OpCon Overview

What is OpCon?

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.

OpCon Buyer's Guide

Download the OpCon Buyer's Guide including reviews and more. Updated: February 2021

OpCon Customers

LOHR, Carnival Cruise Lines, Herbalife, Digital Federal Credit Union, Synergent, Frandsen Bank & Trust

OpCon Video

Pricing Advice

What users are saying about OpCon pricing:
  • "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."
  • "The cost is just shy of $20,000. That's for two licenses annually, production, and failover. It is a pricey solution. Comparatively speaking, you can certainly find schedulers which are cheaper. In some cases, you can find ones that are free or use free solutions. However, OpCon is by far the superior quality product, and you pay for that. This also has a cost savings associated with an FTE, so you can more than outweigh the cost of the solution if you were to reduce the staff that you have onsite. Plus, this means that you don't need to have someone during irregular hours."
  • "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."
  • "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."

OpCon Reviews

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NickWilcox
Senior Applications System Analyst at Frandsen Financial
Real User
Top 20
Mar 16, 2020
It streamlined our processes allowing full-time employees to be repurposed

What is our primary use case?

We are an in-house Fiserv Premier bank. This solution allows us to automate a lot of the core processing.

Pros and Cons

  • "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'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."

What other advice do I have?

Take your time. Think about it. Once you start to create different concepts and learn them, come up with naming conventions, your own rules, and go by them. This way, everything is similar. It's easier for me to train my operators if it all looks the same. Ease of use depends on how you set it up. It is there, but it all depends on what you want to do with it and how much time you want to put into it. If you just want to move some files around and keep things looking the same, it is easy to use. But, if you want to do some tricky stuff, you have to put some time into it, making it look clean…
TobyFinnegan
Director of IT at Frontwave Credit Union
Real User
Top 20
Jan 5, 2020
Reliable, consistent solution that simplifies our processes

What is our primary use case?

We use it predominantly, and almost exclusively, for core processing with our financial system.

Pros and Cons

  • "The solution has streamlined operations. We have written custom jobs to do particular things, but OpCon is definitely the one that manages running them at particular times. Often times, those jobs have to run after hours. So while we still develop and spend time and man-hours writing code, once it's done, OpCon is running that in the afternoons or evenings. This is usually done during off hours when a person would normally be required to be here and do it. Instead, OpCon is available, consistent, reliable and easy to get things in and working quickly once we develop and get them working. OpCon takes care of the entire process, including notifications that we define if something were to happen so we know what to do next. Again, it's simplifies the entire process."
  • "I would like to have an interface with PowerShell. PowerShell has a lot of functionality. We use it a lot because we're a Windows shop. Having a built-in tool or interface with PowerShell would go a long way."

What other advice do I have?

The cost is just shy of $20,000. That's for two licenses annually, production, and failover. Spend time flushing out the processes that you want. Add everything you possibly can so you don't have to do it. Look hard at the solution that you want. I highly suggest looking at OpCon. Frankly, that's all I ever tell people about when they talk about the scheduling. I ask if they're on OpCon and if they know about it. Overall, I don't really have any complaints. The system does exactly what I want it to do. In this current iteration. If it never changed, it still does what I need it to do, and it…
Learn what your peers think about OpCon. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: February 2021.
464,757 professionals have used our research since 2012.
reviewer1240275
Administrator, Core Application Services at a financial services firm with 201-500 employees
Real User
Dec 11, 2019
Four connectors work with KeyStone and allow us to automate every batch-processing task

What is our primary use case?

We use it to run our core system, Corelation KeyStone, as well as all of our batch processing and file movement, automation, and extract processing.

Pros and Cons

  • "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."
  • "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 other advice do I have?

The biggest lesson I have learned from using OpCon is that it is perfectly suited to Corelation KeyStone. There isn't a better automation tool available right now, because SMA has four proprietary connectors and I don't think anyone else does. On my team, we have seven people and all seven are at least familiar with logging in and observing production with OpCon. Three of them are tasked with implementing new solutions into OpCon and supporting configuration and troubleshooting of existing solutions. We've also got seven departments using it through Self Service, with multiple people in each…
Janice Scott
Executive Director of MIS at a educational organization with 501-1,000 employees
Real User
Top 20
Nov 22, 2020
Enabled us to run a dark data center and reassign staff to other projects, and our productivity has increased with automation

What is our primary use case?

We have a very small IT shop. I have two helpdesk people, three programmers, and an assistant director. We were running all of our jobs manually. I had a nighttime person and a daytime person in the operations area, and we started getting into more integrations and it was taking a lot of time away from staff to upload data to other vendors. We also use it for resource monitoring when we are waiting for files to come in from other departments. As soon as they come in, we pick them up and process them and that's been a lifesaver, as well, for both the user department and for our department. We… more »

Pros and Cons

  • "The whole product is valuable to us because of the integrations that it has with the MCP and the Windows environments. You have to have the agent on each one of them that you want to monitor. The integrations that we have created are along the lines of extracting files and sending them through SFTP to another vendor. Those are the things that were taking a lot of time away from my staff."
  • "Stability is an area for improvement. There are FTP agents that run on the MCP and they are there so that we can transfer a file from the MCP to the Windows environment or vice versa. Sometimes, and nobody has been able to figure out why, it just goes down, and all of my jobs that need it are hanging or failing... It would be very helpful if they could figure out what in the world is happening with that FTP client that's on the MCP."

What other advice do I have?

Make sure that you know what you want and that you understand what the product does so that you don't purchase more agents than you need or, on the other hand, that you don't purchase fewer agents than you need. Understand what you're trying to solve before you purchase the solution. That way, you know what you want to do. And if they still offer the trial periods or the pilots, take them up on that offer. The biggest take away from using the solution is, "Why didn't I do it sooner?" when I think about all the time that was wasted. If I had known about it sooner, I would have purchased it…
reviewer1246428
VP IT at a financial services firm with 11-50 employees
Real User
Dec 22, 2019
Automation reduces our FTE requirements and enables us to work on more interesting tasks

What is our primary use case?

We use it as an automation tool to send and receive files and process batch jobs on our core banking system. It can also archive files for us. We use OpCon to automate anything that we can automate.

Pros and Cons

  • "The most valuable feature is being able to schedule tasks so that they reliably occur each day, each week, each month, or sometimes several times a day... The scheduler works as it should."
  • "It is a complex product to use. Programming the schedules is complex. It does require training from OpCon... I would like to see some online training, some videos. When I bring in a new employee... it would be nice if there was some basic information for her to look at to understand this program. Even for my systems administrator, it would be helpful if there were tips and tricks available."

What other advice do I have?

The biggest lesson I have learned from using OpCon is that you really need an individual like my systems administrator who understands how a program like this works. Creating these schedules and working with the language that's required to get things done is very specialized. You have to have someone like that. Could I do it? I could, but it would take me 10 times the amount of time that it takes Sean. You do need someone on staff who understands systems, system deployment, systems operations. That's how you're able to make the most of it. The programming side of it is very basic. It's not…
MartinTargett
Director of Production Control and Operations at NYSDOT
Real User
Dec 17, 2019
Gives us the ability to schedule dependent jobs across different mainframes

What is our primary use case?

We chose OpCon to replace a scheduling package that was controlling approximately 10,000 batch jobs every day. So the main purpose of OpCon, for us, is to replace an aging homegrown solution with a more advanced scheduling product that has more bells and whistles. We use it for job control. We have Enterprise Manager on desktops communicating to agents that are on our mainframe computer. We haven't yet completed the conversion. We are about 30 percent converted right now. We still running 70 percent of the work through our old scheduling package. We have two main shops. One of them is an… more »

Pros and Cons

  • "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."
  • "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."

What other advice do I have?

I would highly recommend an onsite evaluation of OpCon that has already been deployed and seeing it fully in action, so that you could be better prepared to ask the right questions prior to getting it. All we saw was a remote demo and that, to me, was a big mistake on my people's part and probably SMA's part. We never got to see it in action so we didn't know all the right questions to ask. My biggest lesson in using OpCon is that I wish I'd been more involved at the beginning of the project, when they were estimating the need for support. We should have budgeted for a different type of…
ArturoRivera
IT Manager Business Solutions Delivery at CBC Federal Credit Union
Real User
Top 20
Dec 17, 2019
We automated our first processes within a week of deployment

What is our primary use case?

We use it to automate multiple platforms: our mortgage platform, our core platform, and other instances where we're working with third parties to whom we have to move data. It does about 90 percent of our automation. Very rarely do we do anything that's not automated. For example, we do not manually upload anything. It's all done through OpCon.

Pros and Cons

  • "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."
  • "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."

What other advice do I have?

Do your homework. Definitely look at other vendors and consider your staff size. In our case, because we have a small staff, we don't have a lot of programmers. We don't have the luxury of having 10 programmers who can write their own batch scripts. If you're a small shop like us, really do your homework on it because, in the end, if you rely on somebody writing batch scripts to do things and they ultimately leave, you own that. You really need to make sure about your road-mapping. Are your employees going to stay at the credit union? If they are, that that makes a big difference. What…
reviewer1292079
Operations Analyst - Primary OpCon at a financial services firm with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Feb 23, 2020
Customers are happy because jobs are not missing that they wanted run at specific times

What is our primary use case?

We use OpCon to run a multi-institution environment. It allows us to keep tabs on all our customers at the same time. It's convenient in that way. If anything fails, we don't have to have our operations staff log into a credit union, or a specific institution, to find out what is going on. OpCon will tell us what is going on in each one. Therefore, our operators are free to continue on with their manual work and not worry about what is supposed to be automated. They only look into an institution when something fails. An operator can't monitor 10 screens at the same time and see everything that… more »

Pros and Cons

  • "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."
  • "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."

What other advice do I have?

I would recommend OpCon to almost anyone. Look at it and learn it. Compare it to the competition. It's great for multiple institutions. They have everything you really want and would expect schedules to be able to do. You should have some type of logical background. If you're just a plain operator, you might have trouble trying to understand the concepts. You have to remember which institution you're working with when you start setting up jobs so they aren't operating on the wrong system. So, it's just understanding what you're doing. I would rate the solution as a 10 (out of 10). It works for…
See 28 more OpCon Reviews