Bringing It All Together: A Single Account and Billing Management Experience
By: Sydney Riggs and Brendan Fitzpatrick
The unified IBM Cloud console
Managing your account and billing can be a chore, even when things go smoothly. When things are, let’s say, “less than efficient,” it takes time out of your day and keeps you from the business of your business. As we’ve worked to merge our IBM Bluemix and IBM SoftLayer offerings into a unified IBM Cloud console, some management tasks became laborious, asking you to switch back and forth across two user interfaces.
Today, I am pleased to announce that the IBM Cloud platform has integrated all SoftLayer customer portal functionality. And as a result, we’ve significantly improved the way you navigate and manage your account.
Navigating your way around
Now that we’ve streamlined some things, your ability to clearly and quickly find the account management settings, billing preferences, and profile data is now so much easier. We took a long hard look at our original page and realized that we desperately need to make things more seamless. Now, you can view and update all global settings for your IBM Cloud account within a single section of a single console without having to contact support. Neat, huh?
You’ll find three major areas of interest in the Manage menu that’s included in the IBM Cloud console menu bar: Account, Billing and usage, and Access (IAM). Thanks to the local navigation, the information architecture is laid out in clear terms, and the functionality is organized to support your workflow. Plus, you can easily find your way to each area of interest.
Manage menu items in the IBM Cloud console
You can leverage the new landing pages in the Account, Billing and usage, Access (IAM), and Profilesections of your account to easily access the pages you visit most, with clear descriptions about each page within the sections. You never have to waste time clicking around to find what you need.
Account landing page
New IBM Cloud console pages
As you browse our delightfully enhanced console, you might think to yourself, “What are all these new pages I’ve never seen before?”
Well, there were a number of pages from our previous user interface that we needed to migrate over to help us fully support our infrastructure offerings and provide you with valuable new features.
Track the interactions of each user within the console. For example, you can keep tabs on the following interactions:
Login attempts, both successes and failures
Port speed updates
Device power on, power off, and restarts
Interactions made by the IBM Cloud infrastructure support staff
Audit log page
IBM Cloud uses information in the company profile to contact you when necessary. If your phone number or primary contact email changes, be sure to access this page and update them!
Company profile page
Device upgrades, order, and cancellations
Maintain your peace of mind and your books with clear, filtered lists of sales interactions that keep you from digging around to find your important records.
Data transfer requests are designed to let appropriate parties in our data centers know to expect an incoming shipment from a client. On the Shipments page, you can view all shipping requests within the last 30 days in detail. You can sort or filter the list of shipments by status, age, or specific shipment details. Additionally, you can confirm that return shipments were received from this page.
Shipments and Orders pages in the Billing and usage navigation
See where we’re going with this? Platform and infrastructure management all under one roof! What a relief.
Billing and usage enhancements
Do any of these questions ring a bell?
Where are my invoices?
What about payments?
Where can I view my infrastructure charges?
What about tracking my usage?
We’ve got you covered. After reviewing and assessing the previous billing experience, we made a number of enhancements.
In addition to monitoring usage and estimating charges for your platform resources, you can streamline your usage management with the following new features:
At long last, export your data as a CSV file so you can manage it in the tool of your choice.
Select multiple resource groups or Cloud Foundry organizations to roll up usage data across the sets of your choice.
View additional data at the service, plan, and instance level of every platform resource in your account.
Get easy access to all payment records for your account and quickly and easily update your payment information.
Slice and dice detailed your detailed invoice data. Export your data in a variety of formats to manage it in the accounting software that you choose. And download invoices in PDF format for record keeping.
Keep an eye on your active infrastructure resources and the associated charges before they are reflected in your invoice.
Ready to explore?
So, we heard your feedback, and we’re excited for you to explore our recent enhancements to IBM Cloud account and billing management. Going forward, we look forward to your additional feedback so we can ensure we continue building the right experience for you.