When Shakespeare wrote, “sweet are the uses of adversity,” he could not have known how relevant his words would be four hundred years later. Yes, 2020, the year of the COVID-19 pandemic, was challenging. But it also had positive outcomes. Rather than simply remembering 2020 as a difficult period (it was), we can reflect on innovations and achievements that occurred, regardless of the now-familiar headwinds – an economic challenge from a global pandemic, a workforce that went remote overnight, and a steady stream of other disruptive events.
For Apptio, 2020 was a year when we introduced 175 products and features, which represents an astounding 227 percent innovation increase over the year prior. Many innovations we put forth focused on ways to help customers through unprecedented changes to their businesses. And while our 2020 releases largely centered around cloud, we also rolled out features in other areas.
In addition to this almost dizzying amount of product innovation, Apptio also hit new milestones in industry recognition last year: We appeared in fifteen analyst reports – with the highlight being named by Forrester as a leader in its report, The Forrester Wave: Cloud Cost Management and Optimization, Q4 2020. We also won several awards, especially in the cloud space.
Apptio’s long list of innovations, recognitions, and awards is proof of two things: At Apptio, we are committed to bringing additional capability, visibility, and value to our customers. And we aren’t going to let a global pandemic slow us down, as covered in a recent article: How Sunny Gupta led Apptio to a record-breaking end to 2020.
Let’s dive into the details about some of the great things that happened in 2020, particularly during the latter half of the year when things really heated up and we introduced a slate of new features, products, and enhancements.
What’s new in Cloudability?
While the Cloudability innovation floodgate was wide open throughout 2020, we’ll highlight new releases from the second half of the year.
Integrated Container Financial Management – this new functionality allows you to analyze and report on Kubernetes cost data alongside regular cloud costs, an industry-first capability that helps organizations apply full cloud financial management practices to containers.
Azure Reserved Instance Amortization – harnessing Azure’s next-generation billing framework means customers can fully amortize and allocate up-front reservation purchases to precisely when and where they get consumed.
Commitment Manager – this leading-edge feature lets you, in a single view, understand the health of your entire commitment portfolio (including Reserved Instances and Savings Plans), plan for upcoming contract expirations, and identify the impact of future purchases on reducing spend.
Role-Based Identity & Access Management (IAM) – this capability provides our customers the ability to create specific persona-aligned roles that can be assigned to individual users via their corporate single sign-on (SSO) system, or manually via Frontdoor. These roles offer granular permissioning, enabling organizations to control access to Cloudability features and administration tasks.
Datadog Rightsizing Integration – by expanding this rightsizing integration to support multiple Datadog organizational accounts, mutual customers can now get superior recommendations across all VMs.
New reporting capabilities
The availability of two new additions to our cost analytics platform – that serve to enrich your cloud financial data – help provide more information around AWS Spot instances and AWS invoices.
- Cost (List) Metric Support for Spot Instances: surface the exact savings realized through the usage of AWS Spot instances, identify long-term trends, and inform future deployment decisions.
- New Reporting Dimension – “Invoice ID”: enables you to tie all cost items back to each AWS invoice, thereby simplifying and significantly reducing the time involved with monthly bill reconciliation.
Rightsizing innovation spree
We also released many rightsizing updates in 2020 – almost too many to count, so here’s a recent rightsizing rundown:
- Policy-Driven Rightsizing – a closed-loop integration between Cloudability and Atlassian’s Jira Service Management/Jira Software that helps enterprises manage the full lifecycle of rightsizing tasks and seamlessly measure impact.
- New Relic Rightsizing Integration – leverage New Relic’s Application Performance Monitoring solution as your preferred utilization data provider, resulting in improved rightsizing recommendations for Amazon EC2 and Azure Compute virtual machines.
- Datadog Support for Azure Compute – leverage utilization data from Datadog to generate superior rightsizing recommendations for Azure Compute.
- Autoscale Action – when optimizing compute resources to accommodate highly elastic workloads, Cloudability now recommends converting a single instance to an Auto Scaling Group (ASG).
New recommendation types:
- Container Rightsizing – builds upon the Container Cost Allocation functionality, providing organizations actionable recommendations for optimizing the resource settings at the container level, and in turn, reducing Kubernetes cluster costs.
- GCP Compute Engine – evaluate rightsizing recommendations for GCP Compute Engine VMs across all projects in a single, unified view.
- Azure SQL Database – achieve +70% cost savings by either terminating idle or rightsizing underutilized Azure SQL Databases. By providing rightsizing for Azure VMs, managed databases, and block storage, Apptio achieved parity with our AWS offering.
