploy a Project Server installation from a technical and business requirement perspective.
How will Microsoft make the certifications and supporting courseware available?
Microsoft will make the program available through its global CPLS channel, which offers easy and affordable access to courseware and through our Exam Delivery Partner channel which offers certification testing to customers around the world. The certification and content will be promoted to end customers through the www.microsoft.com/project web presence.
Will there be a website where the customers can access information regarding Microsoft Project 2010?
Yes, the new Microsoft Project site www.microsoft.com/project will be launched on September 16th, 2009 and information about Microsoft Project 2010 can be accessed there.
What can customers/end users expect to see for 2010 on this site?
This site will primarily have detailed product, partner and solution information regarding the in-market Project 2007 products. However a section of the site is dedicated to the new Microsoft Project 2010 content, which will include the following:
- “First Look” videos:
- Project 2010 Overview
- Project Professional 2010 product demo
- Project Server 2010 product demo
- Limited description of Project 2010 SKU’s – Project Standard 2010, Project Professional 2010, and Project Server 2010
- “What’s New” in Project 2010 for each of the above mentioned
In addition, the users can also submit their email addresses to be amongst the first notified of the Project 2010 Beta availability, available by the end of 2009. See http://www.microsoft.com/project/2010/en/us/default.aspx
Certified Partner for Learning Solutions (CPLS)
How big is the Certified Partner for Learning Solutions (CPLS channel) that delivers the new curriculum?
The CPLS channel consists of approximately 1,000 partners delivering learning solutions at over 1500 locations worldwide.
Out of the CPLS channel, how many have MS Project training programs?
We estimate that approximately 207 CPLS channel partners currently offer MS Project training programs.
What are the key CPLS Program benefits?
Some of the key program benefits include the ability to promote EPM partner created training material, access to technical use training licenses; participation in the Microsoft Software Assurance Training Voucher Program; customer training referrals and participation in exclusive marketing campaigns.
More information about the benefits associated with the program can be found here: https://partner.microsoft.com/global/program/competencies/learningsolutions/learningbenefits
If I’m currently in the Microsoft Partner Program, where can I find more information about the CPLS program?
You can find more information on the CPLS program by visiting: https://partner.microsoft.com/global/program/competencies/learningsolutions
For more information on 2010 refer customers and partners to: www.microsoft.com/project/2010