How Cimpress Gained Critical Cloud Spending Visibility and Improved Accountability

“The Apptio Cloudability account management team took our top use cases and turned them into immediate, actionable steps.”

The Challenge

Identifying Accurate Cloud Spend Improves Allocation and Visibility

Cimpress is an international company located in the Netherlands that employs over 10,000 people worldwide. It produces custom promotional products for businesses, including printed materials, signage, photo products and embroidered apparel.

Under the Cimpress parent brand, there are 28 different business units using Amazon Web Services (AWS). Like many organizations of this size, Cimpress needed an accurate picture of their cloud spending and usage on AWS. Enterprises trying to answer at-scale cloud spend questions benefit from a cloud optimization platform in addition to default tools and reporting platforms.

When Cimpress first approached Apptio Cloudability, their main goal was to provide enhanced transparency and visibility into AWS spending at an organizational level. Once Cimpress unlocked the true costs of cloud, Apptio Cloudability helped Cimpress run their cloud with the same precision and accuracy as they’d run the rest of their business.

The Solution

From Mountains of Data to Precision-driven Optimization

Attempting to wrangle their cloud costs and usage in-house meant they had way too much data, and were managing too many access requirements—something they had neither the time nor the resources to do —and they were still not getting the answers they needed in order to optimize their AWS spend.

Ideally, cost management tools need to help people understand the AWS Detailed Billing Report (DBR) and Cost and Usage Reports (CUR) and use this insight to make effective decisions about their cloud infrastructure. This means ingesting millions of cost line items and data points at enterprise scale. Before using Apptio Cloudability, there were no channels to give engineering teams the data they needed to make critical decisions. A valuable report shouldn’t deliver all of the data— just the true costs and precise usage recommendations to the right teams to make confident, effective cloud decisions.

Cimpress’ one must-have capability in a cloud cost management tool was to be able to natively overlay data to deliver deeper cost and usage insights without heavy development costs. Of all of the cloud cost management tools Cimpress evaluated, Apptio Cloudability was chosen because it allowed Cimpress to run cloud like they would run finance, payroll or procurement—with the high degree of accountability and accuracy required.

The Results

Improving Cloud Efficiency with the Utmost Accuracy

Once they started working with Apptio Cloudability, members of Cimpress’ engineering and operations teams were able to quickly solve for issues related to visibility and uncover the data they so desperately needed.

“The Apptio Cloudability account management team took our top use cases and turned them into immediate, actionable steps,” said Paul Forte, Director of Technology, Cimpress. “They did this without any hefty setup fees or development time. In fact, after using a few waste reports and Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) recommendations, we paid for Apptio Cloudability within months and continued to save on AWS under their guidance.”

Apptio Cloudability helped the team turn AWS billing data into insights based on true costs of cloud to help save money immediately. Within a few months, the combination of the Apptio Cloudability team’s analysis and recommendations allowed Cimpress to capture significant savings on a monthly basis.

“Our teams appreciate how cost and usage dashboards evolve using our feedback. As our cost management needs and challenges change, we can rely on Apptio Cloudability to deliver new solutions, analysis and ideas.”

The extensibility of the dashboards, along with the ability to create custom views to surface role-centric data sets, was a defining feature of Apptio Cloudability for Forte and Cimpress. The fact that the cost and usage dashboards adjust and evolve based on their feedback given to account managers was a critical differentiating factor.

ROI: Flexible Solutions and Support as Businesses Scale

The adaptiveness of Apptio Cloudability’s platform and its support services makes it possible for companies like Cimpress to rely on it to deliver new solutions and ideas as their cost management needs and challenges change.

Although their savings thus far have been significant, the opportunity for even greater savings and efficiency going forward is huge. Cimpress’ Apptio Cloudability account management team recently identified six figures per month in potential savings available to them if they choose to follow the recommendations. No matter where Cimpress is headed, Apptio Cloudability will be there to support them.

And as cloud vendors continue to innovate and change, so will the analytics engine and machine learning of Apptio Cloudability to continue delivering accurate data, anomaly detection and optimization insights for Cimpress.

“Apptio Cloudability does more than talk about cost management best practices,” said Forte. “They deliver actionable results and insights that help us make our AWS infrastructure as efficient as possible.”

If you’re interested in creating more visibility into your company’s cloud spending and discovering the true costs of your cloud, reach out today to talk to an account manager or get started on a free trial of Apptio Cloudability.

Additional Resources