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Microsoft Cost Management updates—January 2024

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Whether you’re a new student, or part of a thriving startup or the largest enterprise, you have financial constraints, and you need to know what you’re spending, where it’s being spent, and how to plan. Nobody wants a surprise when it comes to the bill, and this is where Microsoft Cost Management comes in.

Whether you’re a new student, or part of a thriving startup or the largest enterprise, you have financial constraints, and you need to know what you’re spending, where it’s being spent, and how to plan. Nobody wants a surprise when it comes to the bill, and this is where Microsoft Cost Management comes in.

We’re always looking for ways to learn more about your challenges and how Cost Management can help you better understand where you’re accruing costs in the cloud, identify and prevent bad spending patterns, and optimize costs to empower you to do more with less. Here are a few of the latest improvements and updates based on your feedback:

Let’s dig into the details.

Billing tags

Tags are a great way to group and allocate costs based on different engineering departments, business units, and organizational hierarchies, for example. There are many tools available in Microsoft Azure to implement your tagging strategy for cost visibility (showback) and accountability (chargeback). You can create Azure policies to ensure that your Azure resources are tagged in a certain way, enable the tag inheritance feature in cost management to use subscription and resource group tags for cost reporting, and create cost allocation rules using tags to manage shared costs, among other actions.

We’re very pleased to announce one more capability that you can potentially use to implement your tagging strategy for your cost allocation needs. In addition to tagging Azure resources, you can now also tag billing profiles and invoice sections and use them for cost reporting and analysis by enabling tag inheritance at the billing profile level. If you already have tag inheritance enabled, any tag applied to billing profiles or invoice sections will automatically be inherited.  

Learn more on the application of billing tags.

Exports (preview)

In our year-end blog, I mentioned the opportunity to sign up for the much-improved Exports experience with access to more datasets including reservation recommendations, reservation transactions, reservation details, and price sheets. Now, you can directly enable the new functionality through Cost management labs.

I strongly encourage you to take advantage of this preview and get access to additional datasets along with improved user experience and new functionality. With features like file partitioning and file overwriting you can also potentially save on your network and storage costs.  We have also added support for FinOps open cost and usage specification (FOCUS) dataset which combines amortized and actual costs, eliminating the need to ingest and process multiple datasets.

For more details, please refer to this article.

Pricing updates for

It’s been a few months since we last shared an update on our Azure pricing experiences, and we’re excited to tell you about the new pricing we’ve launched. These enhancements aim to streamline your cost estimation process for Azure solutions.

We continue to strive for improvements in our pricing tools to make them more accessible and user-friendly. We hope these changes assist you in estimating costs for your Azure Solutions. Your feedback and suggestions for future improvements are always welcome.

Help shape the future of Pricing calculator

We know that Pricing calculator is an important tool for you to estimate costs of your Azure resources and plan your cloud spend. We would love to hear from you as we create new designs for the calculator to improve your experience. Please share your feedback in this study and feel free to share within your organization.

This is an unmoderated study and should take less than 30 minutes.

What’s new in Cost Management Labs?

With Cost Management Labs, you get a sneak peek at what’s coming in Cost Management and can engage directly with us to share feedback and help us better understand how you use the service so we can deliver more tuned and optimized experiences. Here are a few features you can see in Cost Management Labs:

As mentioned above, use Exports (preview) for additional datasets and functionality.

  • Currency selection in Cost analysis smart views  
    View your non-USD charges in USD or switch between the currencies in which you have charges to view the total cost for that currency only. To change currency, select Customize at the top of the view and select the currency you would like to apply. Currency selection is not applicable to those with only USD charges. Currency selection is enabled by default in Cost Management Labs. If not enabled for you, enable currency selection from the Try preview menu.   
  • Streamlined Cost Management menu 
    Organize Cost Management tools into related sections for reporting, monitoring, optimization, and configuration settings. You can enable this option from the Try preview menu.   

Of course, that’s not all. Every change in Cost Management is available in Cost Management Labs a week before it’s in the full Azure portal or Microsoft 365 admin center. We’re eager to hear your thoughts and understand what you’d like to see next. What are you waiting for? Try Cost Management Labs today.

New ways to save money with Microsoft Cloud

Lots of cost management improvements over the last month! Here are new and updated offers you might be interested in:

New videos and learning opportunities

Here are a few new videos you might be interested in:

A couple of blogs for your reading:

Follow the Microsoft Cost Management YouTube channel to stay in the loop with new videos as they’re released and let us know what you’d like to see next.

Want a more guided experience? Start with: Control Azure spending and manage bills with Microsoft Cost Management.

Documentation updates

Here are a few documentation updates you might be interested in:

Want to keep an eye on all documentation updates? Check out the Cost Management and Billing documentation change history in the azure-docs repository on GitHub. If you see something missing, select Edit at the top of the document and submit a quick pull request. You can also submit a GitHub issue. We welcome and appreciate all contributions!

What’s next?

These are just a few of the big updates from last month. Don’t forget to check out the previous Cost Management updates. We’re always listening and making constant improvements based on your feedback, so please keep the feedback coming.

Follow @MSCostMgmt on Twitter and subscribe to the YouTube channel for updates, tips, and tricks. You can also share ideas and vote up others in the Cost Management feedback forum or join the research panel to participate in a future study and help shape the future of Cost Management.

Best wishes from the Cost Management team.