Friday, November 09, 2007

Central Desktop

I’ve been using Central Desktop for almost a year now for project collaboration purposes and must say that it’s hard to imagine collaborating on projects without a tool like this anymore.

The product is couple steps up from Yahoo and Google groups, as neither of those provide ways to keep track of the tasks (the most important thing in running a project) Google may have one up its sleeve with their acquisition of JotSpot (is that thing still alive? it has been almost 6 month!), but I prefer an independent vendor that is motivated to make things work right and will not subject my data to any kinds of advertising analysis.

Pros:

  • Very user friendly interface, lots of Ajax (in-place editing, etc)
  • Feature-rich (tasks, documents & discussions, calendaring, database, common project area)
  • Good collaboration functionality (notifications, document revisions)
  • Good outward integration (ical for the calendar, RSS feeds)

Cons:

  • I can find very few cons with the system as it stands right now.. Little (but never the less, important) things on my wish list are:
    1. add Roles to the system so I don't have to reassign all the tasks every time somebody on the project leaves or if there are several people who could tackle the same task.
    2. Project Management features like time estimation, resource leveling, dependencies are what I think is the natural next step in the product evolution.

Despite a few drawbacks, this is the only product on the market that I found so far that provides this level of functionality for the price. Their pricing I think is fair ranging from Free for small projects to $249/mo for a 100 person team.

I think it deserves 4.5 stars! www.CentralDesktop.com

8 comments:

abycsales said...

Projjex.com is a great new site that does a fabulous job of project management. It’s completely browser-based, really easy to use, and has a free version. Cool videos too - I love it!

DK said...

Central desktop is good if you have a small list of tasks. As you grow, CD becomes useless as all the tasks are listed on the same page and it takes a realllly long time to load that page with all those tasks.

There is no way to archive or hide completed tasks.

So if you want to use Central Desktop, use it only if you are a small company and your task list will only have a couple of tasks.

Ashley said...

True. Centraldesktop is not enough if you work on multiple projects or work with several groups. It doesn't provide the thread view feature for tasks, which I think is important for collaboration. On top of that, you cannot assign rights to each group or individual.
If your team consists of more than five members or the tasks and members are inter-connected, I recommend Ubidesk or Huddle.

Aaron said...

Interesting points. Central Desktop now has ways to prioritize tasks, so if you have lots of them, the top ones stand out. On the other hand, if you need full fledged project solution with Gnatt Charts and task dependencies, then Central Desktop is not for you, a solution like @task may be better. Read this for a great Central Desktop Review: http://www.aaronmacdaniel.com/reviews/central-desktop or @task review http://www.aaronmacdaniel.com/reviews

Tony Mobily said...

Hi,

When you wrote your review, we hadn't released Apollo yet: Apollo

Apollo includes project management and CRM. It offers cases&deals, timers, a powerful calendar. It's basically an integrated solution.

Give it a go!

(Disclaimer: I work for Applicom!)

Merc.

vpbxthomas said...

It looks very promising. I think i will be trying it soon and if it does work as you said, i might endorse it within the company. virtual pbx

Anonymous said...

@ Dk, I completely agree. CD's interface can easily become very cluttered if you have numerous projects and clients. It's ideal for the small business. I keep seeing this feedback everywhere. Nonetheless, it's a good product, and unlike many other PM software's, they give you a month trial as opposed to a week or two. @ Dan, good article, I've also reviewed CD on my site, and am always interested in feedback! http://www.promana.net/project-management-software/central-desktop/

Shane said...

Pricing model is completely ridiculous jumping from $99/mth for a mere 10 internal users to a whopping $299/mth for a mere 20 users!! Ridiculous for what it does. Should be more like $99/mth for 25 internal users.

Over the longer term it's actually more cost effective to create a custom PM site based on .NET. I recommend GoPlan as an alternative.

PS> Also really bad service as emails go unanswered.

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