AVP - Systems Engineer at a financial services firm with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Allows us to integrate file transfers more readily, resolve issues quickly, and orchestrate a diverse landscape of vendor products
Pros and Cons
  • "The File Transfer component is quite valuable. The integration with products such as Informatica and SAP are very valuable to us as well. Rather than having to build our own interface into those products, we can use the ones that come out of the box. The integration with databases is valuable as well. We use database jobs quite a bit."
  • "A lot of the areas of improvement revolve around Automation API because that area is constantly evolving. It is constantly changing, and it is constantly being updated. There are some bugs that are introduced from one version to the next. So, the regression testing doesn't seem to capture some of the bugs that have been fixed in prior versions, and those bugs are then reintroduced in later versions."

What is our primary use case?

Control-M supports a lot of business processes. It supports some of the HR functions. I don't know if payroll is directly supported, but we do run jobs through PeopleSoft, which obviously impacts HR. Recently, we've started using the SAP module. So, we're making a transition from PeopleSoft to SAP, and I also see some payroll functions happening there.

How has it helped my organization?

We use Control-M to orchestrate a diverse landscape of vendor products such as Pega, MuleSoft, etc. File transfers and data feeds fetching are quite important for us. So, a lot of data processing happens through Control-M.

Control-M provides us with a unified view where we can easily define, orchestrate, and monitor all of our application workflows and data pipelines. Of course, such a diverse landscape requires you to make the effort to utilize Control-M to tie everything together or to act as the glue. Once you do that, everything is clearly defined, and you can view these disparate systems using one unified pane. If you don't define it correctly, then obviously Control-M won't have that insight, and so you'll have to go to multiple locations to go look at your job statuses.

We use its web interface. It is primarily for the application support teams to go monitor their own jobs. The jobs defined within Control-M are tightly controlled by a specific group of people. There are also people who need access to view that the jobs were completed successfully or why the jobs may have failed. These people are given access through Control-M web to view and monitor the jobs that they support or the applications they support. They're usually able to log on without having to install any client on their personal workstations. So, it's quite convenient. We have not implemented its mobile interface.

The integrated file transfers with our application workflows have certainly sped up our business service delivery by 80%. It has allowed the business to integrate file transfers more readily. Prior to utilizing the Control-M module, people had to write their own file transfer scripts in a scripting language of their choice to vary degrees of effectiveness. With the integrated File Transfer solution within Control-M, there is a standardized way of performing file transfers along with the capability of file watching and grabbing the file names that were transferred, making it much more versatile.

Control-M can immediately report when a job fails. If you have proper monitoring in place, you're notified immediately when your business flows are impacted. In the past, when you run jobs using Cron or just wrote shell scripts, you're really left in the dark because they don't necessarily report even from within Control-M. Implementing Control-M has made the business realize how critical and important it is to have proper error coding within the scripts that they schedule. If the scripts don't necessarily report any errors or redirect the system output into log files, when a job fails, there is no way to detect that.

We've automated many time-consuming business reports and other things that were very manual and took a tremendous amount of manhours. We've also automated a lot of maintenance using Control-M. We've integrated with Ansible Tower. So, we now are able to run Ansible playbooks and Ansible job templates. With the scheduling capability and the multitude of integrations that Control-M offers, it really acts as the unifying glue and as a communicator and orchestrator across the enterprise. With Ansible Tower, you can run a number of playbooks through it to perform patching and reboots and whatever maintenance that the infrastructure teams require, but you can't really do it when the business is still operating, or you can't do it when that business is operating, but you could do it for another business that's not operating at the moment. It is very hard to coordinate that without knowing which lines of business have jobs running or things like that. With Control-M, you can see that and you can actually enact workload policies to put jobs on hold prior to running Ansible playbooks. Once your Ansible playbook is complete, you can release the jobs again by deactivating the workload policies. So, it makes those processes very streamlined.

We do use the Role-Based Administration feature. We have been allowing other groups to gain more control over their agents so that they can define connection profiles, and they can do a little bit more on their side without inundating the main team with a lot of tasks. Everybody is happier. They can get things done faster, and they have immediate feedback and response because they're in control. The main Control-M team is not inundated with a lot of different requests from various teams to do a number of mechanical tasks. They don't get asked to create the connection profile for a database. People have all the information there, and they can do it themselves. They can define it in a way so that only they have access to it.

It has helped us to achieve faster issue resolution. Control-M reports on the error. It is easier to view the system output of that job. Whether it is an Informatica job, a scripted job, or a database job, it is easier to go in and view the issue and then troubleshoot from there. Most of the time, you can be running from the point of failure if the jobs aren't defined correctly. In a properly defined job, I would estimate that there is a 70% to 90% reduction in the meantime to resolution.

It has helped us by improving our service-level operations performance. We've built integration between Control-M and our ITSM, which is ServiceNow, and that has certainly allowed us to gain more visibility within our community through ServiceNow. Every time a production job fails, an incident ticket is cut, and that's highly visible. That needs to be escalated too, and there is a much more defined process to be able to resolve that issue. In the past, obviously, when you didn't have that level of visibility or that integration, there was always time lost in identifying what the issue is.

What is most valuable?

The File Transfer component is quite valuable. The integration with products such as Informatica and SAP is very valuable to us as well. Rather than having to build our own interface into those products, we can use the ones that come out of the box. The integration with databases is valuable as well. We use database jobs quite a bit. The file watcher component is also indispensable when integrating with other applications that generate files, instead of triggering a workflow based on time.

What needs improvement?

We have been experimenting with centralized connection profiles. There are some bugs to be worked out. So, we don't feel 100% comfortable with only using centralized connection profiles. We do have a mix of control on agents out there, which leads to some complications because earlier agents do not support centralized connection profiles.

A lot of the areas of improvement revolve around Automation API because that area is constantly evolving. It is constantly changing, and it is constantly being updated. There are some bugs that are introduced from one version to the next. So, the regression testing doesn't seem to capture some of the bugs that have been fixed in prior versions, and those bugs are then reintroduced in later versions. One particular example is that we were trying to use the Automation API to fetch a number of run ads users from the environment. The username had special characters and backspace characters because it was a Windows User ID. In the documentation, there is a documented workaround for that. However, that relied on two particular settings in the Tomcat web server. I later found out that these settings work out-of-the-box for version 9.0.19, but those two options were not included in the config file for 9.0.20. So, it led to a little bit of confusion and a lot of time trying to diagnose, both with support and the BMC community, what is the issue. Ultimately, we did resolve that, but that is time spent that really shouldn't have been spent. It had obviously been working in 9.0.19, and I don't know why that was missed in 9.0.20, but that's a primary example of an improvement that can happen.

We've also noticed that the Control-M agents themselves now run Java components. Over time, they tend to destabilize. It could be because garbage collection isn't happening, or something is not happening. We then realize that the agent is consuming quite a large amount of memory resources on the servers themselves. After recycling the agents and releasing that memory, things go back to normal, but there are times when the agent becomes unresponsive. The jobs get submitted, and nothing executes, but we don't know about it until somebody says, "Hey, but my job isn't running." When we look at it, it says Executing within the GUI, but there is no actual process running on the server. So, there is some disconnect there. There is no alerting function or the agent there that says, "Hey, I'm not responding." It is not showing up in the x alerts or anything like that.

