Productiv launches Sidekick, an AI-powered assistant for smarter SaaS management

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Productiv, a leading SaaS management platform, has announced the launch of Sidekick, an AI-powered chatbot designed to revolutionize how IT leaders and finance teams manage their software licenses, usage data, and budgets. With Sidekick, users can now access critical insights and recommendations through natural language queries, streamlining workflows and saving valuable time.

In an interview with VentureBeat, Productiv CEO Jody Shapiro emphasized the unique capabilities of Sidekick. “Many software companies see their AI features as a simple chatbot or medium to answer basic questions without depth or analysis,” he said. “Productiv’s Sidekick was built specifically to be a domain expert that allows users to get answers quickly by asking questions naturally, the same way they would ask a colleague.”

Shapiro further explained that Sidekick goes beyond just answering questions. “More than just a chatbot, Sidekick understands the intent of questions, particularly in a conversation sequence of back and forth, running complex analyses to provide digestible data, summarized answers, and intelligent recommendations,” he said.

Harnessing the power of data

Integrated with Productiv’s Spend Management Platform, Sidekick enables users to harness the power of their data without the need for extensive technical expertise. The AI assistant can accurately pull data on software application growth among teams, build tables to show and sort the most commonly used applications, analyze application usage, and even help with license renewals and negotiations.

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“Sidekick allows users to get aggregated software spend data to guide cost optimization decisions,” Shapiro said. “Users can simply ask for which contracts have unused licenses or what tools have overlapping capabilities and receive easy to read, actionable answers that are translated from complicated data sets. This saves immense amounts of time and helps ensure ROI on software.”

The launch of Sidekick comes at a time when businesses are increasingly looking for ways to optimize their SaaS spend and improve operational efficiency. With the rapid adoption of cloud-based software, IT leaders and finance teams are often overwhelmed by the sheer volume of data and the complexity of managing multiple applications across different departments.

Productiv’s growth and industry impact

Productiv, founded in 2018, has quickly established itself as a leading player in the SaaS management space, helping companies like Dropbox, Equinix, and Okta optimize their software spend and improve collaboration between IT and finance teams. The company has raised over $73 million in funding from top-tier investors such as Accel, Norwest Venture Partners, and Okta Ventures.

The launch of Sidekick comes at a time when the SaaS industry is experiencing significant growth, with Gartner predicting enterprise SaaS spend to rise to $195 billion in 2023, a 17% increase from the previous year. As companies grapple with managing an ever-expanding portfolio of software applications, tools like Sidekick are poised to play a crucial role in optimizing spend and driving operational efficiency.

The Future of AI in SaaS Management

Looking ahead, Shapiro sees AI tools like Sidekick as transformative for SaaS management. “Sidekick has incredible potential to empower teams to do their work with more speed and insight, and with less manual input. This allows them to make decisions faster and have confidence that they’re making the right decision,” he said.

As the AI revolution continues to unfold, Productiv’s Sidekick represents a significant step forward in harnessing the power of artificial intelligence to streamline SaaS management and unlock value for enterprises.