Established in December 2019 in Seoul, South Korea, SmileShark is a fast-growing managed service provider (MSP) with a focus on bringing cloud strategy, security, and support to customers’ Amazon Web Services (AWS) environments. SmileShark’s customer base began with the gaming industry and has also expanded to startups, small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), and public sector clients.
SmileShark’s leadership team includes engineers from top-tier gaming companies. They knew that they needed a cloud management tool to help their customers optimize AWS costs. Shortly after the company’s inception, they began using CloudCheckr CMx to optimize, modernize, and manage customer workloads running on AWS.
With CloudCheckr, SmileShark has achieved month-over-month savings as high as 80% for gaming customers and reduced one gaming company’s AWS bill from $300,000 to $100,000 a month. SmileShark’s startup and SMB customers have also seen the cost saving capabilities in CloudCheckr CMx through detailed Reserved Instance purchasing recommendations. The company currently supports more than 150 AWS customers across gaming, startup, and SMB segments, and that number is growing fast.
Challenges for a Rapidly Growing AWS Partner
From day one, SmileShark rapidly grew into a strategic AWS Partner in Korea. In September 2020, SmileShark became one of the fastest AWS Partners upgraded to an AWS Advanced Tier Consulting Partner. In the company’s first two years alone, they became an AWS Solution Provider and an AWS Public Sector Partner, and they have been technically validated in three AWS Service Delivery Programs for Amazon CloudFront, Amazon EC2 for Windows Server, and Amazon RDS. In 2021, SmileShark received an AWS Rising Star of the Year Award from AWS Korea for their outstanding performance.
That expertise has helped SmileShark attract customers and differentiate themselves from the competition. However, early on, SmileShark’s leaders recognized the need for other tools to stand out in the market. They sought out a high-quality cloud management solution to conduct efficient and accurate billing and optimize customer costs.
“One of our employees had already experienced a cloud management platform,” said Moowon Kim, Global Business Development Manager at SmileShark. “We knew that to run our business on AWS, we needed a cloud management platform.”
Kim and team researched several cloud management platforms, including both local and global solutions. SmileShark chose CloudCheckr CMx because it supports all AWS regions and would help them expand their reach globally. Within mere days after founding the company, SmileShark began building a robust tech stack that includes CloudCheckr CMx to help manage clients’ costs. With the efficient billing and cost management tools in CloudCheckr CMx, SmileShark was able to go to market promptly and see rapid growth in the AWS Partner ecosystem.
Efficient Cost Allocation Through Savings Plans
With CloudCheckr CMx in place, SmileShark immediately accelerated their growth. One of the biggest attractors to CloudCheckr was the ability for SmileShark to better allocate costs for their customers. With the List Price Translation feature in CloudCheckr CMx, SmileShark could charge customers appropriately for bundled services, including Reserved Instances and Savings Plans.
This feature was important, Kim said, because compared to other solutions, “CloudCheckr actually helped to provide the correct usages and prices.”
CloudCheckr began supporting AWS Savings Plans in November 2019, the same month that AWS introduced this discount for purchase commitments. This timing was ideal for SmileShark to help them take advantage of these discounts. The feature gives SmileShark a way to apply custom charges in the right places so that they and their customers receive the benefits of these discounts.
Kim also said that he regularly checks the Advanced Grouping report in CloudCheckr CMx. This report helps SmileShark group costs by multiple categories to generate more detailed breakdowns of AWS costs, including blended, unblended, and list costs as well as AWS credits.