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Best practices for selecting the best workload automation solution

Read Time
4 mins
Filed Under
Last updated
Aug 19th, 2020

Workload automation solutions play a vital role in IT Operations, especially in large, complex organizations. Selecting the right workload automation solution can be a subjective, nuanced process. According to members of IT Central Station, however, a number of best practices have emerged over the years that can guide the selection process. Reviews across multiple providers, indicate the top workload automation requirements users look for are:

  • ease of use
  • fast job processing
  • fast implementation
  • Return on Investment (ROI)
  • Freeing employees to do more valuable work
  • Fast, reliable support
  • Cross-environment and cross-OS workflow orchestration

Take a deeper look at how OpCon stacks up in IT Central Station’s peer paper.

Read the full report here

So, how do you pick the best workload automation platform?

If you’re a current owner of a WLA platform, or you’re shopping for a new one, you’re probably wondering what the real differentiators are between the big platforms. We’re going to be fully transparent and say that, from a technical execution perspective, most of the platforms like Control-M, ActiveBatch, Broadcom, etc., can orchestrate automation.

There isn’t a single best solution for any given company. Ultimately, it’s up to what platform best meets the needs of an individual organization, in terms of support, budget, and how well the platform integrates with their current and future IT infrastructure.

What differentiates SMA Technologies and our OpCon automation platform is the other stuff: service, support, speed of implementation, ease of use, consulting, and a deep appreciation of feedback from clients.

Some highlights from the peer paper:

  • Support team must be accessible and highly engaged in resolving client issues
  • Solution must be relatively easy to use and train new employees on
  • Batch processing must become faster and self-repairing
  • Implementation can’t take 6+ months and disrupt operations
  • Platform must reduce demand for manual intervention so employees can be reassigned to higher value work
  • Training should be free or low-cost for as many team members as needed

Since this is a peer paper from a technology review website, you don’t have to take our word for it. You can hear it straight from our customers. What you’re going to hear is that SMA Technologies is very consistent in delivering a high-value automation platform that is really good at meeting the needs of our clients. When clients need us, we pick up the phone. When clients have an issue, we take an all hands-on deck approach to resolving it. We understand what a production outage means to our clients, and we respond quickly.

Customer highlights:

File Transfer Management

“Anything that is file movement related is awesome. Whether you are outsourced or an on-prem in-house bank (like us), you're not just fully in-house anymore. There are so many different third-parties that you work with now. With the amount of files going back and forth between end users or simply from the core to different vendors, this is the best part about the solution, streamlining and letting it run. Whether that's constantly throughout the day, certain times of the day or month, or a specific 16th day of the month, that's probably the most helpful because there is no operator that you have to wait on. We can just push it through a traditional FTP or SMTP.” - Nick Wilcox, Senior Applicatiosn System Analyst at Frandsen Financial.


“I don't see any limitations with the scalability. We haven't hit anything that is stopping us from what we need to do. We have automated 7,000 to 8,000 jobs since deploying OpCon. We have a lot of jobs since there are up to 35 institutions with us. 80 percent of our manual processing has been automated by OpCon.” Operations Analyst at a financial services firm with 10,001+ employees.

Credit Union Core Processing Automation

“SMA's perspective is, "No, you want to automate all of that." Of course, that's what we wanted as well. SMA's vision was the same as ours. What OpCon really gains for you is the ability to have total, lights-out processing in a way that the core vendor doesn't quite understand or have experience around.” - Administrator, Core Application Services at a financial firm with 201-500 employees.

Cross Platform Orchestration

“We have three mainframe computers and our previous scheduling package wouldn't communicate across the mainframes. OpCon gives us that ability to schedule jobs on mainframe A and a job on mainframe B and the latter can be dependent upon a job on A.” - Martin Targett, Director of Production Control and Operations at New York State Department of Transportation.


“The biggest lesson I've learned by using the product is trust it. Trust what SMA says. Believe what they say, because what they say is right. The migration is easy and they can do most migrations. Their training is fantastic, their support people are fantastic, and the support is out of this world.” Mark Roshier, OpCon/xps Support at Nationwide Building Society.

Download the full peer paper

Like what you hear? Contact us and an SMA automation expert will schedule time to have an informed discussion about your organization’s automation needs.

You can read more reviews of OpCon at IT Central Station.

Have a question about automation? We’d love to hear from you.

Send us a message and someone will contact you as soon as possible.
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