Increase Visibility into Enterprise Collaboration with the Miro Integration for Productiv

During the rapid shift to remote work in the past 18 months, many companies searched for new and more creative ways to collaborate. In fact, we saw our customers increasingly turn to tools like Slack and online whiteboard platform Miro to ensure remote teams remained productive and had channels to work together effectively.   

As part of our effort to help customers maximize the value of their collaboration tools, we are thrilled to announce our new partnership with Miro. Our Miro integration provides real-time usage data, insights into how features are used, and increased control for the Miro platform.

Why Miro?

With over 20 million users, Miro has played a critical role in helping teams of all sizes thrive and innovate when they can’t meet in person. Their online whiteboard tool is something we use regularly at Productiv, and we’ve seen many of our customers leverage the platform for brainstorming, design, and beyond.

Based on our own data, we’ve noticed that Miro is often purchased outside of the IT department. In fact, it ranks within our top 20 discovered apps (AKA apps managed outside of IT). We’ve also heard from IT leaders who are searching for an accurate way to track and manage usage of the platform as adoption rises. 

According to Steven Miller, Head of Enterprise Partnerships at Miro, “Our new integration with Productiv makes life easier for IT departments to run and manage Miro alongside other SaaS tools. Working with Productiv will allow admins more time to focus on maximizing adoption and less time auditing applications, collecting data, and tracking down licenses.”

Introducing the Miro Integration for Productiv

Our team worked closely with Miro to define and create a custom solution. With the Miro integration, you can now perform the following actions in Productiv:

  • Analyze real-time insights
  • Streamline license management
  • Maximize value and adoption

Analyze real-time insights

Our new integration provides in-depth usage metrics for Miro customers. Go beyond login data and see how each team is collaborating by discovering which features are used most. Dive into real-time data on how many users created a project, shared a board, or created a template.

The Productiv platform combines over 100M data points each day across multiple systems to provide even greater insights around team and individual usage. For example, see which departments are collaborating based on HR system integrations and team-level insights. Gain full visibility into how your employees are using Miro day to day. 

Streamline license management

We know IT departments have limited time, and the rapid increase in SaaS applications can often impact resources. Now with Miro, IT leaders and administrators can manage licenses and set up automated de-provisioning rules within the Productiv platform.

Maximize value and adoption

We expect that companies will continue to invest in collaboration tools, and our partnership with Miro focuses on maximizing the value of those tools. Which teams are using these tools the most? What are best practices across the organization? Productiv and Miro want to help customers answer these questions and continue to build better SaaS platforms to maximize collaboration and productivity. This is only the first of many ways we’ll be bringing value to our joint customers in the future.

Want more information about the Productiv Partner Network? Check out our Partners page.

Productiv’s Intern Class of 2021: Meet Our Protons!

Protons are what we call Productiv interns because they are “not yet full-time atoms but are all very positive!” 

Productiv welcomed 20 Protons (1 highschooler, 5 MBA candidates, 14 undergraduate students) to help out the engineering, sales, bizops, and recruiting teams for the summer of 2021. Our Protons represent 17 different schools including Brown, Stanford, Northwestern, Harvard, and more.  

Interns have been a critical part of our success. From the summer of 2020 intern class, 5 interns joined us full-time this year and 4 rejoined us for a second internship this year. We are excited to have yet another incredibly strong intern class with us this summer! We are grateful to be able to hire such high-caliber interns, and we care a lot about their success here. Every Proton is matched with a mentor for additional guidance and support on the projects they will be working on.

We spoke to our Protons to learn more about them, and they had insightful things to say about joining the Productiv team.

Why did you choose to work at Productiv?

Adarsh Suresh
I really enjoyed my interview experience with how personal and engaging my conversations were. I felt like Productiv really wanted to get to know me rather than just being another candidate they were waiting for a response from. I was also attracted to the startup culture and knew that my work would make an impact.

Megan Thai
I had always been interested in the tech industry and was looking for an opportunity to further grow and develop my skills. Additionally, the company values aligned with my own and I felt like I connected with my interviewers. All of these factors made me feel like a fit for the role and company.

What are you looking forward to learning this summer?

Jessica Scruggs
I am excited to see directly how marketing strategies drive pipelines through the business in a startup and look forward to working with everyone on my team to do so.


Micah Yong
I’m excited to apply what I’ve learned in school, such as databases and operating systems, to industry problems at work!

 

What are you hoping to get out of your internship?

Ruchi Gupta
From my internship, I hope to get more clarity around (1) how startups function, (2) the types of roles or responsibilities I would like in a full-time job, (3) how to scale companies, and (4) what strong leadership and mentorship looks like.

