Have you ever experienced the frustration of incurring unnecessary expenses due to missed renewal deadlines?
Most businesses experience it often, especially when their SaaS stack contains 100+ applications.
Here’s what happened to one of our customers,
They are a popular crowdfunding platform that uses 100s of SaaS applications. Their team wasn’t satisfied with one particular SaaS app. They wanted to end the contract and migrate to a new application.
But unfortunately, they missed the renewal deadline, resulting in an automatic renewal of the contract costing unnecessary spending. Even though they're unsatisfied with the app, they have no other choice but continue using it until the end of the renewal period.
Yes, a missed SaaS renewal can have negative consequences. It can be frustrating and lead to increased SaaS spending without you realizing it.
Staying ahead of SaaS contract renewals has become a priority for businesses, especially in this inflated market. They are adopting contract management systems like CloudEagle to manage SaaS renewals as we speak.
Making your SaaS renewal process a priority can lead to savings in SaaS spend. This article will delve into the specifics of how CloudEagle can automate your SaaS renewal strategy.
What is a SaaS renewal process?
It is a string of activities followed by a business's IT or finance teams that leads to renewing the subscription. It usually involves analyzing application usage, assessing its value to the team, negotiating the terms to optimize the subscription, and ultimately renewing the contract for another term.
Yes, the process seems simple.
Most businesses do not adhere to this practice. Instead, they use spreadsheets to monitor their agreements and renewals. Unfortunately, this leads to them missing the renewal deadlines.
What businesses need is a centralized SaaS management platform to automate renewal reminders. One of our customers used a centralized platform to automate SaaS renewals, here’s how they did it:
How to streamline your SaaS renewal process?
You must streamline your SaaS renewal process to stay ahead of contract renewals. Various factors directly influence license renewals. Unless you take complete control of these factors, timely contract renewals will be a far-fetched dream for your team. You must streamline your SaaS renewal process to stay ahead of contract renewals.
How will you renew your contracts on time if you don’t know the apps your teams use?
SaaS app visibility lays the groundwork for timely renewals, and SaaS spend optimization. You should have centralized visibility over your entire SaaS portfolio, which includes the applications, their spending, contracts related to the apps, purchased licenses, provisioned users, and so on.
We believe you already know how to get complete SaaS visibility.
If you don’t, here’s how you do it:
App usage insights
Now you have complete visibility over your SaaS stack. But to understand the application’s value to the team, you must track how your team utilizes it and its licenses.
App usage insights will reveal not only your team’s usage but also the number of used and unused licenses.
You can leverage this usage data to negotiate with vendors effectively and right-size your licenses during contract renewals.
Shadow IT is one of the significant reasons for auto-renewals. Application visibility will help IT teams identify and prevent shadow IT, but what about existing applications and their renewals?
Yes, a SaaS management platform can automate SaaS renewals. However, assigning an owner to SaaS applications will make the renewal and renegotiation processes easier.
The owner can leverage an SMP and collect all relevant details about the application. He or she will be responsible for renewals and negotiations. This will minimize the chances of missed renewals.
Renewal calendar and workflows
Creating a renewal calendar will make it easier for the team to track renewals and stay ahead. But why do it manually when you can use software to track contract renewals on a calendar?
You don’t need a separate platform. SaaS management platforms can extract metadata from contracts and create a renewal calendar for you.
Based on the calendar, you can create renewal workflows that automatically send renewal reminders until the contract is renewed.
Alright, you’re on time; you haven’t missed the renewals, thanks to the workflows and renewal alerts; what’s next?
To reduce costs, you must negotiate with the vendor to adjust your licenses according to app usage. This will help you lower your SaaS spending.
Vendors might try to upsell their product, but you must stand your ground. Don't fall for the trap; renegotiate efficiently to downsize your contract.
If your team lacks negotiation bandwidth, you can always seek assistance from negotiation experts to engage with the vendors for you and save on SaaS spending.
CloudEagle to streamline your SaaS renewal process
CloudEagle is a SaaS spend management platform with contract management capabilities to help businesses effectively manage SaaS renewals and contracts.
Here’s how you can stay ahead of SaaS renewals using CloudEagle:
CloudEagle is equipped with robust integration capabilities. It has the largest number of direct integrations in the market, with over 600+ integrations with popular SaaS applications. Here’s a quick rundown of CloudEagle’s integration library:
- SSO integration
- Finance integration
- HRIS integrations
- Direct API integration
- Contract management integration
These integrations enable CloudEagle to look into your entire SaaS stack and provide 100% visibility over your applications. You can see all the applications, even those purchased without the sanction of IT, using CloudEagle.
System integrations like SSO, finance, and HRIS will provide a high-level overview of your stack's total number of applications, their relevant spending, and details on how many users are accessing the applications.
Direct integrations enable CloudEagle to dive deeper into each app in its SaaS portfolio and retrieve granular usage data. Right from the purchase to the present, you can see how each user or department has been using the application, along with the users provisioned to each license.
Granular usage data is cool, but won’t it be tedious for the customer to visit each application to gather user data?
No, CloudEagle organizes all the applications, users, and usage data in one location. You can gather granular usage data from specific applications without leaving the page.
Direct integrations also enable our platform to see the number of licenses purchased for each application and how many licenses are provisioned to users. Instantly, you can see the number of used licenses and how well they are utilized compared to unused ones.
Now that you have granular app usage and license utilization data for each application, the next step is the renewal.
