Pleasanton, CA
600+ employees
IT & Services

Degreed brings clarity to software budgeting and forecasting

30% more accurate annual software forecasts
16% savings on total SaaS spend in year one
400% return of investment
2 years with Cleanshelf

Degreed's story

Helping enterprises upskill and reskill their employees is an audacious mission and it is at the heart of Degreed’s business. Its learning and talent system is used by hundreds of the world’s biggest companies to build in-demand skills, and create better performing, more adaptable workforces.

Degreed's Key Challenges

Lack of visibility

Overspending on SaaS services.

High license count

Hundreds of different SaaS applications.

Unreliable tracking

Tracking licenses on various spreadsheets and tools.

Answering "How much are we spending?" took more effort than it should

Naturally, Degreed’s growth trajectory has some teams playing catch-up. Vice President of FP&A, Zac Makin, remembers meeting with a department in their monthly budget vs. actual meeting. His team was asked a simple question, “how much are we spending?” for a specific software subscription. Makin cringes: “It took more effort than it should have to answer this question. It was embarrassing.”

Unreliable tracking of licenses using various spreadsheets

Like most enterprises, SaaS management lived between two worlds. “Our infosec team was tracking licenses on various Google Sheets,” shares Makin. “But they were at the mercy of budget owners to tell them what they bought.” The finance team tried a different approach. But interpreting accounting software–and tracing vendors, subscriptions, and dates through a maze of prepaid journal entries in Abacus and was unreliable. “Our software count was somewhere in the hundreds, but we didn’t have enough visibility to actually manage it.”

Spending 7 digits on SaaS requires an Enterprise SaaS Management platform

While finance’s budgeting process was industry-standard, the team wasn’t OK just being “in the ball-park.” “We spend seven digits every year on software,” Makin notes. “Any discovery and visibility improvement was material.”
Degreed’s CFO charged Makin to find a solution. Days later, a serendipitous call from Cleanshelf came. The platform checked all the boxes for Makin and his infosec counterpart: affordable, secure, and easy-to-implement.

"The two hardest things to budget for are headcount and software. This has removed a huge planning load for us."

Zac Makin VP FP&A

400% return on the Cleanshelf investment

“We’ve already saved over $75,000 (nearly 400% ROI) on the platform,” guides Makin. He appreciates the hours saved from faster renewal decisions and no longer maintaining spreadsheets or chasing down budget owners. FP&A’s annual software forecasts are now 30% more accurate.

Cleanshelf becomes a vital part of the software approval committee

The company hardened its security posture, too. “We developed a software approval committee made up of finance, infosec, contract management, and data insights leaders.” Cleanshelf’s renewal notifications and alerts often drive meeting agendas. Every software is reviewed and signed-off on by key teams before renewal.

The committee makes each SaaS owner a Cleanshelf user–and requires them to update purchasing details and login credentials for accountability. The owners must also outline a business case for the purchase. “We take this into account before we green-light renewals,” says Makin.

Key Results


savings on total SaaS spend in year one.


more accurate annual software forecasts.


return on Cleanshelf investment.

2 years

with Cleanshelf.

Enterprise SaaS Management is a serious business

Obviously, Degreed’s C-suite was excited about the savings and security the platform introduced. “We shared a demo of Cleanshelf in front of all of our employees. Everyone knows we’re serious about managing SaaS the right way. We have the tool to make it happen.”


Want to achieve 30% more accurate forecasting like Degreed?

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