Ternary is committed to FinOps best practices and thought leadership. Since the FinOps Foundation released the FinOps Cost and Usage Specification (FOCUS™), in November 2023, we have affirmed this commitment by implementing FOCUS in the Ternary platform and collaborating on its ongoing development.

To multi-cloud competition, FOCUS brings a user-friendly mission

Back in 2022, the FinOps Foundation launched FOCUS, an initiative designed to address the problem that vexes companies with multi-cloud spend. Different cloud service providers (CSPs) and SaaS solutions issue cloud bills with bewilderingly divergent formats and categories. For example, the region called “us-west1” in GCP is called “us-west-1” in AWS. Failing to see the significance of that seemingly minuscule difference could lead to drastic errors in computing multi-cloud spend in North America. 

Before FOCUS, you would have needed to realize that these two different labels meant the same region and link them in your internal billing system. That’s a cumbersome, time-consuming, and error-prone process. Instead of placing that burden on individual users, FOCUS tasks CSPs and SaaS providers with implementing a single unified format and nomenclature. 

And implement it they will: Google, Microsoft, Oracle, and Amazon have committed to providing their data using FOCUS. Despite intense competition for market share, these CSPs know that proprietary billing formats no longer serve their increasingly multi-cloud customers (who demand multi-cloud solutions). With CSPs and SaaS offerings proliferating, customers’ challenges in understanding their costs among clouds will only increase. So too will their expectations of FinOps platforms like Ternary. Fortunately, we are more than ready to meet those expectations, having helped build the FOCUS specification as part of our commitment to the FinOps Foundation.

With FOCUS implementation, Ternary affirms multi-cloud support

At Ternary, we continually improve our platform to provide high-level and resource-level views of customers’ multi-cloud spend. Consistent with this approach, we began implementing FOCUS starting with its release, in November 2023. We are finalizing FOCUS support for GCP and AWS, and we will next implement it for Azure. 

Let’s look at an example of how Ternary uses FOCUS as the default method for presenting data. Built on GCP, Ternary originally used GCP terminology by default. For example, customers would drill into their detailed usage with the dimension “skuDescription,” a GCP term. But in AWS, the same expenditure would be termed “item description.” In Azure, it would be “service description.” To help our multi-cloud customers compare apples to apples, Ternary will use the FOCUS term “usage category,” by default. (As the leading GCP FinOps platform, Ternary will continue to support our GCP customers by displaying GCP dimensions alongside FOCUS dimensions and other vendor-specific dimensions. That way, customers will still be able to view and search their data in the way that makes most sense to them.)

Ternary also provides customers with a “data dictionary.” This knowledge base helps users relate the raw CSP data to the FOCUS nomenclature, so they can quickly understand their cloud bill.

Ternary contributes to the future of FOCUS

But Ternary does more than just react to industry developments. Since 2022, we have taken an active role in shaping the specification and related practices and technologies. For example, we’ve made significant contributions to the Converter and Validator tools. These ensure that FOCUS files can be generated from cloud native billing data and then validated as matching the text of the specification. 

As a member of the FOCUS working group, we see a bright future for the specification and for customers. By increasingly adopting FOCUS, CSPs will improve users’ understanding of those providers’ massive data feeds, which today use different terminology to refer to the same things. (Equally maddening, they may use the same words to refer to different things.) Additionally, there are major concerns with current cloud data feeds’ delivery speed and with knowing whether data is complete for any given day or not. As FOCUS shines a light on these problems, solutions will be more forthcoming. 

FOCUS democratizes FinOps

Finally, from the practitioner standpoint, we simply won’t have to convert between different formats anymore. We’ll be able to process and analyze against one data format, no matter how many cloud providers an organization uses. This unity will provide massive benefits to all users of cloud at scale. It also promises to democratize FinOps, as practitioners will no longer need expertise in various vendors’ billing formats or naming conventions to progress on their FinOps journey.

Data ingestion and normalization is just one capability within a FinOps practice. With FOCUS implemented, practitioners can now concentrate on additional capabilities, such as taking advantage of commitment-based discounts, managing shared costs, forecasting, and more. FinOps is a journey, and dedicated FinOps solutions like Ternary can help your organization progress through the phases (inform, optimize, operate) and maturity cycles (crawl, walk, run.)

Ternary’s founders were in the room when FinOps was born. We continue to lead in applying its principles throughout our platform and in furthering the conversation about cloud spend optimization. To learn more about how Ternary can help you drive cloud cost and usage efficiency at scale, request a demo today.