Paxful is changing the world of finance one Bitcoin at a time. Established in 2015, this growing business powers a peer-to-peer Bitcoin platform with over 10 million users around the world.
Like most businesses, Paxful relies on SaaS applications to support operations, employee efficiency, and the development of the company. As the company grew, so did its suite of applications. This helped drive the company forward but also opened the door for concerns posed by unmanaged SaaS sprawl, such as Shadow IT and hidden costs..
To tamp down those issues, Paxful’s IT team recognized that they first needed to gain visibility into its full SaaS stack and accurate usage data, which was easier said than done.
Historically, Paxful had relied on manual processes like spreadsheets and a ticketing system to keep track of applications used by Paxful employees and outsourced workers. But this was unreliable and inaccurate. According to Viknesh Thananjeyan, IT Operations Manager at Paxful, “We knew employees were adopting applications without IT’s full involvement, but we had no way of understanding which ones, why, how often, and at what cost. From a compliance perspective, it was essential for us to uncover all Shadow IT and put controls in place to protect our data and systems.”
Decentralized and unsanctioned application adoption also created siloed information and operations across departments. It was nearly impossible to connect the data dots necessary for IT to make optimization decisions. They needed to break down those siloes and create an actionable single source of truth (SSOT) for all things SaaS.
Paxful’s mission is based around financial freedom and literacy.As the company itself grew, they needed to set a higher bar with internal applications. “It was incredibly difficult to get a handle on SaaS spending and vendor contract negotiations because the data and information we needed was scattered across disparate sources. Often we didn’t know when renewals were happening. We sometimes ended up having overlapping applications because we were unable to view and compare them with our known applications, their costs, and any redundancies that existed,” said Thananjeyan.
To control SaaS spending, tamp down Shadow IT, build secure adoption processes, and break down data silos, Paxful put their trust in Torii.
As Paxful began evaluating SaaS Management Platforms (SMPs), it had several requirements on its wishlist that perfectly matched Torii’s offering.
As Lead Support Engineer at Paxful, John Mark Cagalawan’s key responsibilities are focused around application licensing, access management, compliance and governance policies, and vendor contract management. He was eager to secure a SMP that would reveal the full spectrum of Paxful’s SaaS stack. “Compared to other SMPs, Torii has the best options for discovering and managing Shadow IT. The platform has hundreds of direct integrations with apps and systems we already use to manage operations, so discovery goes deeper than other SMPs. Plus, the Torii browser extension detects both sanctioned and unsanctioned applications, usage, and spend data in real-time, so we can keep an up-to-date record of all those apps in one place,” said Cagalawan.
In addition to supporting discovery, those hundreds of integrations feed data into the Torii Dashboard, so they can generate actionable reports. “Other SMPs gave us nice charts and graphs, but stopped short of giving us the depth we needed because they didn’t have the right integrations. Torii’s integrations really make the difference,” said Thananjeyan.
Torii’s spend and contract management capabilities were what really sealed the deal for Paxful. “When you have a clear, full picture in front of you, it’s easier to spot opportunities for cost optimization. Torii integrates with our accounting software QuickBooks, so we can cut through to the fine details that help us recoup SaaS costs, remove redundant applications, and better prepare for negotiations with vendors,” said Thananjeyan.
Before Torii, contract renewals often snuck up on Paxful. This resulted in either surprise expenses or a mad scramble to decide whether an app would stay or go. “We kept getting requests to renew applications without really knowing why, how, and how frequently these apps were being used.,” said Thananjeyan. “However, once we started to implement greater cost controls, we had to be more intentional about application investments and vendor negotiations.” This made Torii’s Dynamic Renewal Calendar and automated workflows another compelling capability for Paxful’s team.
Beyond the platform capabilities, Torii’s team and their eagerness to support Paxful were additional selling points. “Torii really heard us and understood our challenges, and was even ready to tweak some functions according to our specific needs,” said Thananjeyan.
Paxful was able to save over $715,000 before their two-year mark of using Torii.
“Torii has been instrumental in helping us regain control of SaaS spending and cut tremendous costs—something we weren’t able to before,” said Cagalawan. “Now, we have contract costs, renewals dates, and contact information for all our account managers and application owners centralized in Torii. This has made all of our spend management processes much more efficient and effective. We have a clear view of every application we have, where there are redundancies, and opportunities to cut back.”
Cagalawan created several workflows to assist in this area as well. “When a contract renewal is 60 days away, Torii sends automated alerts to IT. This gives us time to work together to look into spend and usage data, and determine if application licenses need to be renewed, closed, or pulled back,” he said. Similarly, a Torii workflow detects inactive licenses and reclaims them. Instead of truing up and purchasing additional licenses, Paxful can reharvest these licenses for future requests – and, if they’re not needed, can accurately downsize the number of licenses come renewal time.
“Getting ahead of renewal deadlines has been incredibly helpful. Now, we have more time to pinpoint data we want to bring to vendor negotiations, or even find an alternative to existing applications. Sometimes we’ve even been offered discounts because of how prepared we were,” said Thananjeyan.
Before using Torii, Paxful’s IT team knew employees were adopting their own apps, but not to what extent. “We suspected there were 200 applications in our systems, but when we deployed Torii, we discovered nearly 500 applications,” said Cagalawan. “With this newfound visibility, we were able to talk to the owners, evaluate how and why an app was being used. Then, we aligned with department heads to decide if an app should be standardized and sanctioned, eliminate redundancies and non-compliance, and build a library of our core apps.”
Torii’s Shadow IT discovery isn’t a one and done thing. Dynamic real-time endpoint detection keeps discovery rolling so Paxful stays on top of unsanctioned apps. Cagalawan created a workflow so that any time a new Shadow IT app pops up, he’s alerted. Then, he can point the owner toward a similar, sanctioned vendor. Or, if the app is in a new category, he’ll work with the Information Security team and department heads to determine next steps.
Needless to say, compliance is a top priority for Paxful’s InfoSec team, so they continually do audits to ensure the standard remains high. With Torii’s app documentation fields, IT records each application's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) or California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) statuses. Then, they can generate Torii reports that include that information and pass them along when the InfoSec team is hot on the audit trail.
Paxful’s finance team even has their own Torii credentials, so they can do their own recon into contract agreements, spending data, and other financial figures. “We used to find ourselves in situations where IT was out of sync with finance, because information was siloed. For example, if an employee requested reimbursement for an unsanctioned application license directly from finance, my team was unaware because it’s not an app in our inventory,” said Thananjeyan. Torii bridges the gap and breaks down silos for more collaborative, comprehensive SaaS spend management.
As Paxful helps its users build a better financial future, Torii is committed to helping them do the same with SaaS management. Check out more customer stories here.