Andrew Gies
I’m hoping to get to know Productiv (and have Productiv get to know me). This is an opportunity for me to take what I’ve learned across school and previous internships, apply what I know, learn what “the important parts” are, and discover ways to improve.

We also have two returning Protons at Productiv that can give more insight into what it has been like working at a fast-paced startup, as well as the experience of a new Proton that recently joined.

How has your experience been like working at Productiv?

Nilay Thummar
I have absolutely loved my time at Productiv, both last summer and this one. The team is extremely helpful and will help you in any way they can. The pace is also rapid, yet manageable, allowing you to maximize your contributions to the product while minimizing wasted potential.

Justin Lim
The work culture here is amazing. Productiv has done a great job welcoming interns and new hires, getting us up to speed quickly, and giving everyone the opportunity to make meaningful contributions to the company.

Anna Dai
I’ve felt super supported so far at Productiv by the other interns and engineers! Mistakes are welcome for the sake of learning and success is celebrated warmly. Either way, I have felt very encouraged to continue growing as an engineer and as a person here.

We care a great deal about providing our Protons with the best possible experience and do so by regularly organizing game nights, hangouts, virtual coffee chats, and poker Fridays to give each Proton time to socialize and chat. 

We are extremely excited to see everyone grow into the professionals that they aspire to become and the impact they will have on Productiv. 

Productiv is always looking for fantastic candidates and interns to join our rapidly growing team. Take a look at the open roles on our careers page to see if we have an opening for you, or email us at recruiting@productiv.com!

The ROI of Video Conferencing Software: What’s the Value for Your Business?

Video conference on zoom

Video conferencing software enables remote workers to collaborate and drive value for organizations. From that, it would seem self-evident that video conferencing software has a high ROI, regardless of which solution you use.

However, that isn’t the case – some video conferencing solutions have higher SaaS ROI than others. How do you determine the value of your video conferencing solution then?

In this post, we’ll explore what video conferencing software ROI means, how to calculate it, and how Productiv can help.

What Is Video Conferencing Software ROI?

When we think of ROI, we tend to focus on the costs we’re saving when we implement a solution, or the revenue we’ve earned after implementation. While those things are important, they’re not the only factors that matter when it comes to video conferencing software ROI.

You should also look at:

  • Are employees actually using the video conferencing software you’ve purchased?
  • Do you have the right number of licenses, and are those licenses at the right tiers?
  • What does employee engagement with the software look like?
  • Are you meeting software adoption goals?
  • Are employees only using the video conferencing software you’ve purchased, or are they using other, similar apps (which might not be sanctioned by IT)?
  • How are they actually using the tools to collaborate with other employees and external partners?

How Can You Calculate Video Conferencing Software ROI?

Let’s go back to our previous point about the conception of video conferencing software ROI. It’s easy to calculate how much you’re saving or how much extra revenue you’ve earned as a result of implementing a solution such as Zoom. How do you determine the other factors (such as application usage or app engagement), though?

That’s where Productiv comes in! Productiv provides real-time analytics about how employees use your video conferencing software.

In the following sections, we’ll use real-world examples about how Productiv customers determine their SaaS ROI from video conferencing software.

How Productiv Analyzes Video Conferencing Software ROI

The Productiv SaaS platform analyzes over 100M data points per day. One major enterprise client utilizes Productiv to analyze the video conference software usage of Zoom. We evaluated two 30-day periods: the first was in January 2020, before nationwide lockdowns, and the second was December 2020.

Here’s what the data from Productiv revealed:

  • Video conferencing software usage rose significantly
  • One-on-one collaboration skyrocketed
  • The number of larger meetings grew
  • Recorded meetings nearly tripled
  • Employees used other video conferencing software programs aside from Zoom
  • Account management and client teams were primary users before COVID
  • New teams, like business planning, became bigger users in the shift towards remote work

With Productiv, clients understand what their costs are vis-a-vis collaboration and usage levels. For example, if the company uses Zoom 40% more, and collaboration levels tripled while costs only rose 20%, that’s good ROI. Yet, if costs double and collaboration levels only rise 20%, the investment isn’t delivering a great return.

Usage Rose by 40%

In January 2020, 25,000 employees of this major enterprise client used Zoom; eleven months later, that number had risen by 40%.

Productiv’s real-time analytics showed that Zoom was indeed a valuable video conferencing software tool because it enabled remote employees to work together in spite of office closures.

Productiv tracks application usage, so you understand if employees are using the software in which you’ve invested (or not). However, that’s just at the most basic level. In the following sections, you’ll see the other valuable data Productiv delivers on video conferencing software ROI.

