Most Helpful Review
Find out what your peers are saying about ActiveBatch Workload Automation vs. Stonebranch Universal Automation Center and other solutions. Updated: September 2020.
442,041 professionals have used our research since 2012.
We asked business professionals to review the solutions they use. Here are some excerpts of what they said:
"Auto-scheduling is the most valuable feature. We have the ability to schedule [batch jobs on our Unisys mainframes] seven days in advance, so we know exactly how we're running every night."
"The most valuable feature is the self-service because it has made it possible to provide simple and quick solutions in the handling of certain tasks."
"There's also a self-service solution manager... that allows us to enable staff to run complex automation tasks by clicking a button and entering some information. They don't have to have access to the OpCon environment to kick off those kinds of events."
"Previously, we would receive a file from a vendor, then we would have to go through and make changes to individual accounts in our core system. There are probably between 10 to 20 accounts any given week. It probably took around five minutes for it to run through the report and make all the changes, and that was if there was nothing complicated with all very straightforward changes. Now, that is done in 30 seconds."
"There are three features which are valuable: the automated calendar functions; the notification process for failed jobs or unscheduled events occurring, via email and text messaging; and the ability for the scheduling package to communicate across multiple platforms."
"It has also helped to streamline our operations. We contract out our collection department so they are no longer housed on our system. They're housed on another platform. OpCon is able to not only pull in our data, but it also, on a daily basis, updates that third-party."
"Manual processing has been automated 99 percent by OpCon. With new processes, we give it at least two weeks manual so we can write down the details of how to do the steps, then we automate it. Within a month, it has been automated, then it's no longer a manual process."
"One of the advantages of OpCon is the ability to use the API and web services. We couldn't do that with our previous solution. We have been able to change our procedure for ticketing. When a job is down, we can immediately create a ticket from OpCon in our ticketing solution, which is ServiceNow, using the web services."
"One of the most valuable features is the job templates. If we need to create an FTP job, we just drag over the FTP template and fill out the requirements using the variables that ActiveBatch uses. And that makes it reusable. We can create a job once but use it for many different clients."
"The nice thing about ActiveBatch is once we have created a specific job that can be easily be replicated to another job, then minimal changes will have to be made. This makes things nice. Reduction of coding is substantial in a lot of cases. The replication of one job to another is just doing a few minor tweaks and rolling it into production. This decreases our development costs substantially."
"One of the valuable features is the ability to trigger workflows, one after another, based on success, without having to worry about overlapping workflows. The ability to integrate our BI, analytics, and our data quality jobs is also valuable"
"What ActiveBatch allows you to do is develop a more efficient process. It gave me visibility into all my jobs so I could choose which jobs to run in parallel. This is much easier than when I have to try to do it through cron for Windows XP, where you really can't do things in parallel and know what is going on."
"We use the main job-scheduling feature. It's the only thing we use in the tool. That's the reason we are using the tool: to reduce costs by replacing manual tasks with automated tasks and to perform regular, repetitive tasks in a more reliable way."
"As far as centralization goes it's nice because we can see all these processes that are tied to this larger process. The commissions, FTP processing, the reporting, the file moves to the business users — all that is right there. It's very easy to read. It's easy to tie it together, visually, and see where each of these steps fits into the bigger picture."
"The Jobs Library has been a tremendous asset. For the most, that's what we use. There are some outliers, but we pretty much integrate those Jobs Library steps throughout the process, whether it's REST calls, FTP processes, or file copies and moves... That has helped us to build end-to-end workflows."
"From a scheduling point of view, it is pretty good."
"I can name the aliases on the agent, so if we need a passive environment for an agent, that's one of the nice features. If our primary goes down, I can bring up the passive one and I don't have to change anything in the scheduling world. It will start running from that new server."
"I have found the agents to be so much simpler, when compared to ESP."
"We lean a lot on the multi-tenancy that they offer within the product, the ability to get other people to self-manage their estate, versus having a central team do all the scheduling."
"When it comes to agent technology and compatibility with other vendors, from a platform perspective it was the one vendor that fit all the platforms that we have, from your old platforms - mainframe, NSK, IBM i - to the new ones, going into cloud and container"
"The ability to monitor tasks that are on the open-system side as well as our mainframe side gives us a one-window view of all our processes."
"I love the Universal Controller. It's been great for us. We host it on-premise... It's High Availability, meaning there's failover from one server to the other if one goes down."
"The most valuable feature is the reliability of the agents, because we need them accessible and we need to run stuff. The agent technology and compatibility are top-notch."
