Scott Chancellor, Apptio’s chief product and technology officer, wowed the TBMC20 audience Wednesday with a brand new Apptio experience designed to address the way that business and technology leaders work today.
“For many of us, work and home life has changed dramatically and mostly not for the better—we’ve had to adapt quickly in response to a variety of rapidly emerging complexities in addition to those complexities we already knew,” said Chancellor. “With that in mind, we at Apptio believe that it is more critical than ever that we provide our customers with solutions that alleviate the complexities associated with your daily technology business management workflows.”
Chancellor has turned simplicity into a mantra. “At each step of the product development lifecycle at Apptio we ask ourselves, ‘How can we make this easier to understand and use?’” he explained.
To show how they’ve put simplicity to work, Chancellor recapped some of the 2020 product releases, starting with one of the most recent: Apex. Apex stands for Apptio Experience – it’s a design system that provides a common user experience and simplified visual design across the entire product portfolio. On November 16, all Apptio customers on the current version of Apptio products will have the option to switch over to the new Apex UX. All new products will automatically offer the new Apex design.
Other recent releases also showcase this year’s march toward simplicity, including the improvement and expansion of the Datalink connectors to SAP, Oracle EBS, Workday and more, Self-Service Reporting & Analytics, Comments & Collaboration, Insights & Action Plans, and the vastly improved performance across all Apptio product offerings.
But attendees don’t flock to a “Product Innovation” session to hear a recap of last year’s releases – they want to hear what’s in the future. What exciting new capabilities and experiences are in the wings?
The future starts at the beginning
Chancellor’s goal of making Apptio easier to use doesn’t stop at the in-product experience, he believes it starts even before you log in to use our products. It starts with how we package the portfolio and how talk about our products.
Let’s face it, our packaging has been confusing.
We have 17 products that provide high valuable to our customers, but it can be very difficult to understand how those products relate to one another or where they fit in the context of a customer’s specific use cases. No more.
During Chancellor’s session, he unveiled the new repackaging plan for Apptio products. They are now bucketed into three simple suites that are aligned with common customer use cases.
Those suites are Apptio One(mx), Cloudability(mx), and Planability(mx) (mx stands for Management Experience). “Within each suite is a set of products designed to address discrete and specific challenges our customers are facing,” explained Chancellor.
Apptio One(mx) includes Apptio’s existing transparency, planning, and billing products, offering best-in-class capabilities around the core technology financial management disciplines of analyzing, planning, show- and charge-back, and optimizing for cost efficiency across all elements of technology spend, irrespective of delivery model (on-premises, cloud, hybrid, or some combination thereof) or deployment model (e.g., project/product, business unit, or applications and services).
Cloudability(mx) satisfies the most pressing cloud financial management needs—including detailed, real-time analytics, planning, and optimization—across all major cloud service providers and elements of cloud spend, irrespective of where you’re at in your cloud journey—from considering a migration to the cloud to operating all workloads in the cloud. The Cloudabilty(mx) suite includes our leading cloud financial management offering, Cloudability, as well as two new products that Chancellor tells us about later in his presentation.
Planabilty(mx) includes products that enable customers to create and monitor robust project and financial plans across all phases of development—from ideation through execution—using modern project management methodologies such as agile. These products include a blend of operational and financial data to provide you with the picture necessary to make the right decisions on behalf of your business and to ensure that those decisions result in efficient delivery and positive return on investment.
There’s been a lot of innovation poured into Cloudability this past year, but I won’t go into all of that here because we’re looking to the future. Let’s skip ahead to how we’ve expanded the Cloudability suite to include two new products — Cloudability SaaS and Cloudability Shift.
Cloudability SaaS (Launching today)
“Today, SaaS represents the fastest growing area of cloud spend within an organization and its projected to reach $157 billion dollars by the end of 2020,” said Chancellor.
With that growth, there’s a greater and greater need for IT Leaders to have visibility into SaaS spend. Our customers asked us to provide that visibility (looking at procurement records often tells only a small portion of the story). Proactive SaaS management can yield 20%-40% in ongoing savings. Now we have a product that can meet that need – Cloudability SaaS.
Within just a few hours, Cloudability SaaS allows you to:
- Discover SaaS applications in your environment via intelligent connectors to your expense management systems, existing SSO solutions, or the applications themselves.
- Manage, visualize, and report on all SaaS application spend across your organization alongside cloud costs.
- Optimize SaaS spend by using continuously generated optimization recommendations, such as identifying unused SaaS licenses, and using predictive analytics to model future SaaS expenditures.
