Control-M Review

File transfer module is quite advanced, this version has less need for written programs and is more GUI-based


What is our primary use case?

We have used Control-M mostly as a file transfer and in conjunction with Hadoop.

How has it helped my organization?

We have many feeds coming in from different companies which are used by the business for various reasons and we must collectively have a central point to gather the files and feeds. We also use Control-M for encryption, decryption, and sending data across to different business users that begin at a point of time and making sure that we are not missing unnecessarily. It's a real help what we are getting. The example for us is we have a lot of business which depends on feeds which, if not properly processed, affect the stock exchange. So Control-M acts as a mediator in between that and provides it in a very efficient way. This has reduced a lot of manual intervention required as a business.

What is most valuable?

The feature we use most in Control-M is related to the file transfer module. It is quite advanced compared to other tools like Automate, etc. The new version which has come of same MFT has a lot of advanced features which makes it very easy to work with. There is less need for written programs and more GUI-based stuff.

What needs improvement?

One feature I would like to include is in the middle of the monitoring domain. In the monitoring domain, if I have to update a number of jobs, the only way to do it is by manually clicking on each job. I would like a feature that allows me to do a mass update in the jobs, which I feel is still lacking.

This version has done an amazing change, compared to version 7 and the versions after that. I'm not sure what they should change at this stage. One recent feature they have come up with is if we can upgrade Control-M agents from a central location. I would still prefer a solution where I can do an installation of the controller module from a remote distance. That's something they don't have. I know why it has still not come up, but it could be a great feature if we could include that somehow. To push out these sort of installation setup files onto another machine and get it in installed. It is not there for now, though.

I would rate this solution as eight out of ten. The reason for this rating is because of the scope of implementation. It will have an ultimately upper hand to the other tools in the market. They can show what most other controls don't have. Nevertheless, these features would really help as well. I would like to see more of them.

For how long have I used the solution?

We've been using Control-M for around eight years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is a very stable solution and BMC, the parent company, really comes up with tech packs and upgrades, which add new features and also resolve issues. Also, their knowledge base is quite full, which helps a lot to find the solution easily from the website.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I rate them nine out of ten for scalability.

On average, the control team consists of around fifteen people. This ranges from the elements of both which is the monitoring team and the L2 support which is for the scheduling team. Then there is also L3, who is the administrator. Apart from that, we have certain business users that will use the help service module often.

If we are looking at a 24 path sell and support, we would need close to seven members on a daily basis. That's the same for L1, L2, and L3 teams to each do daily support. L1 would be for monitoring, L2 for scheduling, and L3 is administrative.

We do have certain programs to increase usage down the line, which we're considering. I would say close to 60 to 65 percent of the company is using Control-M right now.

How are customer service and technical support?

The technical support is great and I would give it a ten.

If you previously used a different solution, which one did you use and why did you switch?

My main experience is with this as the central unit, but I have used other tools. The main reason I chose Control-M was firstly that it is user-friendly. Secondly, the market is wide open for Control-M, and a lot of other organizations use it. So it gives Control-M the upper hand in the market to work on something like this.

How was the initial setup?

It was quite simple since Control-M has a very user-friendly GUI. That made it fairly easy to relate with the business and convert it into something which looks familiar.

What about the implementation team?

We kind of started from scratch, so I think it took two to three months for us to set everything up at the initial stage. The strategy was to tackle one business at a time so that we don't complicate stuff because not everything is automated. We started to target one business/application at a time and converted them each into something which Control-M can work with.

We did the deployment on our own based on our experience. We had previously deployed it for certain clients basically so we were primarily the consultant for that.

What was our ROI?

I may not be able to convert it into a value in this way, but it does more in terms of reducing manual intervention. This, in turn, means less human resources are being used. For instance, if there are three people in a team and controlling certain work, they could probably put more on one resource. So that reduces the cost of resources in the whole organization.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

We have account based licensing. There are two or three types of licensing. One of them is based on the number of jobs, so we a license close to 4,000 jobs per day.

The cost is based on the different modules, which we buy from them. If we a buy a hardware module, which we are presently using and integrating, that is an additional cost, but I'm not sure of the amount. Each module comes with a different cost.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I have experience with alternates like IBM Tivoli and another software called JAMS. These are the ones that I have worked on and the features and user-friendliness of both of them is fine. It's such a different level compared to this, so that's the reason I'm sticking to Control-M.

What other advice do I have?

For those who want to implement, there are a few cons. Cost-wise it is not very simple for every business to implement it. So they should really plan if they are going to use it extensively. If not, they should think twice about it. 

If they are thinking of implementing, though, they should analyze the business and check which controller modules will really help them enhance their work and ultimately transform their work into an automated solution, which in turn will reduce their cost. 

I would really suggest someone who is planning to use Control-M or wants to deploy is first to check which modules are really required and also what kind of licensing makes sense for their business. If its a very large enterprise then it would be great to use a premium based license. If not, it's better to use a job count based license. So that is a point which they should check before implementing.

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