This quickstart shows you how to track your cloud spend in one or across multiple cloud platforms; create customer-specific pricebooks; generate bills across clouds; and manage a unified view of your costs and usage for specific customers or categories.
Account: Sometimes called "cloud account," but can be any customer account. A customer account defined in Orbitera is a bucket that contains all usage charges. In Google, an account is called a GCP project. In Microsoft Azure, it's an Azure subscription. In AWS, it's a linked account.
Admin: A user who can log in to the Orbitera admin console. Admins are configured in the admin console at Settings > Users. Admin roles are User or Owner. An Owner can modify all settings. A User has the same capability, but can't add new Users.
Channel partner: A generic term that can apply to a distributor, reseller, systems integrator, or vendor. A business that partners with a manufacturer to market and sell the manufacturer's products, services, or technologies.
Cloud provider: A business that offers cloud computing – typically, Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Software as a Service (SaaS) or Platform as a Service (PaaS) – to other businesses or individuals. Cloud providers are sometimes referred to as cloud service providers or CSPs. Examples of cloud providers are Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform.
Customer: Individuals or businesses that purchase cloud products from resellers or sometimes directly from distributors. Customers can purchase or test drive products on an Orbitera-powered marketplace. From a billing perspective, you can think of an Orbitera customer as a bucket that can contain account usage charges, thus enabling you to manage billing across multiple channels. You can assign one or many accounts to a customer.
Distributor: A business that helps channel partners find the right cloud offering for their customers and also provides deployment and support services. Compared to a reseller, a distributor implies a closer relationship with the manufacturer. Essentially, a distributor buys directly from a manufacturer and sells to either resellers or, sometimes, the end user directly.
End user: Someone who uses cloud resources.
Individual software vendor: An individual or business that builds, develops, and sells consumer or enterprise software. Although ISV-provided software is consumed by end users, it remains the property of the vendor. An ISV is also known as a software publisher.
Partner: A distributor or a reseller.
Reseller: A business that typically buys from a distributor and sells directly to their customers, who are end users.
A billing import job reads usage data from accounts into Orbitera's billing system. The accounts can be from GCP, AWS, Azure, IBM, software as a service (SAAS) providers, and so on.
After importing the usage data, channel partners can access the data and apply custom pricing.
For most platforms, Orbitera uses identity and access management (IAM), where the account holder grants Orbitera a role through IAM for Orbitera to access the account as a third party. The IAM framework provides logging and security protocols built into the various cloud provider systems. This means you can revoke Orbitera access at any time. You control access to your data.
Make sure you have granted Orbitera credentials for the cloud provider platform from which you will be importing cloud usage data.
You can think of an Orbitera customer as a bucket that can contain account usage charges, thus enabling you to manage billing across multiple channels. You can assign one or many accounts to a customer, and then pool or aggregate usage across multiple cloud providers.
You can have a 1:1 customer-to-account relationship, or a 1:many customer-to-account relationship.
This is good for you as a provider of software and services, because you can make your software available on multiple clouds, your customers can access your software from these different clouds, and you can provide one integrated bill to your customer for all usage charges. If your customer accesses your software from multiple channels/clouds, you can present a unified billing experience.
The following procedure assigns an account to a customer. You can assign multiple accounts to a single customer. You cannot assign a single account to multiple customers.
By default, customers are assigned public pricing. In
The SKUs in the master price book include all the products and services that the cloud provider bills for.
In the master price book, you can browse to the lowest-level metric (a SKU) that has a price associated with it for any usage.
When you create custom pricing, you can think of the master as a sort of pivot point or template.
With a custom price book, you define a global default setting that adds an uplift or discount to every SKU in a master price book. For example, you can add a 5% uplift to all SKUs in GCP, Azure, or AWS.
In a multi-tier ecosystem, channel partners can have their own custom pricing.
After you create a custom price book, it needs to be applied to your customers to take effect. Pricing is applied to data during an import. If you want to change pricing for a past month, you need to reimport that month with the new price setting.
Keep in mind that you can create an unlimited number of custom price books and apply each one to a different target group or customer class. The usage feed allows for multi-tiered different levels of discounting for cloud and SaaS services.
Orbitera offers two types of price books:
SaaS price books work the same way as cloud price books, except they typically have fewer SKUs.
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If you don't select Pass-through supplier cost, the uplift or discount is applied relative to the master's public street pricing, regardless of what you're paying for products and services.
When you look at the custom price book and drill down to a SKU, you can see that you have the base cost from the cloud or SaaS provider, the global adjustment, and the new final price.
With SKU-level adjustments, you can apply discounts or uplifts for specific classifications, vendors, and customer groups. This flexibility allows for targeted promotions at the SKU level.
