Celoxis was founded in 2001 by Ravindra Wankar and Nikhil Daddikar. It is an all-in-one project management software that helps businesses manage their projects, resources, costing, billing, risks, communications, issues, and other business processes online. Over the last 15 years, Celoxis has grown to one of the world’s favorite project management software platforms. Below is our interview with Ravindra Wankar, Co-founder and Chief Architect at Celoxis.
Q: What makes Celoxis a good choice for medium and enterprise project management?
A: Before I can answer this question, let me address another elemental question – Why do businesses even need a project management software? Can’t they simply not use spreadsheets, email or other manual methods? The short answer to this is ‘No’. A project management software saves them time, effort and arithmetic! Through the different stages of a project, businesses are interested in its varying aspects and have questions unlike. Like, for instance, even before a project is picked up, businesses need to understand its risk, its expected benefit, and its alignment with strategic objectives. Then once the project is selected, the business wants to know its overall health in terms of schedule, budget, outstanding risks and profitability. We have been in the shoes of a Project Manager and learnt the questions that are asked of him. We have learnt how using a spreadsheet and email is ineffective in answering these questions even on a small scale project.
So, to answer your question, we have built Celoxis with a sole vision – to help companies deliver successful projects and results, every time! There are 7 ingredients that make Celoxis a wholesome choice for medium and enterprise project management:
- Real-world Scheduling
- Comprehensive Resource Management
- Customizable Workflows
- Integrated Project Financials
- Better Analytics and Insights
- SaaS and On-Premise Deployment
- Smarter Customizations
A recent PMI survey conducted across project professionals revealed that inaccurate project schedules are the topmost reasons for project failures. True that. Creating a project schedule is not an easy task. There are just too many parameters that your spreadsheet cannot handle automatically. And again, schedules often change over the course and you need to constantly re-plan. Celoxis helps tackle all of these real-world challenges such as resource work times, task dependencies, constraints and the nature of the work itself. For example, if a team member goes on an unplanned absence, the project schedule will instantly reflect this.
Celoxis comes pre-built with powerful resource management tools that help managers track resource availabilities and allocations, view real-time capacities and manage utilization and performance. You can slice and dice this data by departments or particular skillset or clients, giving you a true picture of your resources.
This feature (Custom Apps) is unique to Celoxis and was conceptualized way back in 2004, around the time when we had a vision of an all-in-one platform. With Apps, businesses can define, execute and track all of their workflows without using different specialized tools.
With Celoxis, all aspects of your project financials – budgets, costs and bill amounts – can be easily accessed. Once you enter the cost and bill rates of each person in the system, the estimated cost and the estimated billing is always available on demand! And if anything changes, e.g. the estimated effort on tasks, these numbers are automatically recalculated!
Celoxis comes with a set of pre-loaded best practice operational and executive reports that you can run instantly to derive insights from your projects. Celoxis also provides powerful data-driven predictive analytics around slippages, costs and revenues, so that you don’t have to depend on guesswork and rather act on your findings.
Celoxis is the first tool (and still one of the very few) to offer a choice of deployment for businesses. Businesses are often constricted by organizational, industrial, state or even federal policies against hosting their data on the cloud. The On-Premise option brings them all the advantages of Celoxis within their organizational boundaries.
At Celoxis, we very well understand that each business is unique and have a preferred way of approaching things. That’s why we have ingrained customization at the very core of our product. In Celoxis, you can customize pretty much everything right from your dashboard to reports and views, to project policies and even custom rates.
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Q: Tell us something more about your Customizable workflows?
A: Workflows or Custom Apps, as we call it, is a very unique and powerful concept. It brings the power of defining, managing and reporting on business processes and other ad hoc work within a unified platform. This obviates the need for relying on multiple tools and applications. While managing projects, we don’t want to go to another application to administer open bugs or go to our Drive spreadsheet to monitor risks and certainly don’t want to go through our emails to figure out whether the client signed-off on a particular change request. All of this not only drops productivity but also brings in a reporting nightmare. It is a sure shot recipe for failure. With Celoxis, however, it’s all there in one place, all of your related work activities within a familiar interface. We have a pre-built bug tracker, risk register, change request management and other apps. You can also build your own, e.g. a client approval workflow or a leave tracker. You can customize the workflows to suit your organizational processes. You can even define SLAs and build an escalation matrix in your workflows. All of this is tightly integrated with your core project management activities.
Q: What kind of insights can organizations derive from Celoxis?
A: Celoxis brings powerful and real-time reporting capabilities to turn all your project data into actionable insights. Reports are tabular or come in a variety of drill-down charts that provide a visual overview of information. Project managers can easily track their projects’ current status using traffic light colour coding, or make sure that resources are being optimally utilized over the course of the project. They can even monitor planned v/s actual effort and costs. They can track all of this from their interactive dashboards without going deeper into the application. In Celoxis, you can also define metrics that matter most and create reports around them. Executives also get their real-time dashboards where they can quickly take stock of project statuses for key accounts, revenues by clients, overall resource efficiency, manager performance, project trends, etc.
Q: Could you compare benefits of your SaaS and On-Premise solution?
A: Celoxis is still one of the few enterprise project management software that provides businesses the flexibility of choosing between SaaS and On-Premise solutions. With our SaaS solution, you get complete peace of mind, automatic upgrades and always-on access to your projects. Our servers are hosted in IBM data centers and has a proven 99.99% uptime. Our unique multi-level approach for shielding data and fanatical backup algorithms ensures maximum protection against physical and electronic threats.
Our On-Premise solution ensures lowest TCO and zero additional software setup costs. We support multiple databases and operating systems to ensure a seamless fit with your existing hardware and software infrastructure. At any point you can also move your data from SaaS to On-Premise.
Both solutions come with access to the best-in-class support resources and a product that is loved by over 238,000 people at 2,600 companies around the world.
Q: Could you tell us more about your pricing plans?
A: Our pricing is clear-cut and simple. No multiple plans or editions. No secret decoder ring required. Our SaaS subscription plans start at $25 per user per month. Our On-Premise licenses are perpetual with a one time fee of $450 per user. With On-Premise, support is on us for the first year. Both options come with discounts on volume and duration of sign-ups. We also offer an additional 25% discount for nonprofits. Our pricing is so simple, that even a fourth grader can do the arithmetic.
Q: How would you convince the reader to start using Celoxis?
A: If someone had to convince me to use a software product, they’d simply tell me to try it out. And that is something I’d strongly recommend to the reader. No rosy sales pitches or canned demos help here. The best way to evaluate if a product fits your business, is to run your scenarios through it, yourself. Celoxis has a no-frills, no strings attached, full-featured 30-day trial. Once you are comfortable with a few key scenarios, get your team onboard whilst on the trial period. It’s only half the battle won when you don’t have your team buy-in. We have developed Celoxis keeping your challenges in mind. Every feature is aimed to solve the pain points you typically face running projects. We don’t try negotiating between requirements and user experience. These two are focal to our product strategy and vision. I will also encourage you to evaluate our support first-hand. We have engineers manning our support and they are very passionate about it.
And, you don’t have to take this from me! One of our users from the Information Services industry says that she is yet to find a product whose support team is as responsive as Celoxis. Another user, Nick Elkins, Director of E-Learning Development with Artisan E-Learning, calls himself a “Celoxis Convert“. These are just some of our customers who have been very vocal on the Internet in expressing how Celoxis has helped them work smarter.Activate Social Media: