Oktane19: Unlocking Business Value with SaaS Engagement Data
Jody Shapiro: All right, thank you. Super excited to be here with a friend and colleague in Aash. We are super excited because this is actually the moment that we're launching the company, Productiv, yesterday, and so really excited to share lots of what's going on, but before I get into that, a little bit just about each one of us.
Jody Shapiro: So as mentioned, most recently, I was at Google for about nine years. I used to run Google Analytics Enterprise Business and led Google Analytics overall. It was approximately, well, I should be careful, a few hundred people working on that product, and anywhere else, it would be a free-standing public company, so really, a lot of interesting things there.
Jody Shapiro: Before that, always been doing technical products, engineering and product management, leadership positions at a number of different companies, and pretty passionate about data kinds of problems, really hard technical problems, and that's been to date, and that really is some of the impetus for why we got involved with deciding to do the current company, Productiv.
Aashish C: And hi, I'm Aashish Chandarana. I've been working in media all my career, very close to technology, but focused very much now on the partners that we have, both across our digital businesses and our enterprise within technology at FOX, and been working with Jody while they've been under the radar.
Jody Shapiro: In stealth for quite some time.
Aashish C: Yeah.
Jody Shapiro: So, here we are.
Jody Shapiro: Go through a few things today. First is just the state of SaaS. How did we get to where we are today? It's been a lot of changes in recent years. This new SaaS research, everyone's got copies as well that you can take home with you, but so talk through some of the interesting findings that were there.
Jody Shapiro: We'll learn quite a bit in terms of what's happened for FOX and share a little bit about a new analytics solution, the Productiv platform, give you kind of a sneak peek of what that's all about.
Jody Shapiro: So with that said, let's just jump into it.
Jody Shapiro: If we go back and think about sort of how did we get here? Go back 20 years ago, what was software? It was still shrink-wrapped software. It was still version software, might get updated every couple of years. It was a simpler world, and then Salesforce came along, really the pioneer 20 years ago now, it's kinda hard to think about now, as software as a service, software in the cloud, and it was pretty interestingly disruptive in many ways, right?
Jody Shapiro: So we didn't have compact discs being shipped around or big downloads that were occurring. We, in the world now where software is being updated pretty regularly, the pricing changed. The software delivery mechanisms changed. The ways that we used it all changed. Many, many good things happening here, but at the same time, really what changed for IT, a lot of good innovations here, but it wasn't radically disruptive, so many of the benefits and many more companies coming on the market doing this in those years since ... to where are we today, where we have a phenomenal number of applications available to us, literally tens of thousands of applications, many more logos than even just here as we know, for every particular category, for every particular function, so many applications available, and what's the interesting challenge is that we have actually moved from a world where historically, we might have had 10 applications, 20 applications to worlds where we have hundreds of applications in use, and this has actually become really, a fascinating challenge.
Jody Shapiro: I'm sure many folks in the audience would agree just in terms of your own experiences here. It was a simpler world when we only had 10 applications. If you went to a CIO 10 years ago and said, "What software do we use in the organization?" It would be a pretty straightforward conversation. "This is vendor number one, number two, number three. I know exactly what I purchased. I know what I paid for it. I know how long that deal is for. I know the exact version of the software that I purchased."
Jody Shapiro: All those systems, all those ways of doing things have changed pretty radically now that we're in these worlds of having so many applications out there. And particularly in an enterprise, this winds up being an incredibly large challenge, right? These are organizations with tens of thousands of employees. Really, what does that mean? What are all these different people are buying? What are they using? How does all this work? And the other really big change that's occurred here is that the business units have a real say in things, so it's no longer a world where the centralized IT team is deciding, "I'm gonna go out. I'm gonna evaluate what vendors are there. I'm gonna wind up picking the set that we're gonna have, and we're gonna procure it. I'm going to purchase it. I'm going to deploy it. I'm going to operate it."
Jody Shapiro: Yes, those things are still at play, but all of the SaaS vendors have now gone directly into the business units and are offering so many more choices, could be to the design team, to the marketing team, to the sales teams, where they are now not just recipients of the software, but they actually, in a very good way, are true stakeholders in this scenario.
Jody Shapiro: So, really picking, "What is a good tool for us? I have many choices," and this has now shifted very much so to being a collaboration between the business unit and the centralized IT function, keeping in mind, there's so much opportunity for the two of them to work together. So the paradigm has shifted, in some ways disruptive, but in many ways, actually creating tremendous opportunity for the business as a whole.