One-on-One Collaboration Skyrocketed

Zoom

Additionally, Productiv monitors how employees use video conferencing software. In the case of the major client, one-on-one collaboration was a major use case for Zoom.

During the first period in which Productiv collected data, 25,000 users held approximately 62,000 internal meetings. By the end of 2020, users held 452,000 meetings – a 500% increase! Moreover, 69% of these meetings were one-on-one. This particular statistic gives decision makers insight into how employees use Zoom; clearly, it fuels collaboration during a time when face-to-face meetings aren’t possible.

Thanks to Productiv’s real-time analytics, the client was able to see clearly how Zoom delivered video conferencing software ROI, and how its usage drives the company forward.

The Number of Larger Meetings Grew

With Productiv, the major client learned two interesting facts:

  • During the pandemic, the organization held fewer meetings with people outside of the company (172,000 in January 2020 vs. 148,000 in December 2020)
  • The external meetings it held with six or more people grew (19,149 in January 2020 vs. 41,898 in December 2020)

Both facts make sense: during a period of instability and uncertainty, the company held more internal meetings. The meetings the company held with external partners tended to be larger, to ensure the right people were making decisions for greater efficiency. Moreover, the number of larger meetings grew because employees directed their attention to alignment meetings, where more members of the staff were expected to attend.

This granular information gave the client insight into how employees engaged with the app. Employee engagement has to do with how often employees use an app, how they use the app, and whether some teams or employees use an app more than others.

Recorded Meetings Nearly Tripled

When you invest in video conferencing software, it’s important to know whether employees are making use of all of the features (especially the premium ones). Productiv’s real-time analytics offer this information at a glance.

For example, recorded meetings at the major client nearly tripled between January and December 2020. In January 2020, only 8% of users recorded their Zoom meetings. By the end of the year, that number had risen to 22%.

These statistics hint at the use of Zoom’s premium features (Zoom’s premium packages offer 1GB of cloud recording). For companies that have invested in such features, knowing that employees are using them proves there’s SaaS ROI.

Users Also Turned to Google Meet

Compare apps

Raise your hand if you’ve ever been in this situation: you invest in a software application that the vendor swears will increase collaboration (and, by extension, revenue). After a few months, you discover that barely anyone uses the software at all; in fact, they’re using other solutions (not all of which are enterprise-grade).

Productiv’s analysis of its major client revealed that the number of Google Meet users jumped from 4,000 to 10,000. Many of these employees had access to Zoom, although it may have been simpler to utilize Google Meet if they were already collaborating within Google Workspace.

One of Productiv’s functionalities is that it identifies applications similar to the ones for which you’re paying. With that knowledge, you can create a strategy to encourage employees to move away from other apps.

Productiv’s SaaS ROI platform helps you calculate the return on investment you’re getting from video conferencing software so you can make the right decisions for your company.

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What’s New in Productiv: More data, more filters, and customized views

Shadow IT

How are you managing hundreds of SaaS applications across multiple departments? What analyses do you need to compare and prioritize applications? Our latest product update helps you filter and uncover the data you need to manage hundreds of SaaS applications across your organization. 

Quickly discover the exact data you need about your SaaS portfolio with new product capabilities including additional data fields, custom views, and filtering options. Choose from over 40 data fields, security and compliance-focused views, and much more. In addition, we have added in batch editing and exporting of all new data fields for even further insights.

Now Productiv makes it easier for you to:

  • Prioritize SaaS apps and adoption
  • Improve security and SSO coverage
  • Increase compliance

Prioritize SaaS applications and adoption

Many companies have over 200 SaaS applications, which prompts questions about where to focus. Should you focus on  applications with the highest usage or the highest spend? Or do you prioritize the applications with the most inactive licenses? Our new features enable you to create customized views with 40+ fields and easily filter the data. Gain the insights you need to prioritize your time.

For example, you may want to understand the most expensive and least used apps in your App List. Customize your view to compare apps with the most inactive licenses with apps with the highest 12 month spend. Or you can filter by provisioned licenses and compare with usage rates and uncover apps that require more training to increase adoption. Armed with these insights, you can collaborate with IT, Procurement, and Finance to reallocate spend, investigate license management, or potentially deprecate underused applications.

Improve security and SSO coverage

How many apps do you have behind SSO? Across our customers, more than 40% of applications are not behind SSO and addressing this is a top security priority. HashiCorp used Productiv to increase SSO coverage from 30% to 80%

The new Security tab provides key information to help you understand which applications to prioritize moving behind SSO or deprecating. Now in one screen, you can see if an app is behind SSO, number of licenses, spend in the last 12 months, SSO protocols detected, and SSO protocols supported. The result is a full set of data that can help you prioritize applications and increase SSO coverage. 

