CoreView, the #1 SaaS Management Platform (SMP) for Office 365 just bought Alpin, a leading management solution for all SaaS applications. The two companies share the same SaaS management vision, with different and complementary approaches – making a perfect combination.
CoreView’s market-leading and award-winning platform helps organizations – from enterprises to SMBs – manage, secure and drive adoption of Office 365, oftentimes delivering ‘hard’ ROI of 30% or more.
Alpin addresses a broad spectrum of 40,000+ SaaS applications, by discovering both approved and Shadow IT SaaS apps, tracking usage, costs, and renewal schedules, and mitigating risks by identifying and remediating security and configuration vulnerabilities in real-time. Like CoreView, Alpin offers automated workflows and drives deep license and subscription savings, with cost reductions averaging 30%.
CoreView CEO Michael Morrison, together with Alpin CEO and Co-Founder Julien Denaes and Co-Founder Mark Evans, talked about how the companies fit together, and the benefits offered to both Office 365 shops and other enterprises that have many SaaS applications in use or worry about Shadow IT.
So why Alpin?
Michael Morrison: From the highest-level view, CoreView is the #1 SaaS management platform for Office 365. We do it better than anybody else does. We are the most robust and comprehensive. Nobody else is even close to the value we provide to organizations that use Office 365.
So why Alpin? For us, it means we can provide more value to our Office 365 customers, prospects and partners – and Microsoft itself – by delivering the same kind of granular visibility and insights that we deliver today for Office 365 – to 1,000s of other SaaS applications.
That is the 30,000-foot view of things. With Alpin, we capitalize on the rich DNA we have around understanding one of the most predominant SaaS applications in the world – Office 365 — and extend it to thousands of other SaaS applications by leveraging Alpin’s DNA and expertise.
I have heard from many CoreView customers who ask about our ability to provide them with the type of insights we do around Office 365 for their other SaaS applications. They know that we have unparalleled expertise in providing granular visibility into their Office 365 environments, and want that same level of knowledge around their other SaaS investments. Specifically, SaaS applications that are alternatives to Office 365 workloads like Slack, or Box or Zoom.
Our primary focus with Alpin initially is to help our customers ‘discover’ their entire SaaS landscape – especially as it relates to Office 365 and Office 365 alternatives – and then guide them on a journey to optimize their Office 365 investment by driving engagement to Office 365 workloads where it makes sense, or co-existing with Office 365 workloads if that is the right approach. We have an unblemished track record of delivering proven ROI to our customers and partners, and we are excited to have Alpin extend our value proposition beyond Office 365 to 1,000s of other SaaS applications.
Alpin is a very complementary extension of the Office 365 solution CoreView offers. Alpin makes us that much more valuable to our current CoreView constituency. And the good news is that’s Alpin’s constituency as well.
What did Alpin see in CoreView?
Julien Denaes: Alpin greatly complements CoreView’s Office 365 solutions. For customers using both, one plus one equals three, and that is perfect for large enterprises. Large enterprise customers have SaaS management needs beyond Office 365. Alpin discovers and profiles an amazing number of other SaaS applications – over 40,000 of them. Together, CoreView and Alpin are an even better solution for enterprise customers.
When we first looked at CoreView, we were impressed by so much similarity. We are aligned as two teams — we have the same vision. We just took a different approach to tackling the same problem – SaaS management. CoreView went deep on Office 365 and we decided to go broad with many integrations. In the end, the vision is the same — to provide the best SaaS Management Platform (SMP) in the world to help organizations effectively manage, secure and adopt their SaaS applications.
When we first started to talk, we saw so many synergies between our companies. This combination makes so much sense. It was like looking at a mirror, or like a big brother. That got us excited.
How do CoreView and Alpin complement each other and drive customer value?
Mark Evans: We recognized that CoreView was THE standout platform for managing the most important SaaS solution in the world – Office 365. We complement that with the ability to manage other SaaS platforms and dramatically extend what CoreView can do for its customers as it relates to Office 365. It was a combination of taking the best that is already out there and making it better at what it does. So many things fit together; it is like two parts of the same family.
We recognize that truly one plus one equals three. We will be able to satisfy our customers faster and deliver much more benefit and much more value.
What does “one plus one equals three” mean?
Mark Evans: The reality is, if you are an enterprise, it’s practically a no-brainer to use the combined CoreView/Alpin platform. So many enterprises run Office 365, and CoreView is unbelievably valuable for managing that. Then you get Alpin’s integrations and the ability to discover and manage all your other SaaS applications. You get the discovery, the financial management, the security and monitoring across your entire SaaS landscape and you save a lot of money by driving adoption of SaaS applications that you have already paid for.
Why is SaaS and Shadow IT discovery important to Office 365 shops?
Julien Denaes: This discovery is immensely useful for organizations that run Office 365. They can see that many workers aren’t using core Office 365 applications, but instead using third party apps that are not a corporate standard – like Slack or Dropbox or Zoom. This wastes money since Office 365 is already paid for, and organizations can create huge security issues or data leakage issues if they don’t have the proper control over, or visibility into, their SaaS environment.
With Alpin, you can identify SaaS solutions that you might want to migrate away from to something else that is already provided as part of Office 365.
For example, Microsoft is really pushing on adoption of Microsoft Teams, pointing out to customers just how much functionality is built into this Office 365 workload. Customers of CoreView need to understand who is on WebEx, who is on Zoom, and who are their Slack users in order to migrate them to Microsoft Teams.
