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FR PR2 2020 Blog3 headerv2

SMA Technologies Innovation Lab brings the power of community to OpCon automation

Read Time
3 mins
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Last updated
Feb 12th, 2020

Authors: Francois Eyl, Senior Director of Product Strategy, and Ben Demaree, Director of Product Management, SMA Technologies

You can do more with OpCon than you think.

SMA Technologies has a 40-year history of client-driven development. Now we want to empower our community of innovative users to share their knowledge. We've created a GitHub workspace for connectors, utilities, and scripts that will be curated and managed by a committee of SMA employees starting on February 17th.

In fact, we’ve already open-sourced some of our own application source code there. If you are looking at creative ways of running OpCon on Docker, there is a repo for that. We are also giving access to OpCon’s REST API Java Client library. This will make it easier for your Java applications to interact with OpCon. A variety of integration scripts are already available to drive automation on Docusign, Expensify, Pardot, WinSCP, Backup-Exec, AWS EC2, and more.

Our principal core value is "Do the right thing," and that's why we want people to have the opportunity to share their experiences using OpCon to tackle business challenges. Github has a long history of enabling innovation and sharing by connecting people with shared interests. OpCon clients come from many industries, but they share the common goal of achieving more with the tools they have.

Every business has opportunities to improve efficiency and get better results by automating more business processes. IT team members are often faced with the dilemma of wanting to automate more, but have limited time and have to pick their targets carefully. With the Innovation Lab, OpCon users can benefit from what will be a growing library of ready to implement tools and scripts.

The end result for users is that they'll be able to accomplish their automation goals faster. If a problem has already been solved by another OpCon user, then there is no need to reinvent the wheel. Implement the solution and move on to the next item in your automation roadmap.

How you can use the Innovation Lab

Three handy things you will find in the Innovation Lab

  • Scripts
  • Connectors
  • Utilities

We want to make it as easy as possible for users to find solutions to automation and integration challenges. Innovation Lab aims to be an open repository where you can find and share free OpCon addons.

Innovation Lab will start with a well-stocked pantry of tools that our Automation Consultants have developed for individual clients. Anyone can contribute following some general rules. User submissions will go through a review process based on the following guidelines:

  • Committee will review Projects submission for acceptance
  • License and Terms of Use must be published
  • Documentation must be included
  • Contributions will follow a pull-request policy

Community support

Similar to user-generated mods you've seen or used from other software sharing communities, individual contributors will be responsible for supporting the content that they share. Each repository has its own bug-tracker that's native to the Github interface. Users are encouraged, but in no way required, to provide timely updates to mods that they create. We do understand that organizations have different upgrade schedules, and there may be some lag time for contributors to update and test their mods on new versions of software.

About the authors:

Francois Eyl is Senior Director of Product Strategy for SMA Technologies, where he sets the product vision and strategy leading the product management department to translate current and future market needs to roadmap.

Ben Demaree is Director of Product Management for SMA Technologies, where he bridges the gap between the clients and the development team to make sure our clients have the best tools possible to meet their automation demands. When he's not at work, Ben spends his free time with his wife and four children and an interesting variety of pets.  

In this article

The Innovation Lab is a workspace for users where they can exchange tools and solutions for automation tasks.

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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