Not being able to use the right tools for the job, because some bean counters don't like complexity, is silly and shortsighted.
In every enterprise I've ever worked at, the purchasing process is a nightmare - it invariably takes months at best to purchase anything, and the bureaucracy, meetings and wasted time will cost you your soul. When you add up all the wasted man-hours it takes to purchase a $100 app, it will easily run to an order of magnitude more - at best.
Once you've been through the purchasing grinder once, you will do just about anything to avoid purchasing anything every again.
So no dammit, the vendors don't need to change - the bureaucracy-ladel, rule-ridden, time-wasting purchasing departments need to!
They know the purchasing process will be the same headache regardless of whether the product costs $100/month or $10,000/month.
If the company is large and the tool enables collaboration and time-saving, $10,000 is literally a rounding error for a company with 500+ employees in comparison to the potential value delivered.
When I see B2B Saas companies with pricing plans that top out at $50/month, I want to pull my hair out. They are leaving so much money at the table and simultaneously starving themselves of the revenue needed to grow and build a long-term business.
Sometimes I really hate working for large companies!
Manager: "Ok, schedule a meeting with the 3 of us and my boss to determine if it makes sense"
Me: "The 4 of us talking about this for a half hour will cost the company $375."
[cut to inside the $375 meeting]
Manager's Manager: "Things are tight, we just don't have the budget this year."
An individual employee at a technical company should be able to spend $100-200/year with discretion (mouse, keyboard, utility program, cheap service, etc). (That's not counting whatever the company might allocate for people to get their own development systems, which some companies do.) A first-line manager should be able to approve more than that (e.g. a monitor, a more substantive service).
So every department builds up a hidden account and 'shadow IT'...
I recall a couple of years back I was trying to purchase a POEditor subscription, which is $14/m. This was for a large dev project where the customer was paying us around $10M. After several meetings encompassing a ridiculous number of people, many of whom weren't related to the project in any way, I added up the costs and showed the PM: it was well into 5 figures, not accounting for loss of productive time for our customer. The PM just shrugged, "that's the way it works, they won't change".
Then there is another piece of software that costs $200,000 but that's okay because someone more important than John decided they need it. Probably some website where you can upload PowerPoint presentations.
And what you just said about $20 apps is 100% why.
I think it’s probably if not the entire reason, then part of a factor of having less power and influence in the former (Though being expected to be answerable in full for “why did cost x go up?”), and measurably more in the latter-personal history has born this out with a predictable consistency.
Ask me to do the math, I will happily and eagerly get to work. Ask me to sit on a budget call and deal with the politics of who gets how many beans and I want to throw myself out a top floor window.
Given that, it seems to me wise to look for ways to make purchasing less nightmarish without needing to reform several thousand large bureaucracies.
When I consider the vast sums of money wasted by the purchasing bureaucracy where I work, it boggles the mind.
Everyone knows it, but inertia and fear of change are rampant in large organisations.
- Provide a plan that fit within common purchasing card limits/tiers, to enable those who want to bypass the internal controls of their purchasing department and just slip it in on an expense report and be done with it.
- Provide a plan that adds several zeros, to make it worth the hassle when you get a customer that does try to go through the official purchasing department process. This will entail contract reviews, security/compliance certifications/audits, invoicing hassles, ongoing support requests (you will get lots of emails, even for things that could trivially be self-serviced by the client), etc. You'll be sinking lots of labor into this process regardless of the price tag, so make it worth it.
Strongly agree with you although what "common" means here is tricky.
I imagine "common" in Local Government is different from tech giants ... and geography brings another whole dimension into it.
Less of a problem if your product is strongly focused on one country and one industry.
"Provide a plan that adds several zeros"
I think this is ideal but I've noticed that this isn't generally how it's done. The third tier of pricing is generally "Talk to us" and the first part of "Talk to us" is the supplier working out how much they can get and so requires the sort of sales management skills which many tech startups don't have.
