In banking as well as other major industries, batch processing systems have been entrenched for decades as the go-to method for processing repetitive tasks such as payments, weekly payrolls, and daily reports. Yet now. workload automation systems (WLA) platforms like OpCon are adding valuable new dimensions to batch processing by incorporating advanced job scheduling tools that boost efficiency and free up time for team members.
Unlike transaction processing, which calls for processing transactions one at a time, batch processing is designed to speed performance by processing transactions in a group. Batch processing became a standard way of compiling data and running reports way back in the 1950s with the introduction of mainframes.
From punch cards to system-specific job scheduling software
In the earliest days of batch processing, batches were processed by feeding the mainframe a stack of punch cards containing computer commands, notes Investopedia. After executing the commands on one card for a particular batch of data, the system moved on to process the instructions in the next card, and then the next one, and so forth.
Ultimately, these instruction sets became embedded into software for mainframe and midrange computers, opening up opportunities for further efficiencies through job scheduling. Traditionally, job scheduling tools for batch processing have been tied to specific systems. SAP had it SAP Job Management (SM36) and Microsoft its Task Scheduler. IBM offers its Advanced Job Scheduler for AS/400 (now iSeries) systems.
These system-specific scheduling systems are prone to error, however, and highly limited in their capabilities to save time for team members. Typically, there’s no automatic error handling and no job tracing, meaning that employees must be on hand 24/7 for monitoring, troubleshooting, and hands-on intervention. When batch processing hits a snag, a team often needs to run batch jobs over and over again until they go through.
Enter OpCon’s workload automation
With the increasing computerization of business, though, platforms known as WLAs emerged for automating complex processes across systems through centralized job scheduling and monitoring. OpCon, the most comprehensive WLA in the industry, is able to work across just about any operating environment and connect to just about any application or system, through either a direct connector, API, or CLI.
OpCon can automate and orchestrate practically any business process, too, whether that’s job scheduling, core financial systems, ERP, SLA management, software upgrades, or disaster recovery, for instance.
In the job scheduling space, OpCon brings many time-saving features unparalleled elsewhere such as a user-friendly GUI dashboard, full job execution tracking, complete audit trails, on-demand self-service workflows, and easy custom configuration through highly granular frequency controls and dependency options.
Customers attest to OpCon’s efficiency
One satisfied customer is Veridian Credit Union, a not-for-profit financial cooperative based in Waterloo, Iowa, with $5 billion in assets and more than 250,000 members. Back in 2011, right before teaming up with OpCon, Veridian was using FiServ DNA as its core, together with IBM AJS and Windows Task Scheduler for batch processing. Back then, Veridian needed to have employees working on system processing on a 24/7 basis.
Since adopting OpCon, though, the credit union has been able to eliminate all overnight shifts. Team members are happier and more productive, too. Veridian has saved about 1,000 staff hours annually because team members no longer need to come to work early to deal with unresolved backlogs from the night before. Beyond that, there are no more delays in morning processes which impact member services.
The credit union upgraded in 2019 from FiServ DNA to FiServ XP2. OpCon offers a dedicated agent for DNA and a custom UI integration for XP2. Veridian currently uses OpCon for batch processing of business intelligence (BI) reports, as well as for automating processes like repetitive jobs for core system, third-party processes with core-integrated functionality, statement compilation and distribution, and posting files from fed and card vendors
In customer reviews on independent third-party sites, other organizations have pointed to great productivity gains through OpCon’s ease of use, rapid processing times, flexible frequency controls, and ability to eliminate human error.
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