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Clarizen Review: "Integration is the Achilles Heel."
https://www.trustradius.com/project-managementClarizenUnspecified7.567101
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October 18, 2012

Clarizen Review: "Integration is the Achilles Heel."

Score 7 out of 101
Vetted Review
Review Source

Overall Satisfaction

  • They do a good job of project management, time tracking. They do very well what their core purpose is
  • It is easy to configure, intuitive. The customization process is in some ways better than Salesforce.com. It has a great UI.
  • They are a great group of people. They have sent people on site. They are a great company to work with.
  • Integration – any SAAS provider has to have seamless integration in mind. They have a lot of work to do, but they are getting there. The amount of development required has been very intensive to get it to work
  • Clarizen can only accept data imports (data loads) from MS Project – because of that we couldn’t import data from Basecamp. That means we have had to continue to use Basecamp in parallel to finish those projects.
  • Only accepting MS project for imports is a huge oversight
  • Communication with 3rd parties e.g. customers – Basecamp does that much better.
  • They are based in Israel, so that presents a few challenges like you cannot access on Fridays (Saturday in Israel). They now have opened a small office in San Francisco to alleviate this problem
  • It is too early to tell. We just officially launched on 8/1. We were doing a pilot before hand. The pilot group have been in it since May.
• With an application like this that is customized, integrated, you have to be very unhappy to renew.
Overall, the product is developed very well. Custom field creation is very straight forward. You don’t have many screens to pass through like in Salesforce.com. It is very user friendly. Workflows and validation rules are a bit more code based than Salesforce.com. Salesforce.com has a much more simple approach/ non-technical. You can do more with Clarizen, but it’s harder.

I don’t think they were SAS 70/SSAE 16 compliant yet.

Product Usage

80 - Primarily our implementation engineers, designers and the managers of those groups.

Our marketing team is also going to use Clarizen for managing their projects, events etc. It is a good replacement for Basecamp.
2 - There are 2 people involved – a developer and myself, the sys admin/ technical PM

I split my time between Clarizen and Salesforce.com. Currently, the proportion of my time spent on Clarizen is high as we just rolled it out to bigger user base, however I expect that to settle down to maybe 20% of my time. Once you get it baked, it’s pretty stable.
  • Time tracking.
  • Understanding how much does a customer cost.
  • Tracking what products and features have gone live.
  • Technical staff backlog.
  • Resourcing teams – all the way from manager to individuals. Teams are automatically assigned based upon criteria we establish.

Evaluation and Selection

A combination of custom objects in NetSuite and tried multiple variations of custom objects in Salesforce.com.

We also tried an application called DreamTeam (from Dream Factory).

Implementation

• Went very well. Great team to work with.
• A key insight is that you need an in-house developer or to use a 3rd party firm for development.
  • Vendor implemented
  • Implemented in-house
Our in-house resource did the bulk of the work, but we were guided/ kept on task by Clarizen’s project manager.

Training

  • In-person training
• We worked with a Project Manager on their side. He was very good about developing a project plan to hit our goal. I think we had weekly or twice weekly calls – very steady cadence over 3 month period.
• Their PM skills were great – kept us on task. For the last week, they sent 2 people on site and they did training for power users. After that a couple of them revisited here.

Support

• Extremely responsive to emails, phone calls etc.
• Will stay on an issue. We have had several issues on custom development side, and they will work on tirelessly until done and push a hot fix just for us
• Don’t seem to be as bureaucratic as Salesforce.com to escalate a case

Usability

It is easy to configure, intuitive. The customization process is in some ways better than Salesforce.com. It has a great UI. It does however depend on how it's implemented.

The design of it is generally fine, however the ability to data upload people from a spreadsheet is an obvious miss.

Reliability

• We had a couple of glitches. It’s maybe gone down twice since May. The length of outages has not been bad

Integration

  • Salesforce.com
Right now all projects in Clarizen are created from closed won opportunities in Salesforce.com. The integration between Salesforce.com and Clarizen allows for a lot of automation, however I am however only moderately happy with the level of integration.

In the sales cycle, when asked about integration, Clarizen’s answer was “yes, we integrate to Salesforce.com”, but in reality the integration is one way and to make the data flow between applications requires a lot of developer work i.e. a lot of custom development. Most of the integration occurs around creation. Any updates in Salesforce.com are a pain to update in Clarizen and vice versa. The roundtrip of data flow is not seamless at all.

We are their only customer with such a heavy integration with Salesforce.com. They have repeatedly put out hot fixes and are using us as a poster child for Salesforce.com integration. It does speak very well of them that they are so responsive. They have an impressive client list with complex business rules, who are global etc. What they weren’t used to was Clarizen creating projects based upon a Salesforce.com action. They are mostly used to working outside of Salesforce.com.
  • Jira
We are about to integrate to Jira (which we use for bug tracking) and Salesforce.com support cases.

We have no plans to integrate to NetSuite (our general ledger)

Vendor Relationship

Did not have any conflict with standard terms. The only term we negotiated was the per license fee.