Former Google Analytics chief Jody Shapiro has chosen April Fools’ Day to announce that he’s deadly serious about wanting to help enterprises get a better handle on the software-as-a-service applications they use.
Shapiro, who served as global head of Google Analytics Premium from 2007 until 2016, is launching his new company out of stealth today. Called Productiv Inc., it’s aimed at providing more insights to chief information officers about how SaaS applications are used within their organizations.
One might assume that most CIOs already know what apps are being used by their organizations, but the reality is that’s not always the case. A recent study by Pulse Q&A Inc., commissioned by Productiv, showed that although 97 percent of information technology leaders view managing SaaS applications as a priority, just 45 percent of them have full visibility into those apps. Moreover, only 31 percent of IT leaders can measure engagement with, and the productivity of, those apps.
That can be a big problem because oftentimes employees within a company end up using multiple apps that perform the same tasks. One of Productiv’s early adopters was using three separate SaaS storage apps, for example.
In a blog post, Shapiro related how different teams within that company separately purchased multiple licenses for Box Inc., Dropbox Inc. and Sharepoint Inc.’s software, so that company was paying for far more licenses than it actually needed. Using Productiv’s analytics tools, the company’s CIO worked out which of the applications was best suited to everyone’s needs. The company eventually settled on just one storage app, thereby reducing its costs significantly and improving its employees’ ability to share and collaborate.
“There are commercial tools available that address application discovery, but when it comes to application engagement, CIOs tell us that the information they need to unlock value from their SaaS deployments can currently only be compiled manually,” Shapiro said in an interview with SiliconANGLE. “They tell us that the manual exercise can take quarters or even a year, involves a massive number of spreadsheets, and is still ultimately inaccurate, so [that’s why] they choose the Productiv platform.”
Productiv can automate much of the application engagement process because it extracts application purchase and license data from a number of internal computer systems, including contracts, finance and expense reporting systems.
Its software also integrates with single sign-on tools to assess how often each application is accessed. As a result, Productiv’s software can show CIOs exactly how each SaaS application is being used, helping them to understand the business value each one provides. Armed with this data, CIOs can easily identify which apps are redundant and cancel underused licenses, the company said.
Productiv’s platform is being made generally available starting today.