Jody Shapiro: I'm sure, Aash, you've seen some of the similar things.
Aashish C: Yeah, no, 100%. I think your point about where these products are now being sold is really key to this, actually, because gone are the days where you go and sit in front of the CIO, or a CTO as it is nowadays, and like SurveyMonkey, probably in most of the businesses I've worked, was introduced by someone that had signed up on a credit card without any involvement from anyone in technology.
Aashish C: That's not to say that's a bad thing. It's a great platform, but actually, these are the challenges that we're getting in this complete proliferation of apps.
Jody Shapiro: Absolutely.
Jody Shapiro: So the other key change here, and again, Aash, you've seen this firsthand, is this element that the enterprise has gone SaaS. Okta, our friends hosting this wonderful event, just came out with some recent research that just in their own customer base, and they're segmenting here by large companies and small companies, large companies in the yellow orange, 2,000 or more employees. The average enterprise in 2018 has 129 Okta-integrated applications. Which means there's even more applications that play in the organization, but even 129 is a pretty good set of applications. That's a not-small number.
Aashish C: I wish we had 129 applications. I think the reality for us, and it's been a really interesting time for FOX, we've just come out of a transaction where the previous incarnation of the company, we merged a significant portion of that into Disney in the last few weeks, which completed. But as part of that we've really seen the overall size of our estate, actually.
Aashish C: And it's unique in the sense that you don't normally get that opportunity to sit down and really take a look at what you do have. Also, rationalize what do you need and where do you want to end up going forward. I think it kind of touches a bit on what I said before, the 129 is an interesting number, it's the 129 that you know about. I think there's also the unknown unknowns [crosstalk 00:07:24]
Jody Shapiro: That's right.
Aashish C: Within all of that. But, I think the broader thing with the 129 is that they all may be providing value, but understanding how they're providing value in the organization is getting more and more challenging in each area. Even if they are deployed and managed and procured in ways that you kind of want, I think that's the real issue that we're finding. Everybody's got an inconsistent approach from a vendor or partner perspective in what they're sharing with us and how they're sharing with us and how they're pricing it. So actually understanding the real impact on the business is the true challenge.
Jody Shapiro: Absolutely, and it's something we've seen, certainly in our working relationship, but also many of the other CIOs we work with, is just saying "We have so many of these applications." It's actually a good thing again, right? We want to be deliberate about this, we like the fact that there's so much more choice out there, but the enterprise has gone SaaS. And it's changing, again, we see just in Okta's own data, changing pretty rapidly and pretty significantly. I have yet to hear one CIO say, "Oh, we're moving from X to a much smaller number."
Jody Shapiro: Maybe in some cases where there's very clear de-duplication happening.
Aashish C: Yeah, I think, just going back to the exercise we've been through, we're definitely starting to consolidate around platforms that these applications operate on. I think force.com's a great example of those kind of smaller hundreds of apps that you may have had before kind of now all sit on one common platform or core that we can then go off and do things around.
Aashish C: But, no, I think it's a very fair point. The new thing comes along and everybody wants it now and deployed and, you know, out there.
Jody Shapiro: That's right, that's right. So this kind of ties in to this exact question, which is, there's so much investment in SaaS, and as these organizations are moving more and more rapidly, more and more heavily into SaaS, so the first-order question is just, what is our investment?
Jody Shapiro: So there's a certain set of things, again, historically, that we can all easily see. "I know I have a Microsoft contract, I have a sense of how big that is, I know what we're doing with them. I might have, again, some other large vendors. But really, what is the full set of applications we have? All the things we're spending money on?" And asking the further questions about "What do I have in terms of what is the set of applications? What am I spending? What are all the things that might not be obvious that I'm spending?"
Jody Shapiro: But there's such an inability consistently to understand just what is actually our investment in SaaS because it's important and it's a growing percentage of where we spend time operationally, where we spend dollars, where we spend energy is acquiring, renewing, et cetera, the whole strategy.
Aashish C: I think this is a key area, and one that's becoming more and more challenging for companies as we broaden the application estate, right? So there's no one consistent model. I think if we go back to that 20 years ago and SaaS and it was going to deliver so much, and we all talked about utility. I'm only going to pay for what I use.
