We’ve fixed enough AWS bills to create a few strongly held beliefs on what makes a company great at cloud cost management — and how to help organizations reach a higher level of cloud cost maturity over time. These principles and practices guide us in building our services and throughout our work with our clients.

Our Approach



Your organization’s unique architectural ecosystem is the main driver for your cloud costs. As your understanding of your architecture grows (and as AWS services change), you can better identify where to adapt your cloud usage to decrease spend.

Corresponding Services:
AWS Cost Optimization
Migration Advisory Consulting



When your organization can see where your AWS costs are going along business lines, you understand the context for that cost and move from a vague pain around your bill to making informed decisions about engineering investments, cost optimization efforts, and budget forecasts. 

Corresponding Services:
Cloud Finance & Analysis



Pre-purchasing resources and negotiating your AWS contracts are great ways to save money on resources you’re committed to having. To achieve maximum savings, you need to ensure that your organization has effective practices and processes in place around these resources.

Corresponding Services:
AWS Contract Negotiation
Cloud Finance & Analysis



Effectively tracking unit costs allows for accurately forecasting your AWS spend. Defining and tracking your unit costs is important to be able to understand your infrastructure’s cost drivers and the interplay between cloud costs and actual usage. 

Corresponding Services:
Cloud Finance & Analysis

Our Philosophy

Software plus people is
the only workable answer.

Cost optimization is a problem requiring human expertise and attention. Software can make some parts of the job easier, but it can’t replace the human. Simply put, there’s no API for business insight.

We want you to be badass
at cloud cost management

We don’t want you to be reliant on us forever. We want you to thrive with a solid foundation, mechanisms for understanding your cost drivers and goals, and a way to have cloud cost be a part of achieving your business outcomes.

Services Honeycomb Logo
Quote Icon The Duckbill Group came highly recommended, yet exceeded all our expectations. Mike and Corey know more about how AWS billing works than anyone else in the world, including all of AWS. In just a few weeks they helped us reclaim 10% of our entire operating budget. Best contracting money I have ever spent.
Charity Majors,  CTO & Co-founder,  Honeycomb

One-Time Cost Optimization Project


With a Cost Optimization project, you’ll be able to:

  • Address what’s in your AWS environment today(in a way that accounts for both the technical and financial perspectives)
  • Help your teams understand their cost drivers
  • Identify all the actionable mechanisms
    to optimize costs in your environment

You’ll receive a succinct report with 5-8 “big win” optimizations to reduce your bill. We typically identify savings between 15% and 20% reduction-over-spend, with a payback period of anywhere between one and three months. You and your team can implement these recommendations quickly— so quickly, in fact, that you’ll likely see the effects on your very next bill. 


Choose Cost Optimization to:

  • Lower your AWS bill. Guaranteed.
  • Keep Engineering on-task.
  • Take action sooner rather than later.

Did we mention we literally guarantee we’ll find places you can save?

AWS Contract Negotiation


EDP, PPA, and MAP contract discounts represent hundreds of thousands (to millions) of dollars in potential savings for your organization. Given the stakes, expert guidance is well worth it. 

We’ve consulted on a number of these negotiations for companies of a wide range of spend. We see more AWS contract negotiations than many AWS Account Managers see (we review 2-4 of these contracts each month, on average). That means when we negotiate on your behalf with AWS, we know what to say to ensure you end up with favorable contracts and custom discount terms.

When we’re involved, these contract negotiations go smoother and finish faster, which means there’s less headache for you, AND you get to use your new discounts sooner. Our involvement can be leading the negotiation or being the people behind the curtain, to your preference.


Choose Contract Negotiation to:

  • Stop paying retail prices on AWS
  • Identify what a great deal looks like (from both the finance and engineering perspectives)
  • Have us liaise, advocate, and negotiate with Amazon on your behalf

We’ll get right to the heart of what you want from your partnership with AWS.

Migration Advisory Consulting


Want to migrate to AWS in a cost-effective way? Work with The Duckbill Group to plan your migration costs and keep them under control. Your finance team will love you for this.

When you’re talking about millions of dollars a year in investment in AWS, making mistakes is expensive. 

Before you migrate, get your strategy and proposed architecture reviewed by experts in AWS cost optimization, infrastructure, and billing who have done large-scale migrations before. (That’s us.)

We’ll look over your plans for your migration and architecture, validate your numbers, and either say: 


The plan is great as-is!


This plan is hot garbage should be changed in X, Y, and Z ways


Choose AWS Migration Advisory Consulting to:

  • Have your migration strategy reviewed by AWS experts.
  • Get feedback about cost impacts.
  • Keep your migration on budget (and your finance team happy).

Plus, get direct, unlimited access to experts with deep knowledge of AWS architecture and costs

Ongoing Services


We offer a number of ongoing services. These range from pure  advisory-only retainers where you can ask for advice and feedback from our team of AWS cost management experts all the way up to a full-blown outsourced cloud finance team. 

Our ultimate goal with these ongoing services is to mature your own cost management practices, taking you through a repeatable model of maturity over the duration of working together. 

Cloud Finance & Analysis

Somewhere in your organization is someone whose job it is to babysit the AWS bill, whether they know it or not, or even if they want the job or not. Let’s make their (and your organization’s) life a bit easier: get the expert eyes of the Duckbill Group’s Cloud Economists and Cloud Analysts on your monthly AWS bill.

When you outsource your cloud finance oversight to us, we’ll keep a constant eye on your bill. We find the big impact opportunities first and walk with you as you implement them. This is larger than just cost-fix-implement, it’s cost-contain-culture and we’ll talk about it all with you. 


Choose Cloud Finance to:

  • Understand your unit economics
  • Budget and forecast costs.
  • Keep your AWS spend under control.

Never again confront a nasty surprise bill. Unless it’s on a platypus.


Our clients love us

More from our clients
Services Hornblower Cruises & Events Logo
Quote Icon You can get AWS consulting from just about anywhere here in San Francisco. But with The Duckbill Group, you get white-glove, concierge level, bend-over-backward service, and excellent communication. You pay for results with a one-time fee, regardless of what it takes on their side. You know exactly what it’s going to cost and what you’re going to get out of it instead of eating hourly consulting fees. That’s a lot of peace of mind.
Tim Johnson,  Director of IT,  Hornblower Cruises & Events