As a SaaS procurement platform, we obviously advocate for companies getting help with their SaaS stack and negotiations (e.g. from us). But we also know that there are times when we aren’t needed, and we’re more than happy to be honest about those.
Below we’ll share a quick guide to the types of tools you can always buy on your own and the ones where you should seek expert advice.
Types of SaaS tools you should buy on your own
There are a few buckets of SaaS tools where it’s simpler to buy on your own and not really necessary to get third-party negotiation help.
1. Tools you can use for free
Let’s divide this into two types of free:
- A SaaS tool you want to use where the free version meets your needs – Maybe there are product tiers and the free plan works because you have limited licenses and you don't need premium features
- A SaaS tool you can test for free (or cheap) before buying – If you just have to register for free or even pay a small fee before using, then you can test the tool out before thinking about premium (paid) features.
There are countless SaaS tools that offer a free tier or a free trial. Take advantage of the opportunity!
2. Low cost tools that you already understand well
If you have a good understanding of the features and technology of a specific SaaS tool, and it’s still relatively low cost, you should buy that on your own as well. The low cost makes it a low-risk purchase, so go right ahead and buy or negotiate by yourself.
3. Tools for a small group of users
This aligns with tools that are low cost, but if the group of users in the organization is small – i.e. it’s just for one person or a small team – then you probably don’t need expert help. A small number of users typically translates to a smaller bill, and the effort and time of a full expert negotiation is probably unnecessary.
Examples of SaaS tools that can typically be bought on your own
Can we ask procurement to jot a few down here? Sergio or Alex? I couldn’t really find any articles on this and I don’t want to generalize without knowing Sastrify’s advice
SaaS tools where you should seek expert advice
With tools outside of the categories above, it pays to turn to a procurement platform and advice from experts. For example:
- Higher cost – If a tool is going to cost your company a lot of money, expert advice (and help in the negotiations) can lead to big savings.
- More users – If you plan to deploy the tool to a significant number of users or even the entire organization, then the stakes are much higher.
- Increased complexity – If you need help understanding the features of a complex tool, or if the negotiation itself is complex and you need levers you can pull to get a better deal, expert help is key.
Examples of SaaS tools where you need a procurement expert
There are a variety of larger or more complex tools when we highly recommend using a procurement platform like Sastrify.
One example is Microsoft, which has a variety of licenses such as E3, E5, and E7.
- E3 licensing is the most basic and provides access to Office 365, Windows 10 Enterprise, Enterprise Mobility + Security, and Microsoft 365 Business. It is designed for smaller organizations and businesses.
- E5 licensing is the more premium option and provides access to Office 365, Windows 10 Enterprise, Enterprise Mobility + Security, Microsoft 365 Business, and advanced analytics and security. It is designed for larger organizations that need more advanced features.
- E7 licensing is the most comprehensive and provides access to Office 365, Windows 10 Enterprise, Enterprise Mobility + Security, Microsoft 365 Business, advanced analytics and security, and voice and conferencing services. It is designed for large organizations that need the most comprehensive features.
Microsoft is widely used, complex, and generally a high cost item for companies, so getting expert help can lead to much better deal outcomes.
Other tools that require more expertise include:
- ERP/finance suite tools – e.g. SAP, Netsuite, Sage Intacct
- HRIS tools – e.g. Workday, BambooHR, Personio
- Niche tools – i.e. those specific to an industry
Working with a SaaS procurement solution like Sastrify can improve your SaaS buying and deals on both the tools you purchase on your own and the ones you hand to the experts.
Content management platform Usercentrics has experienced this firsthand:
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