The integrated guides have not been that helpful to us. I do find a lot of the how-to videos on the knowledge portal to be useful. However, there are some videos where the directions don't always match with some of the implementations. There are some typos here and there, but overall, those have been more helpful for us.

Its pricing and licensing could be a little bit better.  The regular Managed File Transfer piece, is a little overpriced, especially for folks who already have licensed Advanced File Transfer.

What I'm also noticing when I'm trying to recruit for Control-M positions is that the talent pool is quite small. There's not a whole lot of companies that utilize Control-M, and if they do, most people don't want to let their Control-M resources go if they're good. There is a high barrier of entry for most people to learn Control-M. There are Workbench, Automation API, and so forth mainly for developers to learn, but there are not a whole lot of resources out there for people to get more familiar with administering Control-M or things like that in terms of the technology or even awareness. So, it becomes very challenging to acquire new resources for that. A lot of the newer people coming out of college don't even know what is Control-M. If they do, they think of it as a batch scheduler, which is certainly not true in its current transformation.

Control-M is a very powerful enterprise tool, but the overall perception has not changed in the past five to six years that I've been working with Control-M. There's not much incentive for people to dive into that world. It is a very small community, and overall, the value of Control-M is not being showcased adequately, maybe at the C-level for corporations. I've had multiple conversations with other people and other companies who have already exit using Control-M. About 70% of the companies out there do not take full advantage of the capabilities in Control-M. So, that type of utilization really hampers and hinders the reputation of Control-M. That's because people then acquire this untrue concept that Control-M can only do X, Y, and Z, rather than the fact that Control-M can do so much more. I don't know if it needs a grassroots marketing movement or a top-down marketing movement, but this is what the perception is because that's what I'm hearing and that's what I'm seeing. For some of the challenges that I face working in Control-M, when I go back to my management and say, "Hey, I want to spend more money in this space," they're like, "Why? Can you justify it? This is what we see Control-M as it is. It's not going to bring us value in this area or that area." I have to go back and develop a new business case to say, "Hey, we need to upgrade to MFT enterprise or something like that." So, it definitely requires a lot more work convincing management in order to get all these components. In the past, we had to justify acquiring a workload change manager. We had to justify acquiring the workload archive. All of these bring benefits not only to our audit environment but also to the development environment, but the fact that we had to fight so hard to acquire these is challenging.

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Control-M
April 2024
Learn what your peers think about Control-M. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: April 2024.
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For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using Control-M for about eight years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Version 9 was very stable. Once they started adding a lot of the newer Java components, the stability suffered. It seems to have gotten better in version 9.0.20, but that's could be my basic perception. 

We run a lot of database client jobs. There are some things that we've implemented that I understand can contribute to the agent instability. We sometimes extract a lot of database output and massage that output using other scripts. I've noticed there are certain things that you cannot do with it, or there are some things that contribute to the instability. For example, in the output scanning functionality, there certainly is a size limit. You probably don't want to scan anything too large because that's going to put a lot of resources on the environment.

In addition, there are times when the agent becomes unresponsive. The jobs get submitted, but nothing executes. There is no alerting function. These are the examples of instability that I've noticed. Overall, the main application itself, the EM, and the scheduler have been pretty stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It is very scalable in terms of job execution. I haven't really explored scaling Control-M and the EM environment to a point where we have hundreds of users accessing it at a given time. That's because I don't have a hundred users who want to access that at a given time, but I do understand that you can distribute the web server more, and then have a load balancer to balance the load. I would think Control-M is a fairly scalable application.

In terms of its users, we have a lot of application support folks. We do have some developers who access Control-M mostly for the non-prod environments to execute and monitor their own jobs. There are some software engineers and operational engineers who are part of the application support teams that access Control-M. As for size or concurrent users, we have about 50 concurrent users at the max.

How are customer service and support?

I would probably give them a nine out of 10. For the most part, they're very helpful, but there's always an initial standard dialogue. For an issue, you have to collect from EM logs, agent logs, and so forth, and you submit that. Sometimes, we have done all the advanced work and submitted it, but they still come back and say, "Hey, we need the logs." It seems like that's a canned response without looking at the tickets.

How would you rate customer service and support?

Positive

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We've been with Control-M for quite a long time. We have not been using anything else in my history with this organization. 

I have not looked at anything recently. I am aware there are other application orchestration solutions out there, but I have not felt the need to go explore those options at the time.

How was the initial setup?

If you're deploying using out-of-the-box options, the process is fairly straightforward. If there is some customization that needs to happen, then the process can be complex, and the documentation does not cover some of those complexities.

For the most part, we are standard out of the box. We have run into some performance issues where we had to, later on, go in and maybe make some modifications. For example, we had to stand up different gateways for various purposes just because one singular gateway was not enough to take the load in particular because we had installed a workload archive, and that was just taking up a lot of resources. Other human users were not able to perform their actions because the archive user was consuming so much of the server's resources. So, there was a lot of tweaking there, and we had to basically break out and distribute some of the components.

In terms of implementation strategy or deployment plan for Control-M, the environment always had Control-M, and we just had to upgrade the Control-M environment. We've had Control-M in our environment for quite a long time, probably when it was still version 6. So, as we progressed through different versions, we obviously had to expand the environment and the platforms. We initially started off with Control-M on AIX, and we later moved to Control-M on Linux. As you go to Linux, obviously, there is planning for high availability and production environments, disaster recovery environments, and so forth. So, you have to plan for marrying a lot of the BMC Control-M components and identifying where a load balancer may be required, or DNS ALIAS is required so that you can quickly flip over in the event something happens. Then, of course, there is sizing for the environment in terms of how many jobs are running, how many executions are happening, and so forth. This is how we plan.

What about the implementation team?

We've used the AMIGO program, and then we've performed the upgrades ourselves.

For its day-to-day administration, we have a team of five people. They're administrators and schedulers.

What was our ROI?

Its return on investment is quite high, and that's mostly because we use so many of Control-M's capabilities. We also extend those capabilities. We write our own scripts to be able to integrate Control-M with so many other applications such as Automation Anywhere, Alteryx. We have also done vice versa. We have helped other teams develop their capabilities in integrating with the REST API and Control-M. So, the ROI is quite high for our use case, but based on the conversation with some of the community partners out there, their ROI is probably quite low because they're not making use of all these new features. I don't know if it is because they don't have the skillset to make use of these new features, or their management structure or process structure is hampering them from going out there. A lot of large companies I know like to maintain the status quo, and that's why they're slow to adapt and slow to move, which is going to hurt them in the long run, but in the meantime, it can hurt the adoption of Control-M as well.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

Its pricing and licensing could be a little bit better. Based on my experience and discussions with other existing customers, everybody feels that the regular Managed File Transfer piece, not the enterprise one, is a little overpriced, especially for folks who already have licensed Advanced File Transfer. We understand that Advanced File Transfer is going away and is going to be the end of life, and there is some additional functionality built into MFT, but the additional functionality does not really correlate with the huge price increase over what we're paying for AFT already. This has actually driven a lot of people to look for alternative solutions.

