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How 1NCE Used CloudZero to Control AWS Costs and Build a Cost-Aware Engineering Culture

“CloudZero doesn’t just help you get control of your AWS spending. It gives you cost understanding—so you can see where your costs go and what they map to.”

About 1NCE

A heavy-hitter in the fast-moving IoT space, 1NCE listens to sensors processing significant information from the machines that surround us. Their platform, which is built on AWS, constantly clocks detailed data emitted by bicycles and beehives, city utilities and coffee machines.

1NCE's Tedious AWS Bill

Primed for growth, 1NCE started to bring more operations under its own umbrella instead of using external managed services. With it came the risk of an unchecked AWS bill. Additionally, their different business models called for the painstaking process of combing through Excel sheets to attribute cloud costs to the right project. But most cloud cost management tools were bulky and obtrusive, requiring significant administrative work to decode complex, delayed billing.

Tagging Time-Sink

Before shifting to CloudZero, 1NCE engineers would spend considerable time each month toiling with Excel spreadsheets to align cloud costs to the relevant business model. Imperfect tagging and untaggable AWS resources made this a complex process—and a serious “waste of time” for Jan and his team.

Then, 1NCE discovered CloudZero.

CloudZero is a cost management tool able to churn out real-time, actionable cost insights within minutes. Assessing billions of engineering events per second, CloudZero leaves no lapse in visibility between a cost spike and the final bill. 1NCE chose CloudZero after looking at multiple cost management tools. They liked the simplicity, ease of use, and cost-focus that CloudZero provided.

Jan Sulaiman

Some of the other tools we looked at offered some lighter cost functionality, along with security and compliance. We were looking for an easy-to-use, best-of-breed cost tool, which is what we found with CloudZero.

Jan Sulaiman | IoT Product Manager, 1NCE

An Automatic Solution

With CloudZero, 1NCE could instantaneously connect line items to precise engineering activity. With automated, real-time alerts, they were able to preemptively combat unpredicted cloud bills, without having to set up manual budget thresholds. CloudZero has enabled them to fix cost issues during development and prevent them from turning into runaway costs.


Jan Sulaiman

We recently held a discussion about why the development environment is running 24x7 and is the same size as production when no one is using it nights and weekends. CloudZero helps educate our engineers about what changes every time they run something on the cloud and the fact that it costs our company real money.

Jan Sulaiman | IoT Product Manager, 1NCE

CloudZero armed every engineer with cost intel, without slowing down the pace of innovation.

With over half their company consisting of engineers, 1NCE understood that they needed to ensure that the teams who were designing and building their products had visibility and awareness of what they were spending. Like any non-functional requirement, they needed to be able to make cost-driven decisions and tradeoffs.


Jan Sulaiman

For example, our EC2 instances recently increased in our production environment. I was able to immediately see the change and my team provided feedback right in our CloudZero Slack channel about exactly why it had happened. We found out that the instances were necessary to deliver the product under a tight deadline, but we were able to put it into the backlog so we knew to change it for the future.

Jan Sulaiman | IoT Product Manager, 1NCE

1NCE Received Clear and Immediate Alerts

Automated, fast-paced, and digestible: CloudZero alerts don’t require a productivity halt to pull reports or dig through data. Engineers at 1NCE can click on an alert to see the exact activity that caused the cost anomaly.

Another key benefit has been a shift in their engineering culture around cloud cost waste.

Rather than spending cycles investigating this issue, CloudZero helped them quickly address the problem and move on.

Now, CloudZero automatically organizes their costs, significantly reducing the amount of time wasted on manual resource tagging. 1NCE engineers started receiving real-time or weekly reminders that showed how their costs were changing.

CloudZero enables 1NCE’s team of engineers to make data-driven decisions and nimble adjustments, so they can reduce their technical debt and maintain strong margins in the long run.

Jan Sulaiman

We don’t necessarily want people to always choose the cheapest option. We just want to be able to make that decision with data, so we can decide if it’s something we want to accept or address it on the spot... It’s really about awareness - we want to know where, why [we are spending money], and the reason for it.

Jan Sulaiman | IoT Product Manager, 1NCE

1NCE gained a deeper understanding of the cost to build and run their products.

Now, CloudZero automatically organizes their costs, significantly reducing the amount of time wasted on manual resource tagging. CloudZero also helped organize shared and untagged resources into project teams. 1NCE can now quickly see how their costs align with different business models without the day-draining manual effort.



Looking Forward:

Effortless Cost-Effective Development and Clear View of COGS

By shining light on cloud cost, CloudZero has helped 1NCE to stay focused on growing their business and getting products to market. CloudZero’s snappy, streamlined functionality made it easy for 1NCE to follow costs and answer detailed questions from the C-Suite.

Instead of wasting hours per month running through events with a fine-tooth comb, their team could easily map activity to the correct business unit.


Interested in learning more about the CloudZero platform?



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