May 12, 2017
Digital Transformation and the need to manage cloud services and costs

Tangoe recently held its annual global client conference, Tangoe LIVE 2017, at the Marriott World Center in Orlando. Getting the opportunity to engage with clients one on one provided me great insight into their requirements, day to day challenges, and their expectations from Tangoe today and in the near future.

What I learned over the course of more than 3 days of conversations is that many of our clients – even those who have historically focused on managed mobility services and fixed/mobile telecom – are increasingly concerned about how to manage the growing use of cloud services. As product manager for Tangoe’s cloud offering, I was determined to thoroughly explore the challenges our client organizations are facing related to how they manage cloud services inventory, usage and spend. This understanding is absolutely critical to Tangoe bringing the best products to market.

Overall the cloud challenges clients expressed most often fell into 5 categories:

  1. Control and management of cloud costs 
  2. Gaining visibility and control of cloud ‘assets’
  3. Better management of licensing and utilization
  4. Better, more competitive cloud pricing and contract terms
  5. The need for “one version of the truth” for cloud

Control and management of cloud costs

  • Lines of business provision cloud applications and infrastructure but are often not equipped with the data or knowledge to negotiate competitive rates or contracts
  • As a result of the above clients often find duplicate services, unfavorable terms, unfavorable rates and missed opportunities for volume discounts
  • Allocating costs across the business based on actual consumption metrics was a common theme
  • Awareness of potential cost savings by leveraging reserved instances vs. paying a premium for on-demand instances

Gaining visibility and control of cloud ‘assets’

  • Businesses want to save on infrastructure costs and are looking to get out of their own data centers by migrating to public cloud
  • Businesses want to optimize their overall technology use and want to use the cloud where it makes sense. In order to do this they need to know all the services they have, which is often challenging

Better management of licensing and utilization

  • It’s challenging to track licenses for services provisioned by business units
  • Tracking utilization of subscription services is also challenging but is the key to optimizing costs
  • Negotiate contracts with transferability so subscriptions not fully utilized can be re-purposed to another end-user
  • If there is not full utilization of the subscription, the visibility will provide insight on negotiating lower editions of the software

Better, more competitive cloud pricing and contract terms

  • Cloud providers continue to have pricing power and control over negotiations
  • Clients feel the need to push harder for strong SLAs and better terms overall
  • Clients are requesting Tangoe and other trusted partners to act as their representative to these vendors and pool volume to negotiate better terms

The need for “one version of the truth” for cloud

  • There are too many separate systems to manage IT expenses, contracts, licenses, usage, etc. effectively
  • While seemingly obvious, IaaS is not SaaS is not UCaaS etc. You need an advisor who understands the nuances of each in order to manage cloud services centrally

Bottom-line – and this ties back to gaining the visibility necessary to re-establish control – is that companies are looking for a trusted partner to help them better manage cloud services.

I’m very interested in hearing other clients’ views on this. Is this consistent with your experience? Are there other concerns you’ve got that don’t fall into these categories? Email me directly at annemarie.murray@tangoe.com to start a conversation.

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