Show me the data: SoftWatch helps enterprises optimise application spend

SoftWatch

Application usage analytics provider SoftWatch has signed a global agreement with Google to market its Applications Analytics SaaS solutions.

Established in Israel in 2009, the company began working in licence optimisation, but in the last two years has focused on helping companies to move to cloud-based productivity suites Microsoft Office 365 and Google Apps.

SoftWatch’s solutions are based on patent-pending technology that analyses to what extent employees are actually using applications and cloud services, and provides user segmentation for inactive users, viewers, light editors, and heavy users.

“Our focus is to provide analytic data to help them understand the pattern of usage by their employees, and then draw from this the real needs for an application,” said Moshe Kozlovski, co-CEO, SoftWatch.

“We provide objective data and the customer has to decide what is best from there. When you see the analysis, you understand the real usage and what is the magnitude of changes required to move from one environment to another, and do it smartly.”

Under the agreement, which follows a year of collaboration, Google will encourage its salesforce and global reseller network to work with SoftWatch and offer the service to customers around the world.

SoftWatch also recently released a benchmark of 146 companies with a total 400,000 employees, which revealed some perhaps surprising results. The average employee used MS Office applications (excluding Outlook) for only 15 minutes a day for editing activities, and the percentage of heavy users in PowerPoint, Word and Excel was 2 per cent, 9 per cent, and 23 per cent respectively.

Sixty-five per cent of the employees were segmented as light users on all three applications, and the number of employees who heavily used two MS Office applications was less than 2 per cent, with virtually none using all three applications heavily.

The study concludes that the magnitude of change when moving to cloud-based productivity suites is less than perceived: according to SoftWatch, 80 per cent of MS office users do not use advanced features and can move relatively easily to cloud-based solutions. Moving the correct user segments can allow organisations to realise savings of up to 90 per cent on their current MS Office license spend.

Having a good understanding of employees’ real versus their perceived usage also helps with the change management process, as training can be targeted specifically to the applications users are actually using most, rather than across an entire suite.

Kozlovski said their analysis provides customers with both insight and evidence.

“Some people say they never imagined this is the case; whereas others say they knew this was the case, but they had no way to prove it or to act on it. Once they have the tools, they can be smart and go to their management to show they can save money. At the end of the day, it is trying to bring the right information to them.”

To check out the results of the SoftWatch 2015 MS Office Usage Benchmark, click here.

SoftWatch’s three steps to transition to Google Apps for Work

  1. Make an informed decision whether to move to Google Apps based on applications usage analysis.
  2. A usage-based transition plan is built based on detailed user segmentation. For example, viewers and light editors may be transitioned first, as the change would be more straightforward; while heavy users may be transitioned in a later phase with more support and change management.
  3. The transition plan is executed with SoftWatch’s solutions acting as a monitoring and management vehicle to ensure adoption of Google Apps and optimise MS Office license spending.