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The pandemic has changed the way corporations do business, in some ways permanently. Many companies were forced to quickly adopt communication platforms such as Zoom to address an unprecedented need to support remote workers. The need for speed in embracing these UCaaS and SaaS services often bypassed normal business processes, and the lack of oversight coupled with the requirement to move quickly created the perfect environment for SaaS costs such as Zoom to go unchecked. In a recent Calero survey, we found that 50% of enterprises don’t know their annual UCaaS spend.


Typical Enterprise UCaaS adoption – 12-month hangover

If your Zoom costs are swelling but you aren’t sure why, now is the time to rein them in. We've put together 4 steps to help you regain control.

STEP 1: Identify who really needs an Enterprise host subscription

You probably don’t need a paid account for every user. We've found that most people don’t host meetings—when they do, it’s typically with fewer than three people and for less than 40 minutes. Because their normal use falls in line with the free account tier, your organization could save money right off the top by eliminating or reallocating unneeded paid accounts.

We’re also seeing a shift toward shorter meetings as employees report growing levels of meeting fatigue. Keeping conference sessions brief and efficient will increase the number of existing paid seats that can likely be dropped. A traditional Telecom Expense Management (TEM) platform is unlikely to deliver the data you need to identify which users are good candidates for a migration to a free account, but a next-generation solution that incorporates in-depth SaaS usage metrics will help spot opportunities to better utilize your per-seat spend.

STEP 2: Understand Zoom usage across the enterprise

There’s a potential to save big by optimizing your company’s consumption of Zoom’s services. You need the right data to get the most out your optimization efforts, but the payoff is less waste and increased efficiency of your UCaaS dollars. A few examples:

  • Are users activating the call-back feature when they can be using soft client for free?

Doubling up on functionality could be sending money out the door unnecessarily.

  • Do users attend virtual meetings they would likely skip in person?

The ability to have a meeting open on-screen while working on a different project is tantalizing, but a distracted participant could be consuming call minutes without getting much benefit from the event.

The right reporting solution enables you to delve into how employees interact with Zoom’s features and other user engagement metrics, giving you a way to zero in on inefficiencies.

STEP 3: Compare usage against your call plan

Considering the trend toward shorter meetings, along with changes in call patterns that may follow the shift to a hybrid work model, right-sizing your call plan can be a good way to control your spend.

  • Did downsizing efforts leave you with a high call plan but a smaller workforce to use it?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 20 million people were unemployed due to either temporary layoffs or permanent job loss at the height of the pandemic.

  • Has remote work driven your call usage into overage territory?

A survey conducted by Enterprise Technology Research revealed that business leaders expect the percentage of permanent remote work post-COVID-19 to be double that of pre-coronavirus figures.

Past commitments to large calling plans may saddle you with services you aren’t using, while conservative consumption estimates might find you footing hefty overage charges. Fortunately, Zoom understands the dynamics and uncertainty in business today, and they’ve displayed more flexibility than some other vendors in helping customers fine tune their contracts. You'll need to have solid consumption data in hand, but with targeted insight you can transition to a plan that better suits your needs.

If you're getting close to the limit on your calling plan: Be proactive and contact Zoom ahead of time. They can often bump up your plan for the next month or two to help you avoid big overage charges.

If you're swimming in unneeded call minutes: Reach out to Zoom to negotiate a change. They may agree to trim your plan to a more affordable level or issue a credit for seats assigned to furloughed workers.

STEP 4: Align spend with anticipated growth

Your contract negotiations will be more successful if you forecast your growth trend over time and use that data to guide you to the right call plan and features.

  • Is your goal to deploy Zoom across an entire segment of your workforce?
  • Does your business strategy include scaling within 12 months to a particular threshold—of users, consumption, or services?

By understanding how your enterprise’s evolution will impact Zoom use, you are empowered to pursue contract terms that support your needs and commit to the right call plan while maintaining control over costs.

SaaS and UCaaS spend are often decentralized in many enterprises, making it difficult to gather the right data and gain visibility into key metrics. With a full-featured platform capable of blending TEM and SaaS/UCaaS data to deliver actionable insight, you'll have the information you need to tackle these steps and master your Zoom spend. Learn more about the Calero UCaaS solution and the powerful visibility it delivers to help you manage and optimize SaaS and UCaaS services more effectively.