The explosion of software-as-a-service (SaaS) shows no sign of slowing down. After years of steady growth, the COVID pandemic accelerated SaaS adoption further as organizations quickly pivoted to new tools to accommodate remote workers. Between February and April 2020 alone, SaaS spending grew by 26% compared to the same period in 2019. Today, SaaS remains the largest public cloud market segment, and is forecast to grow to over $145 billion in 2022.
To stay on top of their ever-growing SaaS portfolios, many organizations now utilize SaaS management systems to monitor application acquisition and usage, control spend, and enhance security.
One of the key differentiators when evaluating a SaaS management system involves the powerful functionality to integrate with other applications, so you not only see overarching metrics, you can dive much deeper into each integrated application. It enables IT leaders to better understand app utilization, and go beyond the last login to really dig into how employees use each application.
However, for software applications integrations, it’s important to consider quality over quantity. Be wary of platforms boasting thousands of integrations, as they likely only scratch the surface for providing actionable data insights.
Read on to learn how software application integrations inform better optimization decisions.
What is Application Integration?
In short, application integration refers to the linking of independent software applications in a single interface to enable process and data sharing between applications.
For example, consider the widely utilized instant messaging platform, Slack. Because Slack built an integration with Zoom, users never need to open Zoom — they can launch a Zoom call seamlessly from Slack by entering a command. Software applications work the same way with a SaaS management system.
Why is this important?
When you integrate a software application directly with a SaaS management platform, such as Zylo, you can extract much deeper user insights to truly maximize your SaaS investment. Clean and accurate data adds insights to your IT and business management strategy, and spotlights key opportunities for cost savings by aligning actual use with appropriate license types.
The average user doesn’t need to know how to integrate two applications, but understanding how integrations enhance SaaS management helps your organization get the most from your investment.
How Zylo’s Software Application Integrations Stand Out
Customers use Zylo to optimize their investments in more than 72,000 different SaaS applications through standard integrations.
Zylo’s deep integrations enable organizations to monitor their SaaS portfolios and related spend, track license adoption and usage by aligning the right users and licenses, accurately forecast future licensing needs, provide detailed metrics on user activity, and automate license workflows for renewals.
Zylo’s application ecosystem includes a suite of in-demand, business-critical applications, from project management to file storage. Some of our core integrations include:
- Financial application integrations: Identify SaaS purchases through official channels, accounts payable, and expense reports. For example, with Zylo’s Expensify integration, you can discover and track every SaaS purchase across your organization, including acquisitions made outside of procurement, such as applications expensed by individuals or teams.
- Security and compliance applications: Integrations with Single Sign-On (SSO) tools help IT to better manage applications purchased by line-of-business users by securing access behind SSO.
- With Zylo’s Okta integration, you can not only track which employees hold a license, but how frequently they log in (or don’t).
- Zylo also shows which applications fall under Security Assertion Markup Language (SAML), and applications not currently behind SSO. It provides a “SSO Roadmap” your IT team can use to prioritize applications needing SSO.
- License and usage information for SaaS applications: These integrations offer better stability and more robust metadata by tapping into the application programming interface (API) instead of screen-scraping the admin panel.
- For example, you can view Zoom meeting information to show how many meetings exceed 40 minutes (requires a paid license), the number of one-on-one meetings versus large-group meetings, and if participants use screen-sharing. These key usage details reveal opportunities to downgrade unneeded premium licenses to free licenses — a savings of $14.99 per license per month — and other optimization efforts.
How Software Application Integration Impacts Your Data
Ideally, a direct software application integration provides the most transparency and deepest insights on license utilization. You can use this data to make key decisions on license optimization, as well as drive cost savings.
Some of Zylo’s direct integrations include:
- Google Workspace
- Microsoft Office 365
We also enable you to import license and usage data to the Zylo platform from virtually any third-party application, via the recently launched Zylo API.
Zylo API enables organizations to:
- Export Zylo data to the business systems that matter: Streamline business processes and level up reporting by exporting usage and license data from the Zylo platform into other solutions, including business intelligence (BI) and software asset management (SAM) tools.
- Import your complete SaaS portfolio into the Zylo platform: Optimize license utilization across your entire SaaS portfolio. Use the Zylo API to import usage, license, and activity data from custom applications and third-party integrations to establish a single system of record.
Software Application Integration Benefits
You may be surprised to learn the average large organization with more than 1,000 employees uses 651 SaaS applications, and many drastically underestimate their count by 2 to 3 times. That’s a ton of SaaS and related data that becomes nearly impossible to manage without an established SaaS system of record to track application adoption and utilization.
With a direct integration or API, you can truly get the most from your data and maximize your SaaS investment. When applications work together seamlessly, it enables teams to streamline processes, boosting efficiencies and time management. At the same time, better data insights from software integrations empower IT to accurately measure success so they can focus on strategy instead of managing applications in their own silos.
Ready to learn more about how Zylo’s direct integrations and AP can help you uncover your full utilization metrics? Get a demo of Zylo’s SaaS Management Platform.