Aashish C: I think in reality, we all know that actually hasn't happened in most areas. So typically what happens is you go in to buy something, you're asked to project for the next three years what you're going to use, you kind of commit to it. You get two and a half years down that lifecycle, you kind of think, "Oh god, we've got to renew this. Oh no, we weren't using as much." In the end, you've run out of time so you can't really replace it or rip it out, so you do another deal, but you kind of end up in that perpetual thing where, "Okay, well, they've thrown in a bunch of extra stuff now," but then you go back into that cycle again. Is that extra stuff being used? Who's using it? Why are we using it? What's the benefit it's really deriving?
Aashish C: So I think that's one element of it from the investment side. I think the other piece that really gets overlooked, and I think you're probably going to touch on this in a bit, is investment isn't the only lens on these things. Sure, it's a really important one, because no one, I'm sure is sitting here with a CFO saying, "Have a blank checkbook, go and buy what you want."
Aashish C: But you've got to look at these from multiple different facets. We've never had that opportunity to overlay that kind of information and data, and I think what you guys are talking about is really taking us in that direction.
Jody Shapiro: Absolutely. And so this next question, beyond just, "Do I understand the investment side?" is the return side, right? The CFO question is not just, "don't spend money." It's "spend money smartly, be capital efficient, let's make sure that we're getting the return out of it." And historically, this is so, so hard to do, because again, why are we investing all these energies, why are we investing all this money, purchasing all this software? There's a larger goal at play here, which says, "we should be expecting a return from all of our investments, we should be getting all those exciting things that we talked about with the vendor, we're going to be able to collaborate more easily, we're going to be able to do any number of things more effectively, more efficiently, as a larger organization."
Jody Shapiro: You come back around and what do we see later is, "I know what I spent, because I can see those invoices going out. It's really hard to answer this return question."
Aashish C: No, and I think that's the real thing for us. So we, at our company, I wouldn't say we're fans of shadow IT, but we kind of respect it. And we think, if it kind of needs to exist it means we're missing something, or we haven't quite got something right. So I think when we did, we deployed Slack to every employee in the company just over two years ago, and when we looked at it, I think we had about 25% of the overall population were already using it in their jobs, albeit through a free model or through paid or on someone's credit card or someone had done an enterprise deal here.
Aashish C: We made the decision to kind of roll it out beyond that, because collaboration only really exists if everybody's got access to the platform, right? Can't have it in a microcosm, in the corner. But, you know, the first question we got asked was not about how much did we spend on it, it was just like, "but how many people are using it? What's the impact on my business?"
Aashish C: And that's a CEO, COO kind of question. It's not only to the CIO and CTO that those questions are being posed, but it's, "has this improved sales productivity? Has this improved how we're responding to customers?" All those kinds of things. And I think when you start to see those two sides to every conversation it gives you a very, very different answer.
Jody Shapiro: Absolutely, because, to your point, these are C-level investments, [crosstalk 00:13:56] right?
Aashish C: Yeah.
Jody Shapiro: We're making the investment [crosstalk 00:13:58], let's make sure that, again, the multi-year return is there as well.
Jody Shapiro: So some interesting research. Pulse Q&A went out and surveyed over 100 IT executives. These are 5000 or more employee companies, so really, we think about it as SaaS is sort of penetrating the enterprise, the enterprises are moving SaaS. This is a pretty good set of IT executives answering pretty candidly what are some of the challenges, what are they seeing, how are they thinking about it?
Jody Shapiro: And I thought it was pretty interesting. I think you'll find it interesting as well. First area was just around, okay, so this move to SaaS is happening. 55% of executives believing we're going to be on SaaS by the end of 2020, excuse me, the majority of the applications on SaaS by the end of 2020, and that's just the proof point. If we go back to what that Okta slide was, we can kind of almost predict what the next few rows are going to be for coming years. This is, I think, a pretty powerful and interesting and good thing, which says as these organizations are making these decisions, "SaaS is a good thing, there's all these benefits," they're starting to move pretty heavily in those directions to a point where we will be a SaaS-heavy or SaaS-only organization in a relatively short period of time. This is just seven quarters away from now. It's not in the indefinite future.
Aashish C: No, and I think the thing that scares me is the kind of, the 42% at the moment actually, probably a bit more. It's an interesting journey to go on. I think if you take each application in isolation as a business case almost, it's never going to stand up as the way to do things, because you've kind of got to route your entire enterprise to operate in a different way.
Aashish C: I think once you make that leap though, I think you see all the non-tangible returns, other than the finance piece that we talked about. I think from our perspective we were definitely in the 50-75% category prior to the close of this deal, and we intend to be in that 4% category now within 12 months, where it is literally everything will be a SaaS-based platform. That's definitely on our enterprise side. We still have some legacy stuff that we deal with on the broadcast side, but we kind of track that separately.
Jody Shapiro: That's pretty impressive in terms of just speed of historical moving and then really picking it up another [crosstalk 00:16:20] notch going forward.
Aashish C: I think we saw this as a real opportunity to route all our enterprise. So, for a significant portion of what we're trying to do, we've gone with zero legacy, a complete green field on how we launch it. So we're putting in a brand new financial system, we're partnering with our colleagues in finance, and we're not taking legacy workflows and things. We're building it from the ground up on how you would build a modern company. I think coupled with the strategy that we already had in place, which I think was very neatly displayed on the billboards across the street, a few of my colleagues are worried about where they took the idea from. I think that puts us in a really healthy position.
Aashish C: I think the ultimate thing for us is, we're not creating technology for technology's sake. People talk about the consumerization of the enterprise. It's not just consumerization from the point of view of how people use things, but we care about it on ... we want to track the way our employees and our colleagues work, in the same way that we track our customers. So we look at daily active usage, is this platform deriving value, is it making your job easier? Actually, ultimately what we really care about are is the content that our fantastic creative partners are making everyday getting to the customers that want to consume it? And actually, everything that we do has got to have an impact on that. We're not a tech company, we're a creative business at heart, and we intend to be for a long time. Everything we do wants to really drive that ambition. So what can we do to get there?
Jody Shapiro: Absolutely. This is going to the point the shadow IT question you mentioned a moment again. Again, whole bunch of IT executives, this is an uncomfortable question to be asked, right?
Jody Shapiro: Do you actually have confidence in the set of applications being used in the company? Nobody wants to be in the position of saying, "well, not really," right, because the immediate next question is, "how can you not be? Who's running things?" And yet, pretty candidly admitting, "we know there's a lot of stuff that we don't know about." That sort of question in itself is uncomfortable. The next question is, "is that okay?" No.
Jody Shapiro: It is fairly widely recognized as a CIO, as an IT executive, we may be in a world where there's all these, you know, shadow IT has come into the organization, I've had business units buying different things on their own, but going forward, the world cannot be one of complete decentralization, fragmentation. We're not going to be in a world where you can just make an end run around IT. You have to work with IT. There will be a state of things being managed.
Aashish C: Yeah, I just think you've nailed that one.
Jody Shapiro: Yeah, right? If you disagreed, I would be worried.
Aashish C: Yeah, that'll be fine.
Jody Shapiro: And so the next question is, so how are you doing this today? What are the systems in play? And the not great reality, I would expect fairly familiar to a number of folks here as well, is, it sort of isn't really a great system, right? It's manual. It's spreadsheets. It's, "where's the Dropbox contract?" "Well, it's in somebody's email. Oh no that person's email, they have the previous draft of it."
Jody Shapiro: There's no place that all this lives. It's just all manual systems. And again, we know these are not perfect systems of doing it, but they fall over worse and worse as we go from 20 applications to 30 to 50 to 100 and beyond, and so there has to be a better solution here as the complexity of the organization is increasing.
Aashish C: This was a really important thing for us. I think we were quite early on the Software as a Service curve, and I think in the early days as you kind of had very big deployments of SaaS applications, it was relatively straightforward to kind of manage, but as you've seen this proliferation ... I think the other thing is, where, I think it's great if you've got one team managing everything. We have a lot more of a kind of collaborative, federative model, especially where you have international businesses. So you've got in-territory and region, but you've kind of got these big corporate deals done to try and kind of gather demand. But then you've got someone over here buying licenses that doesn't know that we've got licenses over here. And you kind of end up with these huge pockets and problems, which, when you come to kind of do these deals again, it's like, the size of the relationship's going down, so those partners tend to be less interested in driving the conversation forward.
Aashish C: The other point here is actually understanding from a security standpoint what we have got and what we have got deployed.
Jody Shapiro: Absolutely.
Aashish C: Not that this is your kind of foremost tool for that. But, you know, these were, for us, there were bits of this living in service now, there are bits of it in people's email, there are bits of it, I think Okta's a great example that knits it together, but it's, is that the real layer that you should be using to try to identify what you've got? Probably not.
