Most Helpful Review
Allows us to streamline the workflow so that the machines aren't sitting idle, and production is much quicker
Researched Stonebranch Universal Automation Center but chose Tidal Automation: Dashboards enable tier-one people to monitor multiple jobs and alert when things fail, helping our reliability and in managing SLAs
Find out what your peers are saying about Stonebranch Universal Automation Center vs. Tidal Automation and other solutions. Updated: November 2020.
448,542 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."
"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."
"For us, the calendaring system is very robust. Some of the teams have very specific requests for when they need jobs to run. That's been really valuable, because a lot of times, when people run scripts, if they run on a holiday, they're going to fail... A couple of times a month it probably saves us work and the necessity of logging in from home and checking to make sure everything's okay."
"Especially in the newer versions of Tidal, the segmentation of user permissions enables us to give people operator permissions for their jobs, to rerun jobs, but view-only for other groups' jobs. We're able to keep people from hurting themselves or other groups accidentally. The permissioning is really good."
"We use the solution for cross-platform, cross-application workloads. The solution’s ability to manage and monitor these workloads is very easy and accurate. We have file dependencies for running jobs. The job does not start until a file exists on a completely different server, then where the job will run. So, it is cross systems."
"It saves times due to automation. With some files, we do hundreds a day for a particular vendor. This would be hard to do manually. Also, the speed at which we can do this is excellent."
"We wouldn't be able to do many of the complex scheduling that we do today without it. For us, it is a mission-critical app. Because if it doesn't work or has a problem, then SAP doesn't function. It is that critical. So, it's an essential tool for us to manage and run SAP jobs."
"The first, big thing that we got out of using Tidal Workload Automation was having a centralized view of the status of all of our batch processes across all these systems... We can look into the schedule at any given time and see if things are running on track or if they are falling behind. We can also see if something failed."
"With the varied features in the varied adapters provided, we use Tidal Enterprise Scheduler because we want everything to be scheduled in one place. Tidal provides that for us with its tools and varying platforms in our organization. Tidal provides all the connectors to the platforms. This is very useful because we don't want to look for another scheduler for scheduling certain jobs. We don't want to look at those schedules manually between platforms."
"Tidal helps administrators and users to see the information that is relevant to them in that single pane of glass. They can see jobs running, they can see job history, and they can see job progression. If you look at alternatives like Airflow and clouds, you'd have to design your own UI to monitor the progress of the different jobs that you've created in Airflow. So Tidal is huge for us."
"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."
"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."
"I don't know if Tidal wants to get into the business of monitoring long-running jobs, but that could be a feature for the future: a job launching and monitoring tool. Using Tidal for monitoring doesn't seem like a good fit, but if they could offer something that did that as an add-on or include it, it might be helpful."
"I know they are working on it, but there needs to be better reporting. Currently, there are only three or four reports that we can get off of the system. That needs to be improved. They already have a solution to this in the new version. I.e., a schedule of all the jobs running for one day, specifically calling out what dependencies that job relies on. It would be like a flow chart of how the day's jobs would run."
"I would like more involvement with the cloud."
"One of the weaknesses of the product is, when something happens, it's difficult to find out the root cause. There are a lot of logs you can take a look at in Tidal. Sometimes, they are useful, but other times, they're not. That is mostly relegated to the administrative team. Users for the most part don't see that and don't know anything about that. They just know they have a problem, then it's up to the administrative team to see what happened and figure out the problem."
"Their software installation and update process could use some improvements. I'm pretty sure they're working on that, but that's definitely an area where it could be streamlined a lot. There's still a lot of manual work that you have to do with the schedule when you deploy masters or do the agents."
"With the client, we have had certain issues. The user interface for Tidal is a little slow. A lot of people would love this tool if they had a faster user interface. The drill-down functionality should be much quicker than what it is pulling out now. If I fill out some data, then it takes awhile to get that data back onto the screen. It's not as fast as we were expecting."
"One area for improvement is the command-line interface and the API to bulk-load jobs. It's a little bit kludgy, but we still manage without it. They're working on it and it's getting better all the time. In addition, the documentation for their API for creating jobs needs to be updated. It's a bit of a learning curve."