In a custom price book, the adjustment fields are editable, so you can refine the price on any product or service, thus overriding the global default setting by giving a particular SKU a different uplift or discount.
SKU-level adjustments are currently only supported in the UI. The Orbitera API does not yet support configuring SKU-level adjustments.
Adjusts pricing as defined in the global custom price book. The default is always a percent increase or decrease relative to the provider's current price.
Adjusts pricing for a given SKU by applying a different percent increase or decrease that overrides the custom price book's default percentage.
Instead of using a percentage, sets a price difference for a given SKU relative to the provider's current base cost. For example, you can add an adjustment of 1 cent per hour to the base cost charge.
Instead of allowing the adjustment to change automatically when the service provider's base cost changes, sets a fixed cost, regardless of the provider's cost. The use case for this is if you're working with a contract that negotiates some fixed rate.
Now you have changed how the customer's usage data is rated going forward.
In order for the new pricing to be applied to the customer's usage data, you need to retrigger the import job.
When this job completes, it's going to rerate all of the usage and assign it to the customer.
When you look at a billing report, you can see the cost that the provider is charging you, and the cost that you are charging your customer. From the billing report, you can generate an invoice.
Billing reports show inventory and customer usage data, including any uplifted or discounted pricing that you've configured.
Billing report information includes:
If you drill down in a report, you can see detailed usage data.
Select the report type.
The report automatically populates with the most recent month's data and a default set of columns.
You can modify the content and layout of a report to control how data is presented.
Having flexibility in how reports are grouped and structured allows you to map the invoice data and usage data that you're getting from Orbitera into how your organization processes information through your billing, financial, and enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems.
The following operations assume that you are already viewing a report. Each operation is independent and can be performed in any order. Successive operations are cumulative.
Download a .csv file containing comma-separated values. CSV reports reflect the currently selected UI columns, date range, and filter settings. The file contains exactly the same data as the report.
Regenerate the report with more limited data.
The report repopulates with the selected filters applied.
You can add, remove, and reorder columns.
To generate a new report defined by a custom selection of columns:
Columns that are currently selected for grouping data do not appear in this dialog.
You can regenerate the report with the data grouped differently by adding, removing, or reordering the columns that are used for grouping the data.
Data cannot be grouped by metrics, such as cost.
Some columns are automatically added to the selected list if other columns rely on them. For example, if Usage is selected, Usage Type will be added. If a column is added and the required other column hasn't been selected, the other column is added as if it were selected.
By default, system reports show the most recent month's data. You can regenerate the report with a different date range.
Select a date range from the dropdown menu.
Or select Custom to set a custom date range by entering start and end dates.
The report repopulates with the new date range.
You can convert any billing report to another currency, such as Euros, Indian rupees, Australian dollars, and so on.
The currency dropdown appears if the account has currencies defined in
To change the currency in which the report data is displayed:
The report repopulates with the same data, converted to the selected currency.
Each report type has a system version, which you can use as a template. You can then save your report settings – date range, currency, column selections, and so on – as a named report.
The report reloads with the new report name.
Your report with the custom configuration now appears in the list of available reports.
The next time you open this saved report, it will use the new custom configuration.
You can delete custom reports, but not system reports.
You can create invoices that capture the data in billing reports.
Typically, managed service providers use the Orbitera API to generate invoices on a monthly basis. You also have the option to use the UI to generate an invoice.
In an invoice, you can:
Apply any credits
Regardless of which cloud a credit was earned on, you can apply a credit to any invoice.
For example, you could take a credit that's earned by a customer on AWS and apply it to their GCP invoice, if you are the reseller for both of those products.
Generate the invoice with taxes.
Include marketplace fees
Generate the invoice with marketplace fees.
Approve all of the draft invoices so you can send them to the selected customers.
Delete the draft invoice.
Review the selected invoice in draft form.
Approve a draft invoice so you can send it to your customer.
Finish previewing invoices and return to the reports page.
When you click View, the report is displayed in draft status, meaning that if you are using the Orbitera front end to allow customers to log in, the report would not be visible to the customer. This allows you to review invoice data before sending it to your customers.
Invoices include customer contact information and also your public profile data – your logo and contact information configured in Settings > Account information.
Invoices are organized by product type.
You can change the invoice status to the following states:
When you're not ready to make the invoice visible to customers.
When you are ready to make the invoice visible to customers. When the state changes to open, Orbitera can send an automated email notification to the customer. The email can contain a link that opens the customer account. See Settings > Email templates > New customer invoice (or New reseller invoice).
When the invoice has been paid.
When the invoice isn't paid on or before the due date.
You can also download a CSV or PDF of the invoice.
You've successfully configured multi-cloud billing.
In this quickstart you learned how to:
If you want to learn more, explore these resources: