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Cloud Nation Optimizes Cloud Costs and Business Performance with Apptio Cloudability

Cloud Nation

”It’s peace of mind with Apptio Cloudability. I have my finger on the pulse of the company and nothing is changing without my awareness.”

Rocco Corage
Director of Operations at Cloud Nation

Cloud Nation uses Apptio Cloudability to achieve cloud financial excellence at scale with tagging best practices, comprehensive cost visibility and accurate, automated chargeback.

The Challenge

Growth and increased service offerings made Cloud Nation’s manual billing practices unscalable and inaccurate

Thanks to innovative cloud solutions, like their Citrix Global Cloud solution on AWS, Cloud Nation was experiencing significant company growth. However, this made visibility into their cloud billing and usage increasingly challenging. With its manual processes, Cloud Nation’s team members were spending substantial amounts of time reconciling their cloud bills each month. Additionally, reconciling billing and tagging resulted in missed fees, while manual tracking of resources like Reserved Instances (RIs) led to either significant overlaps or underutilization on purchases. Finally, with clients moving in and out of the cloud, incremental data transfer fees made reconciling AWS invoices with client contracts difficult, labor-intensive and prone to constant recalculation.

Cloud Nation needed a solution that would provide accurate visibility into their cloud spend on a daily basis; deep automated insights to deliver its analytics per customer using tags; as well as accurate tracking of costs to help with billing allocation and chargebacks to clients.

The Solution

Simplifying Data to See the Big Picture

Apptio Cloudability’s True Cost™ cloud management platform provides Cloud Nation’s teams with an aerial view of their cloud spend and of their clients’ use of the cloud in an accurate, precise and timely manner. Customizable dashboards allow users to immediately generate reports by persona and share them across teams, reducing manual effort and time on busywork.

The Results

Gaining Visibility into the Cloud Environment

Tags are critical to Cloud Nation’s business model, as they allow the company to categorize expenses for billing. Before Apptio Cloudability, Cloud Nation was tagging everything manually, a process that led to mistakes with untagged or incorrectly tagged expenses, and ultimately, wasted spend. Apptio Cloudability’s Tag Explorer capability provides Cloud Nation with a visual representation of all the tags currently in use. Using Tag Explorer, Cloud Nation can continuously evaluate tagged and untagged instances as well as untaggable costs, helping to charge costs back to its clients and reconcile the books.

In addition to Tag Explorer, Cloud Nation leveraged True Cost Explorer, a pivot table on steroids, to improve visibility and understand its cloud spend. Items like data transfer costs are harder to track, but with a simple graphical representation of its data, Cloud Nation can identify cloud cost drivers with ease.

Sometimes, when engineers are spinning up new instances and trying new services, they may leave a system like an EC2 G3 or X1 running at a high cost per hour. With Apptio Cloudability’s Anomaly Detection, Cloud Nation can immediately see these anomalies and put a cap on possible overages, mitigating a loss. Driven by powerful machine learning, Anomaly Detection works straight out of the box and users don’t have to configure any parameters.

Cost Visibility Leads to Cost Optimization

By improving understanding of their RI portfolio, Apptio Cloudability helped Cloud Nation reduce cloud costs by an additional 5 to 7%. By providing the company with a single, accurate and comprehensive RI portfolio planner, Cloud Nation can track its RI utilization and make RI purchase decisions with confidence, thereby reducing costs. Apptio Cloudability’s RI Planner covers a comprehensive set of AWS services, including EC2 and RDS, and makes it easy to plan and optimize costs.

ROI: Governance and Monthly Revenue Increase

According to Director of Operations at Cloud Nation, Rocco Corage, governance of its cloud spend is one of the biggest benefits Cloud Nation has realized from the Apptio Cloudability platform. The software helps Rocco communicate to the company’s executive team about how they’re trending so they can manage what they’re spending on services (while tracking it to earned revenue). Cloud Nation has seen an increase of 2% in monthly revenue by correctly allocating previously overlooked data transfer charges. With these savings, Cloud Nation has improved its margins while delivering services to customers at lower costs — a win-win situation.

Cloud Nation is confident that Apptio Cloudability will instantly identify untagged resources and anomalies in cloud spend. That added confidence has had a tangible effect on the company’s bottom line. Plus, with fewer people analyzing the company’s massive amounts of billing, its free to focus on the revenue-driving aspects of the business.

Apptio Cloudability’s experts are available to help you find similar savings and cost monitoring for your organization. Get in touch to start the conversation today.

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Whether you need help analyzing the true cost of the cloud, optimizing your technology spend, or communicating IT's value to the business, Apptio can help.

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