Another key element is SSO type. Not all SSO is created equal, and these new SSO  columns will provide insights into what kind of SSO protocol is supported by each app, including SAML 1.0, SAML 2.0, and Google Social Login protocols. You can also see what kind of logins are detected to ensure employees are logging in via the most secure method. 

Shadow IT and apps being purchased outside of IT will continue. These new filters, data fields, and customized views will help you more easily track applications and security risks. For example, you can create a label for ‘birthright apps’ that all employees are given access to, or create a label for ‘apps to investigate’. Even more importantly, you can easily click one level deeper into each application and application owner, spend over time, and active users. With this new experience you can easily prioritize applications and create a path towards increased SSO coverage.

Increase Compliance

Which applications have compliance risks? In addition to the Security tab, we added a Compliance tab to help you track certification information across 7 compliance types. Customize your Compliance view with $ spend and see which of your top applications have key certifications. 

If your company is subject to compliance like GDPR, SOC2, or CCPA, you can easily identify potential gaps and risk. For example, you can create labels for any apps with customer information and filter SSO protocols and GDPR compliance. As rules and regulations continue to increase, these new filters can simplify how you uncover compliance risks and audit concerns from your SaaS applications.

More Data: 40+ data fields and full data export

The previous examples are just a start to what you can do. Now you have more than 40 columns of data to increase visibility and insights for your SaaS portfolio. Add in views of application contacts, contract dates, and SSO protocols – all on your App List. 

Even more importantly, every one of these new data fields are available for export. If you want to run further analysis, simply export as csv and all 40+ columns will be included. The result is significantly more detail to truly maximize your SaaS portfolio.

Increased Control: Batch Editing

Viewing the data is important, but we want to ensure you can easily label and edit the data. Our latest update provides the ability to bulk update labels, application contacts, and app status. Want to flag multiple applications as security risks to review? Now you can easily update all app statuses for apps that are not SOC2 compliant. Want to update the procurement contact for all collaboration apps? Now you can accomplish this in just a few steps.

Our goal is to ensure you have full visibility and insight into your SaaS portfolio. Learn more about how Productiv gives you a kick in the SaaS.

Productiv Listed in Gartner’s Market Guide for SaaS Management Platforms

Productiv Listed in Gartner's Market Guide for SaaS Management Platforms

Productiv is proud to be recognized as a leading SaaS Management Platform (SMP) in Gartner’s latest report: Market Guide for SaaS Management Platforms. We’re honored to be named as one of nine vendors in Gartner’s research, and one of only six platforms designed for comprehensive application support. 

Importantly, the report underscores both the proliferation of SaaS applications and the growing need for better app management across the enterprise. 

Gartner’s report reinforces our belief that SaaS Management Platforms like Productiv allow organizations to effectively track and scale their SaaS usage, automate SaaS management, improve security, and maximize the value of every SaaS application.

Let’s dive into what Gartner’s report means for the SaaS management space and how our own data reinforces Gartner’s findings.

Gartner’s Perspective of SMPs

According to Gartner, a SaaS Management Platform (SMP) is a “stand-alone tool that can discover, manage, and secure multiple SaaS applications from a central admin dashboard, delivered as a turnkey service.”

Let’s briefly look at how Gartner frames each of these three functions in the context of SMPs: 

  • Discover: Aggregated information from multiple tools and infrastructures such as SSO provides rich insights into a business’s SaaS application portfolio.
  • Manage: Features and controls allow for the automation of critical SaaS management workflows like license provisioning and deprovisioning, renewal management, and data aggregation.
  • Secure: Centralized app management ensures businesses can establish consistent security protocols across their entire SaaS portfolio.

With these functions SMPs can provide a powerful, unified solution for IT teams to identify, manage, secure, and measure the many applications within a company’s expanding SaaS portfolio. 

Gartner also distinguishes that SMPs aren’t a replacement for SSO and CASB platforms, but instead can add to the capabilities of each. In conjunction with SSO and CASB tools, SMPs play a critical role in ingesting information and building a richer picture of app usage, scope, access, and security.

Gartner SMP Market Guide - SaaS Management Platform

Gartner’s focus on Discover, Manage, and Secure echoes what we at Productiv have believed since our inception: SMP tools provide visibility and context into data for better app decision-making, empower IT teams to automate complex SaaS workflows, and help businesses establish a consistent security policy across the SaaS portfolio.

Value-Driven Outcomes from SMP Adoption

Remote and hybrid work environments are shifting the SMP market toward tools like Productiv that manage multiple SaaS applications. Streamlining management of SaaS applications creates value in several distinct areas, including:

Visibility and Cost Control

Our research shows that more than half of IT leaders still manually track and manage SaaS applications. And considering manual tracking is prone to human error, such a method is far from foolproof. 

