What Are Redundant Apps and How Can You Spot Them Using Productiv?

When Apple launched its famous “There’s an app for that” campaign to promote the power of the iPhone, it was only an inkling of how apps would forever change the way we do business.

Now, SaaS apps have taken the place of most traditional software tools, and for good reason. Rather than paying for single licenses and costly upgrades each time your software gets a makeover, you can opt for ongoing subscriptions that scale with your business (including free updates!) and only pay for what you really need.

But if ever there was too much of a good thing, the software as a service model might fit the bill. Most SaaS tools are designed to tackle just one problem or function. When you stop and think about all of a business’s moving parts, the tools to address each one can quickly start to add up. What’s more, the number of apps used by a company tends to increase with its size.

For a small business or casual user, managing a small SaaS suite isn’t much of a concern. But for large companies (2,000+ employees) that deploy 163 apps on average, app redundancy could pose a serious threat to productivity and profitability.

What are Redundant Apps?

When you have two of something that can accomplish the same goal, one is usually not needed. This is often the case with having multiple SaaS apps, where two or more may fulfill the same end result despite offering slightly different features, functions, or interfaces.

App redundancy occurs in companies of any size, usually due to one or more of the following factors:

  • Duplicate apps are purchased by different departments or individuals within the same company
  • Users don’t have enough available licenses for a SaaS, so a new SaaS is purchased
  • Departmental silos prevent strategizing when purchasing SaaS tools, so similar apps may be purchased instead of consolidating and standardizing company tools
  • The original SaaS billing owner left the company, so a new subscription may be purchased without realizing the app is already available for them to use

2018 report from Gartner noted that spending on cloud technology is increasing about seven times faster than non-cloud technology. Companies that can better manage app redundancy may be able to curb some of these costs simply by avoiding paying for more than they need.

Why Redundant Apps are a Threat to Business Operations

When left unchecked, app redundancy can wreak havoc on bottom line profits and frontline productivity.

Companies reportedly waste up to 35% of their cloud and software spend, with redundant apps making up a significant portion of wasted funds. When you’re paying for more licenses or seats than you need, or worse, paying for duplicate apps that could be eliminated altogether, those expenditures come directly from your bottom line.

Another byproduct of app redundancy is an overall reduction in productivity. One report noted that the average employee toggles between 28 different apps to complete basic tasks. In many cases, employees have at least five different apps open at all times and switch between ten apps every hour during a typical workday.

This loss of productivity is referred to as app fatigue — too many apps lead to overwhelm and underutilization. A report from RingCentral notes that app fatigue results in as much as 32 lost workdays per year. When redundant apps can be eliminated, though, employees may have fewer apps to navigate between and can recoup some of this lost work time to put toward more value-driving activities.

How Productiv Helps Reduce App Redundancy

As Apple eluded as early as 2009, there truly is an app for everything — including an app to help you manage your SaaS subscriptions.

Productiv takes a holistic approach to app management by viewing all of your SaaS subscriptions in a single place. Here’s how:

Identify Similar Applications

With a bird’s eye view of your SaaS subscriptions, Productiv goes to work in identifying the purpose each application serves. The goal isn’t just to identify surface-level redundancies, but also pick out the subtle nuances of the different use cases for each app.

Get Real-Time Intelligence Into App Engagement

App log-ins only tell part of the app usage story. Productiv drills in on how each app is being used, as well as who is using the app. Productiv users can identify app engagement on the user and feature levels, along with other attributes to identify usage patterns.

Using this data, Productiv can help company leaders identify which apps may need to be standardized within the company and which ones may be eliminated.

Review App Licenses and Renewal Dates

With all SaaS products in a single place, companies can better manage each of their subscriptions. Having a visual guide for costs, licenses, usage, and renewal dates can help business leaders make key decisions regarding their app spend.

Right-sizing a company’s software licenses ensures you’re not paying for too many licenses, plus it eliminates the need to purchase duplicate subscriptions or similar apps.

