Home Cloud Computing Q&A: How ViacomCBS cut Zoom costs, not jobs, during the pandemic

Q&A: How ViacomCBS cut Zoom costs, not jobs, during the pandemic

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In February 2020, before lockdown restrictions had even come into force in many countries, Zoom announced it had already added more new users in the first two months of 2020 than it had in all of 2019.

As lockdowns were introduced in North America and across Europe last year because of the pandemic, companies bought up Zoom licenses en masse, often with little due diligence or long-term planning by those purchasing them. That rush helped make Zoom’s videoconferencing software a go-to solution for remote workers who needed to stay connected.

ViacomCBS

James Moy, global senior director for tech asset management at ViacomCBS.

It also meant many companies wound up spending more than necessary to license Zoom (and other software) in the rush to keep their business up and running. Now, many are looking back at their spending over the past year to find savings. ViacomCBS, the US media conglomerate, is among those auditing their SaaS spending; it cut annual Zoom expenditure by more than 32% by finding and removing unused Zoom licenses, among many other areas of IT spending.

James Moy, global senior director for technology asset management at ViacomCBS, talked about his role at the company and how vigorous IT asset management helped ViacomCBS cut costs.

(This interview, organized by the ITAM Forum, a global trade group that advances the IT Asset Management industry, has been edited for length and clarity.)

What was your company’s approach to software deployment before the pandemic?

“Prior to the pandemic, we approached IT asset management (ITAM) very systematically. Rolling out a tool will never fix your problems. Everyone thinks there will be some kind of silver bullet, but from a software asset management perspective, that’s never the case. There are three things you need to consider: people, process and the technology that you use, and everything we do here is based off a gold standard for [IT Asset Management].

“From the top down, our CTO wants assets, both hardware and software, to be managed correctly, because he realizes that when we do this, we get our ROI. We became very aware that instead of cutting people, you can actually make large savings off software by managing what you spend on it without having to cut resources or lose jobs. This became especially relevant during the pandemic where everyone was cutting costs, because they weren’t making the same amount of revenue, but there is a cost optimization and savings opportunity in the software world, especially in SaaS.”

Copyright © 2021 IDG Communications, Inc.

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