The Stonebranch Online Educational Forum launched on May 14th, 2020, as a way of bringing our Stonebranch user community together virtually, in lieu of in-person 2020 events. What was originally conceived as an alternative to meeting face-to-face has become an opportunity for a broader community of global users to connect. This group has come together to both share knowledge about Stonebranch solutions and learn how to solve broader industry challenges.
This online virtual event series has covered a wide range of topics so far. Now that we’ve reached the halfway point of the series, we wanted to share some of the lessons learned and insights the community has gained.
Summary of Key Take-Aways: (Thus Far)
- Many enterprises are in the middle of their cloud implementation or orchestration journey, each with a unique pathway and end point in mind.
- As automation technology progresses, flexibility and agility will continue to be key to success.
- Automating workflows in real-time has become paramount to supporting digitization efforts across the enterprise.
- Being able to break down silos via a single automation platform is critical. Integration between workload automation and the various on-prem and cloud solutions within a hybrid IT enterprise environment is how you achieve success.
- It is increasingly important for IT Ops and DevOps to support one another, find common ground, and leverage tools that support each other’s goals.
- All kinds of IT teams are coming to rely on the flexibility of workload automation platforms to support their daily tasks, even as new tools and platforms emerge.
Day 1: Keynote from ING and Series Opening
To kick off our series, Sebastiann Kalshoven, Head of IT for Strategic Core Banking Platforms at ING, joined us to speak about the bank’s organization-wide shift to focus primarily on strategic IT initiatives.
Sebastiaan described how, serving end-users digitally meant that nearly every aspect of the enterprise had to undergo a digital transformation. Using a compelling story about the development of ING’s mobile app as a backdrop, Sebastiaan highlighted how the adoption of a culture of innovation, empowerment, and trial and error, aligned to the introduction of a DevOps methodology.
He then demonstrated how these seismic shifts have laid the foundation for self-sufficient teams and task forces within the IT department. The goals being to support both the broader business involved and the overall targets of the enterprise.
Day 2: Real-Time Hybrid IT Automation
For the second session of the series, Colin Cocksedge, Director of Product Management at Stonebranch, introduced Stonebranch’s real-time hybrid IT automation approach, and how it enables event-based automation across hybrid environments, including on-premise and cloud. He highlighted the software’s versatility using specific use cases, and shared some interesting insights based on customer statistics. An on-demand session recording is now available.
Day 3: The Reed Elsevier Technology Services Experience
Reed Elsevier is a long-time Stonebranch customer, and Doug Perseghetti and Scott Haas are frequent favorites at in-person Stonebranch user group events. The session was as entertaining as it was detailed, Doug and Scott took turns working through their most important lessons learned when it comes to migrating to and using Stonebranch’s UAC. Topics covered included:
- Workflow Management
- Naming Conventions
- Scripting Tips and Tricks
- Integration with ServiceNow
- Copying “Groups”
- and more
Day 4: How to Integrate UAC with Any IT System in Your Environment
For the fourth session of the series, Director of Solution Engineering Moritz Roos presented Stonebranch’s Universal Tasks, which allow for countless API integrations customized to the needs of each user. He introduced the UAC as a Universal Integration Platform, able to seamlessly integrate both for upstream and downstream systems. He also defined Universal Tasks and demonstrated how users can create their own, highlighted some of release 6.8’s out of the box integrations. In addition, he delivered a live demo of the Stonebranch ServiceNow Universal Task and integration capabilities. An on-demand session recording is now available.
Day 5: Infrastructure-As-Code for Automated Self-Service Cloud Deployments
In this session, we presented Infrastructure-as-code as a form of self-service resource provisioning. We posited that as IT environments become more complex and IT teams require more tools for the management and provisioning of resources and systems, infrastructure-as-code expands operations’ control and visibility while empowering end users with self-service cloud provisioning via tools they natively work from. We also detailed the potential benefits and impact to the business that adopted such a cloud provisioning strategy and performed a demonstration of the solution in action. An on-demand session recording is now available.
Day 6: Merge Robotic Process Automation with Workload Automation – and How it Helps
In his session, Helmut Dahmen, Director of Product Management, shared the many benefits of combining robotic process automation (RPA) with workload automation (WLA) to achieve an entirely new scope of automation and orchestration across the enterprise. Helmut clarified the differences between RPA and WLA. He then shared a live demo of an integration between Universal Automation Center and UiPath, which illustrated the power of combining the solutions. An on-demand session recording is now available.
Day 7: Using UAC to Manage and Automate Cloud Resources
In the most recent session of Stonebranch Online, Cloud Architect Bryant Hardy spoke on all things Cloud management. Bryant shared how UAC is designed to manage, provision, and orchestrate cloud resources from a single point of control. He then explained how, using UAC, users can spin up and tear down cloud resources efficiently and automatically, offered some food for thought in terms of cloud resource planning, servers vs. services, monitoring and naming conventions, and introduced Stonebranch’s cloud-based SaaS offering.
There many potential angles of exploration when it comes to examining IT automation solutions. Stonebranch Online 2020 provided users and prospects with an excellent foundation for maximizing their return on investment with Stonebranch solutions. Explore the possibilities by catching up on any on-demand session available here