With the increase in digital product usage, the demand for new and more advanced Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) products is at its peak. Why is this happening?
Organizations have cracked the code of optimizing and sustaining a thriving business model. As a result, companies are unwilling to create and set up on-premise software/hardware infrastructure, as it takes up many resources and requires much maintenance.
Adopting advanced SaaS technologies has become more than a strategic choice in modern businesses, where agility and efficiency are essential.
While SaaS adoption is good, the SaaS purchasing process is complex; manual SaaS procurement methods are prone to errors, delays, and bottlenecks. This is why organizations must adopt SaaS purchasing platforms to streamline this process.
This article will show how SaaS purchasing platforms can transform your procurement process and ensure you purchase the right product at the right price and time.
Read on to learn more.
What is a SaaS purchasing platform?
It is a cloud-based solution that streamlines and manages the software purchasing processes for organizations.
The platform provides automated workflows for requesting, approving, and purchasing applications. Additionally, these platforms facilitate vendor research, renewal reminders, contract management, and ensure product compliance.
They have customizable intake forms to enable users to purchase any type of product, not just SaaS applications. Additionally, these platforms can integrate with Slack, enabling users to raise purchase requests from Slack and collaborate to make the right purchasing decisions.
Organizations increasingly turn to SaaS solutions to enhance efficiency and flexibility, so selecting the best SaaS purchasing platform becomes essential.
Let's know in detail about the benefits of a SaaS purchasing platform.
What is the difference between procurement and purchasing?
Before proceeding, let's clarify the actual difference between procurement and purchasing. Most people commonly misconstrue these terms as interchangeable, but they differ distinctly.
Procurement involves identifying, sourcing, and acquiring services for an organization, encompassing needs identification, supplier research, contract negotiations, and supplier relationship management.
On the contrary, purchasing is a more transactional process of ordering, receiving, and paying for goods and services, often with less emphasis on strategic planning and research.
You can easily understand this difference with a quote from Victor Manan Nyambala: "Buying a product or a service is not procurement; that is purchasing. 'Procurement' is more multifaceted! 'Procurement' will assess needs, define requirements, comb the market, and onboard vendors against set criteria."
To understand this better, check out this blog about Procurement vs. Purchasing.
Why do you need a SaaS purchasing platform?
Gartner predicts that global SaaS spending will surpass $232 billion in 2024, a notable increase from the $197 billion recorded in 2023. Concerning this prediction, organizations must find a solution to maximize their SaaS purchasing while minimizing unnecessary spending. It leads to the emergence of a crucial tool—the SaaS purchasing software.
A SaaS purchasing software brings notable benefits, enhancing the efficiency of the SaaS purchasing process within organizations.
With the increasing use of numerous SaaS apps, manually purchasing them becomes impractical and inefficient. The rise of SaaS purchasing solutions addresses these challenges and is gaining widespread adoption.
1. Prevents delays and bottlenecks that occur in manual procurement
Manual SaaS purchasing processes often lead to delays and bottlenecks, mainly relying on spreadsheet-based documentation or traditional communication methods. A SaaS purchasing platform streamlines the entire SaaS purchasing process, reducing the chances of delays and ensuring a smoother workflow.
2. Automates the process, saves time, and increases team productivity
Cloud procurement software automates various aspects of the SaaS purchasing lifecycle, such as request creation, request approvals, researching, and invoicing. This automation saves time, reduces the likelihood of errors associated with manual data entry, and allows teams to focus on more strategic tasks.
3. Provides better control over the purchasing process
SaaS purchasing platforms provide centralized control and visibility into the entire SaaS purchasing process. This transparency and control expedite the purchase process and enable users to check the progress in real-time.
This centralized control allows organizations to enforce compliance with SaaS buying policies and ensures that all purchases align with budgetary constraints and strategic objectives.
4. Increases transparency to the entire team
Transparency is crucial for effective collaboration within a team. A SaaS purchasing software provides real-time visibility into purchase requests, approvals, and spending status. This transparency helps teams make informed decisions and fosters accountability among team members.
How do you select the right SaaS purchasing platform?
Selecting the right SaaS purchasing platform is critical for organizations navigating SaaS providers' vast and diverse landscape. With over 72,000 SaaS companies operating worldwide, the sheer volume of options can be overwhelming.
Organizations must meet their specific needs and requirements to make an informed choice.
1. It should have pre-built SaaS purchasing workflows
Looking for a SaaS purchasing platform with pre-built SaaS buying workflows is always a better idea. These pre-built workflows can speed up the implementation process and guarantee that the most effective methods are seamlessly incorporated into your operations.
2. Workflows for both SaaS and non-SaaS products(tablet, laptop)
Ensure the platform supports workflows for various products, including SaaS and non-SaaS items such as tables and laptops. This flexibility allows you to manage all purchases seamlessly within the same system.
3. Customizable intake forms
You must choose a platform that helps you create customizable intake forms. This feature lets you gather specific information for different purchases, ensuring your purchasing processes are customized to your organization's requirements.
4. Priority SaaS buying support
Select a platform with dedicated support for purchasing. It should include priority customer support channels, onboarding assistance, and ongoing guidance to help your team maximize the platform's capabilities.
5. Slack integration for SaaS buying
You should look for a SaaS purchasing platform that integrates with collaboration tools like Slack. Integration with Slack enhances communication and collaboration among team members involved in the SaaS buying process, leading to more efficient decision-making.
6. Assisted buying services
You must consider a platform that provides assisted buying services. These services may include guided purchasing assistance, helping users navigate the SaaS buying platform, and ensuring compliance with policies and procedures.
