Interview with Dean Carlson

Viewpath Express, a web-based project management software, was reviewed earlier this week. Viewpath Express is not trying to be a competitor to Microsoft Project. I thought it would interesting to see what their project management software is all about. To ask Dean Carlson, the CEO, I interviewed him.
Large organizations tend to be dominated by Microsoft Project. What type of company uses Viewpath? Are you seeing traditional users of MSP switch to Viewpath?
Our 2.0 beta program has seen a wide range of users from our 30,000+ signups. Our users include marketing departments, residential construction and university faculty. We also have software development, non-profits and IT departments.
We have received thousands of beta signups from Fortune 500 businesses and large government agencies. The majority of the user groups are small groups within larger organizations. The majority of the user groups sign up because they have been tracking projects with a few spreadsheets and/or don’t want to deal with complicated software like MSP. Our application is based on well-established project foundations (e.g. We don’t target MSP users who are not comfortable coordinating teams across multiple departments, organizations, or time zones.
Viewpath believes that the market for online event and project management tools with rich features is much larger than MSP. We are therefore focused on “pull” strategies, e.g. Our online search campaigns generate hundreds of signups every day and we continue to gain more.
With the increasing consumerization of enterprise apps, there is more market traction.
What makes Viewpath different than other collaborative tools?
Viewpath’s collaborative approach is primarily focused upon top-down planning and bottom up execution of activity scheduling. Viewpath is used primarily for long-term events and projects, but it can also be used to manage non-project activities (random tasks). Viewpath’s scheduling components are user-friendly and graphically rich. They provide a clear picture of the “what, when and who” action items. Viewpath’s step by step action plans are different from collaboration tools that focus more on managing communication and discussion content. Viewpath’s team recognizes the value of collaboration tools such blogs, wikis, and chat. However, we prefer to integrate these applications as complementary extensions to Viewpath’s scheduling features.
Why don’t you offer it for free to project managers
Viewpath has learned over the years (our beta release of 1.0 was launched in 2002) how long it takes for project collaboration tools in organizations to be adopted. We believe that the commercial launch our 2.0 release will increase exposure to Viewpath’s tools. Our Express Edition (ad-sponsored), will be significantly more accessible to people on the job and off. We offer a simple migration path to our Standard Edition for $10.95/user/month if customers want additional features or a larger viewing area (sans ads). The Express Edition was launched because we have spent thousands of developer hours designing our 2.0 version to be highly adaptable. With our enterprise-class server infrastructure, we are able to rapidly expand our customer base while still maintaining relatively low operating expenses. Viewpath is recognized as a provider of feature-rich event and project management tools, even though it offers both Standard and Express.