In passing there's a lot of sense about pricing in https://www.joelonsoftware.com/2004/12/15/camels-and-rubber-...
Ha, true! I've never seen it done, but someone should really A/B test adding a "Expensing this product for work? Reach out for a custom payment plan that fits your needs!" message if their product is popular with a business crowd.
> is the supplier working out how much they can get and so requires the sort of sales management skills which many tech startups don't have.
So this is sometimes the case, but not always.
Is the standard plan enough for you, but you require us to invoice your AP department for payment? Or you a second login for IT with access to the login/audit logs, but otherwise don't need any "enterprise" features?
You can likely get it close to the listed rate, with a minor premium for the additional effort.
Will you be a high volume user, but capable of being self-sufficient with the self-service tooling? You can get tiered pricing based off of usage, no account manager, and a fixed rate for engineering time if you need any custom support.
Will you be a massive pain - requiring an in-depth security audit, require us to agree to potentially costly-to-comply-with contractual clauses, need an account person to do every little thing for you (plus constantly (re)train your staff/agency's staff), require a generous amount of engineering time baked into the contract, and split out the agreement between a base MSA and incremental SOWs for each actual usage internally? Your pricing is no longer based on the actual product itself, but on the uncertain but potentially massive amount of labor that's going to be required to support your account.
So "Talk to us" is as much the supplier trying to figure out specifically what sort of customer you are and what your needs are (and how much you'll ultimately going to cost them), as it is working out the pricing to go with that. Which is why you don't generally see an actual listed rate with several zeros added, because that is honestly only one of the potential outcomes and "Talk to us" leaves open capturing the other outcomes as well.
I've also had success using the "Talk to us" to get lower than list rates. Sometimes because my needs are such a tiny fraction of the intended usage of the plan with a list rate. Sometimes because I work for a company that does $10bn a year in revenue, and the company is hopeful that my usage of the tool will potentially domino into other users internally seeking it out. You're right in that many tech startups don't have a high level of sales management skills from the get go, but only the very last example above really requires true sales effort. The rest are just very low pressure sales needs that require minimal if any incremental effort to support, but just happen to not fit cleanly in the pre-defined plan templates you have listed.
I do agree with your sentiment though, asking the customer to change is an uphill battle. I have customers with lots of custom billing situations, I loathe then all.
one day I'll be late with the payments a few times so that we can start the discussion with some other vendor that will charge >100x but can issue POs.
Software resellers do this as a job, and I thought they are stupid middlemen nobody loves. Actually they are amazing.
More important than the PO form is the entire rest of the corporate purchasing process it entails. You send them a quote, they try haggle you down, they might make their internal team send the bid out to multiple vendors for quotes and try to play you all off against each other (and how well you meet the requirements for the actual end user is not a a part of this process, just their checklist which is three degrees removed) they decide what quantities they want to buy, you confirm the price, send an invoice, they'll pay net 30 or net 90 or whatever their purchasing department decides via whatever payment method their department decides and you'll do it because with the bulk order amount and the markup you'll decide is justified for this hassle, the money is too much to refuse.
The steps to complete a transaction at any Fortune 500 company are usually: NDA, proof of concept, MSA or short form MSA, PO.
One turn-off for us for machine learning platforms was going to the website, wanting to try the software, and then finding a button that says "Schedule a demo" or "Schedule a sales call". I want to try the software, not talk with your salespeople. I want to create an account, or request access to a demo account without speaking with someone. Then I want to be able to pay for it without speaking to someone. I have the proverbial, and sometimes literal, credit card in my hand: let me pay.
That weighed on our decision to make our own platform, because we simply don't like to buy things this way.
Again, there are differences with low-touch and high-touch software, and situations where the regulatory context or contract amounts require that at some point, people sit down together, but that's for particular cases and clients. We made custom machine learning products for large enterprise, so we sit a lot with clients, but the word "custom" is there.
