Case Study: AvePoint
- Granular understanding of Azure-related costs across departments and SaaS solutions.
- Ongoing management, optimization and real-time monitoring of Azure resources.
- Successfully reduced Azure monthly spend by 35 percent, saving the company hundreds of thousands in operational costs from identifying under-utilized VMs and mitigating cost spikes with alternative resources
- By mapping numerous Azure resources and line items to specific products, the IT Department has influenced technology decisions and optimized the company’s roadmap to ensure profitability is maintained at the per-product level.
- AvePoint has cut waste and optimized usage while simultaneously experiencing double-digit growth in their annual Azure business through their SaaS solutions.
As the majority of AvePoint’s business has transitioned to its SaaS solution offerings, the company has undergone its own digital transformation. Departments across the company have shifted R&D, testing, and deployment assignments to the Azure cloud.
In order to assess the overall health of each line of business and allow for independent auditing, AvePoint created separate subscriptions for different departments and Azure regions (AvePoint has expanded to 12 regional datacenters). Meanwhile, the cloud resources deployed across the growing number of subscriptions were becoming more diversified and complex.
“With a large and growing Azure spend, it became increasingly important to the business to determine why we are spending this much money,” said John Hodges, Vice President of Product Strategy, AvePoint. “That’s a surprisingly hard question for many cloud vendors to answer when their monthly bills arrive!”
The information provided by Azure’s native billing APIs, EA portal, and Cost Management portals were informative, but the IT Department had a hard time identifying whether Azure resources were being used efficiently.
They couldn’t tell how the cloud resources were being deployed, and the numerous billing entries were not offering any additional insight.
“Each region added to the AvePoint Cloud resulted in brand new SKUs for the same technology, making it difficult to track discounts, unit prices, return on investment and operational costs in a predictable way,” said Hodges.
Monitoring Azure resources and managing Azure costs had gradually become the most urgent business needs of the IT Department, and even senior management.
The AvePoint Solution
In order to identify excessive cloud expenditures, AvePoint deployed AIR’s Advisor module to conduct a Cost Savings Report to identify long-term, low-utilization virtual machines (VM) across its Azure subscriptions.
AIR was also able to give AvePoint increased visibility into its power-on trend, CPU usage, expense item list and other details of its deployed virtual machines. By using this function, the IT department was able to contact corresponding resource owners to reduce VMs’ specifications or delete VMs when they were no longer needed, thereby optimizing resources.
As business has grown in North America and Europe, the AvePoint management team wanted to better understand the corresponding Azure usage for those regions.
The IT Department created a Data Center Cost Report through the AIR’s Report Module showing the detailed cost of particular data centers serving those regions over the period of time in question. This report helped AvePoint’s management conclude the growth in usage was aligned with the development of new business and within the parameters of a healthy sales model.
AvePoint also leveraged AIR’s Insight Module to centrally monitor and view newly added Azure resource services with higher than average costs. This helped AvePoint detect abnormal resource utilization, shut down non-compliant resources, and avoid waste in real-time.
AvePoint’s IT Department has also deployed AIR as part of its regular reporting to senior management.
For example, the department uses AIR’s Report Module to create an Increase/Decrease Cost Change Report to communicate with various subscription managers and compile detailed background on why Azure expenses have increased or decreased over the past month.
Additionally, the department can automatically tag department subscriptions with different properties or allow departments to customize their tag structures according to business needs and relationships using Smart Tags in AIR’s Resource Manager module.
Now AvePoint’s management can see the company’s Azure expenditure across different departments and products accompanied by other core data like human input and operating revenue.
“Being able to pivot resources by multiple tags is one of the big pieces we were missing in native billing interfaces, and makes all the difference in justifying costs,” said Hodges.
This has resulted in countless operational solutions that have consistently improved employee productivity and product profitability.
The Bottom Line
During the first three months following the introduction of AP Elements AIR, AvePoint’s IT Department successfully reduced monthly Azure expenses by 35 percent and saved the company hundreds of thousands of dollars in operational and maintenance costs.
While relying on AIR’s continuous monitoring and management functions, the company’s IT Department has become an indispensable part of the company’s product development and decision-making processes.
Despite double-digit overall growth in their annual Azure costs, AvePoint is confident that every single penny is being spent to help the company grow.
About AP Elements
AvePoint created Elements to better serve Small Businesses. Elements products are sold exclusively to and through our partners, making it even easier for businesses of any size—and their managed services providers—to take advantage of AvePoint’s powerful technology. Whether you have just one, or multiple tenants, we deliver the best backup, management, and migration tools in town. And just for partners…Azure resource management, and a portal for managing multiple tenants, to ensure costs are in check and customers are happy!
At Elements, we pride ourselves on making technology work for you. We incorporate best practices garnered from supporting over 16,000 customers and 6 million cloud users, to give you powerful, effective solutions at a price for any budget.
Read the full case study here.