Most Helpful Review
Use IBM Workload Automation? Share your opinion.
We asked business professionals to review the solutions they use. Here are some excerpts of what they said:
We recently did a branch acquisition of another bank, though not a full bank. With that, we had to convert all of their ACH transactions. It was a very complicated product that we received from our core provider, Fiserv, for some translation programs. It was very cumbersome to run through the process, convert it out, get output files, etc. Without anyone touching it, I was able to automate the full process from pulling in the files from this other bank, converting everything needed, and posting it to our customer's account 24-hours throughout the day.
It makes everything simpler. Once OpCon is in, it just repeats itself day after day. We don't have to worry about whether a process will be missed. It will run every single time. We are not dropping jobs or missing stuff. When you have multiple institutions, it's very easy to miss jobs. You get on a roll, start doing things, and then forget somebody. With OpCon, everything is done.
When a lot of jobs are scheduled on different platforms, without any interaction possible between them, it's very difficult to manage things. With OpCon we avoid this difficulty. It's very visual.
It allows us to organize everything into a process flow throughout the day for our different tasks that we have to run. So, it keeps everything organized. It is easy to monitor and adjust, if we need to.
It is so simplistic that it gives us peace of mind. Before, we had all these processes that were run manually, such as different file transfers and jobs running for our core at certain times. Now, all that stuff is done automatically.
We have found it scales very well. We run thousands of thousands of jobs every day, and sometimes thousands of jobs in a few hours.
We haven't freed up a full person's job using it, but there are a good handful of people for whom it has freed up about half of their time. And those employees love it. A lot of tasks are based on certain times, and they're no longer stuck doing those things at those times. We don't have to have anybody coming in early anymore. They can focus on the processing part of their jobs instead of the file moving and downloading.
The solution has freed up employees to do more meaningful work as a result of automation. They don't have to sit there and wait for files to download. They don't have to stare at the screen while a process is running. It all runs in the background, doing it for them.
The most important feature is the creation of folders. It's a really great feature because you can organize the process with naming conventions.
The technical support is great, the product is easy-to-use, and it is stable.
Technical support from IBM is very good.
VisualCron is a very powerful program to automate different steps in your business processes. We use it to automate replacing files and inform departments about the replacement.
It has improved our organization with more automation within the business departments and less administration and development in the IT department. Usually, as the IT department, we are the bottleneck for many requirements within the business. With this tool, the business departments are able to perform many task themselves.
It helped us reduce manual steps.
It's not something you can just quickly grab, try, run, and play with. You have to get the knowledge and train yourself. It was easy for me, but I also took the time to throw myself into it. There is a learning curve to a certain extent. You have to learn the rules.
There is room for improvement needed around setting up the calendars and frequencies. I would like more flexibility in what jobs run. Sometimes, with frequencies, I can't find what I want to without putting a little more labor into it.
We sometimes have a large number of jobs on the SQL Server and we can experience a very light lag in job starts. The lag can be a few seconds. It's never more than one minute, but sometimes we can experience some lags.
There is a learning curve. We had to go to class, learn, and take their training classes, then come back. We got assistance from OpCon as well to convert our processes on the Unisys machine over to the IBM. Now, when we add new products, it's pretty straightforward to write a new process and schedule it, then run it at a set time of day.
I would like more web-based training from SMA. That would be nice. Our primary OpCon representative is phenomenal, but we would like some training opportunities for learning on our own. When I started utilizing OpCon, the sheer breadth of it made for a very daunting task. I was almost fearful to start, not to mention fearful to go change things and possibly hinder a job.
The solution has quite a learning curve for beginners. It's challenging. I wouldn't rate it as super-easy to automate processes. It's medium-weight. I've used more complex software, but I've used simpler software.
I don't really think anything needs to be improved within the functionality. The only struggle I had, when I first started using it, is that it depends a lot on the command line and I didn't have that experience. So more built-in, basic commands or more education on commands would be good.
The initial setup was fairly complex.
It should support other schedulers that aren't IBM products.
It is missing some features and can improve in areas where the competition is somewhat better like linking job dependencies.
It would be helpful to have a mobile app that could be used to follow the job schedule.
There are some conditions in the mail trigger, but you can only use them as an "AND" condition, not as an "OR" condition. This is an improvement that could be useful. For example, some people put "invoice" in the subject and others put "invoice" in the body. If I want to make a trigger for everybody whose sending invoices, I have to make two jobs for this now.
Our suggestion to make it better and more manageable in terms of GDPR: Implement it in a very partnership way.
The error timeout and info could be better. When making web request calls, it will time out sometimes and we won't get any useful info out of the error response.
Pricing and Cost Advice
There are different add-ons, like the Self Service or Vision model. It all depends on what agents you have in your environment. We have a mainframe and Windows, and while I think SQL is free, SAP or anything beyond that has different connectors that might need a license.
SMA is big on free training. They do monthly training down at their headquarter office. As long as you own the product, the only thing you pay for is your employees' travel expenses. The training is free. They are willing to train people and give them the knowledge. That way, you are equipped to do what you need to do.
Cost depends on your environment. We are doing stuff now with failover and recovery, so we have boosted our costs.
Compared to AutoSys and ISE, OpCon was a lot cheaper to put in. AutoSys is hundreds of thousands of dollars to just install it because they don't have an interface into our system. You have to teach them what your system does.
The cost is based on the number of jobs. You pay for what you use. For us, the support cost is between €20,000 and €30,000 per year. It's too expensive.
This solution is slightly more expensive than our previous solution. Right now, we are paying about $40,000 a year. However, we think it's well worth the cost to keep things automated, reducing our staff.
The purchasing price was in the $30,000 or $40,000 range, but I don't remember how much of that was licensing or installation and how it was broken out.
The total cost of ownership is about the same to our previous product. The costs are relatively similar.
Information Not Available
ROI is one month.
We are fine with a rather cheap setup. Licensing with VisualCron is fair. You have a simple one-year licence in different sizes. There isn't a licensing jungle with hundreds of options and opt-ins.
ROI is 95 percent.
Compared 51% of the time.
Compared 12% of the time.
Compared 8% of the time.
Compared 54% of the time.
Compared 14% of the time.
Compared 7% of the time.
Compared 59% of the time.
Compared 41% of the time.
Also Known As
|IBM Tivoli Workload Scheduler, IBM TWS|
|SMA Technologies||IBM||NetCart AB|
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.
|IBM Workload Automation is a complete solution for batch and real-time workload management, available for distributed mainframe or hosted in the cloud. Use it to drive business and IT workloads on hosted servers, with virtually no cost of ownership for your central server. Increase your productivity with powerful plan- and event-driven scheduling, and run and monitor your workloads wherever you are. This includes interfaces dedicated to application developers and operators, providing them both autonomy and precise governance.|
VisualCron combines many features into one product. Through scheduling you can set your Jobs to run on a specific time or event. The Tasks in each Job automate scripts and eliminate human errors. Through various Tasks you can integrate different systems through file transfer and conversion.
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 IBM Workload Automation
Learn more about VisualCron
|LOHR, Carnival Cruise Lines, Herbalife, Digital Federal Credit Union, Synergent, Frandsen Bank & Trust||Standard Life Group, Banca Popolare di Milano, A*STAR, ArcelorMittal Gent||7 Eleven, ABB Sécheron SA, Adobe Systems Incorporated, Amazon Europe Core, Apple, Assa Abloy, Aston Martin, Banco Santander, BMW (Australia)|
Financial Services Firm79%
Software R&D Company40%
Comms Service Provider7%
Financial Services Firm29%
Software R&D Company45%
Financial Services Firm6%
No Data Available