Here’s what happened when Tangoe, the leading IT expense and asset management provider, started using its own solution.
Funding Innovation with Cost Savings
CIO Mark Troller’s strategic process starts the same way every year, with a budget and technology review exercise designed to justify spending and right-size the company’s tech stack. By optimizing the IT budget, Troller discovers opportunities to self-fund new investments in digital innovation.
“No one hands you a bucket of money for digital transformation,” Troller explained. “The only way to fund it is to go digging in the numbers and start removing costs inside your own budget.”
Traditionally, Troller had done that manually, evaluating tools and expenses to stretch his budget.
annually in SaaS
But all of that changed when his team installed the Tangoe One Cloud expense management solution.
“I knew I spent about $8.5 million every year on SaaS and maintained about 70-75 applications, but the actual numbers were double and triple what I thought they were,” he said. Troller quickly learned that he had just over 250 applications and was spending $11 million on SaaS.
“It was a humbling surprise,” he added. “I was aware of our largest SaaS costs, but it was eye opening to see how and where all the smaller costs added up. I wish I had implemented our solution earlier — it would have made funding our innovation much easier.”
Seeing the Total SaaS Picture
The Tangoe One Cloud platform was implemented to gain visibility into all SaaS applications running inside Tangoe’s own IT environment. Troller described the results as immediate.
“Within 24 to 72 hours, we had a significant volume of insights to start acting upon. There is not a lot to configure, because you’re using existing integrations with existing platforms you already support. You already own access to all your data, so it’s only a matter of analyzing it,” he explained.
Those analytics offered a new perspective on Shadow IT. “It gave me insight into things that were purchased outside of the IT department. I had never been aware of those, but now I could see one total picture including the impacts to our security posture and risk,” he said.
That one total picture was an aggregate view into both sanctioned and unsanctioned applications including the tools employees were paying for on their personal credit cards and then expensing for reimbursement. Before, Troller couldn’t see IT expenses less than $1,000, but that quickly changed. Integration and machine learning gleaned intelligence from the company’s financial management and resource planning system.
“Now I can see where we’re spending tens of thousands of dollars, so I know where there is room for us to negotiate better deals and how to strengthen security — starting with the most high-risk apps in use,” he explained.
A Cost-Effective Cloud
Informed by Tangoe One Cloud, Troller gained both retrospective and current-day insights. “After the pandemic, we went in every direction with web conferencing tools,” he said. Each department was still using different video collaboration platforms, even after the company had standardized on Microsoft Teams and Office365. A consolidation effort started immediately to address wasteful spending and security gaps.
Now, in addition to identifying money paid out on duplicate apps, Troller can also spot unused app licenses needing reallocation. He even has visibility into apps with contracts set to auto-renew, so he doesn’t miss the opportunity to either cancel services or negotiate better contract terms. “It picks up on colocation, network expenses, and cost allocations. Plus, it shows our total technology costs – not just inside the IT department but wherever spending occurs,” he added.
Recommendations give the IT team a targeted action plan to cut costs and get more value out of existing investments. By empowering his own leaders to track their SaaS costs in Tangoe One Cloud, Troller was able to reduce through attrition one IT Financial Analyst position. As a result, Troller realized a total of $347,000 in savings across both headcount and technology. Those dollars can now be reinvested in innovation, and the cost savings efforts continue as contracts come up for renewal. “This is just the beginning,” added Troller.
One of the biggest benefits is confidence. When Troller speaks with his peers, he knows he is giving them an accurate representation of the company’s complete technology footprint. “We all want to be transparent, but we can only be transparent about what we know,” he said. “When I couldn’t see all our spending, I wasn’t living up to my promise to be transparent. Now, I really can be.”