Screenshot of Tenrox 2018 R1 (Image credit Upland)
Screenshot of Tenrox 2018 R1

Upland has announced the latest release of Tenrox PSA, 2018 R1. The release is the largest one of the year and follows on from one in October, when Tenrox introduced a new UI for its resource management module and mobile application. This release focuses on three areas of improvement. They are:

  1. Enhancing user experience especially for Project managers
  2. Innovation based on customer feedback
  3. Improving the foundation of the product.

Project Managers get new UI

Tenrox has redesigned the homepage for project managers. Users will immediately notice that they have better visibility of their projects and issues. The new screen is tab driven, allowing the project manager to switch between active projects, milestones, timesheets and expense reports. This enables the user to quickly locate their most commonly used tasks with a single click. Cost and Revenue charts are also visible, enabling project managers to quickly identify the status of their projects.

The projects list has an improved search functionality. It is now possible to export data for all projects to Excel for reporting. Individuals can also customise their views to see the most relevant information about their projects.

In resource management, users now have a view across projects with viewing multiple work plan schedules. When resources are allocated there are new triggers to set that will send an email based on an event such as a booking, allocation or even a soft booking. The last trigger was added based on customer requests. When notes are added to a work plan, the author is displayed. Thus, when multiple resource managers are working across a company they are able to not only view updates from their colleagues but know who added it.

The project planning module now has budget mapping definable at both system and project level. Publishing the project plan and generating budgets for projects, tasks or assignment level is also new. To improve efficiency, users are now able to redo and undo changes in a similar way to MS Office. This enables project managers to quickly see the impact of any change without having to undo the cascaded changes. Project managers also get granular control over who can manually update the percent complete for a given task rather than rely on a system calculated amount.

Innovation from customer feedback

Like many other software companies Tenrox listens to its users. 2018R1 also includes a number of changes requested by clients. These include:

More filtering options for the invoice batch wizard. User can filter batches using a template that includes the ability to segregate customer by geography or by billing cycle. The filtering capabilities are complex. It enables both AND and OR parameters which can be nested. Criteria can include most fields which meet given conditions such as currency, client name and project manager. It is therefore possible to create batches for the DACH region based on the countries selected.

It is now possible to add a description to a milestone, this can be used later in the invoice to the customer. The description can be edited so that as a milestone the text can be updated to reflect what should be passed through the relevant invoice.

Users are also able to add a display name to any sent email. This stops emails being sent from a meaningless account. Emails can appear to be from “PSA automated email” for example. Another enhancement to the email system includes the ability to add multiple “to” or “cc” addresses on invoice emails. This is a generic addition though and Tenrox will look to add specific recipients to individual invoices in the future.

There is also new settings in the financial planner forecast.

Stronger Foundation

With each major release Tenrox is improving the backend architecture of their product. In this release it has extended the REST API’s adding new objects to the web services to allow greater integration with third party products.

The report designer now works with the latest release of Microsoft reporting services. Reports no longer need to be backwards compatible and there are new features available for users. This includes new rendering options, charts and grids.

The Workflow designer engine is now HTML-5 compliant. Users are now able to update their browser from Internet Explorer with support for other browsers including: Microsoft Edge, Opera, Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and Safari for Mac. It should also enable users to use multiple form factors when using the workflow designer including tablets. There are also improvements to the UI making it easier to access certain features such as format.

What does this mean

Kevin Sequeira, Vice President of Product Management (image credit Upland)
Kevin Sequeira, Vice President of Product Management

The upgrade is available for a few customers now, but regular upgrades will begin in January 2018. They will be completed in three waves and Tenrox has not yet set the dates for these. Customers are able to delay the upgrade but probably only to a later wave.

Tenrox has gone for providing key information to project managers rather than a dashboard approach that highlights current issues. This is an interesting strategy and a feature where they seem to be behind their competitors. It will be interesting to see whether Upland creates an integration between its new acquisition, Qvidian and Tenrox in a future release. This could provide a significant competitive advantage for it.

This is, however, a significant update and introduces some useful features that customers will welcome. Kevin Sequeira, Vice President of Product Management at Upland Software commented: “We are committed to investing in Tenrox with both core functional enhancements and user-driven innovation. As we continue to evolve the product and add new features, we are constantly working to improve customer efficiency and deliver a world-class experience through a modern, intuitive, and integrated solution.”


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