How an up and coming machine learning technology overcame every barrier to automatically collect subscription and service data from vendor web portals and SaaS applications
MISO3’s line of business requires getting data in hard-to-reach places
An intelligent subscription and service tracking company serving the needs of enterprise-level companies, MISO3 gives its clients insight into its vendor subscriptions and usage.
Think about it: vendors like Zoom, Microsoft 365, Salesforce, Amazon AWS, CenturyLink, Bloomberg, and the list goes on (and on and on) — there are few businesses left that are not reliant on licenses, SaaS, PaaS, and/or IaaS subscriptions to power their business. The data required to manage these vendors spans inventories, portals, and invoices, making visibility as well as the ability to make data-driven decisions almost impossible.
For most clients, MISO3 was able to deliver on its promise rapidly and with few hurdles. And then… one day… MISO3 came up against a challenge, and a big one.
A Fortune 100 client and one of the best-known financial and credit card companies in the world came to MISO3 with the challenge of understanding and optimizing subscription costs for their financial data and intelligence provider.
MISO3 knew exactly what it needed from the provider to better understand the client’s spend and utilization of their subscriptions and services. However, with no inventory-targeted APIs available and data scattered throughout a clunky provider portal, they needed a predictable and scalable way to get control of this multi-million-dollar expenditure. They turned to Weeldi.
Headquartered in the San Francisco Bay Area, Weeldi is the easiest way to automate any process on the web with no coding required. A common use case for Weeldi is filling gaps (where vendor portals and/or SaaS applications lack API functionality) by enabling customers to automate tasks directly through the vendor portal or SaaS application user interface, common tasks include extracting data, executing transactions, and paying bills.
For MISO3, Weeldi’s web automation platform would be the cornerstone of meeting its client’s need to get its vendor data out of multiple locations quickly, accurately, and with as little friction as possible. MISO3 prides itself on being the first “easy-button” in vendor inventory discovery, extraction, and alignment. What once took businesses months of labor-intensive research and data cleaning, can now be done in only hours; minimizing user-prone errors and discovering hidden costs that often uncover waste and security vulnerabilities. (The alternatives were hours of manual labor every month or attempting to engineer a homegrown web automation solution with all the costs, delays, and opportunities for error that creates — rarely an efficient path to client satisfaction.)
Data: it’s everywhere, but still so hard to find
A little background on the problem faced by MISO3’s client (and, really, all of its clients, and almost every business everywhere). It’s all about “the other guys”: the SaaS companies, the IaaS companies, and the PaaS companies —and the mixed blessing they provide.
In 2020, the overall spend on SaaS products was up by 50% compared to only two years before. (Data has yet to be collated, but we’d bet it’s going up again in 2021.) The average company uses 137 different SaaS apps, with each employee using at least 8 different ones. (Thanks to Blissfully for this data.)
With subscriptions varying from person to person and from department to department across some or all of those 137 vendors, most companies are tilting at windmills when it comes to effectively managing subscriptions. They’re oversubscribed, leaving ex-employees licensed (sometimes, to do ill), and generally overbuying across the board.
They do have access to data to see what’s what, of course. But — because they need to manually chase and capture it — the data is rarely in real-time… or complete… or accurate. It makes a difference in the same way Monday-morning quarterbacking makes a difference.
This is where MISO3’s M3 platform powered by data extracted from Weeldi helps.
Overcoming logins and CAPTCHAs and other roadblocks—automatically
Weeldi was brought in by MISO3 to solve these problems and more. What Weeldi does that others can’t is to create stable automations on vendor portals and SaaS applications that neither Weeldi nor its clients control.
Weeldi ’s platform allows customers to create automations on the web when APIs simply aren’t enough, or when APIs simply aren’t available (e.g., for billing data and subscription info — the exact kind of data MISO3 collects for its clients).
Weeldi has a menu of available vendor portal automations and provides the flexibility of “built to order” automations that customers can create in minutes with no coding required. Automations can uncover and capture the data or execute transactions buried in vendor portals (multiple pages, behind a login, multi-factor authentication, CAPTCHAs, requiring scheduling or filtering, on the user interface, in emails, on unstable websites, etc.) or within SaaS applications.
Weeldi’s flexible and reliable automations for the web were the ideal fit for a client like MISO3, a company with a business model reliant on retrieving information from vendor portals and SaaS applications, and were central in MISO3 sustainably supporting the business of one of the best-known credit card and financial companies in the world.
A solution delivered in days; results that last a lifetime
Within days of receiving specifications from MISO3, Weeldi delivered complex automations that extract — from behind logins (and tricky multi-factor authentication) — critical data, some requiring filters by date and account number, some from the user interface, and even some embedded in emails.
Files are then automatically renamed, and folders are created in MISO3’s sFTP to feed their ETL (extract, transform, load) process back into the M3 platform.
This was not a “one and done” for MISO3, either. The automations created by Weeldi give it the ability to quickly create connectors to any vendor portal or SaaS application.
Additionally, Weeldi provides precision, actionable visibility to MISO3 (and all Weeldi clients) on how their data is flowing. Weeldi can say exactly where and why the data isn’t flowing and provide direction (along with screenshots) and tools to fix it.
In the end, MISO3 had a solution that served its immediate need with its client, and a solution it could use repeatedly as it continues to build its business.
“Before you can make data-driven decisions for your organization, you must first know what you have,” says David Baule, CEO of MISO3. “Gathering this data manually is both cumbersome and time-consuming. Weeldi gives us the power to quickly scale to any web-based vendor portal or SaaS application at a fraction of the time of doing this manually. The result, quick and frictionless ingestion of customers’ data so M3 Users can make informed decisions on all of their vendor commitments.”
Weeldi transformed disparate, dynamic, and sometimes unstable Vendor Portals into stable, scalable APIs, providing MISO3 with the detailed data required to analyze and optimize their customers' subscription costs. All delivered with no coding required by MISO3. A solution delivered in less than two weeks that will last a lifetime.
Headquartered in the San Francisco Bay Area Weeldi enables companies of any size or technical ability to stably automate processes on the web, at scale, through its web service API or user interface — with no coding required.