Announcing Vendor Insights

The power of Productiv is a deep understanding of both your users as well as the applications that they consume in order to drive greater productivity in your organization. Our goal is to give you a real-time, 360-degree view of how your employees truly consume each application, down to the feature, so that you understand how you can drive more value from each application that you invest in.

Much of the work for Procurement and IT teams is hidden from end-users, however. How do you strategically invest in particular vendors? How do you manage those relationships that can grow over time into many applications, consumed differently across different business units? And how do you create leverage from vendor relationships, when the vendor could be a small purpose-built startup or a sprawling set of products from the likes of Microsoft or Google?

That’s why we are releasing Vendor Insights. Vendor insights allow you to roll up information on key applications and look at them – you guessed it – on a vendor by vendor relationship. 

Let’s take a look at Vendor Insights and see how they could help us. We’ll start with the Vendor List.

Here we can see all our vendors, with the number of applications they provide us aggregated into one column. With contract annual spend and actual 12-month spend provided, we can get a full picture of the vendor and its impact on your organization. For example, it’s quite possible to have a vendor with lots of applications but low spend – maybe they offer lots of freemium products for example. We might want to manage that vendor differently than one who has a number of applications and a high spend, Such as Google or Salesforce.

Perhaps we were alerted from the Productiv Renewal Calendar that we have our upcoming annual renewal for Github coming up. While a year ago, that was a separate contract, as Microsoft truly brings Github into its operations it will be treated as part of our overall Microsoft relationship. As such, it makes sense to review everything we’re doing with Microsoft and see if there are ways to further optimize our contractual relationship.

Let’s go one click down on Microsoft and see what’s happening with these Microsoft applications. 

Here we notice a few things – While Github is a large spend item, it’s a far second to Office 365. Also, we see that we’re significantly underspending our contracted Office 365 spend, while we are significantly overspending our contracted GitHub spend. Finally, Azure Active Directory has significant spend, but we don’t have an active contract with Microsoft. 

With a Procurement mindset, we can see that there is room for improvement on all fronts here. Most importantly, can we have a conversation with our IT teams and Microsoft about Office 365, and our go-forward plans? Do we have our spend incorrect, and can we use this Github renewal as a time to modify our terms?

Next,  let’s look at Github itself and see if we’re really getting the value we think we should. Clicking on Github takes us to the application view. While this view isn’t new, it’s been integrated with Vendor Insights so that you can follow the logical pathway from Vendor -> Apps -> Features without disruption.

We can take a look at the recommendations from Productiv on the use of Github itself to see how we can rightsize our deployment on the individual application. In this case, it looks like we’re overprovisioned by about 5%, which could represent an immediate savings to the company at the time of Renewal.

Finally, let’s take a strategic view of GitHub in relation to our renewal. By looking at the feature usage tab, we can see that, while most users are creating PRs and even merging, a minority are creating issues. This is a powerful way to assess whether your engineering team is really getting the most of the tool at hand. IT can use this information to work with the engineering team and the vendor to implement best practices or provide training in partnership with the business unit. We can use this upcoming renewal as a level-set with the Microsoft team: we want to keep using this software, but we expect that you will continue to help us drive greater usage of its functionality.

The Vendor insights functionality is a powerful new way for IT and Procurement to take charge of vendor relationships. By expanding the scope of conversation beyond the renewal at hand or adoption of a single product, IT teams can drive a more strategic relationship with software vendors. This in turn can lead to greater productivity for your teams while more effectively managing spend across many applications.

Vendor Insights is available within all tiers of Productiv. If you’re not yet a customer, consider signing up for Productiv Essentials, our entirely free offering that gets you started on your SaaS Management journey today.