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Niku Adds To Portfolio-Management Momentum

Niku 6.1 includes business-intelligence tools that let managers build dashboards and alerts related to projects.

With IT departments feeling the pressure of greater accountability, there are a growing number of tools that promise to help business-technology professionals better manage the many projects under their supervision. Add Niku 6.1 to the list of portfolio-management tools.

The enhanced software adds business-intelligence tools that let managers build dashboards and alerts related to projects in order to offer different views depending on the information executives need. That's the big-picture, strategic concept. More tactically, it includes time-tracking tools to let staff members assign their hours to specific projects and messaging based on Simple Object Access Protocol technology that makes it easier to load data from programs such as Microsoft Project and Excel.

Pricing for Niku 6.1 is about $90,000 to license the software for use by 20 content creators and 80 users, and $664,500 for 200 creators and 800 users.

AMR Research analyst Eric Austvold says Niku competes with portfolio-management tools from Business Engine, Kintana, Pacific Edge, Primavera, and ProSight. Niku's version is stronger than others on the resource management and allocation tools, though others are stronger on visualization tools. "IT managers have notoriously been the King of Cost: Here's how much it's going to cost and how long it's going to take," Austvold says. These tools let managers also factor in--and illustrate--concepts such as the risk of a project.

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