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Databricks grew from 600 to 3000 employees, reduced IT overhead

By Ryan Morris-Reade
Wed 13 Apr 2022

Productiv says its SaaS Intelligence platform now helps companies automate manual processes for license deprovisioning and license tier downgrades. 

The new Productiv add-on, Elastic License Management (ELM), can help companies like Databricks reduce IT overhead and better manage app spending by simplifying license management. 

Databricks grew from 600 to 3,000 employees in a few years. Yet, the company successfully optimised spend on its collaboration and video conference platform by moving employees not using advanced features from the paid version to the free version, reclaiming 35% of the higher tier licenses for assignment to new employees. 

"Most companies have over 250 SaaS applications, with large enterprises averaging more than 350 apps," says Databricks director, Corporate Engineering Helpdesk, Ian Kennedy.

"License management for these large portfolios places a heavy demand on IT and its operations. Companies can spend 2,000-4,000 hours annually, manually collecting data from each app and then removing or changing licenses assigned to employees. The number of license events can reach millions."

Before the pandemic, Databricks managed its portfolio of more than 300 SaaS apps in a spreadsheet. 

"It was straight spreadsheets and exporting logs from, for instance, Office 365 and Okta. It was very cumbersome and time-consuming," says Kennedy. "We would find that we were still charged for people who hadn't been here for a while."

Now, Databricks uses Productiv's SaaS Intelligence platform. Recently, the company used data-driven insights from Productiv to determine which employees were not using paid features for a video conferencing service and moved those employees to the free version. 

Formerly at Databricks, deprovisioning was done as time permitted, in batches by app through manual license reclamation and custom coding. Now, deprovisioning of all apps automatically occurs on an employee's departure day, reducing compliance risks.

Productiv's SaaS Intelligence platform powers ELM workflows with granular, up-to-date application usage data, enabling companies to simplify and automate license management. In an industry first, Productiv's ELM add-on enables companies to create automated workflows for many apps driven by feature-level usage to determine if an employee's license should be deprovisioned or downgraded to a lower license tier. 

ELM allows companies to: 

  • Create no-code workflows.
  • Automate deprovisioning and downgrading.
  • Establish an automation schedule.
  • Better engagements with SaaS vendors.

"Overprovisioning, cost savings and time savings are major issues for us, and Productiv gives us a better position for bargaining with a SaaS provider," says Kennedy. "It's invaluable to have the additional data Productiv provides because a company would be blind coming into a negotiation without that."

Jody Shapiro, CEO and co-founder of Productiv, says, "Productiv's SaaS Intelligence is a unique data-driven approach to SaaS Management because it deeply understands a company's app portfolio usage down to the feature level.

"The specific insights our SaaS Intelligence platform provides helps companies to proactively govern their SaaS portfolio to deliver superior business outcomes."

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