Research Firm Uses FinOps Solution to Quickly Control Multi-Cloud Infrastructure Costs

One solution for spending governance and cost allocation improves productivity for multiple departments

The Challenge:

Manually Managing the Cloud

Cloud innovation comes with challenges in visibility, management, and cost governance. These were the conclusions of senior IT and financial leaders at a technology research firm after migrating much of the company’s network infrastructure to the cloud. In the beginning, they invested in three Infrastructure-as- a-Services (IaaS) to gain IT agility and cost savings, but as their digital transformation matured, they found the cloud to be costly and resource intensive.

5 Days vs.
5 Mins

Productivity gains for IT financial analysts


Rapid implementation generated quick results

3 Cloud

Multi-cloud solution for AWS, AGC, and GCP
Every month, IT financial analysts manually evaluate millions of dollars in expenses with little control over costs and invoice information. To decipher which company departments were using each cloud service, analysts had to individually study hundreds of thousands of rows of billing information that were consistently growing. Allocating each cost to its associated department was also a manual process, and with roughly 500 departments, this administrative work had mushroomed into a full-time job for two critical employees who needed to shift their focus to other priorities. Because allocations had become so laborious, finding the time to also optimize costs seemed nearly impossible.

The Solution:

Multi-Cloud Visibility and Control in 30 Days

The company had been using a 3rd-party cloud optimization tool for several years, but as a point solution it failed at automating IaaS financial management tasks while also highlighting ways to optimize costs. Tangoe was asked to solve both problems together, replacing the existing tool with one comprehensive FinOps solution for improved productivity and cost savings – and do it all in 30 days, just before their contract expired.

Using the Tangoe One Cloud for IaaS solution, expense management experts implemented a proof-of- concept that worked across Amazon Web Services (AWS), Azure Government Cloud (AGC) as well as Google Cloud Platform (GCP) to deliver what the existing tool could not:

Automated IaaS Cost Allocation:

The solution charges multi-cloud expenses back to each of the 500 departments based on their individual service usage. Customizable cost allocations are based on IaaS tags, projects, or instances, which are used to route charges to the proper departments. Most importantly, the solution generates a General Ledger file to sync with the company’s financial systems, so everything works in compliance with their fiscal management processes. Additionally, automated reports offer sweeping insights but also granular detail showing how costs are expensed across each department, cost center, and line of business.

Cost Governance and Optimization:

Tangoe’s AI engine automatically generates recommendations along with the daily alerts and details IT and finance leaders need to optimize service consumption and cost savings. Now they can easily identify and manage:

  • New service accounts needing to be monitored and managed
  • Unused cloud resources where inactive accounts still generate charges
  • Misallocated expenses charged to departments that have been closed or expired
  • Service tagging mistakes where information is missing or doesn’t match
  • Savings Plan discounts and fees, charging fees only to the departments that benefit from discounts

Cloud Expense Management

Automated Cost Allocations

Custom Reports & Access Permissions

The Outcome:

5 Days of Manual Work Completed in 5 Minutes

With the proof-of-concept easily transitioned into a permanent solution, cloud infrastructure services have now been operationalized and normalized into the company’s financial management structure. As a result, the company has recognized productivity gains in both IT and financial departments. Reporting that used to take two IT financial analysts an estimated 40 hours (5 days) of manual work every month can now be done in just minutes. With more time to oversee spending, the team also has the right tools and alerts in place to right-size cloud resources daily across multiple providers.

In moving forward, Tangoe is simplifying data security requirements by building one cost allocation report that allows executives, department managers, and employees to see only the charges relevant to them. Other reports slice data specifically for call center operations and other departments needing deep visibility into any spikes in service usage on a daily basis. “This customized-information approach is helping each department and each leader take ownership of their cloud expenses,” explained Michael Rothstein, Client Account Executive, Tangoe.

“Tangoe makes it simple to optimize and allocate IaaS services daily and monthly, saving the company both time and money,” he said. “In 30 days, we worked together to automate cloud cost control using a FinOps solution that ingests multi-cloud data multiple times per day and turns expansive data feeds into easy-to-understand visualizations, recommendations, and financial reports.”

Today, company leaders have one complete solution giving them a peace of mind that comes from knowing their cloud investments are being utilized responsibly and their spending is under control across their multi-cloud estate.