Visualize Collaboration Patterns

One of the advantages of using cloud-based apps is to promote better collaboration across the enterprise. With Productiv, business leaders can see exactly how apps are being used in collaborations and which ones are more efficient and effective in promoting communication across departments.

Reduce SaaS Costs

You can only manage what you can see. Once you identify where waste is occurring, you’re better able to make impactful decisions that will curb spending without sacrificing productivity.

Eliminating app redundancy is a great place to start. It takes away apps that aren’t necessary for daily operations without disabling collaboration and communication where it matters most.

Next Steps to Reduce App Redundancy

To move away from app redundancy, you first need to know which apps you use, the purpose they serve, and how they’re being used. Productiv can deliver insights into all of the above to help you optimize your SaaS stack.

Request a demo to see Productiv in action today!

SaaS Subscription Management: How to Easily Track SaaS Application Renewals

When you review your SaaS subscriptions, do you ask yourself how many SaaS apps you have? Or, do you ask yourself whether those apps are being used to their fullest? To better understand your SaaS subscriptions, you need to analyze which apps you have, how these apps are being used, and whether they allow for collaboration and greater productivity.

In this post, we’ll explore what SaaS subscription management is, why it matters, and how you can effectively track SaaS application renewals.

What is SaaS Subscription Management? 

SaaS subscription management is about overseeing all of the subscriptions to SaaS applications and platforms that your company has.

The goals of SaaS subscription management are:

  • To track and manage SaaS subscriptions
  • To ensure there aren’t overlapping SaaS subscriptions (for example, Zoom and Webex)
  • To save money – you don’t want to pay for orphaned subscriptions no one is using
  • To derive value from your SaaS subscriptions – you want these apps to make your workforce more productive and collaborative

Why Does SaaS Subscription Management Matter?

Why does it matter if you manage your SaaS subscriptions? There are four reasons:

  • Cost savings
  • Greater productivity
  • Greater collaboration
  • Greater ROI on your apps and platforms

Cost Savings

SaaS app usage is growing rapidly. Deloitte’s 2020 Global Technology Leadership Study shows that 94% of respondents are using SaaS applications.

Yet, just because more people say they’re using SaaS applications doesn’t mean those applications are actually being used. Seventy-one percent of organizations have an orphaned SaaS subscription (meaning there’s no clear owner), and those apps can cost as much as $8,520 annually per subscription.

SaaS subscription management lets you determine which apps are used the most, which apps are least-used, and which apps are duplicate so that you can save money.

Greater Productivity

When we think of things at the office that kill productivity, the first thing that comes to mind is meetings. However, in our March 2019 report, less than a third of employees said that too many meetings had a negative impact on productivity. What ranked higher was a lack of access to the right apps – 39% of employees said their productivity was low because they weren’t able to use the apps they needed.

SaaS subscription management improves employee productivity because it enables managers to make the right decisions about which SaaS subscriptions to keep, which to add, and which they can eliminate. They can invest in SaaS apps and platforms that make employees more productive, rather than continuing to pay for those that hold them back.

Greater Collaboration

Collaboration drives productivity – when you can’t work together effectively with colleagues, you can’t complete assignments or reach goals. Yet, as we mentioned in the previous paragraph, many employees don’t have access to the right apps and platforms to drive collaboration. As a result, they’re not accomplishing as much as they could.

That’s where SaaS subscription management comes in. SaaS subscription management helps you figure out which of your apps and platforms facilitate collaboration, and which don’t. With that knowledge, you can invest in the right apps that drive business success.

Greater ROI on Your Apps and Platforms

Another benefit of SaaS subscription management is that you’ll see greater ROI on your apps and platforms.

Why is that?

The right SaaS subscription management solution gives you insight into how many users an app has, as well as how they’re using it (for example, are they making use of all of the features?) Moreover, does it help them to stay productive, and can it help them collaborate? The data your SaaS platform subscription management solution provides enables you to make the right decision about SaaS applications, so you can see higher ROI.

