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However, many companies fail to accurately comprehend what they need from cloud technologies, and how the resource can be tracked and optimized, to ultimately attain and measure cloud technology spending. Without proper knowledge of such factors, AWS, with its plethora of tools and services, can cause companies to spend more than needed. When it comes to leveraging cloud technologies, there is a general “communication gap,” between the tech team and the finance team of a company. This calls for a cloud service provider who bridges the gap between the two teams—by identifying and defining cloud computing needs in a transparent and easily comprehensible manner, managing vendors and processing payments— to help the company in question achieve their cloud migration and adoption goals.
Enter Strategic Blue! Founded in 2010, the company—as a cloud optimization or FinOps managed service provider—helps organizations buy cloud resources according to their needs, accelerate migration to the cloud, and optimize cloud resources procurement. “We can often save clients up to 30% of their AWS bill,” mentions Stephen Old, head of business acquisition, Strategic Blue.
In an interview with CIOApplications, Old explains the services offered by Strategic Blue and how they help their customers develop an efficient cloud procurement strategy by reducing cloud costs with ongoing cost optimization.
What are the core services offered by Strategic Blue?
We help organizations principally through our three sets of services. The first one is called the Financial Adaptor to the cloud, where we help organizations to buy cloud in accordance to their terms and needs. Whether companies want to buy in a different currency, need flexibility on commitment terms or finance, we help them in all. We provide flexible billing options allowing customers to choose from a 120 days model, estimated price, or monthly service plans.
Another area where we help our customers is understanding what they are buying. Through reports and live dashboards, we provide insights that both technical and financial teams can understand. Basically, we bridge a gap between the CTO and CFO to help them speak the same language while making their decision on cloud procurement.
We offer tailored pricing that is simply not available direct from AWS
This is how we are using people and a bit of financial and technical know-how to help companies get the right cloud deal.
Can you tell us about your clients and the onboarding process?
We have a large number of partners and a combination of public and private sector companies. Serving customers from all around the globe has allowed us to have a diverse portfolio. To get the best outcomes for our customers, we have been involved in finance, education, health tech, biotech, and many other sectors.
We have made a lot of effort in making our client onboarding process seamless and secure. Generally, we begin by providing a free FinOps review that details visibility on how much our customers can save in terms of cloud adoption. Further, we provide them technical support as well as financial assistance. We offer our services in a flexible and customized manner such that even if our customers are engaging with another cloud service provider or partner, we can still help them. This has been a significant value proposition that has accelerated our growth in the recent past.
What are the key insights you provide to help customers optimize their cloud operations and spending?
For effective visibility throughout the cloud procurement process, we provide reports and dashboards that contain information about the usage and payment pertaining to the cloud resources. To brief companies about their spending, we break it down by service, showing them the spending on each service availed. As companies now have a clear understanding of the most utilized and least utilized service, they can effectively optimize cloud procurement costs. We also help our clients upgrade to the newest versions of cloud services to save their money and increase efficiency.
Could you please share a customer success story with us?
One of our clients, the University of California, San Diego (UC San Diego), faced a challenge to track the growing cloud costs across researchers, cloud vendors, and projects. With several aspects to take care of, keeping account of how much service is being used by whom was becoming unmanageable.
This is where we came in to help. With our cloud portfolio management power, we analyzed and tracked accounts, projects, and spend on the project by each party. Our custom billing engine produced a cost and usage report that allowed the university to track all the components of their cloud costs. Knowing the cloud’s financial know-how, we made recommendations and helped our clients save their money.
As a result, UC San Diego’s saving increased by 12 percent on an average monthly basis. Which has allowed far more research to be completed on AWS.
How has the year 2020 been for Strategic Blue, and what does its roadmap look like?
We had an exciting year as we worked on amazing projects, diversified our portfolio, and grew our business by 2.5 times. With the COVID-19 outbreak, cost became a priority for most of the businesses that overlooked it before. It helped business leaders to understand the importance of cost optimization, and that is where we helped them. To further help companies in these tough times, we have also extended our offer for free FinOps reviews.
With our services and seasoned professionals, we helped cloud-based companies to operate efficiently while retaining most of their employees and steadily maintaining their business growth. Striding forward, we are focusing on growth and planning to further grow our customer base in the US and Europe.