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Clarizen-Procore Partnership Spells Relevance

Clarizen and Procore announced a partnership in October that aims to “help construction companies improve agility.” The functional rationale makes sense, but what’s the vendors’ strategic business rationale? Relevance. Project portfolio management (PPM) vendors are continually seeking relevance by making their offerings more applicable to industry verticals, and this partnership makes sense when viewed through that lens.

Angela Bunner, Clarizen’s VP of Solutions Engineering, called the partnership as natural as “Peanut butter and jelly. The mouse and keyboard. Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers.” We’re tempted to give Angela a hard time about hyperbole, but she’s not far off base.

For 20 years, PPM vendors have been told by investors make their offerings more vertically oriented in order to improve their market relevance. This leads to humorous whiteboard conversations about “Work Breakdown Structures for Healthcare” and “Gantt Charts for Governments.” One unfortunately realistic example might be “Project Intake for Higher Education: Everybody Gets Approved!”

But, for the most part, PPM software isn’t all that vertical. Since construction/engineering is a vertically specialized market, the partnership with Procore gives Clarizen a lot more relevance.

The move also makes sense for Procore, given the portfolio-level dilution that occurs when engineering firms manage some projects, ship resources into projects managed by competing firms, and get pressure to integrate with a single platform for their internal projects. A more generalist PPM solution is, on paper at least, a recognizable solution to a common problem.

Our Take

The Clarizen-Procore partnership makes sense for both sides. Clarizen gets a measure of relevance in the construction/engineering space, and Procore gets the generalist coverage of a full-featured PPM suite.