Some content that goes into this is Slack's CEO discussing this with Yammer's former CEO. Slack's CEO also discussed this in a Pando Monthly: they didn't have a "sales" team, but sometimes needed to 'onboard' a large organization. He also addresses how raising $1B reassured many 'traditional' and 'sensitive' organizations into using Slack for internal communications.
- : https://iko.ai
- : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4NbXBGjUrA0
- : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TbM1iOi33NY
Share the sentiment but both of us are likely not the target audience for these kinds of funnels then. Decision-makers who go down the "talk to our sales team" route are more likely to sign big enterprise-y contracts in the end I guess
Except I'm an engineer first who just happens to be able to make that decision, and I made the decision not to buy.
Here's the thing: we've been making bespoke machine learning products for large enterprise for quite long. Not huge contracts, but say mid six-figures on average. We sit down with our clients but the key word here is "bespoke", which warrants these meetings and communications and calls. We build these solutions from scratch to solve their problems with their workflows. Anything that's not bespoke or where we don't have to discuss regulatory matters or where that conversation is not required by law is a roadblock for my purchase.
One reason we're making our platform is to reduce that necessity and be able to deliver that value to companies without ever speaking to us. Heck that "speaking" is also included in the cost of the product, and all those "engineer.days" add up pretty quickly, making our client list exclusively composed of behemoths who sometimes happen to have internal ML teams but just need more help, or because we happen to have expertise on a problem and they're inexperienced despite their size. One of our biggest frustrations is that we could not serve smaller organizations, and I'm not even talking mom & pop's or SMBs, but even some organizations that seem large shy away from this kind of projects even though they want to leverage data.
I find that these companies and products are targeting decision makers who do not consult with their teams and buy products nobody will use. They're targeting dysfunctional organizations which, I'll grant you that, may be a large enough segment to build a business around. Not my ideal to wake up and earn a living, though, but that's another matter.
: https://gist.github.com/CumpsD/696599d1bd4cd472a056586967293... - this is about (UK) external recruitment companies, but the same applies.
Show me the facts, and leave my mind to decide what it is, not lie to me what you think will make the sale. It is just a waste of my time.
Free demos are my nightmare. I really don't have that much time to split between fixing existing issues, adding critical features for paying customers, and supporting or troubleshooting for users that aren't paying anything. That's not to say at a point in the future the organization could have the capacity for a sick free trial, it's just that free trials cost money.
But I agree that they should make provisions for people who just want to pay and get to business.
We're talking about buying product: I have at least to ensure the product does what I need it to do before even considering buying the product, and I can do that on my own. We're not talking about selling airplanes here, where there might be some setting up required for me to test the specs, neither are we talking about software targeted to governmental agencies or the intelligence community. We're talking about products that claim they do X for the knowledge worker, but fail to provide a way for a knowledge worker to test X.
This can be turned to: "If you have to talk to me before I could use or buy the product, something's fishy".
That's Theranos/Nikola hyping the product with claims it can do things but nobody ever saw it do that thing.
I get the price segmentation argument, though there may be better ways to extract more value by providing tailored services to large clients to solve problems only large clients have.
The way we do that is giving people access to the platform, letting some time go by, then engaging the users and asking questions. We also have Slack channels in case they have problems.
Why we leave them alone: because I don't like it when someone immediately engages us asking us a bunch of questions when we start using something, or try and up-sell right when I'm discovering the product. I also don't like energetic chatbots popping up on different tabs of the same website, making all kinds of sounds wanting to get my attention to help me. Back off, I'll close that site and will not visit it again.
We give people time so we could at least observe what's broken. Did the person not start using the product immediately? Why? Was the user unsuccessful accomplishing a key task with a key feature of the product? Why? Is it a problem of discoverability, or is it just that it is not our target user? How can we improve that either way?
Then, when you go to make it official, you have much more power in the negotiation.
If it's working well, making the "shadow IT" SaaS tool an official purchase typically goes:
Team Lead: Everyone is using this tool, we're about to go above the free tier and need to purchase it.
