IT and Procurement: Your A-Team to Defeat SaaS Chaos

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This is a podcast episode titled, IT and Procurement: Your A-Team to Defeat SaaS Chaos. The summary for this episode is: <p>Is SaaS chaos reigning supreme in your organization? Don't go it alone. It takes a village — or rather, an A-team of cross-departmental champions. Hear from IT, SAM, and Procurement leaders as they unveil their winning strategies for collaboration. Learn how they broke down departmental silos and used their combined expertise to unlock transformative outcomes.</p><p><strong>Speaker(s):&nbsp;</strong></p><ul><li>Jim Josey, VP, Information Technology&nbsp; at QAD</li><li>Jessica Moser, Global Senior Procurement Manager at QAD</li></ul>
Transforming Chaos into Collaboration: The Zylo Effect at QAD
02:55 MIN
Streamlining Procurement with Zylo: A Team Effort
02:46 MIN
Maximizing SaaS Efficiency and Savings with Zylo
02:40 MIN
Maximizing Operations and Negotiations Through Consistent Efforts and Data
02:18 MIN

Jim Josey: Hi, thank you for joining. My name is Jim Josey. I'm VP of information technology at QAD. And we're here to discuss our journey of IT and procurement with Zylo. And I'm here with my colleague, Jessica Moser.

Jessica Moser: Hi, I'm Jessica Moser, senior manager of strategic procurement at QAD, and we're really excited to talk through our journey, how we've learned how to work together and how Zylo has helped us on that journey. So, we'll go over a quick session agenda. We're going to go through that journey and how we've contracted with Zylo to help us enhance our systems at QAD. So we'll first go through the SaaS chaos pre- Zylo, what we went through in that journey, the catalyst that we've had to work together, how that looks like now while we're streamlining and running well, we can go over some quick wins, and then three ways that we have boosted collaboration internally that we would recommend anybody to follow if they're looking to enhance their collaboration with Zylo.

Jim Josey: Okay. So, what we experienced pre- Zylo was... I don't think it's unfair to call it a bit of chaos. But we definitely had a fragmented contract management process. I often called it a Hansel and Gretel exercise of finding the contract, or determining who had the latest and greatest contract, so we definitely had that issue to deal with. We also had siloed and inaccurate information that was a consistent problem, with disconnected processes between IT, procurement, and finance.

Jim Josey: And one thing we didn't know we had a problem with, and something that it was exposed once we got Zylo, is we had very limited or no application utilization statistics. So, quite often we had to rely on users to tell us what was ultimately their subjective view on the application usage.

Jim Josey: And then finally, surprise renewals. This was particularly true of renewals that were not super material, generally things under 50K. They would often get overlooked. Oftentimes they may have been identified too late in the process to be canceled. I went through many situations where we literally had to eat the renewal, because we were past the contractual cancel period.

Jim Josey: So, these were some of the things we were dealing with pre- Zylo, and one of the reasons that we looked at them. So, Zylo was really a catalyst for us to work together. The finance organization was the ones that really brought Zylo to our attention, and we use this as a mechanism to really collaborate with various interested parties in the procurement process. This is where we wanted to start to collaborate with our finance team members, our procurement team members, and IT. So we all worked together, and Zylo really brought that platform to us that we could provide something for each stakeholder in the procurement process, in the renewal process. And that was really the key, I think, for Zylo, and how it really brought that single source of truth for us to work together. Anything you want to add there, Jessica?

Jessica Moser: Nothing really to add in this slide. It's a good transition into our next slide. So, as we started implementing Zylo and working together, I think the way that I really describe how we all work together is really like a relay race. So Jim, myself, Jim's team, my team, we all get together, and Zylo really helps us facilitate that conversation. Their platform that they use and the technology really helps us manage that, and also everybody on the team that's supporting our account, helps manage that.

Jessica Moser: So, they're almost like the moderators of the relay race, and also participants as well, because we heavily use our SaaS negotiator with them too. And so, weekly, we all meet together, they outline what we have coming up for renewal, they outline any kind of data deficiencies that we need to correct to help make sure our data is accurate in the system. They will identify what is coming up for renewal. Jim and team are experts on what that system is, what that application is, and they really know the strategic direction that we need to move into. They also know, in conjunction with the business unit, who we need to connect with and decide how we move forward with that. So from there, they start the relay race, they pass it on to our SaaS negotiator who really helps align with the strategic direction of the business. They work directly with the business, with IT with the vendor, and making sure that we get the best price and get what we need to complete that transaction, and then they hand it off to me and procurement and my team, and we run through, we make sure we have the proper contract terms, we make sure we have the proper approvals in place, we make sure that everybody's aware of this transaction, finance has approved, budgeting has approved, and then we ultimately get that contract signed and get that over to purchase orders. So, none of that would happen just with one team alone. I think it's really the conjunction of IT working together with the business unit, and then also Zylo really helping in the background facilitate that, and move that like a machine that's really help us. So, our weekly planning meetings really help, and just having that expertise between the two systems, and really making sure that we help the business unit get their request to the finish line. Collaboration wins.