Improving visibility into SaaS applications creates a clearer, more complete picture of the SaaS app mix, including potential redundancies or overlaps. Productiv’s dynamic real-time data enables organizations to optimize their SaaS investments based on current consumption. For example, instead of buying more licenses for a certain app, Productiv can identify licenses not currently in use and redistribute access to users in the moment.

We’ve also found that 43% of apps in an organization are discovered and are likely the byproduct of Shadow IT. SMPs like Productiv uncover hidden apps so they can be pulled under the IT management umbrella for security, cost control, and opportunity creation.

Compliance discovered

Management and Automation

Repetitive processes like onboarding new employees, provisioning and deprovisioning licenses, and offboarding can be automated with workflows, saving valuable time and reducing the capacity for error.

Productiv makes it easy to create workflows that can automatically pull data from expense reports, deprovision users based on app usage, track upcoming renewals, and trigger alerts for discovered apps and app updates. With better management, IT teams can gain better visibility into usage patterns and understand how apps impact the employee experience.

Security and Access

Getting the complete picture of app usage across the enterprise is key in maintaining security for users and the company at large. SMPs integrate with data governance, identify access management (IAM) tools, endpoint security and management, and other processes to complete the app usage picture.

Productiv uncovers apps from network traffic, expense reports, and other data sources, giving IT a glimpse into potential tools an employee or team might need. With this data, IT can decide how to provision app access and whether to pull it behind SSO. In turn, having more apps behind SSO creates a more secure environment. Productiv also offers visibility into whether apps are meeting compliance requirements and whether they present risks to the organization.

The Future of SMPs

We believe the demand for cost visibility, workflow automation, and security across the SaaS portfolio will rise drastically. These requirements will skyrocket in priority as businesses adopt hybrid work schedules and lean more heavily on SaaS tools to keep their remote workforce connected. 

Our research is already showing the impact of SaaS app proliferation on businesses: only 3% of IT managers have complete and real-time visibility into SaaS tools. That means an overwhelming majority of IT managers have no clue what their app portfolio is costing the company, how it’s being used, and whether those apps are secure. 

In addition, our team feels strongly that the employee experience is also an important component of SMPs. As SaaS adoption continues to grow, it will become increasingly valuable to give employees visibility into which tools they need to perform their jobs effectively and collaborate with others. Stay tuned for some exciting news from Productiv on that front soon.

At Productiv, we remained committed to growing SMP’s role in IT by providing value throughout your app portfolio. Get Productiv. See Usage. Manage Costs. Increase Productivity.

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Top 6 Biggest SaaS Challenges and How to Address Them

Top Biggest SaaS challenges

Software-as-a-service are among the most valuable assets in today’s business environment. The right tools can be the gateway to faster innovation, increased productivity, and maintaining a competitive edge.

Crafting your SaaS stack, however, isn’t as simple as it might seem.

If there’s a problem that needs solving, there’s like an app that can help. This is precisely the beginning of the challenges CIOs and IT leaders face: How can you tell which apps truly belong in your budget and which ones aren’t delivering their intended value?

This question leads to six additional SaaS challenges that IT teams must confront:

Limited Visibility

Most companies use over 200 SaaS different applications!

That’s a lot for an IT team to keep track of. But the bigger problem is a lack of understanding of what each app is capable of and how exactly it’s being used.

Part of this lack of IT intel stems from the growing practice of Shadow IT, where app purchases are decentralized across the organization. Employees and departments that bypass IT when making new SaaS purchases are missing out on important conversations and considerations that IT could bring to the table.

For example, the company may already subscribe to certain or similar tools that departments are purchasing individually. A better approach would be for IT to negotiate an enterprise plan with better rates from the vendor.

Complex Planning and Budgeting

When IT and Procurement can’t be certain about its SaaS subscriptions, it can lead to poor budgeting and overspending.

Companies may be spending more on their SaaS applications than they need to due to redundancies, abandoned or unnecessary tools that are auto-renewed, or lack of negotiations with software vendors.

Looking at this from another angle, when IT budgets are being consumed by unnecessary or unknown apps, it could prevent the company from investing in tools that could add greater value to the business. Business resources are finite, so it’s essential that IT helps the company make the most of its software spend to drive growth and innovation throughout the enterprise.

Renewals screen.

Proliferated Vendor Management

Dealing with 200+ apps often means managing 200+ vendors, contracts, and renewals. This can easily become a full-time job in itself. What’s more, it can leave finance, procurement, and IT leaders running blindly if they lack insight into the why behind each app purchase.