IT/Finance: You should have gone through the process, you need to fill out these forms.
VP/CEO (to IT/Finance, seeing value of tool): Just get it done
> Just get it done
Getting it done is a process heavy, minimum 4 month process because of purchasing rules. That's the problem I'm calling out.
No need for someone to do that. The process and distribution method kept you from that.
Examples: YouTube, GitHub.
I may have been unclear. The "bottom up" approach is precisely designed to circumvent and solve the case where the user is not necessarily the buyer. It emerged to solve the "shrink-wrap software", or when you did not have an army of salespeople.
One way to look at it is "bringing SaaS to enterprise", which was typically the distribution model for consumer applications.
Plus delegating control of your payment relationship with your customers to a third party is more of a pain than a boon.
My engineers could spend money on new pieces of third-party infrastructure pretty easily via Heroku plug-ins. If the spend got big we figured out how to address it.
For this dynamic to work for you as SaaS developer, you need enough runway to wait for your users to adopt your tech and have some fraction organically grow big enough to be real money.
This rhymes with how Intuit won the accounting market. They initially got destroyed in reviews when compared to their more mature yet complicated competition, but everyone starting a business wanted cheap and simple. You just need to be willing to wait for enough of your early garage-based startup customers to become S&P 500 companies. While you're waiting, you're also evolving your product so that it better meets your growing customers' needs.
Even if an actual product value exists after accounting for spin, the gated access means high training cost which in turn means vendor lock-in.
"Schedule a ..." ticks all the wrong boxes. Except for dinner, dinner is often quite good. In fact maybe they would get more traction with "schedule dinner."
Yes, some things should 'just be self serve' but many things, not so much.
You can really only know a car by test driving it. But that doesn't meant that Toyota doesn't publish photos of its interiors and asks you to schedule a test drive before finding out the price. I can quickly find out what cars might be suitable for my needs given their properties and their pricing, and THEN commit my time to test driving the best candidates. If you just say "Believe me. This is the best car. People are saying what a great car this is. This is a car that you'll come in and you'll test drive, and you'll say that you've never even seen a car this good." Well I'm just going to ignore you.
I take having to explain what our product does to users as a failure on our part. We have the same mentality when we have to personally explain what code does to our colleagues. We take the necessary measures of using better abstractions, writing documentation and Wikis, simplifying code, and making efforts so that "failure demand" does not arise.
In terms of product, it's either our documentation sucks, or a problem of "affordances and signifiers", or a problem of targeting the "wrong" users.
See also: https://vanguard-method.net/failure-demand/
It just seems like the author is looking for a band-aid instead of the real problem; a heavily bureaucratic procurement system in their company.
Sure, but as someone who works at that sort of company, we happily give lots of real money to companies that solve that problem for us. As recently as a few month ago I wanted to spend 1-3 thousand dollars pr year on a SaaS product. The problem internally was never exactly how many thousands I was spending, but what the payment process looked like. And the sole reason I didn't give that money to the SaaS company was because they couldn't work with our procurement process. We're now investigating a much more expensive solution from a much bigger company.
I'm sure the SaaS company turning down our money was being rational and figure the cost of taking our money was higher than the profit they'd make from us, but there still seems to be money left on the table for someone to scoop up.
Bingo. My guess is that it may be efficient for many small companies to offload the burden of dealing with procurement processes to a single specialized entity.
I'm not looking for a band aid. I'm looking for a solution that helps the SaaS industry without demanding that the Fortune 500 get their act together, because they ain't changing for our benefit any time soon.
Can you expand on
> Additionally, the mismatch of billing structures would lead to the hypothetical reseller either keeping margins (big turn-off for onboarding I bet) or keeping wildly volatile short-term liabilities on their balance.
Imagine you have services that the end-customer has subscribed for. Some of them are billed weekly, some monthly. Some of the monthly ones are billed the middle of the month based on usage, and some at the week following the month's end based on a mix of monthly subscription and overage.
When a specific invoice that has the potential to vary greatly from period-to-period, you might encounter cases where you have to pay for an invoice that was twice the amount of last month, but you will only be billing your end-customer 20+ days from now! This means that you have to either foot the bill, or wait a little bit and keep the amount in your balance sheet.
When you scale up, you are essentially providing a financing product. You can counter this by asking the users to deposit an amount equaling the base subscription or other service fee, but you can still run into cases where you might simply be cash-strapped to pay your clients' bills; this would put the hypothetical reseller into essentially what's a bank run. Not fun.
Edit: Sorry, they would handle the POs so that is liability, I guess some kind of verification or legal framework is also needed here.
Our clients send us purchase orders in Europe, but the context is custom, turn-key, machine learning products developer for large enterprise. We take them by the hand from "I have many problems" to a product their people want to use.
We're building our machine learning platform to make that product development faster (data, scheduling training notebooks, automatic tracking, etc.). We also adopted a plugin architecture for product so we can plug functionality and, more importantly, remove functionality to allow clients to discard what they don't need and avoid a product with 2000 buttons and menu items.
Slack is a great example - they only sell direct. And companies who use Slack have a tendency to "sprawl" into other SaaS apps that may not have a reseller channel, creating a bit of a snowball effect. Contrast this with companies "bought in" to Microsoft where it's much more common to see them adopt Microsoft Teams and other technologies to avoid that sprawl - and they typically buy via Microsoft partners who can bill them on a single invoice.
While we can't force SaaS vendors to acknowledge that customers want a single bill/distributor, we are working on the problem further upstream by creating a marketplace  backed by a network of connectivity agents who are expanding into the SaaS world. One point of purchase/bill for connectivity + SaaS (and IaaS) with additional benefits such as management, etc. Even more interestingly, we're covering the developer, distributor, reseller, and customer channels on a single platform.
Ive had a lot of success shaving hundreds of thousands off aws budgets and my first tactic is always to create mental awareness that every terraform apply is a virtual swipe of the company credit card.
In big companies, making it hard for non-executives to spend money is a feature not a bug.
I know it's one of those things that tends to change over time, particularly if your account rep changes, but wouldn't simply finding a reseller that doesn't suck be the answer here? Perhaps one that lets you automate quotes and purchases...
Quotes in this case are as trivial as a PDF generator that just inserts the fixed price into a commercial offer template. As it stands, you wouldn't believe how hard it is to pry something like that out of a typical SaaS vendor.
There are still some crucial obstacles to ensure robustness, but I'd love to get your feedback nonetheless. Could I ask some questions over email? I can't find yours, but I'm at email@example.com
(And thanks for reminding me that I need to add my email to the site.)
I’ll make sure to have another solution in place before next year’s renewal.
I feel your pain
So don't be the the subject of this story.
"Overly bureaucratic and suffocating organizations" might be a pain to deal with, but they are also fairly price insensitive once they've decided that they want to buy your service, assuming you make it easy for them to give you their money.
All changes got good intention:
1. We need to be secure. Know what kind of data there.
2. We need check and balances for finance.
3. We need to be compliant.
I would love if there would be open consortium that could provide a lot of services, without price overhead that also establish some quality/security/compliance bar for its members.
Companies as a broker model is flawed. Procurement won't accept paying 20%+ extra for same stuff. Terrible lock-in.
Instead of waiting for sales orgs to band together, purchasers band together to negotiate and vet products and services.
This is a much better model, in my opinion, because it keeps the incentives on the side of the buyers, not the sellers.
Keep in mind, certain products still have to be vetted by the individual purchasers due to statutory requirements. But, as a buyer you narrow the scope of offerings you have to consider and you increase the likelihood that your in-house audit will pass. So, there's still a benefit even if you absolutely must inspect their facilities yourself.
