Does your IT team rely heavily on chat and emails for managing licensing and app requests? For many businesses, such a process may suffice when you’re small — but it can become a major pain point once your organization grows to hundreds of employees.
For Egnyte, a leader in cloud content security and governance, the challenges of manually provisioning licenses and managing SaaS applications peaked as the high-growth company neared 700+ employees. Senior Director of Technology Operations Ravi Menon experienced this pain firsthand as he was building out a new department to streamline technology practices across the organization.
In this blog post we dive into the challenges Ravi and his team faced and how they’ve been able to improve SaaS oversight. You’ll also learn how Egnyte leveraged Productiv to strengthen their contract renewals and optimize their SaaS portfolio.
Pinpointing Their SaaS Challenges
With Egnyte’s rapid growth over the last decade, the technology stack and IT operations had grown up as well, but with limited oversight. Ravi and his team realized they needed to establish processes that could scale with the company’s pace of growth.
What’s the best way to take stock of your current state and pinpoint areas for improvement? Running a comprehensive audit is a great first step, so that’s exactly what Ravi did. He analyzed Egnyte’s IT workflows to understand what was working, what wasn’t, and where the team needed to focus its efforts.
The analysis allowed Ravi to identify three key pain points around IT workflows: reliance on manual processes, limited oversight of applications, and a lack of visibility for executives.
1. Reliance on Manual Processes
When Ravi first assumed his new role leading tech operations, he quickly noticed inconsistencies in how IT provided support to the organization. With additional insights from the audit, Ravi realized just how laborious and disorganized their IT processes were:
“When somebody had a problem, everything was managed via emails or Slack. We had no visibility into who was doing what, what was the volume of leads coming in, or how escalations worked.”
The team needed a more systematic approach to help manage and scale their operations, with the ability to:
- Onboard new employees and provision licenses in a timely manner
- Proactively manage renewals and rightsize license quantities
- Monitor spend on SaaS apps and ensure the company wasn’t purchasing duplicate apps
2. Limited Oversight of SaaS Apps
Another issue that rose to the surface was how SaaS apps were being purchased. According to Ravi, business units would just go buy whatever app or tool they wanted when the need arose and charge it to a company credit card.
The distributed ownership of various apps created two challenges for Ravi’s team: they had no control over those renewals, and lacked the insight to see whether different business units were purchasing tools with similar functionality.
Ravi realized that his team needed better visibility into apps not owned or managed by IT. It also became apparent that the organization needed a functional process for employees to make app requests.
3. No Visibility for Execs
During the audit, Ravi and his team also determined there was no method in place to give company leaders an accurate picture of ongoing IT and tech operations. This made it difficult to share the current state of their workflows and SaaS portfolio as well as align with key stakeholders.
“The executives didn’t have much visibility into what was going on in the organization.”
Why Egnyte Chose Productiv
After looking at Productiv and another tool, Ravi and his team chose Productiv’s SaaS management platform (SMP) because it provided:
- Better visibility into all of their SaaS apps across the organization
- More control over renewals and proactive recommendations to help them rightsize licensing
- The ability to identify and reduce multiple apps with similar functionality as well as avoid spending company budget on those duplicate apps
Productiv Helps Egnyte Better Understand and Manage Their SaaS Portfolio
In conjunction with internal efforts to establish processes and improve operations, Ravi’s team quickly saw value in Productiv across two important features: benchmarking data and renewal recommendations.
With Productiv, the team was able to see the full scope of their SaaS apps — including those not managed or owned by IT — and realized they had approximately 290 tools. Using Productiv’s unique benchmarking data, they could see that companies of a similar size had a SaaS portfolio of 180 tools on average.
“We got to see the number of tools we were currently using, which is huge. We didn’t have that kind of visibility to begin with.”
Thanks to this insight, the team was able to review their full portfolio and identify whether there were opportunities to consolidate apps with similar functionality.
In addition, they established a more finite approval process for new app requests that gives Ravi’s team better control and visibility. Now they compare all new app requests against the list of apps in Productiv to determine if the purchase is necessary or if they already own something comparable that can be used instead.
The team also leverages Productiv to see what contract renewals are coming down the pipeline with advance alerts. Now they know when renewals are coming up and have plenty of time to consider any changes instead of scrambling last-minute to review renewals with their software governance and legal teams.
Perhaps more importantly, Productiv gives the team intelligent recommendations around app usage and license rightsizing. Armed with this information, Egnyte is able to have more effective renewal discussions with SaaS vendors. These recommendations help the team maximize the value of their app purchases and ensure they don’t overpay compared to other businesses.
“Productiv allows us to ask: Should we be doing something different with the tools that we currently have? The insights and recommendations are key, because we can run a comparison against others in the industry to see what other companies have paid and how many licenses they have purchased.”
With Productiv, Ravi is able to:
- Free up hours spent manually logging app requests and provisioning licenses
- Approach vendor renewal conversations armed with valuable usage and license data
- Direct more resources toward strategic IT initiatives
What Does the Future State of Egnyte Look Like?
Ravi and his team plan to continue using Productiv to help Egnyte optimize contract renewals, rightsize licensing, minimize the number of apps with similar functionality, and introduce more automation around managing SaaS. The team is still growing, yet already looking toward other challenges they want to tackle such as SaaS governance and automating critical workflows.