"The Universal Agent is the most valuable feature. Being agent-based and being able to go across multiple technology stacks, which is what our workflows do, Stonebranch gives us the ability to bridge those disparate technologies. It enables us to remove the dependency-gap with the agent so we know the status of the workflow at each step."
"Do your first install, your first upgrade, with SMA. It's simple, it's as per the manual, as per the training, but you need that little bit of confidence."
"The ability to retrieve information from logs in variables to display relevant information would be helpful."
"It would be great if you could create physically separate "clients," as I call them. I wish I could have a production client and a testing client and that they would be separate."
"What can get complicated is if you're doing anything more than just the built-in jobs. If you're using the more advanced features, troubleshooting becomes extremely complicated."
"The calendar interface and the frequency interface is a very powerful, yet complex, section of OpCon in which all our staff have made mistakes. They have implemented what they believed was logically correct and then afterward discovered that their logic was flawed because OpCon did it a different way. That part, which is incredibly useful, is also incredibly dangerous. The interface or the ability to directly do more functions within the frequency definitely has room for expansion. As good as it is, it can be a lot better."
"Usage is a little complex. It's not like you can bring somebody in and they can just use it. They have to be trained... As far as complexity goes, it's right up there."
"There is some difficulty with the ease of use when I don't have some of the templates that were already created. More templates would be great. Non-core featured templates are my biggest struggle."
"I would like to see them improve the Solution Manager for the web application. It's the future for us. Our customers need a lot of functionality, but there isn't that functionality within Solution Manager. So they have to develop and improve it."
"It does have a little bit of a learning curve because it is fairly complex. You have to learn how it does things. I don't know if it's any worse than any other tool would be, just because of the nature of what it does... the learning curve is the hardest part."
"There is this back and forth, where ActiveBatch says, "Your Oracle people should be dealing with this," and Oracle people say, "No, we don't know anything about ActiveBatch." Then, it all falls back on me as to what happens. Nobody is taking responsibility. This is the biggest failing for ActiveBatch."
"The thing I've noticed the most is the Help function. It's very difficult, at times, to find examples of how to do something. The Help function will explain what the tool does, but we're not a Windows shop at the data warehouse. Our data warehouse jobs actually run on Linux servers. Finding things for Linux-based solutions is not as easy as it is for Windows-based solutions. I would like to see more examples, and more non-Windows examples as well, in the Help."
"I can't get the cleaning up of logs to work consistently. Right now, we are not setup correctly, and maybe it is something that I have not effectively communicated to them."
"It could be easier to provide dashboards on how many jobs are running at the same time; more monitoring."
"One thing I've noticed is that navigation can be difficult unless you are familiar with the structure that we have in place. If someone else had to look at our ActiveBatch console and find a job, they might not know where to find it."
"The interface is not that user-friendly and is a little tough to navigate."
"One hiccup we've had is due to the fact that we have other internal scheduling tools. We're able to talk to them, but we have trouble with some of the networking between them, so we're still trying to work out the kinks there."
"There is a component called the OMS, which is the message broker. We rely on infrastructure, resiliency, and availability for that piece. If that could change to be highly available just as a software component, so that we don't have to provide the high-available storage, etc. for it, that would be a plus. It would just be cheaper to run."
"I have a request regarding our agent on the mainframe. It may time out when communicating to the Universal Controller, when the mainframe is extremely busy. That can cause a task which is running at that time to not see the results of the job that ran on the mainframe. It happens sporadically during times of really busy CPU usage. We're expecting that enhancement from them in the fourth quarter."
"The Universal Controller is decent for the money it costs... It needs some work to have full features, compared to other products that are out there, specifically IBM's Workload Scheduler."
"Occasionally, we have an agent that doesn't come back up after patching. That doesn't happen very often... It's really just a restart of the agent and it comes back up. But that might be one thing that could be improved."
"There is room for improvement with its connectivity with the Microsoft SRS system. It is very weak. They keep telling us it works with it, and technically it does, but it does not provide a lot of visibility. We have lost a lot of visibility migrating to Stonebranch, compared with just running tasks on the SRS server. That's really about the only thing that is a sore point for us."
Pricing and Cost Advice
"This solution is certainly not the cheapest, but we win in time."
"OpCon cost us $80,000 in 2017 money, and that included everything: support, installation, onsite assistance during the conversion, etc. It's been a worthwhile investment by far."
"Yearly, it's around $30,000."
"Our licensing is on a yearly basis."
"Our license is for 1000 jobs. Including support, the license and upgrades are 2000 euros a month."
"Yearly, we're paying about $62,000. OpCon has an all-inclusive feature and module license, but you pay per task."
"Our annual maintenance costs are $45,000. The initial cost is separate."
"On a yearly basis our cost is between $25,000 and $30,000."
"The price was fairly in line with other automation tools. I don't think it's exorbitantly expensive, relatively speaking."
"I don't think we've ever had a problem with the pricing or licensing. Even the maintenance fees are very much in line. They are not excessive. I think for the support that you get, you get a good value for your money. It's the best value on the market."
"It allows for lower operational overhead."
"Currently, we are paying approximately $7,000 yearly, which includes support."
"When we reviewed this solution against other vendors, Stonebranch blew everybody out of the water in terms of cost."
"Outside of licensing fees, there aren't any other costs."
"I don't have pricing information, but I do know it's cheaper than our old legacy system. Other than the standard licensing fees there are no additional costs."
"We're transaction-based, as far as our licensing goes. We have 50,000 transactions a month and our licensing cost is $55,000 a year..."
Questions from the Community
Question: What do you like most about OpCon?
Top Answer: It makes everything simpler. Once OpCon is in, it just repeats itself day after day. We don't have to worry about… more »
Top Answer: Cost depends on your environment. We are doing stuff now with failover and recovery, so we have boosted our costs… more »
Question: What do you like most about ActiveBatch?
Top Answer: We use the main job-scheduling feature. It's the only thing we use in the tool. That's the reason we are using the tool… more »
Top Answer: The cost is outside the scope of my job responsibilities. Obviously we're using it, so it was worth the cost. I think… more »
Top Answer: The tasks are incredibly capable, and as long as you name them with a nice, uniform naming convention, they are very… more »
Top Answer: There is room for improvement with its connectivity with the Microsoft SRS system. It is very weak. They keep telling us… more »
Top Answer: The primary use case is that we are now at the point where we are creating workflows and it is allowing us to shorten… more »
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Also Known As
|SMA Technologies||Advanced Systems Concepts||Stonebranch|
Our founders met at NASA while they were solving some of the toughest IT issues in the world at that time. The work was challenging and required lots of repetitive tasks to maintain NASA’s mainframes and complex IT processes.
Believing that there had to be a better way, they formed SMA Technologies. Since that time, we have been working with the single purpose of unlocking our clients’ potential by streamlining their IT processes and helping employees be more productive by leveraging our automation platform, OpCon.
By freeing them from repetitive tasks, they can focus on doing the critical work that will help them drive the business. No matter the industry, from financial services to aerospace, we are there to help our customers use the power of automation to simplify complex IT issues, enabling them to solve their toughest business challenges.
Orchestrate your entire tech stack with ActiveBatch Workload Automation and Enterprise Job Scheduling. Build and centralize end-to-end workflows under a single pane of glass. Seamlessly manage systems, applications, and services across your organization. Eliminate manual workflows with ActiveBatch so you can focus on higher value activities that drive your company forward.
The Stonebranch Workload Automation solution, part of our Universal Automation Center platform, helps organizations automate, manage, and orchestrate their IT processes - across hybrid IT environments.
1. Workflow Orchestration and Automation: Holistically control scripts, jobs, tasks, and IT processes running across your on-prem, hybrid cloud, and/or multi-cloud environments.
2. Real-Time Automation: With our event-driven automation technology, it is now possible to achieve real-time automation across your entire hybrid IT environment.
3. Self-Service Automation: With a focus on ease-of-use, you can empower your workforce with self-service automation using member roles and permissions.
4. BI & Analytics: Centralize operational control and insight with proactive monitoring, reporting, and alerts
Accelerate digital transformation through workload automation
Automate repetitive tasks so you can focus on projects that drive your business forward. Find out how OpCon workload automation enables you to create repeatable, reliable workflows - all managed from a single platform.
Learn more about ActiveBatch Workload Automation
Learn more about Stonebranch Universal Automation Center
|LOHR, Carnival Cruise Lines, Herbalife, Digital Federal Credit Union, Synergent, Frandsen Bank & Trust||Informatica, D&H, ACES, PrimeSource, Sub-Zero Group, SThree, Lamar Advertising, Subway, Xcel Energy, Ignite Technologies, Whataburger, Jyske Bank, Omaha Children's Hospital||Nissan, Coop, United Supermarkets, Groupon, CSC, Orbitz, Johnson & Johnson, BMW, Qantas.|
Financial Services Firm79%
Computer Software Company40%
Comms Service Provider8%
Financial Services Firm6%
Computer Software Company43%
Financial Services Firm5%
Financial Services Firm50%
Computer Software Company36%
Financial Services Firm15%
Comms Service Provider7%
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