Steelray is one of the best software investments I've made. I work on a Mac, and if it was not for Steelray Project Viewer, I wouldn't have a good option for looking at MS Project files. Steelray Project Viewer is a brilliant bit of software!
If customers are looking for an alternative cost saving application, Steelray is it. Steelray was cheaper to purchase, and we saved a ton of money. Thanks for such a great product.
I tried a few other products in both Mac and Windows environments; Steelray was easily the best! Really good to be able to alter print scaling to get a huge color Gantt chart onto 9 landscape pages (still readable!) instead of 84 - especially when you need 20 copies.
With the emergence and acceptance of the enterprise project management (EPM) model, many organizations are standardizing on project management tools and methodologies. For a large number of companies, this involves purchasing volume licenses of Microsoft® Project. Two problems arise: first, many users don’t need the full functionality offered by Microsoft® Project. Second, project managers are increasingly frustrated by unauthorized modifications to the files they author and maintain.
The solution to both of these problems is to provide Microsoft® Project to the group of users who truly need it (project creators) and to provide project viewers for the rest of the users (project consumers) who only need access to the information in the file. The use of project viewers results in significant cost savings and is a much better match between the needs of the users and the solution that is provided.
When selecting a viewer, you should make sure that the solution you choose is high quality, low cost, and easy to use.
In the beginning, only project managers used Microsoft® Project, and it was good. Sharing project information was typically done with paper printouts and Microsoft® PowerPoint slides.
The past decade has seen the emergence of the Enterprise Project Management (EPM) model. Organizations are migrating to a unified set of standard tools, methodologies, and processes for managing projects and resources across the entire enterprise. Project management software vendors have enjoyed the adoption of EPM, because with this adoption came large purchase orders for project management software licenses.
Initially, software vendors made it as painless as possible for the widespread standardization and adoption of project management software. Volume and site licenses were offered at discounts, and companies saw real and tangible benefits in their increased use of project management software.
With project management tools on everyone’s desktop, two problems emerged.
First, despite the discounts for volume and site licenses, many organizations are paying for much more functionality than they actually need. Additionally, the early adopter discounts are disappearing in favor of a subscription model that counts installed licenses, regardless of how and if they are being used. The price of EPM is going up annually, and many organizations are feeling the strain financially.
Second, giving non-project managers the ability to modify project plans is often dangerous. The authenticity of the “real” master project file is cast in doubt the moment another user makes a modification to a copy of the project plan. Project managers are frequently frustrated with the wide scale distribution of Microsoft® Project licenses.
Microsoft® offers an expansive and impressive EPM solution that addresses many of the “access” problems described above. Access to project files can be restricted to the right groups of users, and those only needing to view the project information can do so with a less expensive client access license.
For some organizations, Microsoft®’s EPM solution is near perfect, and we strongly recommend it in those cases. For many other organizations, the Microsoft® EPM solution is not ideal for a number of reasons:
In the past couple of years, thousands of organizations have found a better solution: providing Microsoft® Project to the group of users who truly need it (project managers) and to provide project viewers for the rest of the users (project consumers) who only need to access the information in the file.
Microsoft® Project viewers are software applications that at a minimum allow you to view the information in a Microsoft® Project file. While some project viewers attempt to clone the Microsoft® Project user interface, the best-in-class project viewers focus on the task at hand: providing easy access to the information in the project file.
Microsoft® Project was designed for creating, tracking, and modifying project files. It is a complex application that requires training and project management skills to be used effectively. A viewer, on the other hand, should be intuitive and easy to use for anyone, whether or not they use Microsoft® Project.
The primary benefit of using a project viewer is the significant reduction in license fees that it brings. In most organizations, between 30% and 80% of the Microsoft® Project licenses that are purchased are delivered to users (project consumers) who can use a project viewer instead. A project viewer license is typically less than 10% of the cost of a Microsoft® Project license, so the cost savings can be dramatic.
Project viewers prohibit the user from modifying the project file, so the problem of users modifying copies of project files is eliminated. This in turn tends to increase the willingness of the project managers to share the project file, which increases collaboration and communication throughout the organization.
Steelray Project Viewer is the leading Microsoft® Project viewer. Steelray is a compelling choice for enterprise customers for several reasons: