Success Story

ITERGO: Cuts Costs and Boosts Efficiency by Switching to Universal Agent

German insurance group ERGO switches to Stonebranch Universal Agent and enjoys platform-independent deployment and improved availability.

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Background

ITERGO is the central IT service provider for the ERGO insurance group, one of the leading insurers in Germany and Europe. ITERGO supports approximately 38,000 users worldwide with one of the largest data centers in Germany with IBM mainframes. It has a capacity of around 25,000 MIPS, with 4,000 server instances, over 1,000 TB of disk storage and approximately 15 million online transactions per day.

Challenges

ITERGO has relied on a wide variety of IT process automation solutions over the years, including Tivoli Workload Scheduler (TWS). However, ITERGO’s management team realized they needed to find a suitable alternative for its workload automation agents in order to maximize savings and increase efficiency and scalability.

Additionally, ITERGO wanted its next scheduling agent to meet essential technical requirements, such as connecting to TWS/z and other scheduling solutions; utilizing one agent for all platforms; maximizing availability and flexibility within regular maintenance windows; and optimizing reliability and scalability.

“Stonebranch met our expectations with respect to transparency, speed and customer orientation right from the start. We are truly impressed, notonly by the excellent partnership and collaboration, but also the respect with which Stonebranch treated us as their customer.”

CHRISTIAN SCHMAUDER
Project Manager and System Developer, ITERGO

Solution

As ITERGO evaluated various workload automation agents on the market, Universal Agent from Stonebranch stood out for its reliability and flexibility. ITERGO connected with Stonebranch to learn more about Universal Agent, and they soon received an invitation to SUGG (Stonebranch User Group Germany).

This personal exchange combined with an additional on-site reference visit led ITERGO to give Universal Agent an in-depth tryout; at the end of the trial, the test results demonstrated that, in addition to meeting ITERGO’s technical requirements, ITERGO appreciated Universal Agent’s simple installation, user friendliness, unique pricing model and scalability.

“The solution also didn’t disappoint when it came to flexibility,” says Christian Schmauder, project manager at ITERGO. “Consider that, until now, anytime an SAP job failure occurred, we always had to search for it directly in SAP. Now we can access all of our job information centrally in TWS on the mainframe.”

Moreover, unlike the agents ITERGO used in the past, Universal Agent removes the hassle of installing software components on the SAP system to manage SAP tasks. Universal Agent performs SAP scheduling simply and automatically, without any additional installations.

“Beyond this,” says Mr. Schmauder, “we were also impressed by how quickly and smoothly we were able to implement Universal Agent and the improvements it offered, particularly during maintenance runs (every two weeks). Unlike our existing solution, the new Stonebranch agents no longer need to be stopped during maintenance tasks.”

This translates into significant time savings and eliminates job interruptions. The new solution also delivered lasting results for release management. According to Mr. Schmauder, “Until now, we had to make sure that the release status for TWS and the corresponding agents were no more than one version apart.” But today ITERGO is completely independent, resulting in tremendous cost savings for updates.

“Universal Agent gives us maximum flexibility, not only in terms of current costs, but also with respect to future investment decisions.”

STEFAN RIX
Group Leader Basic Mainframe and Storage Technologies, ITERGO

Results

Universal Agent from Stonebranch helped ITERGO quickly and intuitively achieve maximum availability and flexibility. It also resulted in cost savings by reducing system maintenance, limiting new agent purchases and accelerating release changes.

Universal Agent has made continuous maintenance windows possible, and its central point of control has enabled quicker response times in the event of failure. Stonebranch Universal Agent is a unique, universal job scheduling and workload automation agent that can be used with any scheduling solution, whether a proprietary development or third-party solution.

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