- Amazon S3 – view detailed bucket-level metrics such as size, object count, total operations, and surface rightsizing recommendations to uncover savings opportunities within your S3 spend.
Two new additions to the Cloudability suite
Expanding our current offering to full cloud lifecycle management has also remained an area of keen focus, and we are proud to round out our solution with the addition of:
- Cloudability SaaS: Discover, manage, and optimize your SaaS applications by bringing together financial, usage, and contract details from disparate tools to enable optimization, contract management, and cost efficiency decisions.
- Cloudability Shift: Move to the cloud with clarity. Plan, execute, track, and measure cloud migrations with unparalleled visibility into cost commitments across on-prem and cloud environments and robust scenario modeling capabilities. (Coming in Q2 2021)
We also had exciting things to talk about in IT financial management, agile, awards, and more.
We continue to enhance our Self-Service Reporting (SSR) feature, which enables end users to quickly create and share personalized views of their IT financial data. Over the summer, we added new budgeting and forecasting solution capabilities as part of our SSR 2.76 release. As we kick off 2021, we are continuing to innovate by combining SSR functionality with our Insights feature.
Datalink and data ingress
Our Datalink solution delivered new connectors for Workday, SAP, and Hyperion. Connection Chaining allows a Connection or Connection Group to run contingent on another event in the system. This allows Connections and Connection Groups to be chained together to run in a specified order.
Costing and planning
Apptio launched CT Integration (CTI) Enhancements in IT Planning Foundation (ITPF), a self-contained module that enables users to quickly and easily synchronize data between IT Planning Foundation and Cost Transparency. With this enhancement, customers can now sync data between CT and ITPF.
Users can now select the depreciation method for each individual asset. The selected depreciation method overrides the default depreciation method configured by the Asset Class Defaults from Reference Data. Apptio’s comments and collaboration service is now enabled in IT Planning. Users can now enter comments and collaborate at the plan level with other users.
Users can also now update Contract Amounts to agree with edits to amortization expense amount when using Manual contract amortization. With self-service reporting (SSR) in IT Planning Foundation, budget owners can now analyze their actuals against plan more periodically and consistently to understand the causes of variance and take actions to mitigate potential overages before the end of the budget period.
We also expanded our reach into the Japanese market with local language support, and we enhanced TBMA-level reporting for data quality insights and configuration reporting to optimize instance performance and lower calculation times.
TBM Admins and individuals with Administrator access now can enable and disable the Staging Calculation Queue. This feature improves TBMA productivity when you are making multiple changes, and enables multiple users to check in changes without initiating a calculation.
Apptio gets a new look and feel
The customer experience is a top priority at Apptio. In October 2020, we introduced Apptio Experience (Apex), which brings together a common user experience and visual design across the entire product portfolio. The objective behind Apex is to complement our industry-leading suite of tools with a product experience that allows you to manage IT costs through a transparent, collaborative platform.
You were first able to see evidence of Apex with Apptio IT Planning, Apptio Datalink, or Apptio Insights and Action Plans. By the end of this month, Apex will become the default user experience for Apptio customers.
Awards and acknowledgements
While we earned recognition from a variety of sources last year, the most rewarding was being recognized by Forrester as a leader in its report, The Forrester Wave: Cloud Cost Management and Optimization, Q4 2020.
Being named as a leader by Forrester demonstrates Apptio’s hard-fought progress in the cloud cost management space, given we were ranked as a “contender” in Forrester’s previous CCMO report (2018). Most of the innovations noted above were not covered in last year’s assessment, so we look forward to impressing Forrester analysts once again when the next Forrester Wave rolls in.
We were also recognized for our role in solving the Kubernetes cost allocation challenge – Apptio was named a leader in the Amalgam Insights report, Market Landscape: Top Vendors for Kubernetes Cost Management. This recognition from Amalgam Insights stems from our new integrated Kubernetes financial management capabilities and reflects our focus on helping customers with Kubernetes cost allocation.
With 2021 underway, we continue to innovate with new offerings. We also recently acquired Targetprocess, marking our fourth acquisition since going private with Vista Equity Partners in 2019. The new Apptio Targetprocess will enable customers to accelerate their agile transformations, plan and track value delivered, and provide a scalable solution to meet evolving needs.
This year, we will keep on doing what we do best – offering more ways of simplifying your Apptio experience and finding new ways to help you with IT financial management, managing cloud costs, and navigating the transition from waterfall to agile.