Saturday, June 1, 2002

ProjecTrak provides a complete suite of business applications

PRODUCT REVIEW

By Clement Hill

Companies that are only using Lotus Notes for email are missing a great opportunity to leverage their investment and take advantage of some of the sophisticated business applications that are available for the platform. Many vendors offer Notes based software for nearly every business need, including project management, sales force automation, and human resources. While other messaging systems only offer communications, Notes can serve as a platform for delivering important business applications.

One of the best suites of Notes based software available is the ProjecTrak Business Suite from Eden Communications (at http://www.eden.com). The suite includes modules for project management, help desk, asset management, sales management, and bug tracking. Each module is completely integrated with the others in the suite but can also be purchased as a standalone application.

For this review, I evaluated the functionality and suitability of each module in ProjecTrak in a real world business environment. I was also interested in general usability, since the last thing anyone needs is to have to spend a lot of time learning new software. Finally, from a technical point of view, I was interested in some of the technical underpinnings of the software and to what extent it integrates some of the other products from Lotus and IBM such as Sametime, etc.

I always read a vendor's Web site and promotional materials to get a feel for what a product is meant to do. Of course, like everyone, I'm really only interested in what a piece of software can do for me, but I like to make sure I don't miss anything relevant or that I hadn't thought of.

Eden's Web site is well organized and very professional. I easily found information I needed. They have a client list on the Web site, and the software is installed by many of the major Notes shops, such as Chase, General Electric, etc. The site is also helpful with access to case studies, tech support, and other useful stuff. One thing I wish I had seen is access to downloadable Acrobat files with full functional and technical specifications for the software, but those were obtained from Eden when I called them.

Overview

The ProjecTrak Business Suite includes the following modules. Each can be used on its own or as part of the suite:

Project Manager

The Project Manager module enables users to manage the entire life cycle of a project, from initial submission to final close-out.

Bug Tracker

Bug Tracker tracks bugs and defects from reporting through resolution, with multiple views by project, status, assignee, and priority. The module includes defect routing workflow and pretty extensive reporting.