Success Story

The Bon-Ton Stores: Replaces Legacy Job Scheduler with Universal Automation Center

Stonebranch‘s UAC replaces legacy systems to unite two different companies, increasing efficiency and productivity.

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Background

The Bon-Ton Stores Inc., is an American department store chain with corporate headquarters in both York, Pennsylvania and Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

The company operates 256 stores, which includes nine furniture galleries and four clearance centers, in 23 states across the Northeast, Midwest and upper Great Plains under the Bon-Ton, Boston Store, Bergner’s, Carson’s, Elder-Beerman, Herberger’s and Younkers nameplates.

Challenges

The Bon-Ton Stores Inc. had a legacy mainframe job scheduler known as ASG-Zeke. ASG-Zeke could not handle tasks running on platforms other than z/OS. Jobs being run with z/OS tasks then had to be moved to a different server to return the COND parameter. This was deemed inefficient and therefore unacceptable.

“We wanted an enterprise scheduler that would enable us to easily schedule tasks on our multiple platforms,” says Charlie Dorner, Manager of Computer Operations at The Bon-Ton Stores Inc. “It was time for us to implement a modern workload automation solution.”

“We chose Stonebranch because they had better features and were a true Enterprise Job Scheduler at an excellent value. In addition to having superior functionality, Universal Automation Center was easy to learn and incredibly versatile. It is now much simpler to handle tasks and workloads.”

CHARLIE DORNER
Manager of Computer Operations, The Bon-Ton Stores, Inc.

Solution

After a thorough review of the automation solutions available on the market, The Bon-Ton Stores, Inc. chose Stonebranch’s Universal Automation Center (UAC) as their new workload automation solution.

“We chose Stonebranch because they had better features and were a true enterprise job scheduler and an excellent value,” says Mr. Dorner. “In addition to having superior functionality, Universal Automation Center was easy to learn and incredibly versatile. It was a truly graphical user interface with convenient widgets on a modern dashboard.”

With the UAC, The Bon-Ton’s IT team could now see where they were in a jobstream or application simply by looking at a workflow or their fully customizable reports within the UAC.

AlthoughThe Bon-Ton Stores Inc. still operates an IBM mainframe, their IT team can better support the company’s initiatives to optimize the digital customer experience. The Universal Automation Center complemented The Bon-Ton’s mix of operational environments by providing great support and integrations for both legacy products and cutting-edge applications and services.

Replacing the old-school job scheduling tool with a modern workload automation solution also created long-term staffing advantages. As users with legacy mainframe skill sets are becoming harder to find, new operations staff hires that do not have mainframe expertise can be easily trained to operate both legacy and distributed application workloads with Universal Automation Center.

Since making the switch, Mr. Dorner notes, “We have seen a steady stream of new features and capabilities added to Universal Automation Center. This is key, and validates our choice of Stonebranch as vendor, solution provider, and partner. Knowing that we have a product in place that is keeping pace with the technology we need to support makes life in operations so much easier.”

“We wanted an enterprise scheduler that would enable us to easily schedule tasks on our multiple platforms. It was time for us to implement a modern workload automation solution. Stonebranch support from the entire services team was outstanding.”

CHARLIE DORNER
Manager of Computer Operations, The Bon-Ton Stores, Inc.

Results

Following a successful implementation of Stonebranch‘s Universal Automation Center, The Bon-Ton can simply integrate tasks across all platforms. “Stonebranch has greatly improved our ability to handle tasks on the servers and achieve enterprise scheduling with all of our interdependencies between servers and the mainframe. It is now much simpler to handle this type of task,” says Mr. Dorner.

Mr. Dorner also raved about Stonebranch‘s support during the conversion from ASG-Zeke to Universal Automation Center. “The Stonebranch services team proved themselves to be experts when it came time to migrate the data from ASG-Zeke. The implementation was greatly aided by their vast knowledge and experience,” he added. “We are a big fiscal calendar organization and that presented the need for special calendar creation. Stonebranch support from the entire services team was outstanding. I strongly encourage ASG-Zeke users to make the switch to Stonebranch.”

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