Workload Automation Blog

Convert Your Workload Automation Center into a Technology-efficient Powerhouse

Published by Mike on October 13, 2015 @ 11:07 in Workload Automation

In my previous article, I talked about the benefits of reducing the silos of automation spread across IT and bringing it together under a common platform to help reduce complexity and increase visibility within the organization. Today, I want to expand upon that and talk about how you can take your workload automation environment from "it works ok" to a cost and resource-saving technology powerhouse within your organization. We're not only going to make workload automation simplified, but we're going to help your organization release some of the inefficiencies that are dragging your IT systems down.

Physical, virtual, cloud technologies - the number of ways and the types of systems that can run workloads in modern IT is overwhelming and ever changing. Even when you have an established process down, new technologies can present challenges for integrating into your current IT automation systems.

In many ways it's like a Lego set. If I were to just take a set and dump all the pieces on the table and not give you the instructions then you might come up with something that kind of resembles what it should be - but chances are you won't. No matter what you come up with you will have a lot of pieces left over and things that fit together - but just don't look right.

All of those Lego pieces represent all of the different types of platforms, applications and technologies that are present in your IT environment. Think of all the blue bricks as physical machines, the red slanted pieces as your ERP environment, the green circles as the cloud. Individually, they all have their purpose. Together, though, they can produce magnificent, efficient and even elaborate systems that drive critical business functions. Yet, if you are not making the most out of your current workload automation system, or you are struggling to get it to work with all of your IT 'pieces,' then it's very much like having what we described above - you end up with a bunch of IT systems scattered all over the place without any type of direction, communication or cross-system functionality.

At Stonebranch we work hard to help you put all of these pieces together. Through technologies such as our Universal Automation Center, we provide the blueprint that helps IT get the most out of existing systems and technologies across the enterprise. Instead of having to change platforms or technologies we help companies integrate and orchestrate their workloads with minimal cost and resources. When new technologies come along we help businesses get them integrated into their current workflows with no need for additional staff training or expansion.

We also know that nothing ever stays the same. Workflows that support the business are constantly changing, and we help support and manage critical business processes no matter how much change is going on across the technology stack. That Lego castle we built today may change, and we may build a grocery store out of those same pieces tomorrow. In the world of IT, the systems that delivered order processing today, may tomorrow support payment authorizations. Stonebranch technologies make it easy to not only deliver the new automated process flows, but also to redirect and redevelop existing flows with minimal effort and ease.

Workload Automation should be a cost-saver and resource reducer for your organization, not a cost center. Struggling with inefficient or inflexible tools can not only be a drain on your bottom line, but also a drain on your staff. Simple processes work well, but modern IT brings about processes that can span not only across platforms, but also expand across the world. Dependencies on internal and external resources are common nowadays, and what used to be a 3-step process flow has now turned into a 27-step flow with three different branches. A workload automation system that can easily support this structure under a common system can help your staff deliver the process flows quicker, help them manage them more effectively and make changes to them with greater agility than ever before. Your workload automation system becomes an efficiency driver without any additional effort!

So what do you think? Are you ready to put all those Legos together? If so, we'd like to help. Contact us and let Stonebranch show you how workload automation can be simplified!

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Silos are for Farmers, not IT

Published by Mike on September 24, 2015 @ 09:22 in Workload Automation

Modern IT is a jungle of processes, platforms and people. Core business systems, ETL systems, file transfers, big data, ERP systems, virtualization, cloud - the complexities increase with each passing day. As we bring new systems and platforms online, the business expects all of them to work together in harmony. After all, a big data system or an ETL tool does us no good if we have no data to feed it. We can't feed it data if our file management system is isolated from the rest of the environment. We can't have a file management system without virtualization resources. Are you confused yet?

Managing the process flow across diverse systems and platforms is a challenge every company faces, and one which if not done correctly or effectively can impact the ability of the business to deliver information or products in a timely manner. Can you imagine a business that depends on getting inventory manifests via FTP for distribution to its warehouses finds itself caught up in a manual process for moving that data into its inventory system? Immediately you've not only lost a competitive advantage - let's face it any type of manual process is a disadvantage nowadays, but you've also stopped any type of business agility cold.

Sometimes it's not a manual process we are trying to automate. Automation may already exist within your toolsets and driving great value for that particular tool. The problem is that it's a silo. The automation works great for your SAP platform - until it has to talk to the ETL system. Then it stops dead in its tracks. Many IT shops are vast fields of silos - and let's face it we aren't farmers - where we constantly invent and reinvent the wheel on a daily basis.

These silos end up taking up huge amount of resource to maintain and to get to work with one another. The learning curve alone can be daunting. At most, people can usually learn 2 or 3 systems before they have no more bandwidth to give. Then there is the visibility problem - an issue occurs and we end up having to login to 3, 4 - who knows how many - systems to find out what is going on. The business loses another advantage by not having that "single pane of glass" in which to look through to see where all the business processes are, what might be holding them up, and what is eating up resources.

Sound familiar? How much money is your organization losing to systems that don't talk with each other? How many silos are you building?

At Stonebranch we are bringing down the silos and helping businesses build a single pane of glass to give organizations the insight, agility and knowledge they need to deliver the results the business is demanding at lower costs and faster turnaround times. Through such innovations as our Universal Agent and Universal Data Mover we are connecting systems together under one roof, all talking the same language to help deliver these results.

With our simplified workload automation platform you can easily automate complex processes across a wide range of systems and platforms. Your IT folks spend more time innovating instead of in maintenance mode. Automation simply happens, without all the complexity and difficulty of trying to get a handle on different scheduling systems. Check out our video to learn more about Stonebranch Universal Agents at

We make it easy to manage, control and automate all the systems that make up your business processes. From the moment data comes in the door until it gets loaded into databases, displayed on your website or used in a report, we help you manage the end-to-end automation of critical business processes through a common interface. Your IT staff no longer has to be experts in 10 different systems, and the business can free itself from the manual processes that slowed it down. We help deliver more with less without unnecessary complexity or huge learning curves.

