It’s impossible to work efficiently in a company if you don't know exactly where costs are incurred. Deutsche Telekom now offers the new Financial Dashboard for the Open Telekom Cloud so that companies can constantly keep track of complex IT projects. With the new console, companies can keep a close eye on their public cloud costs at all times. Simon Komarek, product manager at Open Telekom Cloud, reveals all the details in an interview.
Why do companies need the Financial Dashboard? The costs incurred are already on their bill anyway.
That's true, but they only receive the bill once a month. The Financial Dashboard provides a transparent and, above all, up-to-date overview of all the costs incurred when using the Open Telekom Cloud. And at any time. Companies can see on a daily basis which capacities they are using and also how much they are using. By the way, that’s not just for the Open Telekom Cloud, but also other cloud offerings from the Telekom portfolio such as DSI vCloud. And not only do they see the costs, they can also relate them directly to specific processes, teams, departments or cost centers. To get the best possible oversight, you can design the overview in the Financial Dashboard to be as granular as you like.
How exactly does the Financial Dashboard work?
With the help of virtual labels, the so-called tags. Users can tag each virtual machine and each service. If, for example, they know that four virtual machines with certain characteristics will be needed to develop a particular application within the next two weeks, they can mark them with a tag – for example as “Product development XY.” And this tag is then also visible in the Financial Dashboard. This way, companies always know what costs these virtual machines have incurred for the process in question.
Other cloud services offer that too. What is the special feature?
We have given this a lot of thought and improved the Financial Dashboard in a closed beta phase in cooperation with some customers. The result, we believe, is something special. For example, we offer an overview in a particularly detailed form, with a wide range of functions and a high level of granularity – and all free of charge.
How exactly is the granularity of the Financial Dashboard special?
With us, customers can determine exactly what degree of granularity they want. They can group services from the Open Telekom Cloud into OpenStack projects, i.e. domains within a tenant, and in this way assign costs to specific processes, departments or employee groups. But what’s more, they can also assign a single tag to each resource. In addition, the Financial Dashboard offers a wealth of different evaluation features.
Why would companies need these kinds of evaluation features?
It provides them with a better overview. So they don't just see the blank numbers, but can also sort them because they can see where they are at a glance. And they can export these reports in different forms at any time. This also improves the overview.
What does this mean in concrete terms: Can you give an example of this type of evaluation feature?
Companies can choose how to display their cost overview, for example. There are different forms of presentation, such as pie, column, line or bar charts as well as heat maps, which show companies at a glance which resources they use most intensively or the time periods during which they are particularly active. And of course there is also the option of exporting a classic Excel table with all the figures and graphics as reports and saving them locally.
Does every customer have access to the Financial Dashboard?
The closed beta phase is over, so the majority of customers can already access the Financial Dashboard. But not all of them yet. We are working to ensure that all Open Telekom Cloud customers can benefit from the Financial Dashboard as quickly as possible.
What are the next steps planned?
We don’t regard the project as finished. We are constantly developing the dashboard further. For example, we are basically quite satisfied with the performance, which our outstanding Deutsche Telekom IT development team took care of during the beta phase. Nevertheless, we are constantly working to improve performance. As before, we continue to rely heavily on feedback from our customers, which helps us to continually improve our service. I would even say that we are dependent on this customer feedback. As usual in the OpenStack community, the more we interact with others, the better our product will be. That's why we ask our customers to send us any kind of feedback. It’s the only way we can really be aware of their experiences and draw on them to become more efficient together.
Simon Komarek is a business IT specialist. He began his career in the Finance and Controlling department of T-Systems, Telekom's corporate customer division, before moving to product management at the Open Telekom Cloud in October 2017. Komarek is 25 years old and lives in Hamburg.
At a glance: the benefits of Open Telekom Cloud
- Security: The data are hosted in highly secure Telekom computing centres in Germany.
- Scalability: Computing power and memory can be ordered and set up online and adapted flexibly at any time.
- Pricing models: We offer you flexible and fixed contractual periods as well as a combination of both models.
- No vendor lock-in: Open Telekom Cloud is based on OpenStack, a freely available open-source standard. You can change the provider at any time.
- Individual configuration: CPU, RAM, storage, network – you can put a package together for yourself that matches your requirements to the optimum degree.
- IaaS for all: Open Telekom Cloud is extremely flexible and therefore suitable for companies of every size.