I know they are now moving more towards endpoint licensing or task-based licensing. In my eyes, the value of Control-M is the ability to break down jobs from monolithic scripts. You don't want to have to wrap everything up in one monolithic script and say, "Hey, I'm executing one task because I want to save money." That defeats the purpose of controlling, and that defeats the value of Control-M. By being able to take that monolithic script and break it down into the 10 most basic components, you can monitor each step. It is self-documenting because, within Control-M, you can see how the flow will work, and you can recover from any one of those 10 steps rather than having to rerun the monolithic script should something fail. That being said, the endpoint licensing does make more sense, but maybe pricing or things like that can be more forgiving.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

N/A

What other advice do I have?

It is worth the time and money investment to learn more about Control-M. You should learn all the features of Control-M and really explore and test out the capabilities of Control-M. That's the only way people get comfortable with what Control-M can implement. A lot of people aren't aware of just how flexible a platform Control-M is, especially with all the new features that are being added via the Automation API. These features are helping to drive Control-M and things developed in Control-M more towards a microservices model.

We are just beginning to explore using Control-M as part of our DevOps automation toolchains and leverage its “as-code” interfaces for developers. Obviously, there is a little bit of a learning curve for developers as well in order to see the value of developing Jobs-as-Code. Currently, we're walking developers through it, and we're holding their hands a little bit in terms of developing Jobs-as-Code, but we are heading in that direction because it does provide artifacts that you can version control and change quickly and easily. You can redeploy much quicker than just having the jobs defined in the graphical user interface. Previously, when you had to modify it, you either did it via the GUI, or you exported it via XML and then modified those components. Once you get the developers closer to their job flows, then you can theoretically speed up the delivery of applications along with scheduled jobs.

I don't have a whole lot of experience with other scheduling orchestration environments, but from everything that I've heard while speaking with other colleagues, I would say Control-M ranks fairly high. I would rate it a nine out of 10. Control-M usually is the platform that people are moving to, not moving away from.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: PeerSpot contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
PeerSpot user
Shane Bailey - PeerSpot reviewer
Automation Engineer at CARFAX
Real User
Top 10
Integrates with many solutions, significantly improves our execution time, and has a good price-to-performance ratio
Pros and Cons
  • "Our ability to integrate with many different solutions has been invaluable. The new approach of the automation API and jobs-as-code is also valuable."
  • "The biggest improvement they could have is better QA testing before releases come out the door."

What is our primary use case?

We use it for our workload automation. We use it as a single pane of automation for our enterprise.

We are currently using three different environments for three different productions. We have production data tasks, and we have multiple different levels spread out. 

We are currently using its most recent version. In terms of deployment models, they have both models. They have an on-prem solution, and they also have a SaaS solution. It just depends on what your company needs. They can take care of you.

How has it helped my organization?

Over the past so many years, I have learned that one of the most important features is giving everybody one tool that can do many different types of automation and workflows. That's been invaluable. Instead of having multiple tools for different teams and different platforms, Control-M has become the one-stop-shop for a lot of these automations.

It is very easy to create, integrate, and automate data pipelines with Control-M. It allows us to ingest and process data from different platforms. It could take us anywhere from a day to a week to get a new integration in place. We've taken it upon ourselves to try to introduce that to all of our internal customers as well.

It can orchestrate all our workflows, including file transfers, applications, data sources, data pipelines, and infrastructure with a rich library of plug-ins, which is very important for us. We try to utilize all new plugins that come out. If our company uses it, we try to use that plugin at least somewhere in our infrastructure.

In terms of creating, monitoring, and ensuring delivery of files as part of our data pipeline, it is a recent project, and it is something I've been learning about recently. However, having the ability to set up a job, set up a connection, deploy that job, and automatically have the feedback on where your files are when they've been moved has made life five times easier.

It has had an effect on our organization when creating actionable data. It has decreased the time to resolve dramatically. Everywhere I've worked, having Control-M orchestrate those alerts has been invaluable.

Our internal customers and management really appreciate the ability to be proactive before things really devolve into a problem or a high-severity incident. We're trying to incorporate analytics and proactive notifications as much as possible to decrease our downtime dramatically.

It impacts our business service delivery speed. Within the past few years, we have taken projects that normally would have taken multiple months, but the duration came down to a couple of weeks. So, we've increased our productivity tenfold.

Its impact on the speed of our audit preparation process has been great. With some of the built-in tools and some of the built-in reporting, being able to pull that data at any given moment has aided audit and probably increased our personal response time tenfold. We're able to get reports and audit out to the requesters within a week, if not sooner. Without Control-M, it would typically take us at least a month or so to get that out.

It has dramatically improved our execution times. We're able to get solutions out the door much quicker. A lot of our automations have been built around that, and we're able to get valuable output relatively quickly. When developing a new solution, without having Control-M, we would spin our wheels trying to come up with something that could only do a fraction of what Control-M can do at this point. Especially for a new solution or a new execution, we would be looking at a couple of weeks if not a couple of a month or two to come up with something deliverable. With Control-M, we're able to get that down to a week or two.

What is most valuable?

Our ability to integrate with many different solutions has been invaluable. The new approach of the automation API and jobs-as-code is also valuable.

What needs improvement?

The biggest improvement they could have is better QA testing before releases come out the door.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using this solution for about 10 years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I love it. It is rock solid. It is very stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

There are no limits. You can easily scale up depending on your workload or whatever you need in a very short time. You can pretty much automate it at that point.

It is being used extensively in the organization. We do have multiple locations, but because we're using a web client, it is hard to say exactly how many end users are using it at this point. It is a company-wide solution. So, we probably have a couple of hundred users at this point.

How are customer service and support?

They're very responsive. I'd rate them a 10 out of 10.

How would you rate customer service and support?

Positive

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

I personally have always used Control-M as my primary. I do know that other companies have experimented in the past, but I've always come back to Control-M.

How was the initial setup?

I wasn't involved in the deployment. I always came on a little afterward.

In terms of maintenance, it is relatively maintenance-free besides the patches that come out. They come out pretty and frequently, but when they do, they're pretty comprehensive. Other than that, maintenance is pretty minimal. Because it is low maintenance, our engineering team does the maintenance when required.

What was our ROI?

We have absolutely seen an ROI. Over the last five years, I've heard we've done price analysis, especially with other tools. We always come out on top with Control-M. It always has the best price-to-performance ratio.

It is critical to our business. I don't know the facts and figures, but from anecdotes and talking to other management and up levels, I can say that it is considered a priceless solution in our environment.

If we no longer had Control-M, a lot of our most important pipelines would fall apart. Workflows would go unnoticed. The automation is so deeply integrated at this point that there's no telling what would break at this point. There may be things that we're not even thinking of.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

For the tooling that you get, the licensing is acceptable. It has competitive pricing, especially with all the value that you get out of it.

There are additional costs with some of the additional modules, but they are all electives. Out of the box, you get the standard Control-M experience and the standard license. They're not forcing some of the modules on you. If you decide that you do need them, you can always purchase those separately.

What other advice do I have?

I would advise working with the engineers, reading the documentation, and going into it expecting to set up high availability.

Control-M has been around a while. They're very quick to market, and they're very quick to adapt. At this point, they do have offerings, either on the way or recently released, that can support multiple cloud environments.

