BMC Software has improved its workload automation product, Control-M, with two major enhancements. The software now supports IBM’s Cognos Business Intelligence tool and includes a wizard conversion tool set that makes it easier for users to migrate from another vendor’s automation tool to Control-M. The company is also promoting a role-based self-service mobile app, released in April, that lets users monitor and manage their scheduled automated workload activity on an iPad or an iPhone. Workload automation software is what people used to call batch scheduling software, and it can run on mainframes as well as on smaller systems.
Carfax, which identifies itself as the leading provider of vehicle history reports for the past 20 years, has been using Control-M for almost 10 years, says Robert Stinnett, senior automation analyst for the company. "We use it for everything from moving data in and out to processing workflows to generating reports," he says. "It’s mostly to keep our workflows going back and forth." The company makes use of 34,000 data sources. "It has to be automated, or it would be a heck of a manual process to get it coordinated," he says. He is particularly excited about the Cognos support because it means the product is providing an additional method of breaking down silos. Until Control-M supported Cognos, he couldn’t get a clear view of what was running inside the Cognos system, he says. The company is also considering the mobile app, but he notes that it doesn’t work on the Windows phone or Android phones, both of which the company uses.
BMC, based in Houston, chose to support Cognos rather than other software products, such as SAS, more heavily used by its customers because it sees a big demand from its customers for business analytics, says Robin Reddick, director in mainframe service management. Support for Cognos means that users can now include its scheduling work within their enterprise view and automate it in Control-M.
The purpose of the conversion tool is to aid companies with a variety of automation tools, so that even if they owned Control-M, they might not have completely converted over their automation to it, Reddick says. Because each vendor’s automation tool uses a different kind of statement language, users need a way of converting the statement language to enable them to automate tasks with the new tool, he says.
The software is available now and can be bought either by the suite or in a package, and by task or by CPU. If the software is being purchased for a mainframe, it can be bought by millions of instructions per second. Pricing for the software starts at $75,000. Support for Cognos Business Intelligence and for the conversion utility is included for free with either the Control-M Workload Automation Suite or the Select package. The mobile app is available as a free download from the Apple iTunes store.
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