That process makes sense when you're buying and shipping pallets of physical inventory for 5-6 figures. It makes no sense in our SaaS world today.
I worked fulltime at my state college while I was also a fulltime student there. The amount of process to do anything was staggering. Buying something like a replacement hard drive required "quotes" from three different vendors (I printed pricing from 3 different websites). Forget about trying to buy 5 or 6 figure server equipment.
> Balancing buyer and seller interests while trying to get a cut.
You're essentially floating them a short term loan. You pay the provider immediately with your credit card and then sending the buyer a PO. Give procurement a portal to see the bills as they are from the sellers and your PO has an added line item charge (flat fee or preferably a percentage of original bill) for the service.
Depending on risk level of the institution, could probably require an upfront deposit to make sure you don't get burned.
Indeed. It's probably even harder for then than it was for us.
This is what made me jump to the idea of a non-profit consortium set up by SaaS vendors with a mandate to grow the market by reducing friction in purchasing
His argument is "I could buy any SaaS service I liked by simply clicking 'Subscribe to Foo-SaaS for 99 / mth' on my AWS dashboard."
This is true - it would solve his needs immediately and would yes lead to thousands of sales.
For about a week. Then every purchasing dept in the Fortune 500 would collectively spray their coffee over their monitors, and suddenly one of two things would happen a) AWS would offer Enterprises a "turn off that Sht" option (at a cost) or b) every purchasing department would add even more hurdles* before you could pay out.
Yes, it is hard to buy stuff in a corporate - but it is not a bug its a feature.
I have been through (many) purchase processes and they have always been painful. Especially true the first time you try and make a purchase at any large org.
I call this "Director Hazing". Being promoted to Director (US company designation) usually involves a year of administrative hell as you have to learn all the horrific systems that have grown up in the company over time. There is a sort of "sink or swim"
mentality and once a director gets through it they are selected for being the sort of person who can operate this
system (ie responds to emails quickly) - and that tends to work against promoting people who will fix it.
Anyway, as I say I reckon 25% of the time management thinks it should fix the problem and 75% of the time "I can work the system and so can anyone else at a certain level - everyone else has not been promoted and so should not get to spend the cash"
I still remain convinced the system works as intended.
A side note - there was some study I read about a major supermarket chain that used cameras and POS data to rank their checkout workers - and a small revolt from store managers killed the project. The store managers knew who performed best and worst at that part of the job - but that ranking did not fit the ranking for the other intangible parts of the job. And they wanted the flexibility to decide who to fire / keep / promote. And a clear metric would have got in the way.
Similarly management can if they want make sure your vendor is set up, your licenses paid for. If it is high enough up their priority tree. And if it is not having a widely hated terrible system is a good excuse to avoid saying no to subordinates...
FWIW, Stripe.com supports ACH (Automated Clearing House electronic funds transfer in the US) as well as payment cards. So a SaaS can take that kind of payment too, without lots of hassle. I haven't investigated Stripe's worthy competitors' ACH offerings, but they surely have them too.
And, big company purchasing departments can definitely get their hands on suitable payment cards for this purpose. They can guard them closely, and don't have to hand them out to random people.
This problem can be solved. (Well, it might take a decade or two...)
How do I submit a Purchase Order (PO number) to Atlassian?
To get started, complete our secure online Quote & Order Form. On the final confirmation page, check the PO number box to add your PO number. The PO number will appear on your quote or invoice (valid for 30-days). If you already have a quote or invoice, you can update the quote or invoice through my.atlassian.com via the Orders tab.
Atlassian is happy to reference a PO number on a quote or invoice for your internal tracking and record keeping. However, we do not accept purchase orders as a form of payment nor the terms and conditions commonly associated with purchase orders. We provide fully functional trial licenses for you to use while payment is being arranged. We are able to keep our prices low by offering standard product agreements to all our customers and do not offer commercial credit.
