How This Startup Aims To Help Firms Control Google Cloud Spending

San Francisco-based Ternary has partnered with SADA Systems and other channel companies to bring more transparency to Google Cloud spending.


Many companies may find it easy to migrate and operate in the cloud, but one issue still remains: how to control the associated costs.

As many as a third of businesses have cloud budget overruns of up to 40 percent, and one in 12 companies exceeds that number, according to results from a survey of 750 senior enterprise IT professionals by Santa Clara, Calif.-based Pepperdata.

Cue companies like Ternary, a San Francisco-based startup offering what it’s billing as the first native cloud financial management tool built for Google Cloud.

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The company’s app provides development teams with a portal that shows spending on Google Cloud-related services — including Compute, Storage, BigQuery, Kubernetes, Dataflow and Dataproc — compared with the amount of money the team has budgeted.

The app also forecasts spending and monitors unusual spikes in spending to keep companies’ finance officials happy. The app shows and models for users the effect of Google’s discounts on spending, and it will provide savings recommendations.

To help Ternary bring its tool to market, the company of 10 employees has raised $1.6 million in initial funding from the likes of Greycroft, Oceans Ventures, Operator Partners, Great Oaks Venture Capital and Correlation Ventures.

Ternary has taken a channel-first approach, counting among its partners SADA Systems, Cloudwerx and Katana1. Ternary is focused on landing new partnerships throughout the year.

CEO and co-founder Sasha Kipervarg said Ternary’s founding team has experienced the friction that comes with development and budgets. Kipervarg has spent his career in infrastructure, with previous stints as head of global cloud operations at data connectivity platform provider LiveRamp and director of DevOps at Workday.

Their experience wasn’t unique. In December, GreenPages CEO Ron Dupler told CRN that “there is a lot of overspend and customers don’t have the efficiency to effectively manage scaling cloud. There is a lot of complexity to doing the cloud right at not just the architectural level but also the business and economic level.”

In the summer, SAP Executive Vice President and Global Head of Enterprise Cloud Services Peter Pluim said hard-to-control public cloud costs had driven an increase in on-premises SAP enterprise resource planning rollouts.

The strategy of automation to keep costs consistent can miss context around new projects that could require more investment, Kipervarg said. Sometimes the answer is a conversation and marriage of goals between engineering and finance teams, a conversation Kipervarg hopes his tool can spark.

“You need both parties at the table to solve the cloud budget challenge,” he told CRN. “If companies move to the cloud and overspend their budgets, they’re not happy.”

SADA hopes to provide customers with more information on spending and help create stronger cost governance practices, said John Campbell, SADA vice president of customer success and innovation, in an email.

Campbell said he’s seen more customers request help with cloud financial management over the past six to nine months. And he expects the demand to continue.

“By combining Ternary’s technology with our Google Cloud expertise, we can provide customers with world-class service with visibility into their cloud spend,” Campbell said. “We believe strongly that the partnership will help us capture new customers and provide additional insight to our existing customer base.”

SADA Systems, based in Los Angeles and one of Google’s largest channel partners, has struck up partnerships before. It has partnered with Appsbroker, a large Google MSP, to develop a platform for Google channel partners to connect with potential employees.

It also recently launched SADA SaaS Alliance Program to give software providers access to SADA’s co-marketing and co-selling services, including lead generation with the SADA sales team, to scale and amplify their brands and sales within SADA’s customer base and the Google ecosystem.