Integrations enable CloudEagle to extract all the contracts and sensitive documents from the applications and organize them in one centralized location for easy SaaS contract management.
Our platform automatically maps all the contracts and other documents to each application.
What if our team is using spreadsheets to track SaaS contracts?
In that case, you can manually update excel data to the platform. CloudEagle will then automatically extract and link all relevant information, such as renewal date, contract value, and expiration date, to each respective application.
Once all the data is extracted and organized, CloudEagle will create a renewal calendar based on the dates mentioned in the contracts.
A dashboard will display all the apps up for renewal as per their renewal dates. No more spreadsheets; you can track your license renewals on the CloudEagle platform.
The renewal calendar has organized the apps respective to their renewal dates. The next step is to create workflows to send reminder alerts and prepare for renewal negotiations.
For example, if you create a renewal workflow for Slack, CloudEagle will display all the relevant contract, spend, license, and usage information in the workflow window as fields; you don’t need to search for it.
We’ll just name a few fields,
- Contract value
- Licenses bought
- Licenses provisioned
- Spend, Contract period
- Renewal date
#3. Why CloudEagle’s renewal workflow is unique?
Alright, you’ve configured the workflow and started it. It’ll be triggered 90 days before the renewal date, and the notification will be sent to the relevant stakeholders via Slack, email, and in-app notifications.
Most platforms stop here. They just send reminder alerts at specific times until the renewal deadline arrives.
But CloudEagle differs here.
CloudEagle will keep escalating the process to various stakeholders involved in the workflow.
While creating the workflow, you can simultaneously create a Slack channel for relevant workflows. CloudEagle will escalate the process and keep sending notifications via Slack and emails to various stakeholders until someone acts on it and proceeds to renew.
The workflow will come to a halt only after the contract is renewed. It’ll keep escalating until then. Our platform ensures that all the stakeholders related to the contracts are alerted and collaborate to renew the contracts on time.
CloudEagle has initiated the workflow and keeps sending renewal reminders, and the application owner has decided to act on it.
He or she can leverage our platform's granular usage and license utilization data through integrations. Your team can create a renegotiation plan based on the usage data.
What if your lean team lacks the bandwidth to negotiate?
CloudEagle has a team of on-demand expert negotiators that can take over the renewal process for you.
They’ll analyze your team’s app usage and license utilization and negotiate with the vendors on your behalf. What might take you weeks will only take a few hours for CloudEagle experts. As we have a good relationship with various vendors in the market.
Our experts will renegotiate your contract to cut unused licenses without falling into the vendor’s upselling trap. Resulting in significant SaaS savings.
CloudEagle's SaaS buying experts helped Sophie Wang and her finance team from Wefunder save money on SaaS purchases. This was achieved through effective negotiations.
Best practices to stay ahead of SaaS renewals
Once the workflow is on, either your team can gather the usage data and negotiate with the vendors, or you can leave the negotiation part to CloudEagle experts; the choice is yours.
However, you must incorporate these best practices in your SaaS renewal strategy to achieve operational excellence.
This is something you must invoke before signing the SaaS contract.
As most SaaS apps are subscription-based, renewals are unavoidable. Most vendors will give you a due date to renew your contract. Your contract will be renewed automatically if you don't meet the deadline.
Talk to your vendor during the contract signing process. Make sure auto-renewals are inactive. This will prevent surprise renewals and unnecessary expenses.
SaaS usage analysis
Just because the renewal deadline is nearing, it doesn’t mean you have to renew your contract.
Before heading into renewal negotiations, consult with your team to understand whether the application will add significant value to your organization. Is it worth it to renew?
Here are a few questions to ask yourself and your team:
- How much value does the application adds to the team? Does it make your work easy?
- Is the pricing of the application well within your budget?
- Are there other cost-effective or more dynamic applications that serve similar use cases?
- Are your comfortable engaging with the vendor? Can you trust the vendor over a long-term partnership?
- Are the purchased licenses enough, or should we purchase more licenses? Or should we downsize the licenses?
- Does the vendor provide excellent customer support and assistance? Is the application compliant with regulatory requirements?
These are some questions that you and your team must find answers to before making the renewal decision.
A spreadsheet will suffice if your SaaS stack comprises just 50 applications. But it is not a recommended or secure practice.
Our customers often ask, "How to manage SaaS contracts?"
The first thing we say to them is to get rid of their spreadsheets, as SaaS contracts hold sensitive business data prone to getting lost. Also, spreadsheets can’t send renewal reminders. Here's a customer success story from Oyster HR, showing how they got rid of spreadsheets.
The second thing we say to them is to use a SaaS management platform like CloudEagle to centralize their contracts and automate renewal reminders.
SaaS renewal management is just one feature of a comprehensive SaaS management platform like CloudEagle. This software can centralize your SaaS contracts. It will also track renewal dates and help you create workflows. Furthermore, it can send automated reminders to ensure you renew your contract on time.
This article went into the details of how CloudEagle can help you stay ahead of contract renewals.
Our platform provides 100% visibility and accurate usage insights. It can track renewals in a calendar and initiate automated workflows. It also sends constant reminders to streamline your team's SaaS license renewal process.
That’s enough about us.
What about you? Are you losing valuable SaaS spend to auto-renewals? Do you want to take control of your SaaS renewal strategy?
Book a demo now with our experts and get a quick tour of how we can help you save on SaaS spend and automate renewals.