Without a good system to organize apps, contracts, renewal dates, and other mission-critical details, companies risk renewing software tools they don’t really need or want.

This is a common case when individual employees have purchased tools unbeknownst to IT, then leave their role or the company without handing app ownership to someone else. In these instances, a software subscription could fly under the radar for months or years.

If multiple teams or departments are using the same app with their own subscription, it’s usually wise to consolidate those subscriptions. IT can go to bat on behalf of all the app users to negotiate a better rate with the vendor. Consolidating licenses can also mean dealing with one renewal for the app instead of multiple renewals.

A Strain on IT Resources

While IT may be the backbone of an organization’s technology infrastructure, this critical department doesn’t have infinite resources to work with. Like other departments, IT is constrained by available talent resources, budgets, and time. And yet, they’re often asked to support a growing number of apps.

“Before Productiv, we used to do three-week audits every quarter just to find all the apps,” says Sumit Johar, CIO at MobileIron.

Reducing the strain on IT resources includes addressing SaaS challenges. Because IT is tasked with provisioning (and de-provisioning) the rest of the company with the SaaS tools they need, it’s important for IT to understand how apps and tools are being used and by whom.

With this information, IT can make strategic investments in the right tools and properly onboard new employees to use their app suite.

Compliance discovered

Security and Risk

One of the first things IT leaders ask when bringing a new software tool on board is: What risk does this app pose to our digital infrastructure?

IT teams explore whether apps are compliant, can be put behind SSO, have a good reputation, and myriad other details that the average user doesn’t consider. All it takes is one unsecured app or one instance of unauthorized access, and it could cause a ripple effect throughout the organization. Sensitive data may be exposed or stolen, which could impact the company’s reputation, its bottom line, and user productivity.

“Even a $5 app can represent significant risk,” says Jim Fazzone, Head of IT at HashiCorp.

This is one of the single most important reasons why IT teams work so hard to uncover shadow IT practices. It’s not about dictating which tools an employee uses to get the job done. It’s about maintaining a safe digital environment for all employees. This also includes the need for IT leaders to uncover who has left the company and may still have access to certain apps.

Finding a Better Solution to Managing SaaS Applications

In a world where a company could invest in thousands of different apps and tools, CIOs and IT leaders have their work cut out for them when selecting only the right ones for their organization.

Once the “right” tools are chosen, it becomes a matter of seeing how those tools are really helping the employees. Deeper insight into which features are being used, how many employees have adopted the app, and how often they’re logging into and engaging with the app can support the decision as to whether to keep the app or find something to replace it with.

These details can also help IT teams have more impactful conversations with employees about how they’re using technology to do their job. In some cases, you may find they’re spending a lot of time in the app but not actually accomplishing much because it’s too complicated. Or, you might see a low adoption rate because employees don’t realize a certain tool is available to them.

So how do you address these 6 challenges? Spreadsheets and more headcount? More employee surveys? We strongly believe that SaaS management platforms like Productiv can impact each of these six areas.

Our platform can give you visibility into all of the apps down to the feature and team level. You can see all renewals and licenses on one screen, and even create automated workflows to save IT resources.

Knowledge is power, so why not use real data to optimize your SaaS strategy to ensure employees have the tools they need to do their jobs effectively?

Discover how Productiv supports SaaS without the mess.

SaaS without the mess.

Inc’s Best Workplaces of 2021


We started Productiv around 3 years ago with the mission to unlock the power of data to drive productivity at work. We are collectively proud of the culture we have built as a company and the values we stand for, and are honored to be recognized as one of Inc.’s Best Workplaces of 2021. It wasn’t happenstance – our culture is deliberate: it’s defined, nourished, reinforced, celebrated and iterated upon.

What is Productiv’s culture? What is unique about our way of working – the behaviors, beliefs, values and norms that we all accept without thinking about them, and that we aspire to pass along to every new team member who joins us as we scale rapidly? To me, it comes down to three things: How do we relate to others? How do we operate? How do we prioritize? I will define what each of these mean and showcase how our teammates talk about these (all quotes were anonymous employee submissions to the Inc survey).

Sales team member perspective: “Productiv is a wonderful place to work. The leadership team is highly invested in the personal and professional growth of its employees, and it’s a culture of ownership, autonomy, collaboration, outcomes, and planning to win big. I have personally grown an incredible amount in my time here due to the opportunities that the company has given me and the support provided by the leadership team. We’ve built a team of incredible people – everyone here has a high bar of excellence, is highly collaborative, and is outcome-driven – and I love working with each and every one of them.”


 

How do we operate? We are outcome-driven.