"It takes a lot of time to learn the product. I have admins and developers who are working on the products for the last three to four years and still don't know all the functionalities. Tidal has really great things about it, but people are focused on their day-to-day job and the solution is not intuitive."
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."
"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..."
"The new prices that we've received seem reasonable and comparable to the marketplace."
"We pay maintenance annually through Blue House of about $9,000. That's for our two environments: production and test."
"The pricing is pretty reasonable. That seems to help a lot versus other companies. There are no other fees aside from the standard licensing fees. There are other products out there where you pay based on how many jobs you run and so on, and I know that's very frustrating for users."
"The solution’s licensing model in terms of its flexibility and transparency regarding costs is pretty good. A person can buy the license, and if you decide to stop support, you can do that but still have the product. So, it's not like you're paying constantly to keep that license alive. Certainly, you want to keep support going too. Once you buy it, you own it. It's not like I have to keep paying somebody to keep using it."
"If you are willing to shop around to other vendors, you can possibly get a good price on your support license."
"Our annual maintenance cost is competitive for what we have and what they do."
"There are project, system, and server costs. Some of the things that they are doing is introducing new products. They are introducing what they call their Repository, which is a way for you to move a job. That doesn't cost anything to us, because it is reusing a tool called Transporter. The repository is the successor to Transporter, so we already own it and are sort of grandfathered in. But that new product requires a server and database, so now we have to go out and get a server and database. So, there is a cost there."
"...it is a pretty affordable scheduler tool that lets us do a lot. You get a lot of bang for the buck... The licensing model is hugely flexible."
Questions from the Community
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 »
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 »
Top Answer: It has been super stable. There are no complaints on stability. We would not be using it if Tidal wasn't stable.
Top Answer: I have had no issues with the licensing. The solution enables admins and users to see the information relevant to them… more »
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Also Known As
|Tidal Workload Automation, Cisco Workload Automation, Tidal Enterprise Scheduler|
|SMA Technologies||Stonebranch||Tidal Software|
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.
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
Tidal is the world’s leading workload automation platform for hybrid, multi-cloud environments. It’s an enterprise-class single pane-of-glass product to help manage, automate, and orchestrate business processes, applications, data, middleware, and infrastructure across the enterprise. With more than 35 years of experience helping world-class companies optimize business value from their IT, Tidal has unparalleled subject matter expertise in digital automation. We invite you to see for yourself.
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 Stonebranch Universal Automation Center
Learn more about Tidal Automation
|LOHR, Carnival Cruise Lines, Herbalife, Digital Federal Credit Union, Synergent, Frandsen Bank & Trust||Nissan, Coop, United Supermarkets, Groupon, CSC, Orbitz, Johnson & Johnson, BMW, Qantas.||Voce Communications, Inc. Moffatt & Nichol, Inc. DYONYX LP, DevCare Solutions,Collaborative Consulting|
Financial Services Firm75%
Computer Software Company37%
Financial Services Firm10%
Comms Service Provider9%
Financial Services Firm50%
Computer Software Company38%
Financial Services Firm13%
Comms Service Provider8%
Financial Services Firm21%
Computer Software Company7%
Computer Software Company30%
Comms Service Provider13%
Stonebranch Universal Automation Center is ranked 4th in Workload Automation with 7 reviews while Tidal Automation is ranked 3rd in Workload Automation with 15 reviews. Stonebranch Universal Automation Center is rated 9.2, while Tidal Automation is rated 8.4. The top reviewer of Stonebranch Universal Automation Center writes "These are the simplest agents to work with - I'm up and running within 30 minutes". On the other hand, the top reviewer of Tidal Automation writes "Gives us the ability to see everything across our scheduling universe, without having to access multiple systems". Stonebranch Universal Automation Center is most compared with Control-M, IBM Workload Automation, Automic Workload Automation and ActiveBatch Workload Automation, whereas Tidal Automation is most compared with Control-M, AutoSys Workload Automation, IBM Workload Automation, Automic Workload Automation and Automic Automation Intelligence. See our Stonebranch Universal Automation Center vs. Tidal Automation report.
See our list of best Workload Automation vendors.
We monitor all Workload Automation reviews to prevent fraudulent reviews and keep review quality high. We do not post reviews by company employees or direct competitors. We validate each review for authenticity via cross-reference with LinkedIn, and personal follow-up with the reviewer when necessary.