Clarizen is a cloud-based work and project management solution based out of San Mateo, California. The software combines flexible workflow automation and powerful project management tools in an enterprise-grade platform. The name Clarizen is a combination of the words clarity and zen, which describes what the company desires to bring to businesses in getting work done.

The privately held company started in 2006 and employs over 50 people. Its software serves 2,500+ businesses worldwide in over 76 countries and has won several industry awards. 25 of these clients are Fortune 500 enterprises. Clarizen also has regional headquarters in London and Tel Aviv, IL.

In addition to its headquarter locations, the company's offices can be found in Israel, Taiwan, France, Australia, South Africa and Russia. The company has a strong reputation, having worked with large, worldwide clients such as Deloitte, Mazda and Ricoh, among many others.

Clarizen has received some accolades including:

  • CIO Reviews 20-most promising Digital Marketing Solutions Providers
  • Top 15 Company in the 2013 Deloitte Fast 500 EMEA
  • Leader by Process Collaboration Tools by Gigaom Research

The software is useful for IT teams, marketing teams and, of course, project managers. Users are able to create and modify team calendars, track time, engage in social collaboration, and monitor risk management and product portfolio management.

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The Good

  • Navigation panel
  • Stopwatch
  • Templates
  • Calendars
  • News feed

Clarizen features a navigation panel that is incredibly intuitive. It allows users access to any function within the platform smoothly and fluidly. Users can find things quickly without hassle.

The software features a fully functional stopwatch that syncs automatically across all devices. If a user turns on the time tracker on their mobile phone, the feature on the user's desktop will also turn on automatically and track logged time. Time information can be stored on all applications and entered manually.

Clarizen also provides pre made templates to assist users in managing project plans and timelines, risk management, and more. Templates can be used as-is or customized. Customized templates can be stored on the platform for later use. MS Project templates can also be imported and used on the platform.

Clarizen provides an outstanding customer support system. The company provides webinars, tutorials, and informative articles, and more. The only thing it does not provide is live chat support. The company also provides a computer-based training program through its Clarizen University. Coursework consists of lecture presentations, interactive lessons, and certification exams.

Clarizen offers calendars at 4 levels:

  • Organization
  • Group
  • Individual
  • Project

Organization calendars can be personalized with specific work days, break times, and holidays. Group calendars can include hours of operation, which is particularly useful if the involved group works in a different time zone. The Individual calendar allows specific users to set preferences for work time availability. Projects are given their own calendars that can override individual calendar settings for emergency or high-priority situations.

Timesheets may be split in order to log time separately or divide time among different projects, tasks, and billing rates. The platform associates the logged time with the appropriate work item. Hourly rates can be set globally for the entire company or for specific users or projects.

Each user is given their own news feed that displays all discussions concerning assigned projects and tasks. Users have access to instant updates to stay on track. Discussion posts may also include attachments for documents, expense sheets, and any other pertinent files. Clarizen also features an email integration for users to communicate directly through their individual inboxes without having to log into the system.

Their customer service also has many good features. There is a rich supply of materials and information aids can help resolve and troubleshoot many concerns. Users have the option to find answers to question and solutions to issues within the web-based material.

The Bad

  • Expensive
  • Integrations
  • Mobile app
  • Temporary tasks
  • Comments on uploads

The software is expensive for some businesses and has a confusing pricing method. The company offers 3 editions priced according to a 3-year plan that must be paid in advance. Editions start at $29/user/month. Subscriptions also vary to what types of licenses are chosen as well. 5 license types are provided by the company with varying degrees of user access. The company provides a cost calculator to help consumers best decide the offering that is right for their needs.

Although Clarizen provides drag-and-drop capabilities, the platform requires users to manually cut and paste specific tasks and projects in order to change their hierarchy order. The software features inflexible reporting tools that can be difficult to generate. The platform also does not provide as many third-party application integrations as other similar competing project management solutions available on the marketplace. Some integrations come at an extra cost for the user.

The Clarizen mobile app is difficult to manipulate and can render essential functions unusable. There is no landscape or Gantt view in the iOS version and does not rotate. It also does not have the same filtering options as the desktop version. Users have given it 2.5 stars in ease of use. The Android version is only slightly better.

Tasks cannot be assigned as temporary resource as a placeholder in order to help determine possible resource needs for upcoming tasks. Team members cannot create and share notes within the confines of a project. The platform also does not contain white boards or wikis for brainstorming collaboration. Team members cannot send private messages to others users.

Users cannot comment directly on uploaded files. There is no central file storage location. Users also cannot upload multiple files simultaneously to the system. Multiple users do not have the capability to edit files at the same time with each version being tracked and saved.

The Bottom Line

Clarizen is a cloud-based project management solution best suited for medium-sized or larger enterprises. Clarizen brings clarity and zen to businesses in getting work done. The software features a fully functional stopwatch that syncs automatically across all devices to keep ultimate accuracy in logging work hours. The platform also provides users an incredibly intuitive navigation panel, premade templates, and an outstanding online support system. Team collaboration is a cinch with email integration functions, news feeds, and file attachment capabilities to discussion posts.

The software is expensive for some businesses with a confusing pricing method. Subscriptions also vary in editions and licenses as well. A cost calculator is provided by the company to help consumers best decide the offering for their needs. Mid-size and larger companies may find Clarizen to be a suitable option, but smaller companies may not due to the higher pricing. It is recommend testing out the free 30-day trial first.

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