The worst is when. We deal with the vendor negotiate a price the procurement people who have no idea about what it is their purchasing have a kpi on saving big co x % off every piece of paper that passes their desk so they go in at the last mile after pretty much everything is set and pull your pants down (don’t forget to leave fat for this )
And good luck.
My team was able to deploy a highly sophisticated technology stack in less than 12 months that could add up to about 50 years of procurement (based on past experience acquiring software for large enterprises). There are 20x more disparate solutions/components, but it all rolls up to a single AWS Bill.
This approach has given us remarkable agility and easily outperform traditional vendor products like Mulesoft, IIB etc. because we are easily able to augment/extend/enhance
One thing that is kind of amusing was that I was able to find a price sheet in the AWS marketplace for GCP-owned Looker that isn't available anywhere else.
Apparently the AWS solution not only works as a way to simplify your purchasing, it also works to produce better transparency in the market.
I'm not sure the product mix in either case is necessarily what the OP was talking about, though. For example, I don't think, e.g. SalesForce or HubSpot are available on either.
"Managed Services are fully hosted, managed, and supported by the service providers. Although you register with the service provider to use the service, Google handles all billing."
Seems to be exactly what the author describes. No idea what share of the subscription fee Google takes.
I had outages purely because I could not just wire the money - a common way of handling payments in Poland (I have even used bank transfers to pay for pizza takeout).
I think it's an opportunity for a new kind of financial business, where SaaS subscriptions can be ordered (with some kind of approval workflow) by a selection of LargeCorp employees, and there is only 1 monthly grouped invoice to LargeCorp, with a known and pre-approved PO number.
Money could even be made by getting the money in from the LargeCorps earlier than it's being paid out to the SaaS services. Or a simple markup.
"Keep your competition out! onetool accepts a limited number of partners for each service and pricing-tier. Most of your competition will not be onboard if you are."
Read as, we'll only support a limited number of vendors who approach us first, regardless of which the best solutions are.
More likely, they will only recommend the vendors they get the biggest cuts from. As a user this is no use.
Interesting that their social proof lists a bunch of silicon valley companies that are probably about the least likely to have the issues I described.
Standardize everything, including the costs, seems like the end of creativity. However, creating a massive checklist that makes the user choose between services and, step by step, simulate final costs (which will include computation, task management, monitoring, customer support, etc.) is a titanic job that could change within the next generation.
I'm about to just see if we can charge the card for the full three months so we can manually flag the invoices as paid. Terms are net 18 usually.
The PO process is awful. We have to fill out forms as a vendor, submit tax information. It's completely unneeded.
If your company requires POs for SaaS you need to take a step out of the 20th century.
I wonder to what extent managers are defaulting to an AWS provided services just to reduce cognitive overhead (ie. thinking)?
They buy toilet paper, cleaning fluids, pens, envelopes that way.
A team of '10' needs 10 licences, they have their rep. from the finance do that, if it's over $X amount it needs approvals etc. etc. it's not rocket science, just like the special chairs, the screen for the window, the special hard drive.
I can assure you they do not (at least not in any company I have worked). They have pre-approved suppliers for all those things that are well integrated into our invoicing system. Adding a new supplier to that list is a major process.
If I need a new one off hard drive I can either either ask IT to order it from the one approved computer component company or I buy it out of pocket and go through the reimbursement process.
And many things are not.
Every company buys stuff from Staples/Costco/Wallmart, one-off parts and supplies.
The article mentioned having a 3rd party for the billing, indicating probably some kind of larger purchase, it's odd. Commercial Banking usually provide Amex/Visa linked accounts with limits, for a variety of things, it's not a new idea.
They have vendor relationships with them. The amount of stuff they're putting on the credit card is a rounding error.
- team accounts
- budgets and rules for new software
- password management with security audits and MFA enforcement
- automated purchasing during employee onboarding
- hardware and other purchase management like laptops and mobile device management
To me that sounds like Atlassian is leaving a lot of money on the table
I believe lot of money is a relative term.