We are currently not using the Python Client, but that is on our board, and I do intend on investigating. We are utilizing some parts of the AWS integration.

I would rate it a 10 out of 10.

Disclosure: PeerSpot contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
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Buyer's Guide
Control-M
April 2024
Learn what your peers think about Control-M. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: April 2024.
767,496 professionals have used our research since 2012.
Sr. Automation Engineer at a computer software company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
Top 20Popular
Our developers use the automation API and Jobs-as-Code to kick off jobs without having to write something manually
Pros and Cons
  • "It provides a unified view where you can orchestrate and monitor all your application workloads and data pipelines. That's very important because with cloud, software as a service, edge computing, traditional data center, and legacy apps, there are all these environments. If you don't have that single pane of glass or that one place to look at, you're going to invest a lot of time and resources into tracking things down when they go wrong."
  • "They really need to work on improving the web interface, as there are still a lot of bugs... In general, they need to do a lot of work on shoring up their testing and quality assurance. A lot of bugs seem to make it into the product."

What is our primary use case?

The business services that Control-M supports for our organization include everything from finances, marketing, data analysis, big data, data lakes—pretty much everything.

We have it on-prem and we also use it in the cloud. We still have most of our components in the data center right now.

How has it helped my organization?

When it comes to data analytics, Control-M helps make sure that as we're ingesting data and running it, that the workflows are kicking off in the correct order, and that we're actually getting the data. It's also making sure we return data to the appropriate business units or partners. It definitely streamlines our data analytics. It has sped things up because we don't have to wait on humans anymore to kick things off.

Our line-of-business personnel use Control-M's web interfaces and it gives them a view, a red-light/green-light dashboard. They can see if things are behind or ahead. It helps them keep track of the stuff that's important to them without having to call other people or put in tickets.

In addition, the use of Control-M as part of our DevOps automation toolchains and leveraging of its “as-code” interfaces for developers has considerably sped up our ability to roll out new applications and application updates. It's also allowed our developers, even when they have one-off projects, to easily use the automation API and Jobs-as-Code to kick those off without having to write that kind of function by hand or find another tool. It has been a big part of our DevOps process.

We have also automated critical processes with Control-M. The top-three are 

  1. a number of financial processes
  2. data ingestion
  3. and what we call partner management. 

Those automations mean we get things done consistently and on time. It also lets us know if we're not going to meet our deadlines and enables us to be proactive instead of reactive.

By using Control-M 20’s Role-Based Administration feature, we have been able to decentralize teams to manage their own application workflow orchestration environments. That's important because it frees up resources. People can get things done more quickly without having to stop what they're doing. And it allows them to focus, instead of constantly being pulled in a thousand directions or having to call in different people for help. It helps eliminate tickets or requests to a Control-M administrator, and that frees up our operations personnel to focus on what's more important for the business. Instead of watching for and answering tickets, they're actually able to be proactive and look for potential bottlenecks or to help people enhance their processes.

Another benefit comes from using Control-M 20's Centralized Connection Profiles. Being able to store all connection profiles in a central database helps with efficiencies, with DevOps initiatives, and it helps with ownership.

The extended capabilities of version 20, especially the web interface, help because we don't have to deploy clients or maintain the clients. It lets pretty much anybody who wants to use it just fire up a web browser and use it. That's the biggest capability of version 20, for us.

Overall, Control-M lets us spot problems more quickly. And in terms of Service Level Operations performance, it helps because we now can be proactive instead of reactive. If we know that we're not going to meet an SLA, we can meet ahead of time instead of having to wait and see.

What is most valuable?

Among the most valuable features are

  • the measuring and monitoring of the SLAs, the service level agreements—they code in recovery actions for when things go wrong
  • the single pane of glass enables us to see everything, all the processes, in one place
  • the ability to integrate with all sorts of different platforms and services.

It provides a unified view where you can orchestrate and monitor all your application workloads and data pipelines. That's very important because with cloud, software as a service, edge computing, traditional data center, and legacy apps, there are all these environments. If you don't have that single pane of glass or that one place to look at, you're going to invest a lot of time and resources into tracking things down when they go wrong. You really need that single pane of glass to show you what's going on across all your disparate systems, in one location.

We also have Control-M for internal and external file transfers. It's really just a part of our normal, everyday procedures. It makes sure that they happen. It makes sure that we got the files. It makes sure that data has flowed back to the appropriate departments.

What needs improvement?

They really need to work on improving the web interface, as there are still a lot of bugs. 

Also, the new Helix Control-M version doesn't seem quite ready for prime time for many of us. 

In general, they need to do a lot of work on shoring up their testing and quality assurance. A lot of bugs seem to make it into the product.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using Control-M for about 21 years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It's a highly stable product. It has to be—it runs your business. It's very mature in that arena.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It's highly scalable, so as your enterprise grows it's very easy to continue adding in agents or to expand out your management platform, with little or no downtime.

We use Control-M for financial applications across the spectrum, including marketing, data analytics, data analysis, and partner management. We continue to grow and as new things come online we're adding them in.

They do a really good job in terms of how they expand the product and keep up with the times. It's very cloud-centric, but at the same time, it can also handle legacy-type stuff. Overall, they've done a very good job on that.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

What we had previously were all home-grown solutions. We switched to Control-M to get a grip on our environment, to have the single pane of glass to enable us to monitor and manage everything from one location. And the big thing that Control-M allows us to do now that we could not do previously is to orchestrate workflows across all types of disparate systems.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was straightforward. It was easy to get going, easy to install, easy to create workflows consistently. There wasn't a huge learning curve. We learned as we went, but it was pretty easy to learn the product.

Our deployment took about a month.

The integrated guides and how-to videos in the solution’s web interface, for helping get to full productivity with the solution, are very helpful. People watch them. They need to be a little more in-depth and they need more of them, but what they have is a good start.

We have about 120 people in our company who are actively using Control-M. They range from developers to operations personnel, financial analysts, marketing analysts, and data scientists. We have a team of three for day-to-day administration of Control-M but they do more than just Control-M.

What about the implementation team?

We worked with a partner to deploy Control-M. Our experience with them was very good.

What was our ROI?

We have definitely seen return on our investment in Control-M, many times over.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

It's an expensive product, there's no doubt about it. It's one of those solutions where you're paying upfront to reap the benefits down the road. You're going to spend a lot of money upfront, but the benefits you're going to get out of it are going to quickly pay for it. That's something people don't understand sometimes.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We looked at a few others including IBM's Tivoli and Computer Associates.

The biggest difference is that Control-M is a more mature and growing product. The other ones were very stale. They just didn't seem to be keeping up with the times. Also, Control-M requires a lot less administration than the other products did, and Control-M was a lot easier to learn than the others. The others had a very high learning curve.

What other advice do I have?

Look at Control-M from a high level, not only down to the details. See how it can benefit your company. Most companies have data centers, they use cloud, they use software as a service—they use a mixture. But even if you're 100 percent cloud, Control-M can still benefit you because it is going to give you that vision that you've never had before of what is going on in the company. And it's going to present it to you in a way that business owners and business management can understand. It's also going to allow you to do some amazing things with automation around the automation API and Jobs-as-Code. So instead of having all these siloed systems, it is really going to help you get many things under that one roof.

