SaaS Procurement

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SaaS procurement

Software procurement doesn’t have to be a drain on your time or resources. Take back control of your procurement process with Vertice.

What is the SaaS procurement process?

SaaS procurement involves a series of steps that a company takes to subscribe to and deploy a new software solution. A well-executed software procurement cycle demands different skills to standard business procurement, as the purchased goods are not one-time, physical products — but digital solutions that each carry recurring costs.

The exact process of SaaS purchasing will vary between organizations, depending on the hierarchy of decision-making. However, it typically follows this general outline:

  • Identifying business requirements
  • Researching prospective tools
  • Negotiating with leverage
  • Onboarding the new software

What does effective SaaS procurement look like?

As today’s technological landscape continues to evolve at an accelerating pace, an effective software procurement process is critical for businesses seeking to enhance efficiency, productivity, and competitiveness. 

To ensure new software acquisitions deliver the intended benefits, SaaS procurement requires a well-defined process that takes several key factors into account, including:

  • Requirements assessment – At the outset, thorough consultation with stakeholders to identify the specific needs and objectives of the business is a must. Part of this includes considerations around consolidation-led vs best-of-breed software. Security requirements often necessitate best of breed, for example, while consolidation-led SaaS applications offer more comprehensive solutions in areas such as customer relationship management (CRM) and enterprise resource management (ERP).
  • Vendor analysis – Procurement teams will want to broadly evaluate the available services. Promising candidates can then be analyzed in more detail to see whether their product is likely to meet the needs of the business. It often helps to take a data-driven approach using various metrics in order to make informed decisions. When comparing solutions, things to consider might include potential ROI, competitiveness and cost savings, lead times, and vendor uptime and availability.
  • Security and compliance – Rigorous assessments of the vendor’s security should be made. Aspects to consider include data protection measures such as encryption standards and access controls. Further, how is the vendor equipped to mitigate potential attack surfaces, and what is their response time if an issue does arise? Procurement leaders must also consider whether the SaaS solution aligns with industry- or geography-specific requirements as well, like GDPR or HIPAA.
  • Budget and pricing – An accurate picture of the total cost of ownership (TCO) for a given SaaS product is vital. What’s the monthly subscription fee? Is it charged per seat, per hour, or per concurrent user? Are there any upfront costs or training expenses? Watch out for additional fees or hidden costs for extra services too. Of course, SaaS investments could reduce your business’s costs in the long run through operating efficiencies or a reduced tech footprint. It’s important to balance these potential benefits with your budget.
  • Contract negotiations – Working with the vendor and your legal team to devise a robust SaaS contract can ensure there are no unpleasant surprises following procurement. A clear and enforceable service-level agreement (SLA) should outline rights, responsibilities, termination clauses, and data ownership terms. Consider asking for the removal of any auto-renewals clauses so you’re better positioned as you near the end of the service lifecycle. Other contractual issues to consider include data security, indemnification, liability limitations, and dispute resolution mechanisms.
  • SaaS system of record – Once a purchase order has been accepted, it’s wise to set up a SaaS management platform or system of record (SSoR) if you don’t have one already. Such a tool gives you a top-down view of all your SaaS applications, helping you keep track of licenses, renewal dates, and overall expenditures, as well as utilization and performance of your solutions. The Vertice platform offers this functionality and can make your business more cost-effective.
  • Centralized procurement process – By letting a SaaS procurement platform such as Vertice handle your approval workflows, you can save time and money by streamlining the process and potentially receiving discounted pricing from your vendors.

The advantages of adopting SaaS procurement within your organization

A strong SaaS procurement process can yield numerous benefits. From SaaS spend management and optimization to reduced risk exposure to a more frictionless experience for your employees, robust software management procedures can unlock significant efficiencies and savings — both in time and money. Here are the key advantages of leveraging SaaS procurement with a platform such as Vertice:

  • Centralized management – With all your SaaS vendors managed within a single platform, it’s easy to manage multiple services and subscriptions. Vertice’s unified platform combines this benefit with greater cloud visibility across your environment, enabling you to holistically monitor all aspects of your solutions.
  • Efficient spending – With a clear picture of how your organization is using products, you can make sound financial decisions by reducing technology overlap or eliminating unused subscriptions. Furthermore, SaaS procurement software such as the Vertice platform can help you get the best price for your solutions by negotiating on your behalf whilst also aiding software spend management with expert cost-saving recommendations. 
  • Shadow IT mitigation – The use of shadow IT by employees is typically the result of shortcomings in your existing stack, either through visibility limitations or a shortfall in capability. With an effective SaaS procurement solution, it’s quicker to approve new software and tools that improve workforce efficiency, in turn reducing the use of unauthorized tech.
  • Vendor management – Under a centralized procurement platform, you can streamline processes surrounding vendor selection, evaluation, and contract management. Consistent performance monitoring through in-depth reporting means you can be sure you’re getting what you’re paying for, making vendor relationship management considerably easier.
  • Compliance and security – With greater understanding of your stack, your IT teams can more quickly be alerted to potential risks or attack vectors and better leverage the security measures of your SaaS providers. Closer monitoring of your vendors can help ensure compliance and regulatory requirements are met, or seamlessly remediate the situation where things fall short.
  • Renewals management – With the average company using more than 100 SaaS applications, staying on top of renewals can be burdensome. Underutilized tools and auto-renewal clauses can lead to wasted spend. With proper oversight of your SaaS licenses and renewal dates, you’ll ensure there’s no disruption to the services you do need and find opportunities to save on the services you don’t.
  • Agility and scalability – Part of the power of cloud-based services is the ability to grow or shrink based on users’ needs. By using a SaaS procurement platform such as Vertice, it’s easy to monitor your usage and make real-time adjustments to your solution so it meets your business requirements as they evolve. Likewise, new applications and features can be deployed at greater speed once you reach the later stages of your software procurement process.
  • User experience and adoption – With strong SaaS procurement processes in place, you’re more likely to select the ideal solution for your business needs, and those of your end-users. In turn, you’ll drive higher adoption rates along with improved productivity and employee satisfaction.
  • Integration and interoperability – Ease of communication between SaaS applications is a must, even if you’re using a consolidation-led solution. With a strong software procurement process, you can better integrate new tools with your existing IT infrastructure, and enable data exchange and workflow automation between different systems.
  • Analytics and insights – Centralized SaaS procurement and management can offer more detailed reporting and analysis so you can see how your tech stack is performing across your entire organization, empowering your strategic planning with data-driven decisions.
  • Risk mitigation – Along with reduction of shadow IT usage in your organization, risks associated with outdated or unsupported software can be minimized thanks to frequent patches and updates from your SaaS providers. Careful evaluation of contract terms can also diminish the risk of vendor lock-in.
  • Continuous improvement – Embracing strong SaaS procurement practices can encourage ongoing evaluation and optimization of your cloud stack, identifying potential areas for improvement. By choosing the right vendors, you’ll benefit from regular enhancements to your products plus greater uptime and improved support for your workforce.

Why work with a procurement partner?

For the average organization, SaaS procurement is a drain on time and resources. Without experience of the SaaS market, it can sometimes feel like you’re shooting in the dark to secure the best solutions for your business. This is when you need a procurement partner.

Vertice can manage the entire procurement process for your company. We help to assess business needs, liaise with sellers, inspect contracts, and negotiate. By leveraging our existing vendor relations, we secure deals that all parties stand to benefit from — with a lower cost, faster turnaround, and none of the hassle.

Modern organizations deploy more software products than ever before, and as SaaS costs continue to rise, you can no longer afford to lose time and money to inefficient procurement.

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Understand your SaaS needs

The crucial first step of the procurement process is to identify what your business needs from a given SaaS solution.

It may be that your marketing department has asked for a new sales intelligence tool, or HR needs a timesheet solution — or, an entire suite of collaboration tools may need replacing to better facilitate a remote workforce. Understanding your requirements can help direct your research toward new prospective tools.

Whatever your needs, Vertice can help you to understand what vendors are the best fit to provide you with fulfilling solutions.

Discover your portfolio's potential

Not only can Vertice assist you in procuring new software solutions, we also help you to gain full visibility into your existing SaaS stack. This way, you can see which tools are being used by which teams and make more informed procurement decisions.

This is a vital step toward efficient procurement, because there’s every chance that tools within your existing portfolio could fulfill one of your business needs.

By consolidating your software management into one convenient dashboard, Vertice can help you to unlock the potential of the SaaS already in your arsenal.

Negotiate with real leverage

When it comes time to purchase a new piece of software, the price you’re quoted isn’t always set in stone. Our expert team of negotiators help companies to pay less for their SaaS and ensure optimal contract terms.

As well as long-standing seller relations, we leverage pricing benchmarks from over 13,000 global software vendors — identifying discounts that have been offered to companies like yours that could be matched or beaten.

Our negotiators have years of experience from either side of the SaaS purchasing process — using strategies that ensure that our clients pay the lowest possible price.

Ensure smooth onboarding with new tools

Once you’ve selected your new software, you can begin the onboarding process across your organization. As well as training members of staff in new workflows and processes, you’ll want to consider:

  • Termination of legacy tools and contracts
  • Deletion or transfer of data
  • Documentation of new contract information
  • Ensuring compliance across new systems

To ensure a lean, compliant stack of secure SaaS tools, Vertice can help you to monitor usage across the organization and inspect and manage the terms of each contract.

Vertice in action

How we recently helped a technology company save big on their SaaS costs.

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Use our calculator to estimate how much time and money your business could save on SaaS by using Vertice.

Number of employees
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$181,481cost savings
466hours saved
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2hours saved
$181,492cost savings
468hours saved

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Ready to save 20% or more on SaaS?

Businesses spend over $150 billion annually on SaaS, across more than 15,000 software vendors. The odds are that you’re overpaying by as much as 20% per year for SaaS.

On top of that, buying, renewing, negotiating and managing your company’s SaaS stack are all major headaches.

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SaaS procurement FAQs