Jessica Moser: So, since this is our first year using Zylo, we've just entered our second year using Zylo, we were able to achieve a heavy amount of savings in our first year. We had 85K year- over- year savings, and 200K in value- add savings. That was a huge win for us. We also really appreciated that Zylo and team recognized that the way that we classify savings was using a specific methodology, and they really aligned to those goals, which we really appreciated, and our executive leadership team really appreciated too, just their variability and molding to where we needed to be. So, those are huge wins. We have a lot of better visibility into the data, which has been really awesome. Like Jim mentioned, we have all the contracts in one place, which is really great. We can see expiring contracts. Our Zylo team make sure every year that we're looking far enough ahead so that we don't miss any of those renewals. Jim, anything else on here?

Jim Josey: Yeah, a couple of things I want to add. One, really want to focus a little bit on the application inventory. Once we were able to really visualize our inventory of SaaS applications, we were able to see overlap much more clearly. We were able to identify where we could consolidate applications. That's been a huge win. And in the first year, we've consolidated our application inventory, or reduced it, by a little over 10%. So, huge win there. Not on this slide, I really want to call out the importance of the workflow engine within Zylo. We've been able to utilize that quite effectively to recover licenses, and we tend to do this right before our renewal process. So we go out, we do a workflow, we identify users that are either not using a particular application or are using it very lightly. We're able to reduce some licenses, and we were able to generate some really good wins. And I don't think that would've been possible without a tool like Zylo.

Jessica Moser: I agree with that. I think one of the main highlights for Zylo that's been super helpful for us is identifying that license usage. We're able to see how much excess shelf- ware do we have, down to the application, down to the number of licenses, which has been super helpful for us. And the business really, really appreciates that kind of visibility. A lot of the vendors don't have that visibility on their end, nor are they going to tell you that you're over- purchasing licenses. So, we have been able to use that quite a bit and really refine our license number stack. And it's been super helpful, particularly with our sales organization, because they have a few different applications that they use to track sales metrics and information and leads and tooling, and so that's been super helpful for them, just to see how many licenses we have with them? How many are in use? How many can we downsize with? And our SaaS negotiator has done a phenomenal job as well. Those 85K in savings were actually all in one quarter. In the last quarter, it took a little bit of time for us to get up and running with our data. We've done a lot of internal system transitions, so she's done a phenomenal job. The business absolutely loves working with her, so it's been a really big win. And I don't want to discount those value- add savings, that's huge as well. So, that's all of your cost avoidance, that's all of your multi- year agreements in years two and three and beyond, so that's huge win as well. So, all around, it's been a really good experience for us.

Jim Josey: Okay. So really, just to summarize and restate, this is not without effort. It takes consistent approach to this. The weekly information sharing has really been key, as Jessica already mentioned. That's just a necessary effort that you need to put into this. It doesn't happen by magic. Having that centralized data source, single source of truth, bringing your contracts together, having the ability to see application usage, be able to run workflow on that, just really having those tools available has really made a big difference for us. And then the proactive planning goes hand in hand with the weekly information sharing, but looking ahead, being able to see your renewals coming up three, four months in advance, being able to plan for that, run your workflows against it, to see where you might be able to reduce some licenses, all of those combined, it takes a bit of effort, it takes consistency, but at least in our journey at QAD, it has really paid dividends. Anything to add there, Jessica?

Jessica Moser: Yeah. No, I agree with all of those points. So, it's been great. Our weekly meetings, we have our full team meeting, and then I also meet with our SaaS negotiator weekly, just to go through in detail some projects that we're working on. We do get some off- projects that are identified outside of Zylo, that Zylo does help negotiate as well, and that will go towards their savings too. Another highlight I want to add also is just the amount of data that Zylo has in their system to help us negotiate software costs is super beneficial for us too. They internally have a lot of data, and we have access to a fair amount of data too, and benchmarking. So, that's been super, super helpful, in working with our negotiator. But just really highlighting all of these, like the weekly meetings, the proactive planning has been great. We look out three to four months every week, but we will look out six to twelve on any of our larger renewals or anything that we have to early renew or any other projects that might be on the horizon, we'll make sure we identify those a little bit earlier on. And then just having that centralized data source is really helpful too. So, the tool is super user- friendly, really easy to use, a lot of great data. If you have a background in any kind of finance function like I do, you will really appreciate the data and the way that they display it on their platform. So, I think that's it. Anything else, Jim?

Jim Josey: Yeah, I don't think so. So, hopefully you found this information helpful. And with that, I think that's the end of our presentation, so thank you very much. Appreciate it.

Jessica Moser: Yep. Thank you. Feel free to reach out if you have any questions at all. We really appreciate you guys being here.


Is SaaS chaos reigning supreme in your organization? Don't go it alone. It takes a village — or rather, an A-team of cross-departmental champions. Hear from IT, SAM, and Procurement leaders as they unveil their winning strategies for collaboration. Learn how they broke down departmental silos and used their combined expertise to unlock transformative outcomes.


  • Jim Josey, VP, Information Technology  at QAD
  • Jessica Moser, Global Senior Procurement Manager at QAD