Using Alpin to discover users on those applications helps the customer redirect users to adopt the right tool – which is already paid for.
Alpin monitors thousands of SaaS applications, including Office 365. Our vision is one where SaaS monitoring – meaning user monitoring and third party application monitoring – allows the customer to see what is happening in each SaaS application. Discovery is the important first step in the short term. I think in the long term, customers will really see the value of Alpin and CoreView as a whole, because monitoring and management will cover many SaaS apps and play a bigger role in day-to-day application usage and management.
Why are buyers interested in both solutions?
Mark Evans: There are common buyer personas in both of our markets. One core area of overlap is Finance – and Procurement – where they want to save money and optimize technology investments. And it’s not just about saving money. It’s managing renewals and license compliance. And it’s also about cost allocation and chargebacks. Since the Alpin and CoreView platforms can recognize who is using what, it makes it easy to apportion the costs. That is a huge win, and it’s so easy with CoreView and Alpin.
Infosec teams see substantial value in both CoreView and Alpin, because both solutions identify security vulnerabilities, and offer easy ways to close those vulnerabilities. It just gets better with the products working in concert.
Another key buyer for Alpin and increasingly CoreView solutions is Software Asset Management (SAM), as well as IT Asset Management (ITAM). These groups are charged with knowing everything that is in use and everything about who is using it – is that usage compliant with licensing? What are the costs and renewal terms? Alpin is almost magically powerful at revealing all of this crucial information. And since Office 365 is often an enterprise’s biggest asset, it is something that needs to be managed carefully, and to maximum benefit. That gets back to finding duplicative apps that offer functionality already built into O365. We find customers that are spending 30% more than they need to for things like this. If you manage that asset properly, savings can be applied to other areas of IT. That is a compelling value statement.
Doesn’t Software Asset Management already do what Alpin does?
Julien Denaes: Many people are calling us saying they have had a legacy software asset management (SAM) tool for the past X years, if not decades. However, those tools are not really tackling SaaS management the right way.
Traditional SAM tools for on-premises licenses are very different from what is happening in SaaS. And we see that in customer demand: we have large IT service companies saying they are already selling legacy SAM tools, but their customers are asking for a dedicated SaaS Management Platform. It is an evolution, but the SAM tools missed the boat on SaaS.
Who exactly cares about Shadow IT?
Mark Evans: Information Security (InfoSec) folks are definitely interested– it is part of overall Governance, Regulation and Compliance (GRC) efforts. Generalist IT managers also want to know what is going on across their organizations.
IT Finance largely worries about Shadow IT apps that are paid for, those that waste money. They should also worry about fast-growing unpaid solutions because those tend to become paid. But their focus is typically on dollars being spent now.
Julien Denaes: It becomes hugely interesting to have usage monitoring and spending on just one screen. They can get the spending for a specific SaaS tool from a certain date to a following date, as well as other dimensions such as department, teams or location. Slicing and dicing cost and usage data has a lot of uses in analyzing performance and projecting future spend. This is also crucial when there are mergers or acquisitions.
Why does governance matter?
Michael Morrison: Think back to the beginning: What is CoreView? CoreView is a SaaS Management Platform for Office 365. But what problem do we solve? The lack of governance for Office 365 including security, cost, end user productivity – which means that CoreView ensures companies realize the value of the Office 365 investment.
CoreView plus Alpin addresses the lack of governance for the broad array of SaaS applications that are present in every enterprise. Meaning that companies will realize the maximum value from all their SaaS investments.
Julien Denaes: A specific example of lack of governance is that people are just setting up whatever SaaS application they want, sometimes while an existing agreement is already in place. Signing up for freemium or individual plans sometimes violates terms of the corporate agreement with a specific SaaS provider. That means wasted spend and being out of license compliance.
Mark Evans: SaaS security is a nightmare. Organizations that use G Suite in particular have security issues. You can sign into applications using your G Suite credentials the same way you “sign in with Gmail.” We have customers, say a 10,000-person company, which might have 5,000 applications that people have signed into with their Google accounts. They grant each application access to corporate data and then forget about it. In general, users click through and say, “Oh, I don’t care what the permissions are. Full access? OK!” And it is not just G Suite, it’s Office 365 as well. File sharing is another big issue. Alpin can put a spotlight on company data being shared publicly through OneDrive, Google Drive, Box, etc. Alpin gives peace of mind: it lets admins easily lock this down, by blocking risky data-hungry apps and removing files from being shared.
Julien Denaes: This use case is only growing as SaaS providers become marketplaces for third party applications. Think of all the cool bots/apps/add-ons you can plug to Slack and the integration between SaaS providers, like lead gen/hacking tools for your CRM, etc. The larger your business, the more threats you face, and the more value you get from CoreView and Alpin. They are just so powerful and so easy to use.
Learn more about the new SaaS Management powerhouse:
Explore the Alpin solution — Alpin Co-Founder’s Magical Mystery SaaS Management Tour
Dive into our white paper — 1+1=3: CoreView and Alpin are the New SaaS Management Platform (SMP) Powerhouse
Learn more about Office 365 administration with a CoreView demo.
You can also get a free CoreView Office 365 Health Assessment that details license savings, state of application usage, and pinpoints security problems in your Office 365 environment.
Visit the Alpin web page.