How the Right SaaS Subscription Management Solution Makes It Easy to Track Renewals

The right SaaS platform subscription management solution makes it easy to track renewals in three ways:

  • Use a renewal calendar
  • Centralize all of your subscription data in one place
  • Understand SaaS app and platform usage at a granular level

Use a Renewal Calendar

Do you know when your next SaaS subscription renewal is coming up? How long will it take you to prepare all of the information you need to make an educated decision about this app or platform?

A built-in calendar in your SaaS subscription management solution allows you to keep track of when renewals are coming due, so you don’t get stuck with an expensive auto-renewal for an app or platform that no longer serves your needs.

Centralize All of Your Subscription Data

If someone were to ask you how many Zoom subscriptions you had, would you be able to answer? Let’s say you have an answer – is it being stored in a spreadsheet somewhere (and is that spreadsheet even accurate)?

Market-leading SaaS subscription management solutions centralize all of your subscription data in one place so that it’s in an easy-to-read, easy-to-consume place. You won’t waste time trying to find the information you need (especially not the details on auto-renewals and early termination clauses).

Understand SaaS App and Platform Usage at a Granular Level 

Here’s another question for you: do you know how employees are using SaaS apps and platforms? For example, are your team members using every single feature within the G-suite, or do they only really use Docs and Slideshows?

The best SaaS subscription management solutions enable you to gather information about how your employees are using SaaS apps and platforms, including which features they’re using, by teams, and by location. With that data in hand, you can confidently go into meetings with your vendors so you can get the licenses you need, rather than what they want to sell you.

As SaaS subscriptions multiply, SaaS subscription management has become imperative within the enterprise. Request a demo today to learn more about how you can drive greater value from your SaaS subscriptions.

Request a Productiv Demo Today!

The Proof is in Productiv

During my career, I have seen the evolution of the SaaS business model. SaaS made it easy to adopt, by pricing it low and entering an enterprise through Shadow IT. Eventually, morphing into a fully managed Service for the Enterprise. At that stage the burden is on the CIO and their team to clearly articulate the value of the Service. Oftentimes the burden of this proof was unbearable because of the explosion of multiple SaaS services, making it much more difficult to get a clear value proposition of a particular service. This led to common exchanges like the one below:

“Tell me how my company is using your software,” was a phrase I heard early and often during my time working in various SaaS companies in the Bay Area.

“Well, I know that your legal team is using us to help work on their contracts.” I would posit. This was often met with head shaking.

“I know legal is using it. But can you tell me how all the other users that I’m paying for are, because I don’t believe we’re using it all that much.” I wish I could say this exchange was unique, but it was something that happened all too often.

When I was introduced to Productiv, there was an immediate eureka moment. Productiv makes the process of discovering the value of a service and enumerates it to the organization. Helping reinforce buying decisions, enablement, or a call to action for change.

Data is at the heart of everything we do at Productiv. We use our data analytics to help our customers drive strategic decisions. In my first 30 days, we’ve been able to use active engagement usage data–as opposed just using login data–to drive a number of initiatives for our customers. I’ve seen them save upwards of $100K in one renewal by right-sizing their deployments! I’ve also seen customers use our engagement data to run enablement campaigns on Best of Breed tools or help identify Shadow IT.

During these times of COVID, it’s especially reaffirming to see how our message is resonating with marquee customers like Zoom, Uber, Fox, and Okta (just to name a few.) But it’s not just about messaging, as one of our Core Values states, it’s about Delivering Results.

Why I Joined Productiv: SaaS Management for those Leading Change

How to measure Salesforce ROI

Save more than 30% on your next SaaS renewal

Productiv Insights: Video Collaboration in the age of COVID-19

With millions of people around the world complying with COVID-19 stay-at-home orders and self-quarantining for safety, remote work has quickly become the new normal for enterprises. As we adapt to this new way of work, SaaS applications play an important role in maintaining collaboration continuity and enabling us to get our jobs done. 