Jody Shapiro: And, I think you sort of naturally tease up to this next question, which is, what does it even mean when we say managing SaaS applications?
Jody Shapiro: So, kind of breaking it down, saying, 61% of people are saying, "yeah, I feel like I have a decent sense of all the licenses that I've purchased, right, one way or another, I can get back to what have we bought." Really being what I would understand application discovery, only 41% saying, "I feel like we have a reasonable handle on that," and then there's a whole bunch of additional things which we think are pretty valuable in terms of, not just, "have I bought the right software and have I purchased the right number of licenses and am I using them?" But really getting much, much deeper into understanding application engagement.
Jody Shapiro: "All the contracts I have, are they right-sized, do they make sense for actually what we're going to wind up using? Am I able to connect pieces of this back to the value, the actual employee productivity, the whole purpose for which we purchased the software?" The numbers are pretty low. Even more so when you dial it down further to say, "do you have real-time data on this?" In many cases, my conversations, and I think in a similar sense for some of the exercises you guys were doing for, it was incredibly manual and incredibly painful. So it's not a question of, "I can ask at any given moment, what do we have for a particular vendor? Where are we on that contract usage? How is it being utilized?"
Aashish C: Yeah, I think it's probably fair to say before we started working with you ... I think the key for us was the engagement and productivity piece. These were highly strategic decisions, not just built around tech for tech's sake, or modernization. We really wanted to unlock productivity and engagement and modernize the workplace. I think we were trying to track daily active usage. And I think there's a modern set of partners that you shared on your first slide that will definitely give you that kind of metric and that kind of numbers. Some are getting into real-time. Others were very much, "it's not even available on our console, we have to manually crunch it." But we ended up having, I think, sort of two warm bodies working on this, and we'd deliver a monthly report 10 days into the month for the previous month. And it wasn't really indicative of where it's going or trying to understand patterns of why behavior exists or where you might need to do something better or differently.
Aashish C: So I think that's great. I think, it scares me that there are still partners out there that claim that their Software as a Service ... I was in a room with someone the other day and I asked, I said, "when do we get to the point where we can get daily usage numbers?" And they said, "well, we have access to that internally." I was like, "well, I'm the customer that's paying here, is there any chance we could have access to them, you know?"
Aashish C: So, I think those two categories are really important. I think all the other areas fall naturally into everything after that, but if you really do care about treating your employees or your colleagues as customers and giving them the best channels to succeed, I think you've got to focus on those two areas.
Jody Shapiro: Yeah, that's good. The other question was posed of, there's all these applications that are being used in the organization. As we think about some of the most expensive applications, do we feel like we've got them right-sized?
Jody Shapiro: Some pretty consistent patterns came back of, "yeah, I feel like I don't have enough information to have a productive conversation with that vendor about what have we bought, and are we getting everything we'd hoped from it," both in the context of, "have I bought too much or have I bought too little?" But also, "are we even using as much as we had hoped to, and what can we do about that?"
Jody Shapiro: I know you guys have had some thoughts here.
Aashish C: Yeah, no, this is the kind of key for us. I think some of these, they're very different. So I was just looking at the partners. I've worked with all of those partners on there in varying points in the last five years. I think it's a real issue. Especially when you're committing upfront to three years. But there are some of these which, it kind of makes sense, where if you're looking into Salesforce, there's a lot of product lines in that, and you're licensed in some areas around certain bits of your business, which makes sense. And that business strategy might change, and you may need to right-size. And I think they've generally been a very strong partner of ours.
Aashish C: I think the ones that really fall foul in this list, without kind of naming names, is where ... look. I know exactly how many employees I've got. Why am I paying for one and a half times the number of employees or why have I got 20% of that and 50% of that and ... no transparency on this. I think we need to take a step back in some of these areas. Everything's designed around a skew and an internal metric that a sales teams' got to hit. I think if you were slung to be a bit more customer-focused actually, which is what I hope, because that's what I want to be for the platforms we're buying and deploying. I think we'd like to see a real shift in that area, and hopefully this kind of ... you know, one of our tenets internally is being transparent to all our partners, be that our colleagues in finance or legal or our creative partners, or the employees, in what we do and how we deploy. And I think it's only reasonable to expect that back [crosstalk 00:26:19] from our partners, to be fair.
Jody Shapiro: So you've touched on some elements here, but I thought maybe it'd just be helpful to give a bigger picture of -
Aashish C: Yeah, I think it's been an interesting sort of 24 months, sort of nearly 30 months since we took a bit of a step-change at FOX. I think enabling collaboration was a really key thing for our executive team. 21st Century FOX as it was then was about 55,000-60,000 people all around the world. The company was largely born out of significant acquisitions, you know, Rupert Murdoch launched it with one newspaper, 50-60 years ago, to build out effectively what became two companies in NewsCorp and FOX with a significant number of brands and propositions.
Aashish C: When you look into those businesses, and they were deliberately kind of built that way, because they're acquired and left to run themselves, there's an awful lot of things that were common, be that the way that we produce content in certain areas, be that they way that we sell, be that the way we manage our distribution or our partners. And I think it was really unlocking that value at the ground level. I think collaboration's a great word, that we're all going to work together, and that's great when you're sitting around an executive table. Kind of getting it happening on the ground's a real challenge. So for us enabling collaboration was definitely a significant piece.
Aashish C: I think the platforms that we had in place probably prevented that, or the way they were deployed definitely prevented it. So that's definitely been a key thing for us. I think that's where you start to see, I think Slack's being a huge, huge opportunity for us. But again, it's not just about deploying these things. It's about making sure people are using them, that we've got the use-cases that really drive the business forward, and make sure that people ... you know, it's one thing to be able to use Slack for chat. It would be great if I could request my leave or approve work data, whatever it might be within that, to really get to where I need to get to.
Aashish C: I think the other things on here are kind of important to us, but they're definitely not the primary drivers. I think the collaboration piece was key. I think we underestimated how much of a disservice we definitely did to our production colleagues and our creative partners, actually, where it was effectively the same tool set you've had for 25+ years, wasn't really cutting the mustard. Just the thought of putting Slack into a live sports scenario, right? We ran the significant portion of our output throughout the day on Fox Sports 1, Fox Sports 2 last year during the FIFA World Cup, was the production teams on Slack between Moscow and LA. And we were producing remotely, you know, our talent was out in Moscow. We had a core operation out there at the International Broadcast Center, but the real production was happening in LA with remote production. But that real-time capability was unbelievable.
Aashish C: So that's been a real key story for us. I think the challenges are, how do you get people off the old stuff? You know, you've still got a subset of colleagues who don't live that kind of life, who are sitting primarily in an office at the same desk everyday, doing a variety of things but making sure that they have what they need to drive that forward.
Aashish C: I think wrapped around this is obviously the whole security layer that is mission critical for a company like ours. I won't go into any details, but you know, there's a lot of people interested in what we're producing, how we produce it, and I think the very impact of losing some of that stuff ahead of schedule has material impact on the value of the company. And the way your shareholders, investors receive you.
Aashish C: So that's kind of been the key driver around this. Simplifying it, making it really fit for purpose, modern, and really enabling our colleagues to go out and be what they need to be to achieve what we want as a company.
Jody Shapiro: And, to your point, this very deliberate strategy of, "which tools do we want to use?" It's not being decided on a per-tool basis, it's almost being decided at a portfolio basis of-
Aashish C: Yeah, it is. So we do believe in a best in class strategy. We're not frightened to say to certain partners, "look, we think you're weak in this area. We're going to go in a different direction. That doesn't mean you lose the other business, or what it might be." But we do have this best in class approach, where we think we know who sits in which kind of box for us. We think there are multiple opportunities in each of those, which keeps competition healthy and price kind of asymmetric for us. But we like to go deep with partners, especially with partners who've specialized in certain areas. I think some of the bigger players are really, really good at some things but not so good at other things. And I think getting them to understand that and play really nicely.
Aashish C: I think one of the things we're now talking about a lot more when we go to market, and we're doing this at the moment, is being very clear that this is how we view the world, and we're more than happy to work with you in this, but you've got to respect that this is our strategy and this is what we're going to do. You can't come into the room and say, "well, if you bought my product, it would've worked better," kind of thing. That's kind of how we see the UK system.
Jody Shapiro: It makes sense.
Jody Shapiro: And so we have been working together quite a bit, tackling a bunch of elements of this larger strategy. I mentioned earlier that before doing this I was at Google, I was running Google Analytics and had built its enterprise business. The key observation that I had was around application engagement data really being something that was missing, that was interesting and very, very powerful in a business context. And in a marketing context, Google Analytics is the platform of choice. It is what is used by every marketer, every CMO, to understand the entire customer journey, from first interaction with your customer all the way through the process of them becoming a customer, and then the ongoing interaction and engagement with them. And that has radically transformed the field of marketing in recent years, as there's been so much data available. The modern CMO is very much a data-driven marketer, and is incredibly powerful and efficient in their role because of the role the data plays.
