Updated July 22, 2022
Are you trying to manage the cost and deployment of rapidly expanding UCaaS tools like Zoom, Microsoft Teams or RingCentral? Register for our webinar to gain deeper understanding to expense management.
Where: Virtual - Link provided after registration
SaaS and UCaaS Visibility
You have to start somewhere - what you can't measure, you can't manage. Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) and Unified-Communications-as-a-Service (UCaaS) platforms are simple to onboard, but each has associated caveats that are not in a centralized view. To see how your expenses add up, occasionally dashboards will be provided within the SaaS/UCaaS tool. However, the real bulk of data is usually missing or too high level. In addition, historical data can only go back so far in time (i.e. Zoom, 6 months).
With limited data views, you also have a manual process associated with reporting and gathering information. To visualize your UCaaS and/or SaaS usage to scale requires a significant amount of time away from other important tasks. One way to start to visualize is using an API approach.
An API approach allows you to centralize the collection and storage of all usage data, providing thousands of viewpoints and some level of automation. Although, this does come with drawbacks, including:
- High developer cost
- API permissions, capabilities
- API rate limits
SaaS Management platforms take the pain out of this process, however it's important to understand the differences of each solution and how they best fit your use case. For managing costs, an expense management provider will serve more long-term benefits.
When it comes to SaaS (especially UCaaS), waste is more common than you think. With the shift to work from home (WFH) and hybrid work, the number of licenses for UCaaS tools like Zoom and Teams has increased significantly. A great first step to cost optimization is to find zero usage users. These could be employees whose job functions do not call for the use of the application, or employees who have left the company.
With this first step, there's potential for an average of 30% in spend avoidance. This is broken down into two categories:
- Zero usage accounts - ~5-30%
- Employee churn rate - ~10%
Aside from zero usage, there are opportunities to optimize your current subscription plans. For example, Zoom Paid vs. Free has pros and cons depending on your use case. If a majority of your organization hits under a certain time mark, or cloud data is not of high importance, it might be time to reevaluate. It's important to understand your users' behavior to further optimize spend.
Call Plans and BYOC
BYOC, or Bring Your Own Carrier, refers specifically to UCaaS in relation to call accounting, telecom and mobile device plans. If your organization has switched to Cloud PBX usage, or has a hybrid functionality, there may be opportunities for spend reduction. In order to optimize, you'll want to look at metered vs. unmetered servers as well as domestic vs. international use cases.
Your BYOC usage will be entirely dependent on the individual user locations. Services, carriers, and rates all vary and depend on this factor alone. Session Border Controller (SBC) is also a UCaaS provider requirement. To start to visualize where changes can be made, you'll need to look at call detail records (CDRs) and their associated rates.
To transform the process for scaling and longevity, a centralized storage of all CDR data is a necessity. From here, look at the previous factors listed to establish trends. Potential cost savings are between 10-80% with this analyzed data. However, the process is not so straightforward. A UCaaS Expense Management provider can take a lot of these steps for you.
Hear more cost saving thoughts and tips from our panel of experts with the full webinar.