What is our primary use case?
It is designed to schedule jobs everyday. We now have 750 automated processes.
Primarily, we use it for everyday jobs spread out among all our IT. Apart from all the benefits that we have from OpCon, the biggest advantage is having a centralized point to check everything happening under IT. Mostly, it is for scheduled tasks, not manual tasks.
How has it helped my organization?
A year ago, we had an issue with our financial software and another software. While the two tools were still working together, we were not able to find a solution to manage night jobs without OpCon. We found a definitive solution because we have jobs running during the night. Without OpCon, we would have not been able to make all our jobs work. After five years, it's hard to remember what OpCon wrote because it has changed our everyday jobs.
The solution has streamlined a lot of our operations. Seven years ago, our everyday tasks were manual with their scripts. After four or five years, this was not so really reliable. The way OpCon is built, it has helped us to improve our scripts, making them more reliable and precise. It was easier for us to assure our colleagues that everything is working. Our everyday view is more precise now. We know precisely what is running and what will be running for our IT. OpCon helps for when we have to manage a shutdown for our systems, which happens once a year, by improving the way we prepare for our shutdowns.
What is most valuable?
When we have a problem with a job or something else, I always tell my colleagues, "It's not OpCon, it has to be something else." All the time, it is something else. So, we are very pleased with OpCon and how it works. It is really reliable. For us, that is a major point: reliability.
We are also very pleased with its reports for jobs every day. We don't use monthly or weekly reports. Though there are some requests in the tool for these, we don't use them a lot. To follow our everyday jobs, it's perfect.
What needs improvement?
The web version has room for improvement. I am still waiting for full web administration in OpCon. While the web part is not the tool that I use every day. My colleagues use the web version, which is great because it is much easier to give them access to OpCon. They can check their jobs way more easily. Overall, the administration of the website could be better, but for everyday life, it's great.
It was hard to automate in the beginning because there were a lot of concepts. I had to learn a lot of things, as I never used such a software before.I learned a lot of the concepts and ideas behind it in the beginning. Now, I find it much easier to create jobs and schedules. I can manage it. I helped other people internally to get access to OpCon after five years of not really having problems with the tool.
For how long have I used the solution?
We started using it five years ago.
What do I think about the stability of the solution?
OpCon is really reliable. We take a lot of value from OpCon. It has improved our everyday jobs by a lot.
There are two people needed for OpCon's maintenance because we want a full backup when one of us is not in the office.
What do I think about the scalability of the solution?
We don't scale because we have just one server. We use it with virtual servers, so we have full backup of our database. Because we can miss jobs and it is not a big problem for us, we don't really need a backup server for OpCon.
There are two people working right now on everyday jobs with OpCon. Five of our colleagues use OpCon to check all the jobs being worked on. They check the logs to see if there is something wrong. We have two people assigned for the scheduler, five for everyday operations, and around 20 people who check the jobs to ensure that they work during the night. They are just looking for reason codes or through the logs. They don't do anything apart from making warnings around possible problems. If it's a big problem, it come backs to my colleague or me to correct.
All the people using the solution are part of the IT team.
How are customer service and technical support?
I have been pleased with the support that we can get from the European partners. I think they are very good. All the time, when we have a question, they have an answer. It is very reassuring to have that support every day. Then, you can concentrate on your job and OpCon is just there to work. For us, it's perfect.
Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?
It was used to replace chrome.tabs or Windows Task Scheduler.
How was the initial setup?
The initial setup was a bit complex, but we had great support which helped a lot. I made a lost of mistakes in the beginning, so I learned the hard way. But now, I think I manage OpCon quite well. We aren't make beginner's mistakes now. OpCon used to be quite difficult but there was a lot to learn.
All the ideas and concepts behind the solution can be difficult to understand. E.g., I hadn't used a scheduler before. This was the first time. But, we had a lot of help, so it was okay. I tried to learn it myself using trial and error. This was quite a good way to learn and understand how it works.
The full deployment was around one year because I didn't want to move everything since nothing would have worked afterward. So, we took our time and did our mistakes, which was really important. After one year, we were fully operational. Our IT moved during that time, so some jobs needed to be canceled or removed and new software needed to be included in OpCon. By the time we had OpCon, all the new jobs were included. We talked with software editors and told them we had a scheduler to run jobs daily.
Every new software is included in OpCon, so it just works. All my colleagues know it's there and rely on it.
Our initial implementation strategy was to start big, but we went slowly. We took the biggest server that includes our biggest data and started to process those jobs. We took time to look at whether the solution was working and to correct our mistakes. After one month, the server was fully integrated with OpCon. We had monthly schedules, so we had to wait for one month to have everything run. So, it took one month for our first big steps.
After that, it was easy to incorporate all other tasks and jobs. Most of the time, it just took time because we had to rewrite the scripts behind the jobs. In the beginning, OpCon worked, but the scripts had to be improved. Therefore, we took time to rewrite them, making them more reliable and able to work with OpCon's written codes. We made great efforts to use the same way to write our scripts. Thus, it took time, not only for the jobs, but for the scripts behind it.
The first day that OpCon was working we had our first job working on it.
What about the implementation team?
I'm very pleased with the people who came onsite to install the product the first and second times. We waited almost five years to move to the version that we have now. The people who came to help us with the installation were very helpful and precise. They added a huge value.
What was our ROI?
As a regional organization, we don't keep track of ROI.
What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?
Our license is for 1000 jobs. Including support, the license and upgrades are 2000 euros a month.
Which other solutions did I evaluate?
I think we had contact with Parallel Universe and two other products. This was six years ago. We took around six or seven months to make our choice. What was important in our choice was being able to have a contact with people who are working in the exact area as us. So, we were able to go and watch what OpCon did for them, which was very good and important for our choice.
We were convinced by the product to choose it, but we were able to go and see what a client was doing. They confirmed what people from OpCon told us, which was great. Every company can say, "Our support is great. Our product is great." Everybody will say that. However, when a customer says it, then it's way more important.
Our original requirements were what OpCon can do. We don't have big systems. We have only Windows, Microsoft software, and a couple of Linux systems at the time. Now, we have more Linux. We wanted a scheduler that could be moved to a platform, and OpCon was able to do that. We wanted something that was reliable with good support, and I think we found it.
What other advice do I have?
If you are looking into implementing OpCon, go for it.
Scheduling is a proper job. You have to learn a lot.
I would rate OpCon as a nine (out of 10).
Which deployment model are you using for this solution?
Which version of this solution are you currently using?
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