Building a company is hard – unless we know where we are going, we won’t get there. We are declarative – what’s our plan to win big? We debate and hold each other accountable as we align on OKRs: Are we setting ourselves achievable goals based on what we know or aspirational goals based on what’s the right long-term strategy and what moves the needle?

Having a plan is good but not good enough. Do we take ownership on executing our plans? To us, ownership is about “we” not “I,” i.e. as an owner of an OKR it’s my role to bring a strong bias to action, to collaborate, to drive alignment and prioritization, and to demand excellence of others.

Having a plan to win big and taking ownership are good but delivering results is where the rubber meets the road. We define clear markers of success, are analytical, decisive and data-driven, and are driven by impact.

Engineering team member perspective: “I was hired because I was valued for my prior experience with running my own startup, I was recognized for my potential and valued for my new perspective on ideas, product and even processes; that is very VERY rare for an organization to extend and perceive in a fresh grad. I am surrounded by people who have experience in double digits but that’s never resulted in my opinion being stifled or less valuable – it has always resulted in my ideas and opinions being “yes and-ed” and made better and included and to also teach me by example. As an early stage startup, we NEED to be disruptive and take risks; and I feel fantastic because im allowed to take risk and watch them pay off”


 

How do we prioritize? We are customer-first.

Earning customer love is our true north as a company – that ethos has resulted in us being a zero churn company. It’s our guidepost to navigate difficult decisions – do we prioritize product roadmap, a bug or an enhancement request? The answer is simple – understand customer needs deeply, delight customers and that will manifest in growth and social proof through testimonials, case studies etc.

Customer Success team member perspective: “The company has a strong uniformity of vision and team spirit to work together. I trust the company and the Leadership team in particular to continue to lead by example, walk the walk and balance the delicate balance of putting “customer before team before self” while still recognizing valuable personal contributions. It is very refreshing to see a company with a “listen first” culture.”


 

How do we relate to others? We invest in mutual success.

We constantly strive to do the right thing. We hold ourselves to the highest standards of integrity. We are humble, self-critical and respectful of each other. We are transparent – we share information freely and often – through Employee All Hands, Slack and other mechanisms. 

Above all, we never forget to stay human. We embrace diversity in backgrounds and opinions.  We strive to build a human connection – we like to laugh together, play together, seek fun and camaraderie at work. 

Operations team member perspective: “It’s awesome to be building something greater than myself. I am constantly inspired by the amazing people that I work with, and by the amount of passion they put into their everyday work. Working at Productiv does not just feel like another job, where I’m just a cog in the machine and waiting for 5pm to roll around. I’m incredibly passionate about the work I’m doing, and while the work is definitely hard, I know that I’m contributing to the bigger picture and overall growth.”

We are honored to be named one of Inc.’s Best Workplaces of 2021. To learn more about working at Productiv, click here.

What Can IT Do to Improve Employee Experience?

Employee experience

Does IT play a role in crafting the employee experience? It sounds like a job for HR, but truth be told, today’s IT-driven workplace means technology can make or break your employee’s productivity, effectiveness, and happiness.

For clarity’s sake, employee experience is defined as everything an employee sees, hears, uses, and does over the course of their employment in an organization. It’s the people and tools they interact with, the systems they’re required to follow, and the tasks they do on a daily basis.

Now, do you see how IT plays an important role in shaping what this experience looks and functions like?

Though many organizations still rely on the HR department to engage employees, solicit feedback, and maintain company morale, IT departments are also actively stepping up to do the same. The difference could mean a more productive, effective, and happier workforce.

Putting Employee Experience First

The past year has brought unprecedented changes to the workplace that directly affect employees and the health of your organization. It’s become more important than ever to minimize disruptions and navigate uncertainty. And yet, a Deloitte report reveals that just 9% of business leaders say they’re prepared to do this.

Putting the employee experience first plays a huge role in supporting morale, trust, and productivity. It also allows you to attract and retain high-performing employees in an ever-competitive market.

The Day 1 employee experience has become increasingly important. Because employees might not have the advantage of being surrounded by an in-person network, it’s essential to find other ways to help them feel welcomed and prepared. IT can help to fulfill this mission by setting everyone up with the right tools on the very first day.

According to research from MIT’s CISR, companies who get employee experience right enjoy 25% higher profits and can achieve twice the innovation and customer satisfaction than those that don’t.

The employee experience occurs with or without help. However, it takes thought and proactivity to create an experience that will resonate with your employees. Here are some ways IT can join the conversation for an optimal outcome.

Equip Employees with the Right Tools and Tech

Organizations rely on a bevy of software tools, apps, and other technology to handle day-to-day operations. But there can be too much of a good thing.

