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 multi-faceted 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 within multiple data centers.
At its inception, HARMAN’s cloud footprint was very scattered across business divisions and project teams. HARMAN leverages AWS and Microsoft Azure to enable the engineering organization to build products leveraging automation, AI, and machine learning tools. Thomas Blanchet (Senior Director – Digital Infra & Architecture) and Ashok Madhuranath (Senior Manager of Cloud Architecture & 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,” Ashok said. Every division within HARMAN now uses the cloud extensively—utilizing the HARMAN Cloud Hub portal—which provides seamless and secure access to cloud services, tools, and automation. HARMAN’s Cloud usage has grown 2400x since then.
Finding the right cloud management solution
Ashok’s team quickly realized they couldn’t operate without a multi-cloud management tool. AWS and Azure native tools were unable to provide a centralized 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 CloudHealth by VMware. “The [competitive] tool itself wasn’t providing the reports, visibility, or dashboards we were looking for,” Ashok 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 could provide visibility into their multi-cloud environment. After attending several CloudHealth webinars to familiarize themselves with the platform, Thomas and Ashok recognized the value of CloudHealth and knew it was a better option for their team.
Cloud strategy optimization with CloudHealth
Since the previous tool wasn’t delivering the services HARMAN needed, the team was eager to get up and running quickly with CloudHealth. They needed to be able to justify their $1.1M cloud spend as their multi-cloud presence continued to grow exponentially. CloudHealth’s Professional Services team 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. We didn’t have time to learn everything about the product. We always received specific instructions from Professional Services on how to share data."Senior Manager of Cloud Architecture & Operations, HARMAN
The Professional Services team was able to quickly take HARMAN’s Excel spreadsheets full of data and turn them into CloudHealth 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 CloudHealth 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 CloudHealth using APIs to look at optimization opportunities and take quick actions.
CloudHealth 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 CloudHealth provides."Senior Manager of Cloud Architecture & Operations, HARMAN
With CloudHealth’s rightsizing recommendations, in combination with other features, HARMAN saves around $135K a month, which adds up to more than $1M a year.
HARMAN has quickly moved through CloudHealth’s cloud management maturity model, mastering the visibility and optimization phases. The team only had visibility into 10% of their cloud costs at the start of the cloud journey, and today they’ve achieved 100% visibility. The team has also used CloudHealth to clean up unused resources, like 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,” Ashok shared.
“One of the biggest things I’ve seen with the CloudHealth team is their knowledge and expertise, not only with features and customizations within the tool,” Ashok 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 CloudHealth primarily from a governance standpoint and hopes to progress into business integration in the near future. The team intends to integrate CloudHealth data into more internal processes like automated chargebacks and security. Within the next six months Ashok will use CloudHealth to get asset data integrated with internal services and tools.