My biggest advice to anybody looking into this product, or any product like this is, is to do your due diligence and get your training. It's very important to have some sort of education on this going into it. That training could be formal training or it could be help from a Control-M partner for your implementation. You can get the easy stuff out of the product on day one, but to get to the things that are really going to save money and make you say, "Wow," that takes some knowledge.

The biggest thing I have learned from using Control-M is that you never know what you can automate until you try.

Disclosure: PeerSpot contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
PeerSpot user
Balabrahmam Chakka - PeerSpot reviewer
Integration Administrator at Sainsbury's Supermarkets Ltd
Real User
Top 10
Reduced the number of jobs that we run daily
Pros and Cons
  • "Control-M has helped us resolve issues 70% to 80% faster. It provides us with alerts instead of having someone go to that particular server and check the logs to determine where the issue is. We can simply click on the alert information, then everything is in front of us. This provides us with time savings, human effort savings, and process savings."
  • "Control-M reporting isn't that good. It is very limited. We would like the ability to create our own reports as well as the ability to publish dashboards in the cloud, which would help us. Improved reporting will help us determine statuses and get the answers that we need. However, I personally think BMC is not focusing on the reporting. I have even visited the BMC office in India, and asked, "Why haven't you improved the reporting?""

What is our primary use case?

I work for the second largest chain of supermarkets in the UK. We are running about 90% of our jobs through Control-M. This applies for jobs and scripts on-premises and in the cloud.

When we used Control-M version 7, we were just doing scheduling. When we moved to Control-M version 9 six months ago, we started using the cloud plugins, like AWS.

How has it helped my organization?

Control-M is business-critical for our operations. It does all our monitoring and tracking.

Our command center people watch the Control-M job status and alerts. Since the pandemic started, and we are working from home, we have been providing them with Self Service. We started this two or three months back. Now, they can watch the jobs and alerts through their mobile and iPads instead of logging into their laptops.

We set up a file transfer mechanism because this will be easier for Control-M to track end-to-end.

We use Control-M as part of our DevOps automation toolchains. We have a four-person team for Control-M. We help the DevOps team create new jobs. We assign a dedicated resource to understand their requirements and how they can be integrated with other jobs. Because Control-M works end-to-end, it is critical for our DevOps daily jobs.

We use Control-M to streamline our data and analytics projects. Control-M has helped improve our data transfers. If there are no security concerns, the data can directly link to downstream systems. We use Control-M to watch all the transfers of files to their targets.

What is most valuable?

All our Control-M alerts go to our internal automation.

It has two-way integration. We now have a ServiceNow integration. 

What needs improvement?

Control-M reporting isn't that good. It is very limited. We would like the ability to create our own reports as well as the ability to publish dashboards in the cloud, which would help us. Improved reporting will help us determine statuses and get the answers that we need. However, I personally think BMC is not focusing on the reporting. I have even visited the BMC office in India, and asked, "Why haven't you improved the reporting?"

There are some latency issues with jobs between on-premises and the cloud. BMC is helping a lot to check the imports and exports from version 7 to version 9, including the EM server and the mainframe.

Control-M could improve agentless connectivity a little more. We are using it almost 100% with agents, but when we start using agentless, Sainsbury's Bank has different security mechanisms and we cannot install Control-M. For example, the agentless connection fluctuates a lot, which triggers alerts.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have worked with Control-M for almost 10 years, since 2010.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability is very good. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scalability of the latest version is a drastic improvement compared to version 7.

How are customer service and technical support?

We are getting good help from them. When I use Support Central, I can also see tickets that have been created by my colleagues.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We currently have IBM TWS as a job scheduler, but they don't automate their ticketing. Whereas, Control-M has automatic ticketing. 

We are using TWS for mainframe data. We are looking to start moving all our TWS jobs to Control-M now that Control-M is in the cloud. We are looking at moving these jobs around September or October, then we will have 200,000 jobs daily in Control-M.

How was the initial setup?

We are trying to import from Control-M version 7 to Control-M version 9, but have experienced a major problem with its new features (database-related stuff). We are slowly fixing this as we go, with the help of BMC. Right now, we are doing this process step-by-step, but we can't upgrade everything to the latest version. We can only move everything to Control-M version 9.5.

Initially, we were first-timers doing the cloud. We had so many trials and errors. For importing, we created virtual machines in AWS and set up a lot of automation. However, we needed a static IP address for Control-M. So, we had to start from scratch to create new virtual machines with static IP addresses.

We are currently importing step-by-step. We still have two mainframe servers that we need to do and should be done by the end of August.

What was our ROI?

We have 70,000 jobs running daily. Control-M has reduced the number of jobs that we are running daily. We used to have more than 500,000 jobs running daily. This is very important to us.

Control-M has helped us resolve issues 70% to 80% faster. It provides us with alerts instead of having someone go to that particular server and check the logs to determine where the issue is. We can simply click on the alert information, then everything is in front of us. This provides us with time savings, human effort savings, and process savings.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

You can't compare other tools to Control-M, because Control-M is further ahead of any other tool.

What other advice do I have?

Once a year, as part of our disaster recovery, we restart Control-M and see what happens. Next, we will run those jobs through Control-M. Then, we will show management, "This is what happens if you use Control-M and if you don't use Control-M."

There are some areas of our business where we don't have Control-M. When we start doing those areas through Control-M, it will be an end-to-end solution.

We don't use Control-M for file transfers. We have proposed using Control-M for file transfer with version 9, which is in the cloud.

In the future, we will give control to the DevOps team through BMC AMI Change Manager. They will create the jobs, then send them to our BMC Control-M team for review, testing, and promotion to production. However, adopting this will take some time.

I would rate Control-M as a nine out of 10.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Public Cloud

If public cloud, private cloud, or hybrid cloud, which cloud provider do you use?

Amazon Web Services (AWS)
Disclosure: PeerSpot contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
PeerSpot user
PeerSpot user
Sr Integration Developer at a computer software company with 5,001-10,000 employees
MSP
Top 20
Provides good visibility into our jobs, reduces workload, and is easy to use
Pros and Cons
  • "I find Control-M for SAP and Control-M for Informatica good. You can connect to the Linux or Windows servers, and you can run multiple jobs."
  • "They can give more predefined plug-ins so that we don't have to create them."

What is our primary use case?

Control-M is a scheduler tool, and we have multiple batch jobs that are currently running in our organization. 

We are currently one version behind the latest one. The latest version is 9.0.19.200, which also has Control-M Python Client, and we are planning to go for the latest version.

We currently have it on-premises on the Windows platform. We are planning to migrate to AWS.

How has it helped my organization?

We have multiple technologies, and we have different types of jobs, such as Informatica jobs, SAP jobs, database jobs, web service jobs, etc. In such an environment, from the support perspective, usually, we need to log in to multiple technologies and check if a job is executed or not and if there is any error, which is not easy. Control-M acts as a one-stop shop to check the status of all jobs. The maintenance or support team members can easily log into Control-M and verify the job status.

It has been helpful in reducing the burden on our resources during the weekend. It has also been helpful in reducing delays and data mismatches.