Cloudability Shift (Launching early 2021)
Migrating to the cloud is more complex than just benchmarking on-premise costs against similar-sized cloud servers. Enterprises need to be able to account for committed costs and ongoing projects to make migrations timely and avoid double payment on services. In fact, according to a Gartner report, companies without proper cost optimization governance will overspend on cloud migrations by 70%.
The ability to account for associated costs involved in cloud migrations allows Cloudability Shift to give users custom-made migration plans that provide recommendations on what to move and when to move it to ensure the migration is delivering the most value possible. Key benefits of the solution include:
- True picture of costs. By examining committed costs, users can evaluate when is the best time to move different workloads to avoid duplicated costs.
- Customizability. Users can draw on a range of information sources and integrations with other software to evaluate potential savings and plan their migration on an application-by-application basis.
- Accountability. Automatic tracking of migration costs against the plan provides a true, ongoing picture of value against planned costs.
In addition to the improvements to Cloudability and two big product additions, Chancellor announced a new integration with the leading work management and collaboration provider: Atlassian.
“By integrating Apptio Cloudability and Atlassian, our joint customers can take optimization opportunities – such as recommendations to right-size Amazon EC2 instances or to terminate unattached Azure Managed Disk resources – from Cloudability and directly push those recommendations to their service and engineering teams via either Jira Software or Jira Service Desk,” he explained.
This new integration, part of an expanded partnership with Atlassian, will be live in a few weeks.
This suite focuses on advanced planning capabilities that go beyond the core use cases of budgeting and forecasting. This family of products includes Planability Agile and Planability Demand – a new product launching today.
Planability Agile, formerly Agile Investment Management, is Apptio’s strategic portfolio management solution. It connects your investment plans to delivery timelines and resources in a single integrated system.
“With Planability Agile, you can now aggregate granular work items across application lifecycle management and project portfolio management systems and combine it with cost and capacity data to support prioritization and investment decisions,” he said.
This allows you to align investments with your company’s strategic goals. You can also plan for investments – both those delivered as projects and products. Then, quantify and communicate the results to show the value of the investments.
Planability Demand [Launching March 2021]
Every year, IT leaders share this common problem with us: The process for creating accurate budgets and forecasts based on business unit consumption is overly complex. There’s not enough visibility, so they estimate the business’s resource consumption. “The challenge with estimating demand is that it often yields inaccurate plans – for example, creating a 2021 budget using a 2020 baseline can be tricky, for obvious reasons,” he said.
No more time-consuming, best guess scenarios.
With this new product you can:
- Quickly and easily source accurate demand from business units and service owners in one shared tool.
- Then, with these inputs, the budget owner can build an accurate and defensible budget.
- And finally, you can track consumption to see how your demand plan is performing and adjust for the impact of changes on budget, unit rates, and prices.
“Ultimately, this creates a more transparent and predictable planning process that saves time, saves costs, and enables leadership to make more informed decisions,” he said.
This new product package contains Apptio’s core capabilities. “Apptio One provides powerful cost modeling, analysis, and planning capabilities to the most pervasive and highest value data sets in the enterprise,” said Chancellor. “This includes financial, labor, operational, infrastructure, and software.”
The package pairs best-in-class cost management and optimization with IT-specific budgeting and forecasting. Apptio One brings together each of the core activities necessary to maintain a closed-loop financial management process and allows users to deliver on short-term targets while establishing a long-term, sustainable practice.
“By simplifying how we deliver these use cases to you, we’ll also be dramatically increasing the level of data integration and exchange between all of Apptio’s products,” Chancellor said.
The past helps build the future
Chancellor closed out his session by announcing the release of Automated Classification, available today for all new Apptio customers, which uses machine learning to automatically analyze, tag, and suggest a mapping of data to the TBM Taxonomy within minutes to a degree of 90% accuracy. This is a task that can normally take up to 200 hours.
“All of this is just scratching the surface of what we’re working on for you,” he said. “We are looking forward to delivering many more innovative features across each of these product portfolios in 2021.”
He covered a lot in his session – way more than I could recount to you in a single blog post. Take some time to watch his entire TBMC20 keynote, “Apptio Product Innovation – Back to the Future,” and read through the posts I shared above. We’ll continue to update you here with product news and provide some clever tricks and best practices for getting the most out of these new packages and features.
Register now for TBMC! In addition to numerous product demonstrations, there are more than 100 keynotes, best practice sessions, interactive roundtables, and customer sessions. And you can watch them when you like, where you like — you’ll have access until TBMC21 rolls around.