One report found that employees use an average of 28 apps to do their job – a number that can quickly lead to app fatigue and productivity loss.

Apps for Sales

In fact, Tech Republic estimates employees toggle between apps up to 10 times an hour and lose 32 days of productivity every year!

The tools you use impact how quickly employees can complete their workload, as well as the quality of the work and the overall confidence they feel when performing certain tasks.

While organizations may have tools readily available to handle certain jobs, IT plays a role in determining whether those are the best ones for the job.

  • Does a clunky interface add time to a process?
  • Is there a better tool out there that can achieve the same results in less time or is otherwise easier to use?
  • Does a software program or app only support parts of a goal but not others?

At its heart, technology should be used in a way that makes life easier for the user. When a software tool or app fails to do this, it defeats the purpose of using that technology in the first place. Employees shouldn’t feel like their required tools and technology make their work lives harder.

Equipping your team with the right tools and tech can significantly improve the employee experience. Employees who feel empowered to do their jobs well will look favorably at a company that sets them up for success.

Maximize Employee Engagement

Gartner projects SaaS spending to increase by 38% by 2022. It’s one thing to invest in software, but using it is quite another.

Projected SaaS Spend

If employees simply aren’t using the tools they’ve given, companies cannot maximize their software investment.

IT’s job doesn’t end with purchasing the software. Rather, IT leaders should drill down deeper to figure out the ROI of their software purchases:

  • Are people using the software tools?
  • How are they using them?
  • Why are adoption and usage low?
  • Are employees using tools outside of what IT has purchased?

Learning how employees are engaging with the company’s software stack can reveal a lot about their roles within the company, any struggles they’re facing, and their overall employee experience.

Compare apps

For example, employees using G Suite in an organization that is largely Microsoft-driven is actually pretty common, as we revealed in our Are You a Google or a Microsoft Shop blog. The reason could be a matter of personal preference. Or, it could indicate underlying problems, such as an employee not being able to access a certain tool, having trouble logging in remotely, or even not knowing what tools are available to them.

These problems can negatively impact the employee experience, making the employee feel ill-equipped to do their work or not properly on-boarded. In fact, a recent Gallup report notes that just 12% of employees feel their employers do a great job of onboarding. This is a critical piece of the employee experience because it happens so early in their tenure. It sets the tone of what the rest of their time with your organization will look like, so it’s essential to prioritize engagement from the beginning.

Eliminate Technology Redundancy and Proliferation

Many organizations have over 200 SaaS applications. When these apps are too similar in terms of the problems they solve or only solve one problem that could be handled in a better way, they pose a threat to productivity and profitability.

Redundant or proliferated apps can harm the employee experience because it gives them another tool to manage that they don’t really need. This leads to app fatigue, which can cost as much as 32 lost workdays per year.

This problem of app redundancy isn’t wholly created by IT, given the rise in Shadow IT practices. But it is becoming IT’s responsibility to solve.

Dropbox CIO Sylvie Veilleux talked about this challenge in our recent fireside chat: “It is a problem when multiple tools are doing the same thing or when employees need to navigate between too many solutions to do their job – this fragmentation creates interruptions in workflows and impacts employee focus – at Dropbox, we call this work about work.”

IT teams should actively work to reduce app redundancy and proliferation by digging deeper into the data and figuring out which tools are delivering value and which ones could be eliminated without sacrificing results.

Taking a “less is more” approach can help to relieve employee stress and improve their experience.

Use Data to Improve Employee Experience

App redundancy and proliferation, engagement, and equipping employees with the right tools and tech can all be achieved when IT becomes part of the conversation.

This is exactly the approach MobileIron took. Before Productiv, they depended on surveys and help tickets to see if there was an issue. Now, they can see real-time app usage and adoption and proactively reach out to employees.

Collecting the right data is the first step. Get Productiv. See Usage. Improve Employee Experience.

Get Productiv

What’s New in Productiv May Edition

Productiv

We’re making two improvements to working with software contracts in Productiv based on feedback from customers. Thank you to all of our customers who help us improve and refine the services and value we deliver to you.

Contract management improvements

Terminate contracts

We’ve added a new feature that allows you to mark contracts as terminated in the contract page. There are times where you may terminate a contract early or stop your auto-renewal of a particular contract. With this enhancement, you can now easily mark a contract as terminated, creating a single source of truth for IT, finance, and procurement, while also stopping contract renewal reminders and any auto-renewal cancellation reminders.

File a contract issue

At times, ingested contracted data does not accurately reflect the contracts you upload to Productiv. To make it easy to remedy these situations, we’ve added a “flag an issue” action directly to the contract details page to make it easy to contact Productiv to troubleshoot and remedy the data.