7. Centralized SaaS, contract, and vendor management capabilities
Opt for a platform that centralizes SaaS, contract, and vendor management capabilities. A centralized approach ensures that all relevant information is easily accessible, providing a holistic view of your SaaS buying landscape.
Increase transparency and accountability in the SaaS purchasing process with real-time progress tracking and timely updates for requesters through Slack and Email.
Benefits of Using a SaaS Purchasing Platform
Effectively managing the SaaS purchasing process with a dedicated platform streamlines various tasks.
Learn more in detail with the following points,
1. Centralizes the entire process
A SaaS purchasing platform centralizes the purchasing process, bringing together all relevant information and stakeholders in one accessible location. This centralization reduces fragmentation, enhances collaboration, and ensures everyone involved in the purchasing process has a unified view.
2. Cost Efficiency
With the constant growth in SaaS application usage, the demand for efficient SaaS purchasing has become daunting.
Without a centralized platform, there are chances of Shadow IT and SaaS sprawl, which will escalate the spending; a SaaS purchasing platform streamlines and accelerates the process.
It prevents users from purchasing software independently, as they now have an automated system to purchase software quicker, thus saving money.
3. Streamlined Processes and minimal errors
Automation inherent in SaaS platforms streamlines SaaS purchasing workflows, reducing manual intervention and the potential for errors associated with manual data entry. Streamlined processes lead to faster cycle times, increased accuracy, and a more efficient SaaS purchasing lifecycle.
4. Better control and visibility over the process
Cloud procurement software offer centralized control and real-time visibility into the entire SaaS buying process, from requisition to payment. This enhanced control and visibility allow for better decision-making, compliance enforcement, and proactive management of potential issues.
5. No more shadow purchases
Shadow purchases refer to unauthorized or untracked SaaS purchasing activities outside the official SaaS buying process. A SaaS buying platform will send proactive alerts when an unsanctioned application is detected.
Organizations can ultimately end shadow purchases by centralizing the procurement process using SaaS buying platforms.
6. Enhanced security and compliance
The entire process will be properly vetted when you have SaaS purchasing software. Before selecting a software vendor, there will be proper vendor research, compliance, and security analysis. So, due to this diligence, there will be adequate security and compliance.
7. Streamlined Vendor Management
SaaS purchasing platforms often include features for vendor management, making it easier to maintain supplier relationships. Automated communication, order tracking, and performance analysis contribute to smoother vendor interactions, leading to better purchasing outcomes.
Can CloudEagle Become Your Ideal SaaS Purchasing Platform?
CloudEagle is a SaaS management and procurement platform that helps organizations optimize their SaaS portfolio and streamline their purchasing process by enabling them with procurement workflows and assisted buying services.
Recognized as a preferred software buyer platform for various organizations, CloudEagle is utilized to streamline request approvals and negotiation processes and manage diverse vendor relationships efficiently.
What does CloudEagle offer?
CloudEagle’s pre-built SaaS purchasing workflows: When you opt for CloudEagle, you get more than just a SaaS management platform; you get an industry-standard SaaS buying platform that helps you automate and enhance your SaaS purchasing process through efficient workflows.
With robust features, CloudEagle transforms how businesses manage their SaaS purchasing strategy.
Intake forms: With CloudEagle's customizable intake forms, it becomes easier for the teams to purchase their software and configure automated workflows triggered by relevant requests, enhancing efficiency in processing.
Priority SaaS buying support: You can benefit from CloudEagle's vendor and purchase management features, facilitating communication, price comparison, customer feedback, and expert negotiation assistance to strengthen vendor relationships and ensure long-term service quality.
Slack integration for SaaS buying: CloudEagle allows users to raise purchase requests directly from Slack. The triggered workflows alert stakeholders via Slack, creating a private group for collaborative decision-making.
CloudEagle also offers real-time tracking and communication tools, keeping teams informed about request status and activities throughout the SaaS purchasing process.
Assisted buying services: Teams can leverage CloudEagle's SaaS buying experts to negotiate with vendors. These experts ensure optimal purchases at the best prices, saving time and effort for your SaaS purchasing team.
Vendor research and renewal workflows: Perform detailed vendor research within the platform, compare reviews, pricing, and features, and select the right vendors. Stay ahead of renewals with workflows, analyze usage, prepare a negotiation plan, and ace vendor negotiations.
Here are five compelling reasons why organizations are choosing CloudEagle to streamline SaaS purchasing process.
According to Finances Online, 91% of organizations anticipate that SaaS will play a crucial role in facilitating the adoption of new technologies and driving revenue growth.
Cloud-based SaaS buying platforms like CloudEagle streamline and optimize the SaaS purchasing process for organizations. CloudEagle stands out as a dynamic and transformative SaaS purchasing platform.
With features like centralized document storage, automated workflows, and real-time tracking, CloudEagle enhances collaboration and transparency, making contract signing, invoicing, and ongoing software tracking more seamless.
The platform's automation prowess reduces manual intervention, minimizes errors, and accelerates SaaS purchasing workflows.
If you need assistance with your organization's SaaS purchasing, consider booking a demo with the CloudEagle team.
Frequently Asked Questions About SaaS Purchasing
1. What is the step-by-step process for SaaS purchasing?
The SaaS purchasing process typically includes SaaS requirement assessment, vendor selection, conducting trials and testing, contract negotiation, and concluding with payment and deployment.
2. What considerations are crucial when selecting a SaaS vendor?
When choosing a SaaS vendor, critical considerations include functionality, security measures, scalability, integration capabilities, the quality of support services, and adherence to service level agreements (SLAs).
3. How can organizations ensure a successful SaaS implementation?
Organizations should establish clear objectives for a successful SaaS implementation, engage stakeholders, provide training and change management, monitor performance, and regularly review contracts to align with evolving needs.