AWS Cost Optimization Hornblower Cruises & Events Logo
Quote Icon Right out of the gate as a result of the Duckbill Group’s work, we could see one particular business unit was responsible for 60% of the charges. So instead of splitting the bill evenly between units, we can more accurately allocate those charges and bill each unit for exactly what they use with documentation to back it up — allowing them to budget, forecast and plan better. Now that we know exactly what each business unit spends in AWS, we can plan with far greater accuracy and pre-purchase resources at a reduced price. That allows us to trim the bill by 20-30%.
Tim Johnson,  Director of Corporate IT Hornblower Cruises & Events

We lower your obscene AWS bill in 4 steps

The best part: During Steps 1-3, you don’t even have to do anything. Just sit back, relax, and refresh Werner Vogels’  Twitter feed. What’ll that guy say next?

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Step 1: We crack open your bill.

Not to brag, but we see more of these bills every week than most people see in a lifetime (lucky us). In checking out your bill, we’ll look for first-pass opportunities for improvement, identify areas of concern, and figure out where the money is actually going.

AWS Cost Optimization

Step 2: We talk to your teams.

Any automated tool can recommend you turn off idle EC2 instances; most automated tools will recommend you turn off your DR site. Unlike automated tools, we look for the context: what are you doing and why? We figure out where you are, what your constraints are, and where your business is going in the near-term and long-term.

AWS Cost Optimization

Step 3: We hand you an *actually useful* report.

Our pithy, succinct report will include 5-8 optimizations to reduce your bill. 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.

A side note: Cookie cutters are great and we love the shapes they make, but you should know that your report is unique to your business, your goals, and your AWS needs.

AWS Cost Optimization

Step 4: We nag you like a loving mother.

One month after delivering our report, we’ll check back in to see things are going. We’ll take a look at what you’ve implemented, what you haven’t, identify any obstacles, and determine what makes sense as a next step. Was one of our recommendations more work than anyone suspected? Let’s find a way to fix that!

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Quote Icon Duckbill Group gave us recommendations on specific changes that we can make to control our AWS costs, identifying 20-27% in savings.
Dylan Fried,  CTO & Chief Risk Officer Lendable

Who’s this bill assessment service for?

We work with lots of different companies not owned by anyone with the last name Bezos, Benioff, or Ellison. And after doing this for what feels like a million years but is actually closer to three, we’ve noticed a few patterns in the folks we serve. 

You’re probably looking to…

AWS Cost Optimization

Increase your startup’s runway

Whether you’re venture-backed, bootstrapped, or blessed by angel investors, every dollar is precious when you’re running a startup. You should probably give fewer of those precious dollars to AWS.

AWS Cost Optimization

Improve the profitability of your established company

Maybe it’s been a while since you looked closely at your bill. After all, you’re in the black. But if we could find you what we affectionately call “free money,” wouldn’t you like to have it?

AWS Cost Optimization

Just get better control over your unit economics

Micro-optimizations: your buzzwordy-but-still-valid way to lower unit costs. Before you start thinking about ways to conveniently disappear during next quarter’s budget meeting, let’s chat.

And start saying “AWWWS yeah” instead of “AWSH**” every month.

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You’re covered by our 100% money-back guarantee.

This isn’t one of those toothless guarantees that couldn’t back itself up even if it were a dump truck. Here’s the deal: if you aren’t singing our praises from the board room by the end of our work together, we’ll give you a full and immediate refund of your entire engagement fee. 

Yep, we’re really this confident about our services. Just take it from the zero clients who have ever asked for a refund.

AWS Cost Optimization

You’re probably thinking


Why don’t I just use one of the SaaS tools?

You absolutely can, and we recommend it! Our services are complementary to the common cost-optimization tools — not a direct replacement for them. So what do we do differently? 

Simply put, there’s no API for business insight. The SaaS cost optimization tools are great, but they lack human nuance, understanding, and context of your business and environment.

What does the human edge look like? We worked with a client to cut their bill roughly in half through some arguably-minor architecture changes. That’s something that cost optimization tools could never find — simply because they’re not capable of thinking about solutions beyond instance right-sizing, purchasing RIs, and applying S3 lifecycle policies. (And while we do often find more savings than the SaaS platforms do in those same areas, our help goes well beyond that, into architecture and engineering. Our cloud cost analysts are all SREs with finance education & training.)


Should I try to tackle low-hanging fruit before working with you?

It’s up to you! That said, we see a lot of different environments — often a few dozen in a year — while you’re working in only one. This gives us insight into different ways of doing things that may impact those “easy” wins.

No one likes to be the person who has to tell finance that the $2mm Reserved Instance purchase made last month is money-down-the-drain, after all. Working with us sooner rather than later gives you the benefit of our knowledge and insight earlier in the process, thereby saving you even more money.


Can you help with my Enterprise Discount Program (EDP) negotiation?

Yep! We’ve helped several clients negotiate their EDPs (and PPAs) by helping them understand what’s truly important to them, what’s not, and providing insight on what we’ve seen in other AWS agreements and what AWS categorically won’t budge on. 


Let me guess, you’re “only” going to charge me 3% of savings?

Absolutely not. Charging a percentage of savings would create a perverse incentive for us to pump up our findings with unrealistic recommendations. And while we love incentives just as much as the next guy, we’d rather be transparent about our fees and straightforward with our suggestions.

Instead of some percentage of savings, we charge a fixed fee for every engagement. You’ll know how much our assistance will cost before you ever sign anything. That’s more than you can say for the cost optimization tools.

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One last thing…

Help Us Help You

Duckbill Group intentionally forms no partnerships with any vendor in the cloud space. Heck, we’re not even an AWS partner. While our podcasts and some other content are sponsored, we only accept sponsorships from vendors and products we personally use, or would use. That means you can trust us to be truly objective, nigh merciless, when it comes to consulting.

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Quote Icon We actually wish we had engaged Corey sooner. We saved the company a lot of money for very little effort, without needing to spend weeks of time researching into the issues. As soon as you can do 20 minutes of work to save your company hundreds of thousands of dollars, you feel a sense of regret that you didn’t do it earlier.
Raf Garcia,  CTO & Cofounder Clever