Plotly is a software company whose mission is to enable every company, around the world, to build data apps. Our product, Dash Enterprise, is a platform of best-in-class development tools to quickly and easily visualize data in Python from virtually any data source. With customers across the Fortune 500, Plotly is a category-defining leader in enabling data-driven decisions from advanced analytics, machine learning, and artificial intelligence.
At many high-growth companies, SaaS buying hits a tipping point seemingly overnight. Busy teams purchase new tools as needed, and the corporate card becomes a catch-all for internal tool procurement spend.
Robyn Rhodes, Plotly’s Financial Analyst and procurement point person, found herself at this crossroads in 2021.
Besides the lack of visibility, the company’s card-based SaaS procurement approach meant few deals went through the necessary budget, legal, and security reviews. As Robyn recalls, “When we did get involved, which was rare before Vendr, it would take a lot of time and emails. We didn't have the capacity for it.”
Robyn decided the moment had come for a SaaS tool to bring order to the company’s purchasing process. She canceled the corporate card and started looking at her options.
In the shadow of ad hoc purchasing and some instances of SaaS buyer’s remorse, Robyn and the team committed to thoroughly reviewing their options. Vendr offered features to establish an approval process, manage the company’s renewal cadence, and give Plotly the tools to get fair pricing and terms. However, Vendr’s true differentiator was the human touch.
“We liked the buyers,” Robyn said. ” We also knew we’d be moving to NetSuite and were already on Salesforce. Vendr had buyers who were well-versed in both, so we had experts for tools we weren't knowledgeable in.” The combination of expertise and strong partnership made selecting Vendr “a no-brainer.” Plotly brought Vendr online in November 2021.
Having a partner to take care of the big-ticket items meant that Robyn could craft a procurement process to give stakeholders more autonomy in selecting tools.
Getting the SaaS stack in order
Once Plotly implemented Vendr and got their existing contracts into the system, the Finance team had the right visibility to make internal tool procurement buying decisions.
During their initial stack audit, Robyn uncovered thousands of dollars in savings just by evaluating employees’ needs. Vendr paid for itself the first month by uncovering $50,000 of savings by eliminating a single, rarely-used piece of software.
Plotly found even bigger savings in their planned purchase of NetSuite, realizing over $600,000 in savings on the deal.
Now instead of surprise corporate card charges, Robyn has visibility into deals well in advance. Renewals used to sneak up, which robbed the Plotly team of negotiating power. Now, a renewal calendar lets Robyn know what’s coming up, and stack visibility makes it easier to buy the correct number of licenses for their needs. “I trust that we're doing the right thing now, that we're getting a good deal, and it’s the right tool,” Robyn said.
Leveraging the SaaS Consultants team at Vendr has helped Plotly realize nearly a million dollars in savings. With Vendr+, customers can buy high-quality products in a streamlined procurement process, creating fast, fair, and risk-free purchases.
When Plotly needed a tool to enhance its customer retention, Robyn began her research with a list of suggestions from the buyer team, landing on the customer success platform ChurnZero as a potential solution. After a needs analysis, they moved forward with the deal through Vendr+.
The savings helped fund future software purchases, such as purchasing the compliance platform Vanta and CaptivateIQ. Both suppliers are members of the Vendr+ program, so Plotly received Vendr+ benefits on these contracts as well.
Robyn and the team look forward to more opportunities to strengthen the Vendr partnership, realize savings, and identify great tools to help Plotly’s users perform their best work.
Vendr helped the data science startup Plot.ly gain visibility into its tech stack, save six figures on SaaS buying, and identify new software tools.
- Moved the tech stack from credit-card-driven procurement to a fast and automated process for better outcomes.
- Identified savings of $50,000 on a single tool, effectively recouping the investment in Vendr with a single transaction.
- Supported negotiations on several large-dollar transactions for NetSuite and Salesforce through Vendr’s specialty buyers.
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