Still not convinced? Let’s check out key features of the Celoxis product…
I found the Celoxis product to have a full feature set including those that you would expect from a far more expensive project management solution. Here are a few key features that impressed me and seemed to help separate it from the some of the rest of the PM software crowd:
- Advanced Scheduling: Tasks are automatically scheduled based on resource work timings, time zones, holidays and work timings exceptions. It also supports inter-project dependencies.
- Project Portfolio Management: PPM is supported out of the box. But the user can customize it further using custom fields and charts.
- Resource Load Chart: This shows the standard information like resource load breakdown, utilization and conflicts. But it goes beyond that with its ability to solve conflicts on its own. This was a nice feature and it seemed to do a decent job at it, in my opinion.
- Workflow: This is an extremely sophisticated piece of software that allows you to create and track business process like bugs, client approvals, risks and change requests. Since change requests and client approvals are involved in 99% of the projects I manage, I found this feature very helpful.
- RSS feeds: This is particularly useful if you are a project manager and do not want to log on to the application to keep yourself updated. Unlike other some other products I’ve seen where RSS feeds are simply a list of projects or tasks, this RSS feed contains all the events that occur in projects.
- Custom fields including formula fields: Many types of custom fields are provided, each with its own validation rules to minimize data entry errors. There is even a “formula” field where you can enter your own formula. These fields can be used in report filters, columns and charts. I realize this is a fairly common feature but I felt it was worth mentioning as I create custom filters and reports on nearly every project I run (see next bullet).
- Custom Reporting: I found the reporting capabilities in the Celoxis product to be very detailed and customizable, which is very helpful to project managers like me who tend to want to use these reports to automate what they bring to the status reporting table with the client – making life a little simpler every week. Every view that you see whether it’s a gantt chart, a pie chart or a table, is a report. Even the dashboard is nothing but a collection of reports. To share data with your client, you create a report.
- User defined drill-down charts: This is something that executives and project managers should love. You can create your own graphical charts which automatically become 'clickable'. You can even use your custom fields as data sets. Supported types are pie, bar and bubble. I just wish the colors were a bit better.
- Interoperability with other systems: Today systems rarely exist in isolation and getting data in and out is a key requirement. Celoxis does quite well in this aspect. The API seemed simple and powerful. Data can be imported and exported in CSV. It also supports two-way synchronization with Microsoft Project. In addition you can do a number of things via email.
- Mobile interface: The mobile interface works on almost any smart phone, not just the iPhone. The interface is quite comprehensive and looks like a native iPhone application. You still get access to the same dashboard and reports that you would on your desktop browser.
- Client Collaboration: This is a great way to increase transparency with your clients. Depending on what you share (which, yes, you do have some control over), your clients can log on to Celoxis to view project reports, conduct online discussions, download project documents or participate in workflows.
Bottom line for business
Celoxis has a sophisticated feature set, a wide array of customizations and was pretty easy to use. Support is excellent though there is no phone support. It is available in both hosted and on-premise versions. And you get all of this at an incredibly competitive price. From what I reviewed of the product, I would definitely recommend this software. Specifically, I highly recommend signing up for their 30-day free trial and testing it out on a project. For more information on the Celoxis product, visit their site.