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Microsoft Project Server Support Ending – What’s Next?

2.5.2024

Microsoft is ending support for Project Server. Its replacement, Microsoft’s new project environment, utilizes the powerful Power Platform architecture and automation.

Microsoft Project Server has made project management easier by streamlining processes, enhancing collaboration, and supporting decision-making based on project situation information.

Microsoft is ending support for the tool according to its published schedule. Support for Project Server 2019 ended in early 2024, and the end date of the extended period is July 14, 2026.

Previously, Microsoft announced that support for Project Online would also end, but at this time, no end date for support has been announced. However, Microsoft encourages organizations to plan to migrate from Project Online to the new premium version of Planner as soon as possible.

So, it would be best to start planning the transition to another tool well in advance.

Microsoft Project Server ja Project Online

Microsoft Project Server and Project Online have met various project management needs, such as centralizing project information, efficient resource allocation, project portfolio management, and real-time reporting.

The versatile features have served its users for many years. Still, more and more organizations have switched from trusted platforms to Microsoft’s latest project management tool, the premium version of Microsoft Planner, previously known as Project for the Web.

Microsoft Project Server and Project Online, which are particularly suitable for managing large and complex projects, have sometimes been perceived as too rigid for the organization’s typical project management needs.

With Microsoft’s new project environment, project work becomes easier and faster:

  • Simple and intuitive interface: Microsoft Planner with premium features offers a user-friendly interface that makes it easy for casual users and experienced project managers.
  • Fast deployment: The premium version of the Planner app allows users to quickly start planning projects without complicated and time-consuming setup, allowing for a quick project launch. The environment can be smoothly configured to the organization’s needs.
  • Collaboration: Integration with Microsoft Teams and other Office 365 applications facilitates seamless collaboration and communication between team members. Work can also be automated.
  • Cost effectiveness: Project for the Web, the new Planner’s premium version, has license fees significantly lower than those of Project Server and Project Online; for project managers, a Project Plan 1 license (about 9.40 €/month) or, depending on usage, a Project Plan 3 license (about 28.10 €/month) is often enough, while project workers do not need a separate Project license.

The table below compares the main features of the old Project Online and the new tool:

 Project OnlineProject for the Web / Planner with premium features
Product life cycleMicrosoft is no longer developing, product support is ending,Microsoft is constantly developing to make it better
Planning and scheduling project tasksIn the MS Project workstation program and the browserIn the browser / Teams application
Portfolio views and project formsIn the browser and with Power BI reportsIn the browser and with Power BI reports
ResourcingVery versatile in the MS Project workstation program. Also, in the browser.  In the browser (rough level resourcing) / in the Teams application
Teams accessBy embedding websites in TeamsThe Planner app in Teams
Architecture, Integration, and automationInformation can be read with the odata search. Data can be edited by developers. Processes can be automated to a limited extent.Powerful Power Platform architecture. Versatile integrability (Dataverse) and process automation (Power Automate)
Task progress updateProject workers can mark their project tasks as done. Requires a Project license.Project workers can mark their project tasks as done. No Project license required.
Recording hoursProject workers can record their hours. Requires a Project license.There is no recording of hours in Planner. Solu Digital’s timesheet form, which does not require a Project license, can be used.
Viva Goals compatibilityNot compatibleIntegrates with Viva Goals projects

Microsoft Planner premium version and Solu 365® automation tool for centralized project management

Planner’s premium version offers versatile and easy-to-use features, which can be combined with the Solu 365® automation tool to offer a comprehensive solution for all project work needs.

The creation form allows you to define the basic information of a new project. In this case, a new Planner project with accompanying information is automatically created.

If necessary, automation can create, e.g., the following things:

  • A new Planner project with a specific template
  • New Teams channel with the desired structure.
  • Folder structure of documents
  • Ready-made document templates such as Word, Excel, and PowerPoint files, e.g., reports or minutes of meetings, which ensures uniform working throughout the organization
  • Project-specific time recording lines for the time recording application
  • OneNote notes

Project documents created with the Solu 365® automation tool automatically contain the necessary project—and document-specific metadata, improving information discoverability, manageability, and transparency.

Project management by the organization’s uniform practices becomes more efficient and faster when Solu 365 centralizes project management, project communication, time records, resource management, reporting, and information and document management in one place.

Solu 365 and the premium version of Microsoft Planner offer a comprehensive and easy-to-use solution to replace Microsoft Project Server and Project Online. Fast and cost-effective implementation makes the transition to a new solution smooth.

Contact me or my colleagues with any questions about project management solutions!

Mikko Sorsa
Senior Consultant, Partner

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