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Why we created Substly

28 Aug, 2020
Pattern
Ola Stål and Felix Sjöstedt

Lacking control over subscriptions, users and costs

Substly was founded in Sweden in 2018 by Ola Stål and Felix Sjöstedt. They got fed up by trying to keep track of SaaS, users, and costs in spreadsheets.

“I remember how we used to forget to cancel unwanted subscriptions before they renewed. We acquired new software without knowing if there already was a similar service being used and when people left we often missed to cancel user accounts”, says Felix. “Due to a lack of a good overview we wasted money and shared our company data with people that shouldn’t have access to it”, Ola adds.

No good solutions on the market

As they looked for a tool to help them with these challenges, they realised no good options existed on the market and decided to build one on their own.

“We failed to find a product that could be used and loved, even by non-techies, so we decided to build one ourselves. Companies use two to three times more subscriptions than they think and there is surprisingly much to be saved by tracking subscriptions and managing users in a structured way”, says Ola.

A long-awaited overview

The subscription tracking application Substly has developed made it clear to Felix and Ola how poorly they used to track subscriptions earlier.

“We were surprised by how much we spent on subscriptions and how many services were being used without our knowledge. Who would have known finding subscriptions would be such a pain point but not only did Substly allow us to get back in control, but it has helped us to stay in control ever since”, says Felix.

The team is growing

Today the team consists of six team members and is constantly growing. The whole team is creating, sharing and participating in the work.

“We have put a lot of effort into creating an innovative and engaging environment. That has enabled us to attract awesome people to the team. We have a lot of fun as we create value for our customers. Sharing the experience of this journey means a lot to us”, Ola finishes.

Next up: Measuring usage

The next step in the development of Substly is to provide insights to customers about their software usage and how it can be optimised. A professional athlete keeps a close eye on his equipment. No matter how fit they are, they know that the equipment is often the difference between winning or losing. “Given the strong connection to performance, it is remarkable that so few companies are working in a structured way to follow up on what they get out of SaaS, and other equipment, their employees use in their work”, Felix says. “A lack of access to information makes it difficult to know what the situation looks like. And if you do not know what the situation looks like, you can’t act”, Ola adds.

This is where Substly comes into play. Substly’s service will be able to provide insights into how different services are used and experienced by employees. By measuring and visualising data on usage, Substly can help companies, not only save money and time but also get more efficient and satisfied employees. “There is great value in measuring and acting on that type of data. We have seen clear examples of this in pilots we have carried out”, Ola says.

Only scratching the surface

The team looks forward to releasing this, and other features that further strengthen Substly’s position as the natural choice for businesses that realise the value of working more strategically with tracking their subscription services and managing their users. “We have only scratched the surface regarding the value Substly can contribute to companies that look to increase the output they get from their employees and the support systems they use”, Felix concludes before running off to the next meeting.

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