Overall Satisfaction with Privia
The previous company I worked for uses Privia as the primary tool to support all Federal Government Bids & Proposals worth $300K or more. Privia is specifically used by the Corporate Strategic Proposal Support Team to track the proposal from start to finish. Specific users included, but were not limited to, the following: Proposal Managers, Proposal Coordinators, Proposal Writers (Technical, Management, Resumes, etc.), Capture Team (VPs & Contracted SMEs), Proposal Editors, Financial Team, Subcontractors, etc. All users associated with the specific bid / proposal were added to the Privia Workspace with various permissions, trained, and set loose on the proposal. The Proposal Manager maintained control over the entire workspace throughout the life of the proposal, added various review team members when necessary, and removed permissions as applicable. During review teams, each review team member was able to actively comment and suggest edits to the document in live mode, and the document lead locked the document for editing upon closure of the review team to ensure no overwrites were made. Overall, Privia proved to be a highly successful tool in storing all Bid / Proposal documents while maintaining control over the ever-evolving Proposal itself. I highly recommend Privia to any company looking to standardize their proposal process.
- Document Repository with standardized Folder Structures: Privia has the ability to create customized & standardized Privia workspaces with set training documents and folder structures as a foundation for each project. This helps assure that the process remains intact without jeopardizing quality throughout the lifecycle of each project / proposal.
- Customized Workspace Permissions: Privia allows the Workspace owner to maintain control over who is able to view, edit, add / remove documents, add / remove additional users, etc. This is particularly helpful when dealing with classified information such as financial data, as well as ensuring that corporate strategies are protected when it comes to subcontractors. There are many instances where subcontractors would like to share certain information with the prime, but would like to keep their data separate from other subcontractors also working on the same project / proposal.
- Commenting / Editing and Lock Feature Tools: Privia has the ability to allow multiple users to comment and edit upon the same document simultaneously. This is highly useful when it comes to proposal review teams. At the end of each review team, the comments are consolidated and the document lead can lock the document for editing so that no changes may be made while the comments are taken into consideration, accepted, or rejected.
- Limited Licenses: Privia sells licenses by the bundle. However, the licenses can get extremely pricey. To help mitigate this issue, the company administrators do a sweep of the user licenses every 3 weeks to ensure that all licenses are being maximized. This process is very time-consuming, considering that we have hundreds of proposals going on at the same time. There have been many instances where various users have had to be deactivated because their license had not been used within the last 2 months, and then reactivated a few days later because they are working on a new proposal. Our administrators are also part of the Corporate Strategic Proposal Support Team, so this can be inconvenient if all administrators are working on multiple proposals. Time management and cross-training is key to balancing the number of active licenses.
- Privia has been highly successful for maintaining control over our larger efforts ($300K+). A standardized process and complimentary process tool is highly effective when coordinating between 50+ people. All users have the ability to see the schedule at a glance, which pieces of the proposal they are a part of, etc. With additional permissions set, there is little room for confusion when users do not have access to information that is not relevant or pertinent to their role.
- MS SharePoint,Power BI For Office 365
MS SharePoint is a great tool to use for smaller efforts - such as Task Orders. However, it is not capable of handling high volume efforts. Additionally, SharePoint does not allow for comments to be made without locking down the document, which is simply not ideal for review teams when multiple users are reviewing a single document. MS SharePoint additionally has a history of security issues from the back-end, and any user / subcontractor could find their way into classified information that should be better protected. As for Office 365, it is more beneficial from a senior management position. It allows for graphical representations and manipulations of certain data so that senior management and project / program managers may see the project / proposal in snapshot form. However, it may be a bit too involved from a proposal standpoint. In the end, I believe that Privia is definitely a better, more organized option when coordinating between various users and companies that not only protects the proposal, but also the company.
Privia is well-suited for project / proposal management in terms of working on a live proposal or massive document of sorts. However, it is not ideal from a business analytics standpoint. If you are looking for graphical representations and/or snapshots of your project / proposal at a glance, Privia is not for you.
I recently switched careers from working within the consulting world of Federal Government Contracts to International Sales and Global Solutions. Though we do work with proposals to a certain extent, our company does require a more robust system that includes a document repository, business analytic tools, project management tools that reflect our process and lifecycles, and corporate tools.
Evaluating Privia and Competitors
- Product Features
- Product Usability
- Product Reputation
- Vendor Reputation
- Existing Relationship with the Vendor
- Positive Sales Experience with the Vendor
We were already using Privia Platform 4, so the transition to Privia Platform 5 was an easy decision. All gliches / bugs that occurred in the previous version had been fixed, and additional features that benefited the user were added. The most beneficial feature was the Delegate Feature, which allowed the Workspace Owner to assign their Proposal Coordinator as their Delegate. This freed up the Proposal Managers' time because their right-hand man/woman was able to make the same changes to the workspace such as adding / removing users, etc. that the PM did not have to do.
This question isn't truly applicable to my experience, as we were simply upgrading our platform. However, during the various meetings held with the Privia staff and our company's Senior Management, the issue of total number of licenses were not addressed. This became an apparent problem several weeks after the upgrade and never got resolved before my departure from the company. I would probably say that if we had to do the upgrade all over again, I would not have liked to proceed with the process without determining the additional number of licenses needed.
Each company is assigned an account manager whom you can contact directly with any questions, comments, and/or concerns. You may contact them directly via email and they will submit a ticket via their system for you or you can submit a ticket through their system and they will contact you immediately. All issues are resolved in a highly timely manner, and the customer service is impeccable. All accounts folks are well-trained from a customer service and technical standpoint and will escalate the issue as necessary depending on their expertise - though, that is rarely a necessity. Should they be unavailable, you will be notified prior to their leave / departure and assigned a secondary contact in the meantime. Overall, I was beyond impressed with Privia's customer support services.
Problems get solved
Kept well informed
No escalation required
Immediate help available
Support understands my problem
Support cares about my success
Quick Initial Response
Yes - Absolutely. All accounts folks are well-trained from a customer service and technical standpoint and will escalate the issue as necessary depending on their expertise - though, that is rarely a necessity. Should they be unavailable, you will be notified prior to their leave / departure and assigned a secondary contact in the meantime. Overall, I was beyond impressed with Privia's customer support services. See answer to previous question for further details.
When our company upgraded from Privia Platform 4 to Privia Platform 5, the transition was more than smooth. The external Privia support team handled the upgrade to our servers entirely on their own and then sent our company's administrators specific instructions to test the new system prior to going live. Each of us scheduled a time to do the tests together, and then sent any bugs / gliches that we found to the support team. The Privia team was quickly responsive, and were able to complete the entire upgrade and go live in less than 48 hours with minimal effort on our part. With the company being a $4 Billion company, I found the entire process to be quite impressive.