One application that has played an integral role in maintaining this continuity is the video conferencing application Zoom. Across the globe, enterprises are using Zoom’s reliable, high-quality video conferencing capabilities to make working from home a consistently viable option in the age of COVID-19. Examining a subset of Productiv customer data confirms this.

The data shows that Zoom engagement began to tick up in early March, just as the first states of emergency were declared in the early hotspots on the west coast of the US. Around this time, many businesses also began to institute optional remote work policies. As the pandemic intensified in March and these policies became mandatory, Zoom engagement rose more significantly. 

By April, once the majority of residents in the US were sheltering in place, Zoom engagement rose 55% above pre-pandemic levels. With remote work continuing for the foreseeable future, we expect to see Zoom engagement remain at these higher levels. 

Face-to-face matters, especially when we’re remote

One of the reasons that Zoom has surged in popularity is the ease with which Zoom helps us connect with each other over video. In an environment where nearly everyone works remotely, video meetings offer many advantages over the traditional conference call. Let’s take a look at how users have shared video in Zoom during the pandemic.

Shared video in Zoom remained relatively flat throughout February and the beginning of March, as most employees continued to work in the office during these weeks and in-person meetings were likely more common. But as soon as remote work policies began to take effect in the beginning of March, the data shows a sharp uptick in shared video. By April, shared video in Zoom rose 128% above pre-pandemic levels. Putting this all together, the percentage of users sharing video in their Zoom calls rose significantly from 57% to 84% during this time period.

With most of us working remotely, it’s no surprise that sharing video in Zoom has increased so dramatically. When we collaborate over video, we can better read the body language and facial expressions of our fellow meeting participants, which — just as it does in face-to-face meetings — leads to more productive collaboration and fosters stronger trust in our working relationships. And understanding how employees participate in meetings with video enabled is a boon to IT leaders focused on increasing the effectiveness of remote collaboration. 

SaaS applications have maximized productivity and collaboration and helped us adapt to the new normal of an always-remote workplace. At Productiv, we help visualize your organization’s application engagement patterns to ensure that employees are using applications like Zoom as intended — to improve the employee software experience and drive stronger, more meaningful collaboration. 

For IT teams who need assistance right now, Productiv can help quickly measure real-time usage of your SaaS applications, rightsize your licenses, and support remote collaboration. Measuring and driving productivity for remote workers is in our DNA, and we’re here to help you as you navigate this new, and likely stressful, situation. We are offering a free 30-day trial of Productiv, so that you can quickly start understanding your organization’s current collaboration and productivity. To learn more, contact us below.

Celebrating our first year being Productiv

Today marks one year since Productiv launched at Okta’s Oktane19 conference in San Francisco. With so much happening in such a short amount of time, it’s hard to believe that it’s only been a year!

Productiv teammates at Oktane19 in San Francisco

We’ve been fortunate to celebrate many milestones at Productiv since our launch. Besides a reason to celebrate, each of these milestones validate our mission to help enterprises drive ROI from their SaaS investments and strengthen IT’s partnership with the C-suite to deliver results on business goals.

In recognition of our first anniversary, here’s a quick recap of these milestones from a company, product, and team perspective, as well as my own thoughts on these milestones and what they mean for Productiv:

Our Company

  • Partnering with Modern CIOs and IT leaders at innovative enterprises like Fox, Uber, Equinix, Apttus, Databricks, HashiCorp, and more to drive ROI and app adoption to deliver against business goals;
  • Fueling our phenomenal growth by partnering with top-tier investors who have proven track records of success at Accel, Norwest Venture Partners, and Okta Ventures;
  • Expanding rapidly with new offices in Palo Alto, San Francisco, Bellevue, and Bengaluru;
  • Taking important steps to build an enterprise-grade company for the long-term, achieving SOC 2 Type 2 compliance and integrating with leading technology companies to help enterprises drive better, more data-driven decisions about their SaaS applications.

