Software-as-a-service (SaaS) isn’t just a hip label used to describe new software technologies. It’s a software licensing and distributing model that has completely changed the way businesses operate in today’s innovative environment. According to Gartner, SaaS subscriptions are expected to grow 20.3% in 2016, equaling a total of $37.7B in market value.

Gone are the days of purchasing disks that contain software to download onto a computer and register. This MacBook I’m currently typing on doesn’t even have a disk drive.  While this new method of software delivery has its many upsides, there are challenges not always apparent to users or business owners.

Can you answer these questions about your own organization?

  1. Do you know how much your organization spends on monthly SaaS subscriptions?
  2. Are you sure that people are actually using the SaaS platforms you company is paying for?
  3. Is there any redundancy of SaaS subscriptions causing confusion and wasting money?

Whether it’s an email skin for productivity, a social media monitoring platform, or an accounting service, your employees are likely purchasing software-as-a-service subscriptions to accomplish their daily tasks.  As your company grows, it is critical that you track these expenses.

Chances are there are plenty of subscriptions you aren’t aware of and it’s not easy to tell just how much these subscriptions are costing your company, even though you know they are vital to your business success.

Zylo, a new software-as-a-service platform, is going to transform how companies manage and optimize the growing number of cloud-based applications employees purchase for work. Currently in beta with Appirio, Interactive Intelligence, and Return Path, Zylo provides businesses with visibility into the often decentralized purchases of cloud-based software. The platform identifies unused or underused software licenses and provides critical insights and analytics to inform purchasing decisions and contract renewals.

Zylo serves as an online command center for all subscription-based software used across a company and allows visibility into what software is being used optimally, how much is being spent, and how to further optimize their software-as-a-service investments.

Eric Christopher (pictured second from the right above), founder and CEO of Zylo, started his career in sales at ExactTarget (now Salesforce) in the company’s early days when it was growing fast and changing the way people used email to communicate. He went on to serve as a key sales leader with Chicago area SaaS companies Shoutlet and Sprout Social. Christopher experienced a lot of inefficiencies when it came to selling software, and the idea for Zylo fomented from those experiences.

Zylo is the fourth company to launch from the venture studio High Alpha since last summer. In addition to Christopher as the CEO, the Zylo leadership team includes SaaS veterans  Ben Pippenger,  Cory Wheeler,  and Ryan Carroll. Christopher says they plan on hiring up to 8-10 new team members and several open positions are currently listed on their website.

Solutions Zylo

Zylo’s initial focuses to give businesses insight into their usage of Saas:

  1. Spend: Gain visibility into hidden employee expenditures and manage complex contract renewals
  2. Utilization: Understand the utilization of your SaaS subscriptions across the entire organization
  3. Feedback: Capture sentiment and specific insights into how your employees are leveraging software

“With the increase we have seen in subscription-based software, software is being purchased and used like never before,” said Christopher. “Zylo brings a whole new approach to managing these softwares, allowing companies to save money on unused or underused products and allowing providers an easier channel to sell through.”

Zylo is currently targeting larger corporations for their projected Fall 2016 release, although they are confident that the platform can be scaled for smaller businesses and every size in between.

Integration with cloud identity leader Okta:

The company just this week released information about a new integration with Okta, the cloud software identity management leader, during Okta’s conference (Oktane16) in Las Vegas. The integration brings Okta-powered usage data from applications like Salesforce, Adobe and Workday and more than 5,000 other cloud-based applications into Zylo to identify idle and underused software licenses and inform purchasing decisions and contract renewals.

Okta’s identity management platform seamlessly integrates subscription software usage data of applications accessed or managed through Okta directly into Zylo’s platform. Data is immediately available to power SaaS application usage reports, contract renewal alerts with utilization details and real-time usage and license insights on Zylo’s centralized dashboard.

“We have instant visibility into our SaaS spend and under-utilized software solutions with the Zylo and Okta integration,” said Christopher Bruzzi, Appirio’s vice president of technology. “This gives my team the ability to have proactive and strategic conversations with internal software owners and SaaS vendors to realize the full potential of the software we purchase.”

Read the full press release about the integration with Okta. To read the original company launch announcement from High Alpha and learn more about the platform, visit