Best Practices to Improve SaaS Renewals

Case study

Productiv + Databricks

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Databricks leverages Productiv to be stay agile, create process around SaaS, and improve cross-functional partnerships with the lines of business


  • Limited Visibility
  • Managing Costs and ROI for SaaS
  • Shadow IT
  • Cross-Department Collaboration


  • Managed SaaS Sprawl
  • Improved Employee Experience
  • Increased Collaboration with Line of Business

Databricks leverages Productiv to be stay agile, create process around SaaS, and improve cross-functional partnerships with the lines of business.

Databricks is a software platform that helps its customers unify their analytics across business, data science, and engineering teams. Founded in 2013, the company has experienced rapid growth in the last two years. Databricks more than tripled in size from 400 to 1,300 in 2019. With 50-80 new people joining the company each month, IT was busy managing the new scale and technology to support this growth. All with a workforce that was 30% remote before COVID.

Mike Hamilton, VP of IT, joined during what he referred to as the “wild west phase” of start-ups. A phase with high-growth, no formal PO process, and departments frequently buying new apps and add-on licenses.

As the company matured, IT needed more visibility into the SaaS portfolio and to create structure while remaining nimble. Mike saw the opportunity to think more strategically about the SaaS portfolio and partner with business groups.

Manage process and costs

Productiv helps Databricks manage costs and licenses more easily. IT is able to automate licenses, and easily de-provision a license when someone leaves the company. The team is also able to have better conversations with vendors, matching licenses to actual usage and forecasted employee growth.

Better employee experience

Databricks leverages Productiv to improve employee onboarding. Mike highlights the importance of understanding what an employee needs on Day 1 versus Day 30 by tracking adoption over time.

The team also looks across feature usage over time to better understand each tool. For example, they looked into why there is a different level of engagement on Day 30 versus Day 90 and see if they need to make changes to the tool, or to the training. Productiv can help them make sure employees have the best tools and features to do their jobs.

Increased collaboration with line of business

Mike set up a cross-functional executive team to manage the SaaS portfolio. Productiv data helps fuel the conversations on what the company needs.

The tool can help prompt discussions and align on “why has adoption gone up?” or “you procured a bunch of licenses but adoption has not gone up. Why is that?” The tool has become critical in aligning IT with other departments and building trust.

Productiv has become more than an IT tool, but an overall business tool that helps show user tax and the ROI for SaaS applications in each department.

"We Didn’t Want To Find Ourselves Constantly Redoing The Spreadsheet And Trying To Prove Why The Numbers Are Accurate.

We wanted more of a data-driven, technology-based approach that would illustrate the ROI and strategic value of our SaaS data. This approach would also help us scale better than a spreadsheet could.”

Mike Hamilton, Databricks

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