Our Product

Our Team

We’ve grown from 10 to 40 people, including our two most recent additions to the executive team: 

  • Neej Parikh joined us in January as Head of Sales. Neej has seen firsthand the transformative impact that SaaS has had on the enterprise, and that experience has been invaluable to our sales team as they build and develop relationships with enterprise IT leaders looking to maximize the value of their SaaS applications. 
  • Sadie Stoumen joined us in March as Head of Product. Sadie has been innovating and leading in product management and design for more than a decade. Product management and design are particularly important at Productiv, because the nature of what we do means delivering insights on a complex landscape of thousands of SaaS applications.

As we enter our second year, I couldn’t be more excited about what the future holds for Productiv. Every company is quickly becoming a technology company, with SaaS applications the glue that holds them together and unlocks productivity. As a result of this shift, IT leaders gain an even more critical business role in partnering across the organization to ensure every employee has the right applications, with the right license types, at the right times while still driving adoption and collaboration. 

This is why Ashish, Munish, and I founded Productiv, and nothing has validated our decision to start the company more than the reception we’ve seen in the last year. To learn more, listen to our customers’ results, request a demo or check out the resources on our website.

“We have been growing our headcount aggressively over the past couple of years. Productiv helps us manage our IT OpEx as we strive towards profitable growth.”

Dave McJannet, CEO, HashiCorp 

Productiv Can Help — For Free
For IT teams who need assistance right now, Productiv can help quickly measure real-time usage of your SaaS applications, rightsize your licenses, and support remote collaboration. Measuring and driving productivity for remote workers is in our DNA, and we’re here to help you as you navigate this new, and likely stressful, situation. We are offering a free 30-day trial of Productiv, so that you can quickly start understanding your organization’s current collaboration and productivity. To learn more, contact us below.

Enterprise SaaS Management: An Imperative for the Modern CIO

There’s a SaaS solution for every business need.

Today, there’s an enterprise SaaS management solution for virtually every business need: CRM, collaboration, design, file sharing, video conferencing, contract and document management and more. This is true across all industries: tech, healthcare, food and agriculture, transportation—you name it.

  • An average of 129 applications are in use for every company, and that only takes into account apps that use Okta’s single sign-on.
  • Netskope reports the actual number to be 1,071 cloud services per company.

Overall, the growth of SaaS is a good thing for businesses. Employees have more options than ever for getting work done productively no matter where they are. The ever-growing trend shows us that the forward-thinking, modern CIOs who enable SaaS-forward environments want different business units to be agile, and we all know agility is a key component of today’s digital-forward company. SaaS makes work better and easier because it streamlines routine business processes and gives employees more tools for getting their work done.

Widespread SaaS deployments and nonstop growth can make life a drag for IT departments 

At the same time, the dependency on SaaS across industries makes life hard for IT departments. The amount of SaaS applications per company is tipping into the hundreds or even thousands, and in IT it’s not easy to gain any real insight into which apps are being used and how much. This problem makes it particularly challenging to rationalize application portfolio decisions or even explain the value of business apps to leadership in the first place 

What makes SaaS growth so difficult?

IT teams have no way to see all apps in one place or gauge their usefulness across departments. As lines of business and employees contribute to the ongoing SaaS explosion, IT can’t see which apps employees are using regularly. Apps that IT does manage don’t provide the data they need for gathering adoption and engagement insights. In fact, only 45% of IT executives are confident they know how many SaaS applications are in use at their companies (Pulse Q&A).

In addition, the constant barrage of renewals plus the lack of info to manage them effectively is frustrating. The organic, sprawling nature of SaaS purchasing means that renewals are happening all the time. To make matters worse, IT lacks information on application effectiveness, which makes it hard to prepare to talk about renewals.

Then there’s application redundancy, which is a problem because costs get out of control, plus people can’t collaborate easily between teams. Because SaaS applications tend to multiply without proper oversight from IT, redundancy is pretty high. It’s costly and employees can’t easily collaborate because they’re all using different tools. Meanwhile, IT doesn’t have the data to make informed decisions on which apps should be standardized. Also, most companies don’t know the size and contents of their SaaS deployment footprint. Basically, IT can’t justify application portfolios or easily manage costs. Yet, 97% of IT leaders see managing the cost and usage of SaaS applications as a top business priority (Pulse Q&A).

