The story of forgotten subscriptions and the birth of Zluri

One Saturday evening, I got an email notification that I was charged $80 for Adobe creative cloud subscription. I could not recollect when I had purchased it. Digging deeper, I understood that I had bought it a year ago when I was all excited about dusting off my DSLR and wanting to edit pictures. That enthusiasm lasted a month, and I had forgotten about my subscription. When the email notification popped up for $80, I decided to look deeper into my emails and credit card statements and see how many such subscriptions I was paying for and my usage.

I found out that I was paying for 14 subscriptions. Of the 14, I was not using 2 of them for the last two years - both were video subscriptions similar to Netflix. I've always prided myself on maintaining a perfect track record when it came to personal finance, and yet this happened to me.

I spoke to a few friends of mine, and everyone seemed to have had a similar experience with subscriptions but didn't bother to look for a solution. At best, they started documenting the subscriptions on a spreadsheet but never cared to update it on an ongoing basis. One of my friends, however, had a different response. He said he was managing about 50 software subscriptions for his company of about 100 employees, and every other month there was some issue with the record-keeping of subscriptions. He searched online, and there were no reasonable solutions that could solve his problem, and like everyone, he too resorted to a spreadsheet!

Subscription Management -> Subscription Monitoring -> SaaS Management

I searched online for subscription management, and the search results led me to sites that help me manage my business' recurring billing issues. That was not what I was looking for.

I tweaked my search to subscription monitoring/tracking, and I was able to find a few consumer apps (I will write a blog on the consumer apps as a follow up to this). However, none popped up for Mid-market or Enterprise business use cases. Am I searching the wrong way? Is there another way in which this problem is referred to in the industry? With everything becoming a SaaS model of delivery, why isn't there a solution? Oh, wait! What does the search for SaaS management lead to? There you go!! It lead me to a bunch of companies that solve this problem. Something was missing in their product or their approach to the customers. It just was not coming together. That got me thinking. Did some SaaS deep dive in the context of mid-market and enterprise businesses. Some of the points were eye-opening for me. Sharing some with you.

SaaS Management is Vital for Mid-market / Enterprise' Scalability and Agility

Yearly more than 30% of the ‘paid for’ SaaS goes unused confirms research by Gartner. 

That’s the number based on current SaaS applications used in mid-market and enterprise companies. With the SaaS model of software delivery only set to grow year after year from now, you can imagine the amount of $ wastage that’s waiting to happen. Not to forget the compliance that needs to be taken care of when the company environment becomes SaaS-ified.

Can this problem be solved better? Can Mid-Market / Enterprise customers have an alternative? Every data point on the internet lead me to only three conclusive points, (for the moment, I am saving you from the stats)

  1. The market for SaaS is still in its infancy. Every business function will have to adopt numerous SaaS applications to scale their operations in the next 3-7 years or sooner.

  2. Running a tight ship on security and compliance in a SaaS-ified environment will be a massive challenge for IT teams soon.

If the above is conclusive, then as a first step, an effective SaaS management tool becomes a must-have in all Organizations. Simply put, having a SaaS management tool is like having a meter for your electricity usage.

Magic of 3

I reached out to 2 of my good friends with this idea and they resonated with the idea too (and that has never happened before!). We spoke at length between us and we spoke to our friends and prospective buyers with this idea. Every single one of them resonated with the SaaS management/optimizing software sprawl idea. After a few late-night conversations and a clear path as to how we planned to address this for the long term, we decided to start-up. Zluri was born.

How can you help us? If you have read this far, thank you. It means a lot. If you are keen to use the free beta version of our product, please fill this form. We will share access to it as soon as we have it ready :)