Jody Shapiro: And in an IT context, observation of, this isn't there. It should be there. Initially, kind of looking at saying, "why isn't it there?" We believe that Productiv is actually going to be this exact same solution, the platform by which you understand how all of the employees in an organization are engaging with all the applications. How are people getting their work done? The entire employee journey, if we will, as an analogy of the customer journey, has to be understood. And it's a complex journey, because it's going to span multiple tools, it's going to span multiple groups of people. But the whole way that work is being done is on all these massive investments in software that we have made. Let's make sure we get the return side out of it as well.
Aashish C: It's just crazy that we treat consumers and people that work for us in a very, very different way, [crosstalk 00:33:41] don't you think? Just absolutely making sure they need what they want to be effective is, I mean, it's going to be the core mission of why you're putting those tools out there.
Jody Shapiro: That's right.
Jody Shapiro: So, I'll give you just a few ways that we've been thinking about it. We've got a booth down at the Expo Hall. Come by, you can see more of it, and happy to give you a demo and go deeper in conversation. But just kind of frame out how both we see it from a software platform standpoint, but really heavily, heavily influenced by many CIO conversations.
Jody Shapiro: The first need is just one of discovery. We talked about this earlier, of, "what are all the applications I have in my organization? How do I get that in one place?" We wind up doing that by bringing in a number of different data sources and joining and bringing it all together. So you've got deep connectors where we go have a productive connector that connects to the individual applications. We connect with your SSO, so your Okta, connect with other systems, so bring in your financial data and expense management data, to really get this whole comprehensive view of everything, where, "I know the seven-figure contract we're spending," and on the other end of the spectrum, "I want to see all the things that are going onto AmEx cards and are in the organization I should at least be aware of and have an opinion on."
Jody Shapiro: But really, getting that one view of everything at play. The next step is really starting to drill in to ask this question, it's not just "what software did I buy," and it's not just "how many licenses did I buy," it's not even just how many licenses have I provisioned," but really getting much, much deeper into understanding "how is the software being used?"
Jody Shapiro: So, again, there's things that are in my contract. "This is what I paid for. This is the kind of software, this is the tier of software that I bought. Here's the license mix, if it's a more complicated product." But really translating that into, "how is it actually being used such that I can understand," one. Two, go in and say, at time of an application renewal, "should we renew this, should we be doubling down even more here, should we be adjusting things, moving things around?"
Jody Shapiro: These are important questions and, historically, there just isn't that data. And you were making reference to this earlier, of having this vendor conversation of, how do you have a transparent conversation where we're all operating off of the same metrics and data?
Aashish C: I think this is a really interesting example, actually, because when you guys plugged into all our relevant APIs, I think one of the questions we were asked was, "why have we got Zoom and we're also paying for something they believe they compete with, or believe they compete with Zoom?" And was deployed and turned on, it was one of those things that came free with the broader suite of products. And then we looked at the numbers where we had about 80% of people who'd had Zoom and used it were using it every day or every week, I can't remember the exact metric. And then we looked at the overall use-base of the other product, which had been there for three years and deployed, and less than 1% of people had actually even logged in. That was the real story for us. It's like, "this is the right bet. That was the wrong bet."
Jody Shapiro: Yep.
Aashish C: And, absolutely, we should double down on this.
Jody Shapiro: That's right.
Aashish C: And drive it forward.
Jody Shapiro: Yeah, and even these question of asking, you know, beyond just, is it even being used, to go deeper into, "how is it being used? Are we screen-sharing? Are people dialing in from laptops? Is it ZoomRoom usage? Should we be converting more meeting rooms into ZoomRooms?" [crosstalk 00:37:08] All these kinds of kinds of questions. You want data, because you'd love to go back to Zoom and say, "we're all in. We're going to do even more." Have that understanding.
Jody Shapiro: There's other scenarios where you want to de-provision stuff. Software that's not being used at all that you're paying for, or that you're likely to tip over and wind up in a true-up conversation. Multiple license tiers, I have expensive variant, and people aren't using the features in that, how do I move them to a less expensive variant? We think it's really important not just that you can understand it, but the automation piece there. So we've built the functionality where you can go and do this ad-hoc, to pick a particular group of users and say, de-provision, or downgrade them to something else, but also the ability to automate all that stuff.
