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Sam Griffin: Wielding Magic Wands & Being a SaaS Management Superhero

Meet Sam Griffin, SaaS Management Superhero and software asset manager at Genesys. Learn how she started managing SaaS, how she’s addressing software spend, and the ways she is able to do more with less thanks to automation and data. 

 

Episode Summary

From sales to sourcing to software asset management, Sam Griffin’s career has taken an unconventional path – but one that has ultimately set her up for great success. Today, she’s responsible for taming the beast that is software at Genesys, the cloud leader in customer experience orchestration.

Sam’s has been helping Genesys tackle the spiraling spend of SaaS since the start of their SaaS Management journey.

”When things started out, we were so far down in the bottom left corner of the maturity roadmap of we don’t know what we have and we don’t know what to do with it. So goal number one was just getting visibility, and then from there it was … now that we have the data, how do we work it in a way that makes sense for Genesys? Because … you can’t just start by ripping licenses out of people’s hands.”

In this episode of SaaSMe Unfiltered, co-hosts Cory Wheeler and Ashley Hickman dig into Sam’s award-winning SaaS management strategies. Sam shares how she’s using reining in SaaS spend by optimizing and rationalizing Genesys’s software portfolio. 

Guest Spotlight

Name: Samantha Griffin

What she does: Resident SaaS Management Superhero and Sourcing Manager at Genesys

Connect with Samantha online: LinkedIn

Episode Highlights

Seeing the Spiraling Spend of SaaS

“I actually was one of the first people to sell our lead offering, now Genesys Cloud, as they were rolling it out. So it was great to see the very beginning of what, for me, was cloud-based software and the pricing models…. I did that for a couple of years, and … when I saw that we were starting a sourcing team, I was really excited to hold the stick as a buyer for a little while, especially having all of the inside information that I knew about software licensing and comp plans… I was really excited and I took the role of doing all of the sourcing for our software and technology and a few other categories while we were growing legs and building out our sourcing team. And through that is when I learned that we had a lot of opportunity around just the spiraling spend of SaaS. And that’s where I came into the SAM program now.”

Managing SaaS as a Team

“It’s funny because our kiddo is in first grade and just started playing baseball, and when I was thinking about SaaS Management being a team sport, I thought – every vendor is the other kids up at bat, and then there’s Genesys. And we’ve got our CIO on first base and we’ve got me playing shortstop. And you have to have everybody in the right place at the right time to be able to block some of these guys because they’re selling into the C- suite, they’re selling individual stakeholders. It’s absolutely a team sport.”

How To Do More with Less

“Automating what I can, right? So if you consider something like a workflow that we use in Zylo, being able to have access to the information and automate the sending out of the emails to make sure that we’re re-harvesting the right licenses from the right people – it saves me hours… So I would say that’s my biggest piece for trying to do more with less… I would also say data is my other piece for doing more with less. We have a great partnership with AP right now, but they have a certain number of reports that they pull from Concur, and frankly, they don’t have a lot of bandwidth to be helping me with my problems. You can go in and look at all of the different payments on the Teams tab, and can see I’ve got Bobby Sue who’s dispensing 60 different applications to the tune of $140,000 a year, and it gives you the opportunity to then prioritize.”

Managing SaaS Starts with Visibility

“When things started out, we were so far down in the bottom left corner of a maturity roadmap of we don’t know what we have and we don’t know what to do with it. Goal number one was just getting visibility. Then from there, it was focused on how do we work [the data] in a way that makes sense for Genesys? Because … you can’t just start by ripping licenses out of people’s hands. From there … it’s really changing how people are going about using software and buying software. That one is still definitely a goal. Change management for software purchasing is a long-term strategy, not a short-term strategy. But outside of that, our other goal was app rationalization. We thought that we had a number of different sales training applications, but we weren’t certain, and we didn’t know what the utilization was because you’ve got a number of different admins across a very siloed organization. And that information was invaluable for helping us to consolidate just on, for instance, Udemy, and move forward.”

How to Be a SaaS Management Superhero

“I would say as far as being a SaaS superhero in your own organization, having the conversations with your end-users…it doesn’t have to be formalized or even a strategic conversation. Knowing firsthand what our salespeople are using and aren’t using was huge for me. From being in sales, I could say, “Okay, I know we use Salesforce, but I know we’re not using X, Y, Z prospecting tool.” And if me and my 10 closest other sales colleagues aren’t using it, I can go ahead and probably assume that I can make the business case up to a stakeholder. So making sure that you have … boots on the ground … having people to talk to who are going to give you a realistic overview of what they are and aren’t using is huge.”

Top Quotes

11:07 – “If you consider something like a workflow that we use in Zylo, being able to have access to the information and automate the sending out of the emails to make sure that we’re re-harvesting the right licenses from the right people, it saves me hours.”

16:05 – “Being able to build the trust that if you take it [a software license] away, you’re going to give it back in a timely manner is huge. Once you get that process in place and everybody trusts that you’re not just going to take it away forever, then it’s a lot easier.”

17:06 – “When things started out, we were so far down in the bottom left corner of a maturity roadmap of we don’t know what we have and we don’t know what to do with it. So goal number one was just getting visibility.” 

Recommended Resources

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Author

Cory Wheeler

As Zylo’s Chief Customer Officer, Cory is responsible for helping our customers drive ROI and SaaS Management success with Zylo. He helps companies of all sizes effectively discover, optimize, and govern their SaaS through Zylo’s platform and services. Prior to founding Zylo, Cory spent 15 years in finance and procurement, managing categories and sourcing teams at Arthur Andersen, BearingPoint, and both Takeda and Astellas Pharmaceuticals. He built the procurement organization at ExactTarget, and managed the integration with the Salesforce Marketing Cloud procurement organization in 2015. He and his family reside in Indianapolis, IN, where they can be found cheering for the Purdue Boilermakers and Chicago Cubs.