Administrative overhead gets to be too much, too. There are a handful of enterprise SaaS management solutions on the market now, but most don’t have the right feature set required for collecting true application engagement analytics. Businesses have to supplement this data with quite a bit of manual effort—56% of IT executives still rely on internal tools and manual spreadsheets to discover and manage SaaS applications (Pulse Q&A). Plus, management processes are handled on an app-by-app basis, which isn’t scalable.

Businesses need a better way to help IT manage SaaS portfolios. What IT departments really need is SaaS management powered by application engagement analytics.

How to standardize SaaS apps across your company, make sure people actually use them and cut costs at the same time:

The modern CIO wants to empower employees to work flexibly and dynamically. At the same time, they also want to make it easy to standardize SaaS applications across the company, make sure employees actually use those apps and get rid of anything unnecessary. Although enterprise SaaS management can be a headache, fortunately the CIO community is rising to the challenge and taking ownership of managing the SaaS portfolio.

CIOs at leading companies like Uber, Equinix, Fox and HashiCorp are accomplishing this goal using Productiv, SaaS management powered by application engagement analytics:

Let’s walk through the capabilities enterprise SaaS management powered by application engagement analytics can bring to your IT team:

  • Easily identify and manage your SaaS apps while keeping track of engagement data 

Gain visibility into all SaaS apps in one console and track renewal dates, adoption milestones and spend. Evaluate redundancy by looking at engagement instead of login data alone.

  • Determine whether your company is getting value from apps

Once you know the apps your company is using and can control licenses and spend, it’s way easier to get to the real value. Be the expert who helps your company capture the true value of your applications 

  •   Make real changes in your business by allowing IT to focus on innovating and strategic work.

 Your IT team can bring together the right mix of apps for your business while controlling licensing and costs at the same time. Find out where app redundancy exists across teams and figure out the best app combos for every department based on usage

Quick recap on why enterprise SaaS management powered by application engagement analytics is a need-to-have

To sum it up, SaaS apps are growing fast and so are business app portfolios. This means that IT leaders have to figure out a way to manage applications successfully. The key: SaaS management powered by application engagement analytics.

Looking for a better way to make SaaS apps work for you the way they should? Schedule a demo with Productiv and learn how to visualize, rationalize and maximize the value of your SaaS apps

‘Tis the Season….For Renewals

As much as we love the holidays, we know that Q4 is often crunch time for IT. In fact, our customers often see upwards of 40% of their renewals in Q4. 

As such, being as prepared as you’d like for upcoming renewals is hard. There’s never as much time or data as you need. Extra measures like asking a customer success manager to help you fill gaps in data sometimes work, but often don’t.  

Here are common themes we hear from IT and Finance leaders:

  • “My team often has to pick 1 renewal we really care about for the quarter because there just isn’t enough time to do justice on all the renewals”
  • “There’s often a negotiation before the negotiation: begging the AE or CSM to provide the information I REALLY need to negotiate intelligently.”
  • “Renewal negotiations are an art and a science – my experience enables the ‘art’, but I don’t have all the data I need for the ‘science’”

We took a moment to pull together a full list of items to help you prepare for this renewal season. We call this the Ultimate SaaS Renewal Checklist. In addition to giving you a list of information you should have on-hand ahead of your renewal discussion, we’ve provided guidance on how to think about application use and business value. We also included some questions to ask about the surrounding app ecosystem and how to answer the question “what should I renew?” Key focus areas for checklist items include:

  • What’s coming up for renewal? 
  • Have people been using the application?
  • Did we get the business value that we were sold on 12/24/36 months ago?
  • How does the app fit within my ecosystem?

We’ll take you step-by-step through what you should be able to answer within each of these categories. Be more prepared than ever for all your upcoming renewals with the Ultimate SaaS Renewal Checklist!