Jody Shapiro: And again, come by, we'll show you more of what we're doing.
Jody Shapiro: This third piece is, and you can probably see some of my Google Analytics DNA shining through here. This is really going down to saying, we're really trying to understand what are people doing day to day? How is the software actually being used? And the very first principle of any analytics initiative, or in a marketing analytics initiative, is segmentation, to really start drilling in there and to say, "how are different teams using it? How are different locations using this? Is video-conferencing being used very heavily by the New York and LA teams, but the London team is not using it as much as we thought? Why is that?" To drill into, again, all the sort of different ways of things.
Jody Shapiro: For us, this is a data problem. This is an analytics problem. There's many ways to surface that data. There's many ways to show it and to interpret it, et cetera, but the crux of it is, "I need to understand things not just at a contract level, not just at a license level. I need to understand things at an engagement and interaction level."
Jody Shapiro: And the last area, this kind of touches again back onto, "what are the C-level conversations that we're having?" In many cases it's things that the crux of it are like, "how are people actually working together?" So, classic example, I'm sure familiar to many folks in the room, is, one way or another, we wound up with Box and Dropbox and we also get OneDrive and we get SharePoint and we've got, some other people have Google Drive, et cetera. But it's very, very common for there to be these multiple application scenarios. And you want to ask that question, "who are the people that are using different things, and is it actually completely disjoined populations? Is it the same people that are on multiple tools?" To really understand, how is work getting done?
Jody Shapiro: If I were just sort of to ask, you know, amongst the organization, "hey, is anybody using Tool X?" Invariably, people are going to raise their hands. You could again go look at, you know, the Okta data and try to learn some stuff there, but you really need to get much, much deeper to understand where is their overlap, or if there's not a lot of overlap, that means we actually have a collaboration problem, these two teams are not working together, and if part of our goal was collaboration, let's de-bug that, let's understand it.
Jody Shapiro: Relatedly is even just a geographic distribution of like, what is the set of tools that people are using in one area versus another? If we were going to ask the Zoom question, which offices are meeting most predominantly with other offices? How are they meeting? All these kinds of questions you're only going to be able to answer with very deep engagement data versus very, very high-level data.
Jody Shapiro: So that's really a lot of how we've been thinking about this, which is putting it all back together into a four-piece framework, which says: the first step is all about just discovery, like, how do I understand the larger portfolio at play? There should be no questions and no surprises. The shadow IT question should be known and managed versus unknown. The second question is just going through, I have a set of applications, as I'm coming up onto contract renewals or within the confines of the existing contract, how do I get the most value out of that contract or that renewal? Really, again, being driven by very granular data that truly informs me and helps me have a data-driven conversation with a vendor. The third area, just around very, very deep engagement data to understand how are people using these tools towards the larger goal of productivity? There is a reason that we've made all the investments that ... we're in this framework, the green side is, we've made all these investments, how do I run a tight ship there to get cost efficiency? But the larger purpose is to get the return, which is all the blue areas of things. So where is the productivity in the organization? Where do we see it, how do we grow it?
Jody Shapiro: It's been a tremendous opportunity working together with FOX, such a mature and fresh approach to solving these problems at scale, and really appreciate Aash, you coming and [crosstalk 00:41:39] sharing all the insights and little bit of behind the scenes of how you guys have been making decisions.
Aashish C: And we're hiring, by the way, if anyone's looking. Take advantage of that.
Jody Shapiro: We are too. Different people though. [crosstalk 00:41:51] We'll trade.
Aashish C: There we are.
Jody Shapiro: Yeah, super excited about all the stuff we're doing. As I mentioned, we just launched yesterday here at Oktane. Come see us, I would love to show you more of what we're doing, chance to meet some folks on the team, and I would love to hear which part's interesting for you and if there's things that we're not yet doing, what those would be, and maybe we should be doing them. So, thank you.
Jody Shapiro, the former global head of the Google Analytics’ enterprise business, and Paul Cheesbrough, CTO at FOX, will discuss how companies are addressing SaaS application right sizing and engagement to unlock employee productivity. The discussion will be based around a new CIO research report on these topics, and session attendees will receive a free copy of that report. This session is relevant for CIO, CTO and IT Directors responsible for SaaS application strategies, management and costs.