Cost Reduction Series: Episode Two – Duplicate Services

Over the past 20 years we’ve watched technology become more powerful and complex. As a result, we’ve seen companies take varying measures to manage their technology needs—and making expensive mistakes along the way. In an effort to stay safe, productive, and efficient, these companies are unintentionally hurting themselves.

We at Attentus wanted to shed some light on these mistakes, and describe how to fix them. Welcome to part two of our four-part cost reduction series. This article will be discussing duplicate services and wasteful redundancies.

When we say redundant or duplicate services, what do we mean? Duplicate services are generally tools that perform a function you already have covered. For example, many companies are relying on Zoom for their meetings and video conferencing needs, but they already possess a Microsoft Office 365 subscription, which gives them access to Teams—a tool that supports video conferencing, instant messaging, and more. The paid Zoom subscription is completely wasted money in this case, and is a good example of a duplicate service. Another form of wasteful redundancy is unneeded equipment; we’ve often seen companies maintaining several redundant servers, where a virtual machine would do the trick. Many companies have both duplicate services and redundant technology, which is pointlessly costing them a lot of money. So let’s discuss some noteworthy cases.

Duplicate Software and Services

Duplicate software and services make up the majority of the easily-recoverable money sinks. We’ve already discussed Zoom and Teams—specifically how the former is invalidated by the latter—but what else is there? Based on the previous example, you might have guessed that the Office 365 tool suite single-handedly makes several outside tools and services redundant. A good example of this is Dropbox; we see companies paying for a Dropbox subscription while also working with Office 365, which contains OneDrive and SharePoint already. OneDrive and SharePoint combined does everything Dropbox does and more. When a Dropbox subscription can cost a company $1,000 per month, it’s worth taking stock of the tools available.

Other duplicate services aside from software can be costly as well. If your company is using both HubSpot and Constant Contact, then you’re using duplicate service. HubSpot and Constant Contact do fundamentally the same things for a company, so paying for both of them without fully utilizing either just means you’re paying for the same thing twice. We recommend taking the time to fully learn or integrate with a new service or solution before considering something new—you might discover just how many tools you already have at your disposal.

Hardware Redundancy

As we’ve already mentioned, companies could save thousands of dollars by abandoning their several redundant on-premise servers and migrating to a virtual machine or other cloud solution—but what other examples of redundant hardware stand out? This takes us to an interesting case: redundant internet connections. Redundant internet connections are valuable to most modern companies—especially if they utilize any kind of cloud solution. However, if these redundant connections are not properly configured they’re a waste of time and money. It’s really important to work with an expert IT resource when implementing these things to make sure your money is being well-spent. The same thing could be said about redundant employee workstations—if you’re responsibly managing multiple workstations, and they’re being used by staff, it’s a valuable resource. If not, it’s a waste of money.

One of the most common cases of wasteful, redundant hardware we see is router misuse. When we’re assessing a client’s network for the first time, we often see a collection of improperly configured routers cluttering the network. Adding more routers does not necessarily improve the WiFi signal in the building—in fact, it can actually slow down or clutter the network and cause even more downtime or slowdown. This is another case where you can save potentially a few hundred dollars by working closely with a technology partner.

We hope this discussion has been interesting and eye-opening for you. We understand the instinct to immediately find a new tool to solve a specific problem; everyone does it from time to time. We just want to emphasize the importance of analyzing the full extent of your current solutions before taking action. It can save you a lot of money. If you’re interested in auditing your technology solution, or if you want other technology-related assistance, feel free to book a meeting and give us a call.