It is easy to create, integrate, and automate data pipelines with Control-M. You can drop and drag whatever you want and then provide a time for the scheduler. There are many inbuilt plug-ins, such as the Informatica plug-in and the SAP plug-in. We are using these plugins. It is pretty easy and simple.

It allows us to ingest and process data from different platforms. For example, you can have a flow that starts with a REST call. Once that is processed, the records are picked from the database and sent to SAP. You can easily design a pipeline workflow and schedule jobs. You can also specify the dependencies. For example, you can specify to execute Job B when Job A is completed or execute Job C when Job A and B are completed. There are multiple options in Control-M to ingest and not miss data from any platform.

Testing is easy. You can have multiple environments, such as development environment, testing environment, staging environment, and production environments. You can easily test your workflows, and you can easily promote from one environment to another environment. You can promote from the development environment to the staging and production environment. There is an option called Promote, and you can use that option to promote to whichever environment you want.

We are an enterprise, and when the data moves from one technology to another technology, multiple teams get involved, which requires multiple communication exchanges between the teams. Sometimes, there might also be delays in getting the data from one team. With Control-M, we can create a workflow where we can specify to proceed for job B after job A. There is no need for a team to send emails to another team. There is no delay. Team A doesn't have to inform team B to run a job because otherwise, there will be a delay. Control-M eliminates such issues. It has improved our business service delivery speed.

It has good reporting capabilities. You can get a report of the status of all your jobs. You can see how many jobs are pending and how many are processed. You can also share these reports with the management. There is also a URL that you can give to your management or customers. They can check the job status, and they will have knowledge about the status and any abnormalities.

Automation of Control-M has improved the speed of process execution. No manual intervention is required using Control-M. You don't need to have a resource waiting to do a job at a certain time. You can automatically schedule a job, even over the weekend. It results in faster speed and better utilization of resources. You can also integrate it with other solutions. For example, if a job fails, a ticket can automatically be created in ServiceNow or BMC Remedy and assigned to a specific group so that they can look into it.

What is most valuable?

I find Control-M for SAP and Control-M for Informatica good. You can connect to the Linux or Windows servers, and you can run multiple jobs. 

Control-M Managed File Transfer is also a very nice feature for transferring multiple files.

It meets our requirements, and it is simple and easy to use. 

What needs improvement?

They can give more predefined plug-ins so that we don't have to create them. 

The security layer for Control-M MFT can be better. 

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been using Control-M for the past six years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Its stability is good.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Its scalability is good. We would like to increase its usage, but its price is a challenge.

How are customer service and support?

Their technical support is very good. They also have a community portal. I would rate them a nine out of ten.

How would you rate customer service and support?

Positive

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We didn't use any other solution previously.

How was the initial setup?

I am responsible for installing and managing Control-M. Its initial setup was straightforward. It took about nine hours to get it installed and up and running. The number of people required for deployment and management of jobs depends on the scope of your operations. If you have 50,000 jobs a day, two people are enough.

Its maintenance is handled by the server team. We have it on-premises, and they take care of the patches and upgrades. If it was on the cloud, the upgrades would be done automatically.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

Its pricing is a little bit high. They could provide an enterprise-level license for an unlimited number of jobs. Currently, it is based on the number of jobs, and if you exceed the number of jobs, there are charges. For example, if your license is for 3,000 jobs per day, but you run 3,050 jobs, you will have to pay for the extra 50 jobs. They charge $120 per job. So, it is too costly.

What other advice do I have?

To someone who is looking for a process automation solution but is concerned that Control-M isn’t modern enough to work with multiple cloud-based data sources and tools, I would say that Control-M is the best option even when working with cloud-based data sources. 

I would rate it a nine out of ten. Control-M is the best solution to replace any enterprise solution if its price suits you.

Disclosure: PeerSpot contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
PeerSpot user
Matt L. - PeerSpot reviewer
Batch Analyst at Ferrellgas Partners, L.P.
Real User
Top 10
Self Service allows end-users to do their own scheduling and frees up IT resources
Pros and Cons
  • "Control-M is excellent when it comes to building, scheduling, managing, and monitoring production workflows. Those workflows are of very high importance to our operations."
  • "I've never been very successful when researching ways to utilize Batch Impact Manager. It's a tool to set up dummy jobs in your job flow and it's supposed to come back to you and say, 'Okay, for this job flow, you are 50 percent complete at a certain point in time'...I would like things like Batch Impact Manager to be a little more user-friendly, out-of-the-box."

What is our primary use case?

We use it for workload automation and it's the primary application tool that we use. We use the Monitoring domain and the Planning domain daily, as well as tools and Configuration Manager as needed.

Our product support team installs it in our Citrix servers so that people can log in to Citrix, choose the application, and use it. But I, and the team that does the batch scheduling, also have our own local clients installed on our machines.

How has it helped my organization?

You can do the same thing in many different ways, but Control-M allows you to identify and improve any gaps in batch processing. It makes people aware of things through notifications and alerts. You want to be on top of things if jobs are not running correctly, are running long, are not executing, or end "not okay." There are various ways to set up having that information sent to the operator or the individual support teams.

Also, the Self Service feature allows end-users to do their own scheduling. That frees up resources like me, and is a huge benefit of Control-M. There are huge possibilities with Control-M for helping to give business users visibility and control over their jobs while freeing up IT personnel. Some companies that I've worked for have used the Self Service a lot more than others, and some places haven't used it at all, which is something I don't quite understand. There's an opportunity to free up your IT resources if you can get your users used to scheduling their own jobs.

What is most valuable?

Monitoring and planning are critical to my day-to-day work. Monitoring is for the active schedule and Planning is where you make scheduling changes on a more permanent basis. My roles have spanned multiple functions. I've been an operator, where you have to watch the active schedule in the Monitoring domain. I've been a scheduler, where you use Planning and do your work based on scheduling requests. And I've been an admin, where you use Configuration Manager and make sure that the product is installed and behaving properly. All three are equally important.

Control-M is excellent when it comes to building, scheduling, managing, and monitoring production workflows. Those workflows are of very high importance to our operations.

What needs improvement?

I've never been very successful when researching ways to utilize Batch Impact Manager. It's a tool to set up dummy jobs in your job flow and it's supposed to come back to you and say, "Okay, for this job flow, you are 50 percent complete at a certain point in time."

I've had varying levels of success with it, and it's not because Batch Impact Manager doesn't work. It's just that I don't have the knowledge to make it work. I would like things like Batch Impact Manager to be a little more user-friendly, out-of-the-box.

Also, BMC has a ticketing tool called Remedy, but very few places that I am aware of use it. They use solutions like Jira and ServiceNow. It would be nice if it were easier to use those solutions with Control-M. I don't have any firsthand experience where somebody comes in and says, "Okay, now JIRA and Control-M can communicate with each other. And if you want a failed job to automatically open a Jira ticket, this is how you do it." I don't believe that exists or, if it does, it is not simple.

Another point is that, for a while, they were pushing a Control-M mobile app, but I haven't seen anything about it for a very long time. Maybe it was scrapped. Because I wear multiple hats in my organization, I would love it. I would love to be able to go to a mobile app, log in and see a scheduler, go to a job, and see what it's waiting on. I would be interested in the ability to support things via mobile.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've worked in IT for 30 years and I have worked with Control-M for more than 12 years. I'm not interested in learning another tool. I'm all-in for Control-M.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability is an eight out 10. It's good.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It seems like Control-M can handle just about anything.

