Using Cloud for SAP hosting brings huge opportunities for agility and cost reduction when compared to fixed asset hosting. One of the most common concerns from Enterprise customers is the inability to monitor and control costs. For example, allowing a testing team to create test landscapes to confirm patch readiness brings a huge agility increase to traditional testing approaches and carries with it the potential savings of not having to use teams of technical people to create the landscapes. The trade-off, however, is that if used incorrectly this process can drive costs above an acceptable standard.
Lemongrass, supported by the financial analysis and protection capabilities of Lemongrass Cloud Platform (LCP), has a proven pattern to limit exposure to excessive or non-value-add cost increases, enabling agility and maximizing the advantages of hosting on the Cloud.
Billing Data Lake
Once LCP is connected to the Cloud accounts of the customer, it collects billing data on an hourly basis. This data is passed into a Data Lake that is fully protected and isolated by customer reference. This data can be used to inform the rest of the LCP process, such as spend prediction and cross-account cost harvesting which allows for accurate costing for an SAP production workloads across both primary and DR accounts.
The Cloud is a fantastic place to be for SAP, with continued advances coming out almost weekly. Many customers want to take full advantage of the new agility that hosting on the Cloud brings. The other side of the coin is: How do we manage the costs but not stifle innovation?
- Discount Programs – LCP can be configured to support most available contract types, from individual payer arrangements with credit cards, all the way through to partner resold discount programs. With LCP, it is possible to observe the costs across accounts in near real-time, augmented to actual incurred by month, as well as effective-based on amortized savings delivered from investment and discounts programs offered by hyperscale Cloud providers.
- Margin Analysis – LCP has the functionality to compare expected costs with actual costs across areas such as Support and Reseller Margin. This can be used to ensure accounts are correctly configured and support purchase decisions in the future. LCP also allows rollups to be configured in overlapping or mutually exclusive ways. This supports the ability to understand total liability alongside internal resell or cost allocation.
- Spend Prediction – LCP can report on what has happened. It can also extrapolate what will or could happen. It’s also possible to see the current run rate and a prediction of what the monthly total will be for each account. This is visible for all spend types such as Marketplace and general run costs.
- Executive Involvement – LCP offers an easy access web portal and mobile apps for visualizing current and predicted spend. Spend areas can be configured at high level or very low level and each area can then be governed with both budgets and access control. Spend areas can further be augmented with local currency and specific markups where appropriate.
Lemongrass has built a Finance Data Lake. that combines the data available from billing APIs with the augmented data that the Lemongrass Cloud Platform (LCP) can offer.
With this Data Lake, customers of Lemongrass and LCP will intuitively see the cost of running individual SAP workloads aligned to their business practices. Organizations will be able to compare this against contract information in private pricing program consumption, savings plan influence, and ultimately recommendations from the hyperscale Cloud provider that would reduce cost.
The combination of the Finance Data Lake with hyperscale Cloud provider finance tools will allow both Lemongrass, its engineers, and its customers to view their data in a whole new way. For example, they will be able to visualize the cost impact of changing the infrastructure components on which their SAP workloads are hosted. This will be available as an end-to-end flow, showing the traceability from the point of decision to the point of savings, along with the actions that were performed to realize the change.
How do you manage costs but not stifle innovation?
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