Increased Visibility into Cloud Spend


HARMAN has achieved 100% visibility in their cloud costs, compared to only 10% at the start of their journey

Identifying Unused Resources


VMware Aria Cost powered by CloudHealth identification of unused resources saves the team 15-20 hours a week

Self-service Cost Optimization


HARMAN saves around $135K a month with VMware Aria Cost powered by CloudHealth, adding up to more than $1M a year

HARMAN designs and engineers connected products and solutions for automakers, consumers and enterprises worldwide. More than 50 million automobiles on the road today are equipped with HARMAN audio and connected car systems. HARMAN software services power billions of mobile devices and systems that are connected, integrated and secure across all platforms. In March 2017, HARMAN became a wholly owned subsidiary of Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd, with approximately 30,000 employees across the globe.


Journey to the Cloud

HARMAN’s digital transformation has been a multifaceted journey consisting of networks, data centers, enterprise software, productivity tools, and the cloud.Before their cloud strategy was implemented, engineers didn’t have secure, centralized, policy-driven access to the latest and greatest cloud services,which made it difficult to create and deliver new products quickly. It would take the engineering team weeks or months to provision something withinmultiple data centers.

At its inception, HARMAN’s cloud footprint was very scattered across business divisions and project teams. HARMAN leverages Amazon Web Services (AWS)and Microsoft Azure to enable the engineering organization to build products leveraging automation, AI and machine learning tools. Thomas Blanchet, senior director of digital infrastructure and architecture at HARMAN, and Ashok Madhuranath, senior manager of cloud architecture and operations at HARMAN, began centralizing their cloud strategy three years ago, enforcing governance and security to create a strategic cloud center of excellence (CCoE).

"There was no central place or central team managing the cloud infrastructure and enforcing policies and governance,” Madhuranath said. Every division within HARMAN now uses the cloud extensively by utilizing the HARMAN Cloud Hub portal, which provides seamless and secure access to cloud services, tools and automation. HARMAN’s cloud usage has grown 2,400x since then.

Finding the Right Cloud Management Solution

Madhuranath’s team quickly realized they couldn’t operate without a multi-cloud management tool. AWS and Azure native tools were unable to provide a entralized view of their multi-cloud environment. The team needed to develop an optimized financial management and governance strategy to answer: Are we using cloud in an optimized manner or just spending money?

HARMAN was using a competitive solution for about a year before switching to VMware Aria Cost powered by CloudHealth. “The [competitive] tool itself wasn’t providing the reports, visibility or dashboards we were looking for,” Madhuranath said. “The tool had a clumsy UI and was unable to provide the granular cost data the team needed.”

HARMAN needed a reliable solution that provides visibility into their multi-cloud environment. After attending several webinars to familiarize themselves with the platform, Blanchet and Madhuranath recognized the value of VMware Aria Cost and knew it was a better option for their team.

Cloud strategy optimization with VMware Aria Cost

Since the previous tool wasn’t delivering the services HARMAN needed, the team was eager to get up and running quickly with VMware Aria Cost. They needed tobe able to justify their $1.1 million cloud spend as their multi-cloud presence continued to grow exponentially.The VMware Professional Services team for VMware Aria Cost was able to quickly implement the platform for HARMAN.

Once we signed the contract, because of Professional Services, we were able to get the value from the product in no time.
— Ashok Madhuranath, Senior Manager of Cloud Architecture and Operations, HARMAN

The Professional Services team was able to quickly take HARMAN’s Excel spreadsheets full of data and turn them into VMware Aria Cost reports.

HARMAN also implemented a strategy of self-service optimization to provide cloud resource owners an actionable 360-degree view of their cloud footprint (assets, cost and optimization opportunities). HARMAN pulls recommendations out of VMware Aria Cost to send emails to project owners showing what their cloud footprint looks like and what they can do to optimize. Using self-service provisioning tools to make changes without IT engagement or having to open a service request was a huge benefit. The team built a dashboard that pulls data out of VMware Aria Cost using APIs to look at optimization opportunities and take quick actions.

VMware Aria Cost has also allowed HARMAN to easily navigate cost optimization throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

With COVID, cost became a high priority. We were able to utilize quite a bit of optimization features that VMware Aria Cost provides.
— Ashok Madhuranath, Senior Manager of Cloud Architecture & Operations, HARMAN

With rightsizing recommendations from VMware Aria Cost powered by CloudHealth, in combination with other features, HARMAN saves around $135,000 a month, which adds up to more than $1 million a year.

HARMAN has quickly moved through the VMware cloud management maturity model, mastering the visibility and optimization phases. The team only had visibility into 10 percent of their cloud costs at the start of the cloud journey. Today, they’ve achieved 100 percent visibility. The team also used VMware Aria Cost to clean up unused resources, such as Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) instances, which saves them 15–20 hours a week. “Getting decision-making power to who actually pays for the resource has been a big highlight,” Madhuranath shared.

“One of the biggest things I’ve seen with the [VMware] team is their knowledge and expertise, not only with features and customizations within the tool,” Madhuranath said. “The team has pride in the product and features that the product offers and how it can make customers’ lives better. They want customers to use the product and actually benefit from it, as well as helping them along the cloud journey.”


Next Steps for HARMAN

Today, HARMAN uses VMware Aria Cost primarily from a governance standpoint and hopes to progress into business integration in the near future. The team intends to integrate VMware Aria Cost data into more internal processes, such as automated chargebacks and security. Within the next six months, Madhuranath will use VMware Aria Cost to get asset data integrated with internal services and tools.

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Retail and Consumer Products

Stamford, Connecticut



VMware Aria Cost™ powered by CloudHealth®


Professional Services
Cost Reporting and Custom dashboards
Assessments on Idle Resources
Rightsizing Recommendations

AWS, Azure

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