How are customer service and support?

Their technical support is okay. Sometimes, just to get them to look at it, you have to run a utility called data collector, and you have to give them all this information just to engage them. That can be burdensome.

Although I haven't been involved in the initial stages of a Control-M implementation, I have contacted BMC's services team. Sometimes they're very responsive and sometimes they're not. They're not terrible, but sometimes it's tough to engage the support team for more general questions. 

But if I'm doing an upgrade or something related to the product itself, they seem to be pretty responsive.

How would you rate customer service and support?

Neutral

How was the initial setup?

I've never had to set up a Control-M environment. But there is a certain level of complexity when you do your upgrade, even though they market it as "upgrade in place." As long as you're on version 9, you can go from 18 to 19 to 20.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

 The only question about adding plugins is, "Does it affect our support cost?" I was informed fairly recently that BMC changed its support structure. Instead of a tier, based on the number of the jobs, now they charge based on endpoints.

Before I download a new plugin, I want to make sure that it doesn't add a new endpoint and require us to pay more and not be in compliance with our current support agreement.

What other advice do I have?

There are a lot of schedulers out there. I don't have firsthand experience with many of them, but I know from working in the field, production support, that BMC is at the top.

Using Control-M to manage and orchestrate workloads across our enterprise is critical.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: PeerSpot contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
PeerSpot user
Control-M Administrator at Cognizant
Real User
User-friendly GUI, responsive support, and the BIM feature helps us meet our SLAs
Pros and Cons
  • "BIM is helpful because we do not miss any SLAs, as we get to know the issue well in advance. It is the topmost service that has helped us provide better solutions for the business."
  • "The reporting functionality needs a lot of work. We have faced problems with different versions where we run the right report, but it gives us blank entries. Then, when we run the same report again, it gives the correct data."

What is our primary use case?

Our organization has multiple projects that use Control-M, and I support the banking domain. In the past, I have worked on projects for retail organizations and medical companies.

We have approximately 150 applications in our current project. These include Loanpower, erwin, and OpenLink.

How has it helped my organization?

With the use of Control-M, our SLAs are met more often. If there is an issue, we identify it in advance, before the problem occurs.

Control-M helps us in terms of automation because it has various scripts in different formats. We can run a Python program or a shell script, and these allow us to automate almost everything.

This product helps to secure our business because we can restrict users.

We have automated several critical processes with Control-M. One is used during patching, where we log in and type one command that will stop and start the services on all of the servers that we have. We have approximately 10 servers in production and five in non-production, so it's a lot of work to restart all of the servers. We also have automation that performs a health check. It runs every day at a scheduled time and will delete all jobs in production that are older than five days. Similarly, we have jobs that check to ensure certain conditions are being met and will check the various alerts that can occur.

Automating these processes has improved our business because every morning, we have to send a status update to show that the components are working. This is something that we used to do manually. We would log into CCM and check everything. Now, we have automated that using a script, wherein it sends the status email automatically to whichever business users request it. It has helped to reduce a lot of manual activity.

Control-M has definitely helped us to resolve issues faster. I estimate that the improvement is between 60% and 70%.

Our service-level operations performance has improved by 80% with the use of Control-M.

What is most valuable?

The GUI is very user-friendly. It provides us with a single view and we have everything in the same UI. This is very important because we don't spend a lot of time switching tabs or opening Control-M for different purposes. We have a single GUI open and it saves a lot of time.

Two really helpful features are Forecast and Business Impact Manager (BIM).

BIM is helpful because we do not miss any SLAs, as we get to know the issue well in advance. It is the topmost service that has helped us provide better solutions for the business.

Forecast is useful in terms of patching, etc, because whenever we are looking for downtime or any team is looking for downtime, it's easy for us to use Forecast to find it.

Self-service is helpful and our business users appreciate it because they don't have to have Control-M installed on their machine. They can log in using the web portal.

What needs improvement?

The reporting functionality needs a lot of work. We have faced problems with different versions where we run the right report, but it gives us blank entries. Then, when we run the same report again, it gives the correct data. We have spoken with Customer Care and some of the issues are fixed in the latest version, 9.20.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using Control-M for 11 years and my company has been using it for longer than that.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

This is a pretty stable solution. We have not had any downtime.

A couple of times, the agent has gone down unexpectedly. However, in terms of the EM and server, it's pretty stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Our organization is pretty big, with approximately 250,000 employees, and we have multiple projects that use Control-M. We have approximately 150 applications in our current project, and there are about 175 employees that are actively using Control-M. That is across three different countries.

It is easy to scale. It can handle a lot of job flows and it's easy to create multiple jobs to run at the same time. We are expanding in terms of jobs for the same application because they have a lot of upgrades going on at the application level. 

We are not planning to expand the number of applications in our project as of now. We do have requests, but it's a slow process. We can add perhaps five or six applications a year.

Overall, we have no problems in terms of scalability. 

How are customer service and technical support?

When we can't find a solution to an issue, we reach out to BMC customer support and they respond almost immediately. Overall, the technical support team is very good and I would rate them a nine or ten out of ten.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We did not migrate to Control-M from a competing solution. Some of our clients, although not my current project, migrated to Control-M from different products. The reasons for changing products are the additional features available in Control-M, as well as the ease of use. Also, some people are more confident in the security that Control-M provides, compared to other tools on the market.

Personally, I started my career with Control-M and have been using it ever since.

In the company, we have a couple of clients who use IBM Tivoli Workload Scheduler (TWS), AutoSys, and Stonebranch. However, the majority of our clients use Control-M. The choice of solution stems from requirements and input from the client.

One of the reasons that some clients are not using Control-M is because of the cost. For a client with 5,000 or more jobs, they definitely implement Control-M. However, if they are running only 200 or 300 jobs in a small environment, there are other native tools available.

How was the initial setup?

I was not part of the implementation at my company but I have implemented several Control-M projects. The initial setup is straightforward.

First, we download the files from the BMC site and then start the installation. This involves running the setup files and if there is any error, you have knowledge base articles and you also have AMIGO support if you enroll in it.

The deployment can be completed in a day or two, including the Enterprise Manager (EM), servers, and agents. There are also conversion tools that are available to assist with creating jobs.

Our implementation strategy began with installing the Enterprise Manager first, and then the server, and then the agents. We would raise a support ticket so that whenever we had any issues, we could reach out to them.

I did not look at the interactive guides or videos that Control-M provides for reducing time to full productivity. I had all of the documentation handy but I did not refer to any of the videos.

What about the implementation team?

Our in-house team is responsible for deployment.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

Control-M is priced accordingly for larger environments. It is expensive for smaller environments with only a few hundred jobs running.

There are two different types of licenses available. The first is based on the number of jobs that we run per day, and the other is based on the number of agents that we install. My current project has a contract for five years. During the first two years, we are allowed to run any number of jobs using any number of agents. However, in the last three years, we have to stick to whatever is defined in the contract.

