Is your data dirty?

A credible cloud billing solution must be able to provide insightful breakdowns of charges. In addition to per-customer reports it should be possible to ‘slice and dice’ data at deeper levels such that the total spend can be dynamically visualised using arbitrary combinations of criteria such as business unit, region, project and resource group to name only a few.

Ultimately this process is completely dependent on the initial data imported into the system. The phrase “garbage in, garbage out” is particularly apposite when generating financial reports. However with the right tools, knowledge and techniques it may be surprising what can be accomplished with data that would otherwise be difficult or impossible to report against.

Here at Exivity we use the term dirty data to describe information that is not well-formed, which is inconsistent or has holes in it. Typically, dirty data is interleaved within well-formed data and as such needs to be identified and dealt with as it occurs.

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Billing Automation for Azure Partner Shared Services

Microsoft recently introduced a new Azure offer type for partners in the CSP program. This new program allows CSP partners to purchase, track and manage Azure internal spending. As Microsoft describes it:

With Azure Partner Shared Services partners now have the same flexibility to use Azure subscriptions in CSP as they do in the Microsoft Enterprise Agreement and Web Direct programs. Partners in CSP will now be able to do things like:

  • Host shared services and multi-tenant applications
  • Deploy internal workloads and management solutions, that manage different customers with different Azure subscriptions
  • Build development and test environments, that are not fitting into Partner Center Integration Sandbox

Not only is the Shared Services usage dedicated to an isolated Azure subscription that belongs to your Partner account, but the pricing for this subscription has its own rate card – which, in general, seems a bit more favorably priced when compared to the standard Azure CSP rate-card. This may bring some interesting opportunities to the table because apart from internal use, Shared Services may also offer applications and services that are shared or multi tenant. Therefore from an economic perspective it may well be advantageous to utilize the functionality of Azure Partner Shared Service to its fullest.

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