CA Process Automation Review

It gives us the ability to go into the workflow that had halted for any reason, to research the issue, fix the problem, and continue the workflow. Better reporting is needed.


What is most valuable?

It’s a simple interface to be able to automate our process as needed. It gives us the ability to go into the workflow that had halted for any reason, to research the issue, fix the problem, and continue the workflow. If you’re 600 servers into a 900-server workflow, you don’t have to restart the whole thing.

How has it helped my organization?

We took our server provisioning process from about 30 days to about 4 days on the first iteration of implementation. That was in 2012. Now we’ve got provisioning a stack of servers in about 2 hours. We’ve automated probably 15 or 20 manual processes that run on a regular schedule.

What needs improvement?

Better reporting, because we have to true up our licenses every three months because we license on running concurrent processes, so we have to provide a report to CA every three months using their tool -- which never works.

From a usability point of view, I’d like to see improvement on their script editor so I don’t have to use two tools to generate scripts (right now I develop outside of the tool, bring it into the tool, tweak it, and roll out my workflow).

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Very satisfied. Mostly database issues – periodically locked transaction, and then the product goes down and processes don’t run. We haven’t seen that in seven or eight months which might be a result of upgrading to 4.2.1.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We haven’t had to scale it out much, but when we do it’s pretty easy.

How are customer service and technical support?

They’re always good – it’s a non-issue.

When we upgraded EEM from 8.x to 12.x there was an issue that was not documented; that left us behind a little bit on our update. They gave us a workaround which they knew existed, but the problem was really with the documentation – when we prepped for the upgrade it wasn’t documented and some of the screens didn’t match up, and it wasn’t due to our infrastructure. It was due to a known but non-documented issue with CA.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

Management had adopted an “automate everything” attitude and rolled it down to us, so we had to come up with a solution.

How was the initial setup?

We built out the architecture. The initial setup was complex in the context of our environment at the time. Pulling in the right people from networking to get the load balancing correct. CA was there by our side the whole time – if we needed them they were very helpful. In our test environment, CA spent a week with us on-site just to teach us how to use the product. Once we got it in place, they’ve been there right along.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We were looking for a vendor who offered support and a good product. That’s it. We looked at IBM, HP, and Microsoft. The workflow management was the reason we went with CA.

What other advice do I have?

Support, usability, functionality are good. There’s always room for improvement. Make sure you know what it is that you want and don’t back down from those points as you do a POC or an evaluation.

**Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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