In past versions, BIM and Forecast were separate components that were available at an additional cost. Since version 9, however, everything is included and there are no costs in addition to the standard licensing fees.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

For my current project, the client has always used Control-M.

What other advice do I have?

The latest version of Control-M is 9.20 but we are working with 9.18 because our client has certain servers where the OS is not compatible with 9.20. It is running on Linux machines and at this point, our client hasn't given us approval for the OS upgrade.

Our business users don't typically use Control-M. They have access to it but only use it when a critical chain is stuck and they want to check it themselves. They can use self-service for this, although most of the time, they don't.

An example of why they would use self-service is when a critical batch has failed and is stuck for a long time, and they want to see the approximate time that it will be completed. Also, during an audit, they can use self-service to see which users have certain access, such as production access or write permissions.

The Control-M users in our company have different roles. We have administrators, and we have people who specialize in migration. We also have people who look into scheduling and we have a team that just takes care of monitoring.

The number of people that we require for the day-to-day administration depends on the size of the project. In my current project, we have approximately 8,000 jobs actively running. We have approximately 17,000 configured. In our L1 team, we have eleven people, and we have eight members for each of our L2 and L3 teams.

We do not use the Control-M integrated file transfer capability in our workflows, although we do use the File Watcher feature. We have a tool from Axway called SecureTransport, where they handle the file transfer, but we can define this as part of a Control-M job.

The biggest lesson that I have learned from using Control-M is that anything can be automated. You can control various applications and it is simple to schedule jobs for products like SAP and databases.

My advice for anybody who is considering Control-M is that it has a wide variety of features compared to other tools. It is flexible, easy to use, and the web portal makes it simple for business users or application teams to access it without having to install it on a Windows server or a Citrix platform. 

I would rate this solution a nine out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: PeerSpot contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor. The reviewer's company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner
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DevOps Expert at Saint-Gobain ADFORS CZ s.r.o.
Real User
With workflow capabilities, a successful job can call another job, while a failed job is restarted and we are notified
Pros and Cons
  • "The unified view where you can define, orchestrate, and monitor applications, workflows, and data pipelines is important because we have more than one team working on Control-M. We have a support team, a job-creation team, and a SAP team. We can all work together on it. It avoids anyone from working on his part and not using the latest modifications."
  • "I would like to have a web version of Control-M to replace the client. Currently, our support and jobs-creation teams are using the client and that needs to be installed on a PC. It's very heavy, consuming a lot of resources compared to the web portal. I know that they're trying to improve the client with the latest version, but for me, there hasn't been enough improvement yet."

What is our primary use case?

We started to use Control-M in 2019 with the MFT (Managed File Transfer) module. Last year, we also started to use Control-M for SAP jobs.

How has it helped my organization?

Our transfer processes with MFT from Control-M, are quicker and safer now because we have implemented a lot of rules. For example, it helps balance jobs. Also, there are workflow capabilities, so that if a job succeeds it can call another job. And in case of failure, it can restart the job and warn us by email or by a Teams message. That kind of warning for the support team means we can address problems before the business complains. These are benefits we did not have before Control-M. Improvements to data transfers via Control-M are on the order of 80 percent.

Issue resolution, with Control-M in place, is about 90 percent faster, because most of the issues are resolved without intervention. It has also helped improve Service Level Operations performance by between 80 and 90 percent.

In terms of automating critical processes with Control-M, it's not only for transfer jobs but we have some applications that need to be restarted every week for performance reasons. Instead of having someone connecting on Sunday to do that, we can do it automatically with Control-M. These are OS jobs and it's very critical for us to restart them.

The kinds of things that Control-M is allowing us to do now that we couldn't do with our homemade solution are in terms of physical operations, the monitoring through the dashboard, and the reporting. With our previous solution we didn't have any reporting, but now we can export reports to PDF and share them with the business. We also have Control-M/Forecast to plan the maintenance of our system and to know which systems and jobs will be impacted during a maintenance period.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature of Control-M is the collaboration. We can all work together on it and have a better view of things with the dashboard, and that's true even for business users. The unified view where you can define, orchestrate, and monitor applications, workflows, and data pipelines is important because we have more than one team working on Control-M. We have a support team, a job-creation team, and a SAP team. We can all work together on it. It avoids anyone from working on his part and not using the latest modifications. In case there is an issue, we know who made the mistake, and we can also roll back the mistake. That is very good.

Our line-of-business personnel use Control-M's web interface. We have tried the mobile application, but we haven't used it enough. The web interface is very good. Previously, a business user would ask us, "What about my file?" Now that we have Control-M, they are up to date on it. The self-service portal is very helpful because it gives them a view of the latest version of the interface and they can consult it without having to ask us every morning about a given operation.

What needs improvement?

I would like to have a web version of Control-M to replace the client. Currently, our support and jobs-creation teams are using the client and that needs to be installed on a PC. It's very heavy, consuming a lot of resources compared to the web portal. I know that they're trying to improve the client with the latest version, but for me, there hasn't been enough improvement yet. I think their roadmap shows that there will not be a new version next year, due to the crisis. I think the next major version will only come out in two years.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using Control-M for two years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It's very stable. In the last year, there have only been two issues. One was our fault, due to our configuration. The other was because of the Control-M application. We had to call support to get them to solve it. But overall, it's a very stable application.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scalability of Control-M is very good.

We plan to expand the jobs Control-M is running, including operating system jobs, and then maybe database jobs such as SQL Server and Oracle. Currently, we have more than 2,100 jobs and we are planning to have 30,000 within two years.

In terms of the number of our employees who are using Control-M, we have about 40 admin users, including on some support teams, our SAP team, and our job-creation team. On the business side, we may have about 15 users. For day-to-day administration of Control-M we need three to five people.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We started with Control-M to replace our file exchange solution, which was a homemade solution. Our needs were growing and growing and our solution was not enough to support them.

How was the initial setup?

For the MFT part, the initial deployment took about four months because we had to convert all our jobs and all our scripts to Control-M. It was not easy because we had a homemade solution, so there was no conversion tool for it. That meant we had to do it manually, with some scripting on our side.

In terms of our deployment strategy, for SAP we started with one SAP system from among the many we have. We started with a complex one, which was Redwood. The version of Redwood we had was not supported by the Control-M importing tool. Again, we had to do it on our side without a conversion tool.

What about the implementation team?

I was the project leader for the implementation of Control-M in our organization. We brought in an external company to help us install the solution. Our experience with that company, to be honest, was not good. We have now changed to a better one. We now work with Ogchee.

We have had a person from Ogchee working with us, full-time, for a few months. He is here to help us and to support the application. But we also worked before with BMC support, and it was okay.

What was our ROI?

We have definitely seen return on our investment with Control-M. The benefits are very good.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We did not really look at other options because we had some good information from an external partner about Control-M and that is why we went directly to Control-M.

What other advice do I have?

Don't hesitate to use Control-M, because there are a lot of benefits for your everyday work, especially the collaboration, scalability, and the visibility from the tool.

I would rate Control-M a nine out of 10. The one missing point is because the client is not that mature.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: PeerSpot contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
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Buyer's Guide
Download our free Control-M Report and get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions.
Updated: April 2024
Buyer's Guide
Download our free Control-M Report and get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions.