Author: meetjkalis

Transform Your #2015 Planning! #MSProject #PPM @UMT360


Join UMT360’s CEO Mike Gruia to learn how to transform your 2015 planning!

With 2015 fast approaching, portfolio planning tops the list of concerns for executives and PMOs across the globe. However Executives have known for years that the portfolio planning processes used by most organizations are badly broken, but the recent financial crisis has turned this weakness into a potentially fatal flaw.  While economic recovery is in full swing, the majority of CEOs, CFOs and CIOs believe that heightened uncertainty will remain part of the new norm—placing continued pressure on portfolio investment planning.”

UMT360: UPCOMING WEBINAR: How to Increase Project & Portfolio ROI with Dynamic Reallocation

On Tuesday, August 26, 2014 at 10am PST / 1pm ESTBen Chamberlain Chief Product & Marketing Officer for UMT360 is doing webcast on dynamic reallocation that will help everyone understand how to get most of limited budgets in every organization!

During the webcast you’ll:

  • Understand why companies are at risk of not realizing 46% of planned ROI
  • Learn how to use Strategic Yield to measure project and portfolio investment performance
  • Discover the 4 important steps to implement a Dynamic Reallocation process for Project Server
  • Learn what benefits your PMO can expect from adopting a Dynamic Reallocation framework


#WPC14 and @Microsoft @Project

I had the pleasure to participate at WPC14 on Wednesday last week!

The morning was kicked-off by the new Microsoft CEO, he was not running like Steve and screaming to try to pump up the audience by his “entrée” but rather by the depth of his thoughts and demonstrations of innovative technologies. The slide below says “Partners who inspire” – and this is an interesting realization that Microsoft acknowledges partners as not only business partners, but also as a source of “inspirations” going forward. Glad to be on the other side now Smile The Azure predictive algorithms demo from the ThyssenKrupp Elevators – be able to send maintenance before the system breaks – was simply very powerful – see the demo!

Where it got really exiting from the @Project perspective was when @Project and Visio we called-pout on the slide that that talked about differentiating applications for Windows platform…

WPC14 01

The booth – this time Microsoft tried something different – roaming workload/product “experts” in the one Office365 booth space. Interesting idea – unfortunately it showed that when the booth does not have a big green Project logo – people simply will not ask about it…


The first Project session “#CL400: Help Your Customers Choose the Right Project & Portfolio Management Tool” was led by Krishna and provided the overview of the Project family from work-management to high end PPM with Office365, Project Pro for Office365 and Project Online. There were three demos – Raja showed task management in SharePoint, Yahya Project Pro for Office365 and Krishna Project Online. If you have not seen the mock-up of the upcoming work management and resource management – make sure to check it out!

WPC14 03

The second Project session #CL443: Grow your offerings and profitability with Microsoft Project and Project Lite” was led by Yuval @ Microsoft who is the new partner manager on the business group side – congratulations! I’m very excited about his partner and Project background! Awesome!

WPC14 04

Yuval was highlighting partners of the year in the PPM spaceSensei – Kenneth, Projility – Rob, CPS – Ivan and UMT360.

All the partners had a chance to present their solution – Kenneth from Sensei –

WPC14 05

Sorry Rob and Ivan the photos did not turn out well. Since I was talking about the partner opportunity for #msPartners with @UMT360 I did not master to take a selfie at the same time… – here is the session recording – highly encouraging to check it out!


Congratulations to all @Microsoft #msPartner winners and finalists! (#ppm #msproject commentary)

As you know Microsoft recognizes exceptional partners every year – according to Microsoft “These partners and their award nominations were truly exceptional, and their accomplishments should be viewed as examples of excellence for every Microsoft partner.”

From the Project and Portfolio Management arena – congratulations to the winner Sensei Project Solutions and finalists: Corporate Project Solutions, Projility and us – UMT360. It’s great to see European/UK partner on the list – congratulations CPS! Looking back at 2013 there was a strong focus on Office Store Applications this year – that all four partners have, but on the other had we were missing non-traditional PPM partners, like the once from the global ISV space. Surprisingly – the companies on the list are relatively young – UMT360 is the youngest Gold PPM partner and Sensei the second youngest Gold PPM on this list – the means great innovation and dynamics of the Microsoft Partner PPM space!

If you have not checked the Sensei’s task analyzer, UMT360’s Project financial Intelligence and pre-configured solutions and apps from CPS and Projility – do it today!

@microsoft #msPartner? Ever wondered how the Customer Reference Request e-mail looks like?

I have wondered – and here it is –

Key learnings:

  1. It does not have your (partner) logo not even your partner name – so customer can’t identify this with you immediately before following the embedded link in the e-mail
  2. When you prepare your customer for this e-mail, make sure to mention it’s a generic e-mail without any reference to you as partner.
  3. If your customer tries to locate this e-mail in their inbox – the best is to search for “The Microsoft Partner Network Team” or “Customer Reference Request”
  4. The landing page for confirmation the reference is using your LEGAL NAME, not necessarily your Doing Business As… So if those two are different – you have another topic to clarify with your customer…

Hope it helps!



#msProject #msPartners working towards Silver #PPM Competency? Here are few tips…

I have I decided to write a series of posts to help partners “formally” achieve Silver and Gold PPM competencies, this article talks about Silver PPM, the Gold PPM will be out in few weeks Smile The silver PPM requirements officially published on MPN (Microsoft Partner Network) – This article focuses on working with the MPN tool (further “system”), it does not cover the best practices being a great partner nor best practices conducting great deployments.

I assume you are already registered on MPN (further “system”) – if you have not done so do it You need to use your Windows Live ID (newly called Microsoft Account) to sign-in. MAKE SURE your legal name and “doing business as” (DBA) name is correct. You can change DBA, but changing Legal name requires contacting MPN Support and may take few days to change.

Silver PPM REQIUREMENTS (as or April 2014):

    1. THREE CUSTOMER REFERENCES – I highly advise you to talk to you customer and explain the whole process. The customer has to confirm the reference you submit by opening e-mail sent by Microsoft. The e-mail is sent from “”, and if your customer is not receiving this e-mail – you need to make sure customer has this e-mail on safe sender list… You are not CC’ed on this e-mail, so you have to trust that the “system” sends the e-mail and validate receipt with your customer. Sometimes you may get “Notification of Customer Reference Request” to your inbox when you send the reference e-mail but sometime you may just get the “Customer Reference Approved”… If you customers is not receiving the e-mail – you can’t re-send it right away (you can after 5 days) and if you need to re-send immediately (e.g. customer added the sender to safe list) you have to contact the MPN Support to sort it out. When you are submitting the reference, make sure you have all details, including the use case and detailed description of the reference. Validating the reference could take anywhere from minutes to days, depending on multiple factors – from speed of e-mail systems, anti-spam filters, time zones – all the way to eruptions on the sun. It’s wise to shoot for one or two more references to be safe that you meet the requirement.
    2. ONE SALES ASSESMENT – the sales assessment is relatively straight forward, Microsoft provides full training and the assessment is based on that training. I have recently published an article on how you can speed-up the training – in this post. Please DO print/PDF the certificate you get at the end in case your assessment does not show as completed. My feeling is that there is a lag after you complete the assessment and before you will see the assessment as completed in the “system”. I have seen anything from several hours to several days.
    3. TWO MCPs with TWO PROJECT EXAMS – you need two MCPs and BOTH have to take the exam 74-343 Managing Projects with Microsoft Project 2013 and 74-344 Managing Programs and Projects with Project Server 2013. Make sure to add the right MCP ID of your Associated People with your Organization.
      1. For exam prep – check Microsoft –> Microsoft Project 2013. Also has series of good books. Your local fellow training partner may have other ides too Smile
      2. 74-344 Managing Programs and Projects with Project Server 2013 is NO LONGER Technical – the biggest “surprised” feedback I heard. Check the Skills Measured section here
      3. 74-343 Managing Projects with Microsoft Project 2013 requires knowledge of the Project desktop, including deep dive in scheduling and usage views. Check the Skills Measured section here
    4. Once all above is satisfied – accept the legal agreement (it is 40 pages when pasted to Word so it may take some time to read through it) and pay the Silver fee (plus tax).
    5. Done

The “formal” process and work with “system” might take an extra time, plan for it. Patience. Patience. Patience.

Good luck!


UPCOMING WEBCAST: Changing the PMO Status Quo: Learn how Frank LaRocca Created an Enterprise #PMO at @ConEd to Drive Greater ROI #msProject #PPM #FinancialIntel @UMT360

Tuesday, May 13, 2014 – 2pm EDT

This is an impressive story and Frank is a great speaker – worth attending Smile

Companies are failing to realize up to 46% of business value from their project portfolios, leaving many executives questioning the effectiveness of traditional Project Portfolio Management (PPM).  Are PMOs too focused on the important, yet tactical aspects of project management?  Or should the PMO re-orient to the fact that projects are business investments, and take strategic responsibility for optimizing spend and maximizing ROI across the portfolio? 

Attend this webinar and learn how Frank LaRocca, Director of Financial Governance at Con Edison (and former CIO of KeySpan Energy) did just that.  Frank built an Enterprise PMO and has complete financial transparency across a $2bn capital portfolio and applies a dynamic reallocation process to drive greater ROI.

Join this session as Frank will provide insight into how he created a Strategic Enterprise PMO to:

  • Establish a governance framework for increased financial intelligence
  • Change the culture and gaining “buy in” from top down
  • Go beyond annual planning to establish a dynamic reallocation process (aka Sweep)
  • Set Baseline Metrics and Tracking Attainment
  • Drive bottom line savings and more value

Please register today.

See you there!


Do it quicker! Sales and Marketing Assessment for #msProject #PPM competency

Many of you are renewing their PPM competency and need one or two socialists to pass the new Microsoft Partner Network Sales Specialist Competency Assessment for Project and Portfolio Management.

The good news is that the assessment is fully based on the accompanying training in the Partner Learning Center. In other words the questions asked are only based on the training.

Here is one trick that is built into the player that allows you to sit the training for a shorter amount of time –  you can change the play speed to Fast (Ctrl+shift+G) or right-click the Media Player controls and select “Play speed” – see the picture below.


Good luck & happy passing!