Global Diversified Media Company
It takes courage to look in the mirror – we often find objects are closer than they appear. Like many organizations, this global diversified media company knew they were overprovisioned in the cloud. With more than 300 business units, more than 30 television stations, 19% of U.S. viewers, U.S. newspapers ownership, and more than 200 magazine editions around the world, they needed help identifying and applying cost optimization strategies.
As a leading global diversified media, information and services company with more than 300 businesses, they needed help identifying and applying cost optimization strategies.
First, by using automation at scale to ingest billing data into a billing data lake, Ollion was able to apply optimization models to create a single-pane-of-glass dashboard, giving the media company a robust picture of how much is being spent, what it is being spent on, and who is spending it. With a clear and accurate view of spending across clouds, Ollion’s cloud economics team worked with the business to understand their architectures and goals and then applied FinOps strategies to optimize costs throughout the corporation.
Beyond just cost savings of more than $1 million per month and an estimated $15 million per year, they have the operation-wide benefit of having a trusted and experienced cloud partner. While the solutions implemented by Ollion were designed for cost optimization, the company has gained more than just millions of dollars a year in savings. Ollion also is helping the company improve and build upon their cloud infrastructure through scalable application modernization. Specific to each business unit, we’re identifying AppMod opportunities based on each business’s current state in the cloud and their ability to innovate.
One of the biggest challenges any highly distributed, large corporation faces is data accessibility and accuracy. The global media company expected that they were over-provisioned – like most organizations – but they didn’t know how to tackle cloud optimization across the corporation. They needed a central repository where cloud spending could be assessed to move forward with meaningful impacts.
Making an impact
The company needed an experienced partner to help them get the most out of their cloud infrastructure for the lowest cost. Without guidance, they were risking unfavorable enterprise discount program (EDP) agreements, overpaying inaccurate cloud bills, applying incorrect data and tags for decision-making, and losing out on the business benefits of the cloud. Overall, these common missteps add up to millions of dollars wasted on unnecessary expenses.
When the company originally partnered with Ollion, the engagement was rooted in cost optimization. Since then, Ollion has implemented the following FinOps and cloud economic strategies throughout the corporation. These changes to their ongoing operations are custom to the company but central to the way Ollion does FinOps. We don’t assume the tactical strategies of cloud economics are one-size-fits-all. Instead, we apply the principles of cloud economics to tailored solutions fit for the corporation and its business units.
EDP planning and advocacy
As a trusted partner of this global diversified media company and with more than a decade in optimizing enterprise cloud bills, Ollion acts as a third-party advisor and consultant for entities negotiating deals with any of the major cloud providers. Whether it’s an enterprise agreement (EA), a Google agreement or an EDP private pricing agreement with AWS, Ollion helps both sides get a mutually beneficial deal.
As an AWS Premier Consulting Partner, Google Cloud Partner and Microsoft Gold Partner, Ollion is in the unique position of being trusted on both sides of an agreement. Our involvement not only yields better returns for the media company, but we also help communicate agreement terms on behalf of cloud providers. We’ve helped the company streamline the process of signing agreements they feel confident about, speeding up the process and empowering business units with a comprehensive understanding of the deals they’re signing.
Billing audits and surface correction
Specific to Ollion are the custom calculations we do in the cloud. Oftentimes tools go without quality checks and the raw data being ingested is assumed to be correct. Unfortunately, that presumptive approach can result in inaccurate data output that causes errors throughout the operation – including inflated costs. As they say, bad data in equals bad data out.
Ollion not only performs quality control checks on all of the company’s cloud bills, but we correct the surfacing of the data as well. Through these checks, we ensure the accuracy of the data we surface to the company and its business units.
On the other side, we work directly with cloud providers to get the appropriate credits necessary. This is especially important to cost optimization because some cloud providers have complex ways of analyzing data to apply the terms of their saving contracts. Unfortunately, errors occur quite frequently. With Ollion fixing and customizing the data, we’re able to correctly apply savings and aggregately roll up accurate data at the business unit level.
Migration from CloudHealth to Cloud Financial Management tool (CFM)
The media company wanted to move away from its cloud management solution, CloudHealth by VMware. Instead, they wanted to migrate to another CFM tool. Ollion reviewed the CFM and found that the tool was incapable of reapplying savings plans accurately. Specifically, business units were unable to see how much they were being billed by the corporation for the overall management of central IT.
Ollion worked directly with the CFM tool to solve this problem specific to the media company. As a partner and advocate for this company, we worked with their internal finance teams to ensure consistency between third-party tooling and actual chargebacks to business units. Similar to how we perform billing audits and surface corrections with cloud providers, Ollion also helps them monitor third-party tools for errors.
Tagging quality controls
In keeping with the principles of data accuracy for cost optimization, Ollion also implemented a unique tagging structure at the company. If an instance in the cloud was not appropriately tagged when it was created and then gets tagged months later, the tag will only show up from that point forward in financial tracking and tools. In their case, one of those tags is business unit spend. It’s paramount to decipher what business unit the spend belongs to in order to apply cost optimization strategies.
The logic we’ve implemented corrects inaccurate or untagged instances, to give the company a proper understanding of their financial operations. Only with a factual account of all instances can they apply cloud economics for expected returns.
"Ollion goes back in time and fixes all prior months – where the tag was not appropriately applied – to provide proper surfacing information over time."
Custom dashboards on-demand
When the company’s business units want their dashboards presented in a different manner using different tiles or a different set of analyses, Ollion typically delivers within 30 days or less. Most cloud providers are unable to offer this kind of on-demand customization, especially within such a short timeframe. We take these requests seriously, understanding the value it provides to our client's business entities. With a mutual understanding that data insight produces maximum cost optimization opportunities, Ollion prioritizes these personal requests.
Since partnering with Ollion, the global diversified media company is saving more than a million dollars per month and an estimated $15 million per year. Beyond just cost savings, they have the operation-wide benefit of having a trusted and experienced cloud partner. While the solutions implemented by Ollion were designed for cost optimization, the company has gained more than just millions of dollars a year.
- Knowledgeable advocates representing the company’s best interests with third-party providers
- Accurate data insights to improve data-based decision-making, forecasting and planning
- Financial insights to support business use cases from the top down for faster innovation
- Tailor-made dashboards that empower business units to meet goals more efficiently
Going forward, Ollion is helping the company improve and build upon its cloud infrastructure through scalable application modernization. Specific to each business unit, we’re identifying AppMod opportunities based on each business’s current state in the cloud and its ability to innovate. Ollion will continue to vet and suggest new cloud opportunities that help the company meet its business goals and continue to improve costs.