It's time to turn your farmers into automation wizards. Let's Stonebranch show you how.

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Scenes from Day 2 of Tech Ed 2015 #StonebranchTechEd

Published by Mike on September 17, 2015 @ 16:11 in Stonebranch TechEd

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Scenes from Day 1 of Tech Ed 2015 #StonebranchTechEd

Published by Mike on September 16, 2015 @ 16:25 in Stonebranch TechEd

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Workload Automation, Simplified

Published by Mike on September 3, 2015 @ 11:37 in Workload Automation

Time to Simplify: Switch to Stonebranch

How many of us have ever thought about all the things that go on in our organization that is not customer-facing or directly related to our brand, yet are critical for the company to be able to deliver goods and services to the customer? A grocery store is a good example. While their primary purpose is to sell food and other items, a myriad of processes must happen behind the scenes for that box of cereal to appear on the shelf for us to purchase. Hundreds, perhaps thousands, of processes take place - everything from logistics, pricing, planning, employee scheduling, etc. All businesses have processes that drive their delivery of goods and services. As a customer, we often just see the final product. As an employee, we know the complexity that goes into making that product a reality.

Many of these processes are IT dependent and often IT driven. They take place at a certain time, or when a certain event happens (a file from a supplier arrives; data is sent to the warehouse at a certain time of day). Even processes which require physical resources are increasingly being driven by IT, such as the scheduling and loading of trucks for example. Organizations have long realized that even an army of people couldn't keep track of all these processes. Even if they could the error rate would be unacceptable for many organizations. Companies large and small are looking for efficiencies everywhere, the mantra of "do more with less" is not just a request anymore, but a reality.

Workload Automation has been a key part of helping organizations do just that for years. At its core is the ability for it to manage and monitor automated processes to make sure that they not only get done based on time or events, but also to make sure that they happen in the correct order and that proper auditing and notification take place. Known years ago simply as "batch scheduling", Workload Automation today has evolved to help support not only traditional job scheduling but also to help manage and monitor data and file transfer, reduce automation silos across the enterprise, help support near real-time processing and more. Workload Automation has become a service that many other parts of the organization have come to rely upon to help get their work done.

At Stonebranch we have been the leader in driving the transformation of Workload Automation. One of our main objectives is to make Workload Automation simplified so that it can be used across the entire organization, with less effort or in-depth knowledge that many other platforms require. Why shouldn't it be just as easy to create a file transfer job as it is to execute a database query? We believe it should be, and we've proven it can be.

Automation shouldn't be a silo, and it shouldn't be complex. Many companies may have one or more scheduling or batch systems in place, but they often are limited by systems that were never designed to handle the agile workplace, or to handle anything but traditional "batch" scheduling. The true value of workload automation is not being realized because the tools are complex, the organization structure too rigid and the ability to integrate and bring everything under one roof just simply doesn't exist.

At Stonebranch we have taken the philosophy of making Workload Automation simplified in our entire product line. Our Universal agent, for example, works with multiple scheduling systems. Designed to support any platform, any scheduling system so it's as easy as 1-2-let's go! The same goes for our Universal Data Mover, which helps reign in control of all the data moving around your organization. Centralized, secure and fault-tolerant, we designed it to "just work" and simplify how files and data move.

When you make Workload Automation simplified you help drive its adoption across your entire organization. Businesses are becoming increasingly agile, different departments want to utilize Workload Automation to help them in getting their processes automated- and they want to be able to do it without a complex system to navigate , learn and support.

A system that seamlessly integrates and supports modern development methods is key to simplifying Workload Automation. It has to help tear down the silos, break down the rigid structure that exists now, and make people see it not as a cost, but as a service that drives the business.

Let us show you how you can make Workload Automation simplified.

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Network With the Very Best View of Chicago

Published by Mike on September 2, 2015 @ 10:15 in Stonebranch TechEd

As part of TechEd North America 2015 at Eaglewood Resort & Spa near Chicago, attendees will be treated to a cruise along the lakefront.

On the evening of September 16 we'll board The Spirit of Chicago for good food, drink and cheer. Network with the very best view of Chicago.

If you'd like to join us, it's not too late. Register now for Stonebranch's TechEd 2015.

Spirit of Chicago

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Stonebranch Should Be On Everyone's Shortlist

Published by Mike on August 4, 2015 @ 14:04 in Analyst Reports

Here's a little of what Charles Skamser at eDiscovery had to say about Stonebranch.

Early this year, I had the opportunity to begin a very detailed investigation into the current status of Stonebranch, how its clients are using its platform and how prospects view Stonebranch.  I came to some interesting conclusions.  If you are wondering "where Stonebranch is today", you might be very surprised and probably come to the conclusion that Gartner knew what they were talking about back in 2012 and 2014. Stonebrach is definitely a Workload Automation platform that should be on everyone's shortlist.

Mr. Skamser, we couldn't agree more.

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Coop Denmark achieves near-100% workflow automation by switching to Stonebranch solution

Published by Mike on July 8, 2015 @ 15:38 in Customer Stories

Coop Denmark operates 1,200 stores with 38,000 employees. It has a 38% share of the Danish grocery trade. The company uses a mainframe and many distributed, open systems to process its data. As it grew, it acquired smaller grocery chains and needed to integrate their IT systems as well.

As a result, Coop Denmark had an increasingly complex IT infrastructure. The company's BMC Control-M Workload Automation application was having difficulty accommodating workloads as the variety of systems increased.

Read the full Coop case study here.

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