What is our primary use case?
We use it a lot for file transfers from SFTP sites down to our network folders, and we also use it for other kicking off processes in our core platforms. We also run some PowerShell scripting through it. It does quite a bit.
We're looking at eventually using it for some Active Directory pieces, but we haven't gotten there yet.
How has it helped my organization?
The automation of processes has taken tasks that would have been done manually by somebody and moved them to a platform without us having to think about them. The time savings in not having to manually do those types of processes on a daily basis means we're much more productive and able to provide front-end staff with better solutions than we were able to before.
It has also reduced human error, and that helps save time for our IT team because there is less time spent having to figure out what somebody might have potentially done wrong. It saves us about a full-time employee's worth of time per week.
And with IT time freed up, our company has been able to move forward with other business needs. It used to mainly be a programmer who was in charge of figuring out the human errors. Having reduced the time needed for that, we've been able to move a full-time programmer into just doing programming, and that has been helpful.
What is most valuable?
For us, the most valuable feature of the solution is the file transfer piece and being able to automate the moving of files around between our various vendors. It reduces the time involved versus somebody having to individually move the files around. It has reduced what we would have done manually at one point by 98 percent.
What needs improvement?
There are some limitations in the actual jobs that are created and how you're able to rename files. Suppose you're bringing in, say, 10, 15, or 20 reports from a core system, and you're using an "asterisk character" to identify files. For example, if you're grabbing files that start with this, end with this, but the characters in between could be different, it has to retain that same name in the destination. It won't allow you to rename them with a date stamp or the like.
We've gotten around that by writing PowerShell scripts that run after the files have been transferred, but it would be very nice if it had just the raw, built-in ability to rename multiple files with a date stamp added to them.
I've been pretty much been able to accomplish everything else with what it provides out-of-the-box.
For how long have I used the solution?
I've been using OpCon for about two years.
What do I think about the scalability of the solution?
It's very scalable. What we use it for, overall, is probably significantly smaller than some other larger corporate clients do. But in terms of the cost and what we get out of it and the knowledge that if we ever do need to increase the number of jobs that can be run, there is a wide range in what it can handle.
There is definitely room to grow. We currently have about 400 jobs that run per day. When we get closer to month's end, it probably jumps up closer to 600 or 650 jobs that run in a day.
How are customer service and technical support?
I have used SMA's technical support on occasion, both for issues that have arisen and for general support to help to finish off the creation of complex jobs with their Professional Services team. I've never had an issue with getting a hold of somebody or getting any issues resolved in a very timely manner.
What was our ROI?
We have definitely seen return on our investment in time and efficiency and freeing up staff to provide better support to our employees and the membership that we serve.
What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?
The pricing is very reasonable.
What other advice do I have?
The biggest lesson I have learned from using OpCon is just the sheer flexibility that these types of systems make possible. They've built a system that gives you a lot of capabilities out-of-the-box, but that also gives you some of those extra pieces where you can bring in outside tools to make it even better.
It provides a lot of power. Even though there is that limitation I mentioned in terms of being able to rename files on multiple downloads at the same time, there is the built-in ability to run scripting as well, whether they are Visual Basic, PowerShell, or Python scripts. It gives you a lot of tools. You can have it do an initial process and then launch one of those scripts to do something that is not inherently built-in.
There are about six of us who utilize it on a daily basis. Most are programmers, but we also have a couple of our service desk guys who work in it too.
Which deployment model are you using for this solution?
Which version of this solution are you currently using?
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