IT Central Station is now PeerSpot: Here's why
Krystle Brown - PeerSpot reviewer
Director of IT at Navigator Credit Union
Real User
Top 20
We don't have to rely on somebody to manually do the same process over and over again, risking human error
Pros and Cons
  • "The most valuable feature is the automation in general."
  • "The FICS integration is a little bit clunky. We've had some tickets with their support team, and sometimes they couldn't figure it out, but that probably has more to do with FICS than with OpCon."

What is our primary use case?

We automate everything we can with our core banking software, including daily and nightly processing and any other recurring IT jobs that can be automated. A lot of our employees access OpCon via its self-service feature. We're a financial institution, so various business units use it, including some people in our mortgage or insurance department. It's mostly used to start processes or run reports on demand and that sort of thing. It's a set-it-and-forget-it solution. 

How has it helped my organization?

The most significant benefit is time savings, which translates into money savings. It's hard to quantify how much time we've saved. When we first installed it, we could maybe calculate that, but at this point, we rely on it so much that I have no idea how many person-hours it would take somebody to do these tasks anymore. 

With the processing time freed up, we could focus more on the other business units to implement what they need and work on other special projects. In general, it made us more productive while reducing calls to our IT help desk. The users can do what they need to do without opening a ticket with our IT department or waiting on IT resources to be available. They know they will use the same criteria, so there will be consistency in what they do.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature is the automation in general. We don't have to rely on somebody to manually do the same process over and over again, risking human error. We like the consistency. It's the same way every time. Moreover, it integrates well with our core software.

What needs improvement?

I'm sure there's plenty that could be improved, but some of the biggest pain points aren't necessarily a fault of OpCon itself. For example, the FICS integration is a little bit clunky. We've had some tickets with their support team, and sometimes they couldn't figure it out, but that probably has more to do with FICS than with OpCon. If there were room for improvement on the SMA side, it would probably be cross-training. They have a person, maybe two, who deals with FICS. Nobody else knows it.

Buyer's Guide
OpCon
July 2022
Learn what your peers think about OpCon. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: July 2022.
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For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using OpCon for probably four or five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

OpCon is stable. We've only had issues with problems we probably should've known how to prevent, so the solution itself is stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

OpCon is highly scalable. We don't necessarily have a need to scale it beyond what we have now, but it's easy to see it scaling up. However, we don't have any plans to scale up significantly. We'll scale but not a massive amount.

How are customer service and support?

I'd rate SMA support an eight out of 10. We haven't had to contact them much aside from FICS integration and support. If it's a simple issue, they can knock it out without any problem. However, when we've called with more complex problems, we haven't gotten those fully resolved. 

How would you rate customer service and support?

Positive

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

I think our previous solution was called AutoMate. It wasn't nearly as robust as this, and it relied on on-screen scrapes, etc. It was pretty dissimilar to this, and we retired it as soon as we had this in place. 

How was the initial setup?

The setup was relatively straightforward, but we had someone from SMA on-site, so they walked us through it and showed us how to automate some of our more complex processes. I think the whole setup took two weeks. 

For maintenance, it only takes two or three people in IT. Everybody else has access to it, but we have a core group that maintains it, and then there are around half a dozen to a dozen self-service business users. But from a day-to-day perspective, it's low maintenance. If you're not changing anything, you don't have to do anything. If you're setting up new processes, that takes a little work, but you don't have to babysit the solution.

What was our ROI?

I'm certain we've seen an ROI. I haven't run the numbers myself, but I'm sure it's probably reduced the number of full-time employees we need by at least one person.

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

The licensing and pricing model changed this last year, so we're getting used to that. I think it's ultimately going to end up being more expensive. It depends on the scale of the business. It used to be per machine, so we had X number of devices licensed. Now it's not. If we had a lot of machines, the new license might have decreased the cost. Unfortunately, we didn't see the same gains. There wasn't any consolidation of licensing with the shift.

What other advice do I have?

I rate OpCon eight out 10. If you're considering it, I don't think you'll regret it.

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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Sr. Systems Programmer at a financial services firm with 201-500 employees
Real User
Top 20
Automation reduces human error and the human resources needed to resolve those errors
Pros and Cons
  • "For us, the most valuable feature of the solution is the file transfer piece and being able to automate the moving of files around between our various vendors. It reduces the time involved versus somebody having to individually move the files around."
  • "There are some limitations in the actual jobs that are created and how you're able to rename files. Suppose you're bringing in, say, 10, 15, or 20 reports from a core system, and you're using an "asterisk character" to identify files. For example, if you're grabbing files that start with this, end with this, but the characters in between could be different, it has to retain that same name in the destination. It won't allow you to rename them with a date stamp or the like."

What is our primary use case?

We use it a lot for file transfers from SFTP sites down to our network folders, and we also use it for other kicking off processes in our core platforms. We also run some PowerShell scripting through it. It does quite a bit.

We're looking at eventually using it for some Active Directory pieces, but we haven't gotten there yet. 

How has it helped my organization?

The automation of processes has taken tasks that would have been done manually by somebody and moved them to a platform without us having to think about them. The time savings in not having to manually do those types of processes on a daily basis means we're much more productive and able to provide front-end staff with better solutions than we were able to before.

It has also reduced human error, and that helps save time for our IT team because there is less time spent having to figure out what somebody might have potentially done wrong. It saves us about a full-time employee's worth of time per week.

And with IT time freed up, our company has been able to move forward with other business needs. It used to mainly be a programmer who was in charge of figuring out the human errors. Having reduced the time needed for that, we've been able to move a full-time programmer into just doing programming, and that has been helpful.

What is most valuable?

For us, the most valuable feature of the solution is the file transfer piece and being able to automate the moving of files around between our various vendors. It reduces the time involved versus somebody having to individually move the files around. It has reduced what we would have done manually at one point by 98 percent. 

What needs improvement?

There are some limitations in the actual jobs that are created and how you're able to rename files. Suppose you're bringing in, say, 10, 15, or 20 reports from a core system, and you're using an "asterisk character" to identify files. For example, if you're grabbing files that start with this, end with this, but the characters in between could be different, it has to retain that same name in the destination. It won't allow you to rename them with a date stamp or the like.

We've gotten around that by writing PowerShell scripts that run after the files have been transferred, but it would be very nice if it had just the raw, built-in ability to rename multiple files with a date stamp added to them.

I've been pretty much been able to accomplish everything else with what it provides out-of-the-box.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using OpCon for about two years.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It's very scalable. What we use it for, overall, is probably significantly smaller than some other larger corporate clients do. But in terms of the cost and what we get out of it and the knowledge that if we ever do need to increase the number of jobs that can be run, there is a wide range in what it can handle.

There is definitely room to grow. We currently have about 400 jobs that run per day. When we get closer to month's end, it probably jumps up closer to 600 or 650 jobs that run in a day.

How are customer service and technical support?

I have used SMA's technical support on occasion, both for issues that have arisen and for general support to help to finish off the creation of complex jobs with their Professional Services team. I've never had an issue with getting a hold of somebody or getting any issues resolved in a very timely manner.

What was our ROI?

We have definitely seen return on our investment in time and efficiency and freeing up staff to provide better support to our employees and the membership that we serve.

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

The pricing is very reasonable.

What other advice do I have?

The biggest lesson I have learned from using OpCon is just the sheer flexibility that these types of systems make possible. They've built a system that gives you a lot of capabilities out-of-the-box, but that also gives you some of those extra pieces where you can bring in outside tools to make it even better.

It provides a lot of power. Even though there is that limitation I mentioned in terms of being able to rename files on multiple downloads at the same time, there is the built-in ability to run scripting as well, whether they are Visual Basic, PowerShell, or Python scripts. It gives you a lot of tools. You can have it do an initial process and then launch one of those scripts to do something that is not inherently built-in.

There are about six of us who utilize it on a daily basis. Most are programmers, but we also have a couple of our service desk guys who work in it too.

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
Buyer's Guide
OpCon
July 2022
Learn what your peers think about OpCon. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: July 2022.
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TitleApplication Specialist II at a financial services firm with 201-500 employees
Real User
Reasonably priced with helpful technical support and great self-service features
Pros and Cons
  • "With a simple click of a button in self-service, the department or the user can complete his/her job."
  • "I would like to see OpCon being accessible using a mobile app."

What is our primary use case?

Job automation is the primary use of this solution. Processing reports, running batch jobs, processing ACH, and all other daily operations are things we have automated using OpCon

Without this automation, I am not sure how possible it would be for the company to finish the nightly processing by doing it manually. Working 8 hours a day is not enough for us to complete our daily process. 

In addition, we are using OpCon for testing our Dev and QA environment.                                            

How has it helped my organization?

OpCon is automating everything for us. I cannot imagine working without OpCon to process our daily operations. 

With OpCon, we can still do other operational tasks, troubleshooting, projects, research, etc. Without OpCon, we will be up and working until the wee hours of the morning. We are only checking our OpCon if there is a failure. Without a failure notification, we are confident that OpCon is doing its job for the company in order to process our day-to-day operations.

What is most valuable?

Self-service is one of the features I like the most. The self-service feature allows us to give control to the users to execute the job we have set up for them. This eliminated the requests, either through a ticketing system or email, to run a specific schedule for the department. 

With a simple click of a button in self-service, the department or the user can complete his/her job. Users are loving this feature, too. They are liking the option that they have control over their process.        

What needs improvement?

I would like to see OpCon being accessible using a mobile app. This will increase the convenience for the administrator. Imagine it is a weekend and you are on call. A failure email was received. You will then need to grab your laptop, connect to VPN, and access the application to find out what is going on. If you are somewhere else, you will need to bring your laptop with you all the time. If the job can be fixed with few clicks, a mobile app will help the administrators to fix the job right away even if you do not have your laptop with you. 

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using OpCon Enterprise Manager since I joined the IT team last 2012. Even before I joined the team, the company was using OpCon Enterprise Manager.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

If you set your schedule right, you do not have to think about it until a failure occurs. The stability is good. The failure occurs mostly because the file that is being expected is not yet ready from the Core side or from the vendor side. 

The stability of OpCon is 100% stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Any organization size can be managed by OpCon. Whether you have one product, one staging area, and one QA or multiple staging and multiple QAs, you can easily connect them and push anything into production with few simple clicks. 

How are customer service and technical support?

I do not have anything negative to say about their customer service or technical support. So far, all of them are so helpful. They will even send a follow-up email before closing the ticket. 

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

This is my first job scheduler/job automation application.

How was the initial setup?

When I started here, the OpCon was in production already. I am not sure about the complexity of the setup.

What about the implementation team?

When I started here, the OpCon was in production already. I am not sure how the application got installed. 

What was our ROI?

I do not have the numbers, but definitely, our ROI for having OpCon is high. To give an example, we are only two personnel on a team. We can manage the daily operations, attend to any system issues, do projects, and manage the core system ourselves.

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

Their setup cost, pricing, and licensing are fair. SMA Technologies will not charge you too much. I have the experience that SMA tailored the licensing for us according to our average yearly usage. 

What other advice do I have?

If you want to increase your daily efficiencies, consider OpCon. Give them a try and you will notice the difference from Day 1. Ther support is outstanding. You can call them 24/7/365. They value their SLAs. SMA staff are very friendly. 

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
PeerSpot user
reviewer1657857 - PeerSpot reviewer
IT Manager at Pioneer Federal Credit Union
Real User
Top 5
A powerful product that helps reduce human error with great technical support available
Pros and Cons
  • "Often times there are criteria that cannot be determined by the system, which allows a human to make the determination and use the Self-Service Solution Manager to trigger a job."
  • "The products are extremely powerful and capable. Anytime you have such capability, the programming/configuration that goes into making it work can be complicated."

What is our primary use case?

The primary use case for us is automation. This platform has the ability to automate tasks between different operating systems (AIX, Linux, Windows, Apple). We use the products to automate tasks that interact with the Federal Reserve Bank, downloading files to be processed into our core banking solution, which is in an AIX-based environment. 

The system will also move human-readable report files to a Windows-based server, for reporting and historical-based purposes. The Self-Service Solution Manager allows users to initiate a task after other criteria are met even when that criteria cannot be determined by the automation system. 

How has it helped my organization?

Creating automation enables users to put their time and effort into areas more important than mundane tasks. In addition, automation reduces errors, by removing human mistakes. Automation tasks can be scheduled around the clock, so tasks can be set to run in the middle of the night (when system resources are more available or will less likely cause an impact to users). 

Errors can be reported in a variety of ways. We can set errors to be reported via text message (SMS) if the error is critically urgent or via email for errors less critical and time-sensitive. 

What is most valuable?

Self-Service Solution Manager enables automation to be triggered by a human, but still provides the benefits of reducing the workload of the user, and reducing the possibility of human error. 

Often times there are criteria that cannot be determined by the system, which allows a human to make the determination and use the Self-Service Solution Manager to trigger a job. 

This also helps restrict the permissions of the users that have Self-Service Solution Manager access to only areas or systems that they need. 

What needs improvement?

The products are extremely powerful and capable. Anytime you have such capability, the programming/configuration that goes into making it work can be complicated. 

Fortunately, the professionals at SMA Technologies are always willing to help. The technicians at SMA Technologies are available via telephone call or email for issues. Their response time is always in line with the critical nature of the issue. If I have a big project that needs dedicated support, I can request one of their consultants to provide assistance. 

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been with my company since September 2015 and have been using the OpCon automation solution that whole time. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We've never had an issue with the stability of the platform. For example the platform/server itself has never been the point of failure. The only issues we've experienced is when the in-house human created configurations were done with errors. Even when errors are identified, the system produces an error output that helps determine the point of failure, so it can be resolved. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The server is based on a SQL database, so it has tremendous capabilities and the system can be scaled up by adding additional resources to the single server, or by setting up multiple servers to operate in unison. 

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support is the best! They always prioritize the urgency of our issue, with the impact it has to our production environment. Their top priority is not allow our production environment be be offline. 

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

When I came to the company, they were already using OpCon. I had used this solution in a previous job, so I was thrilled to see it being used. In my opinion, there's nothing better. 

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was complex, however, the SMA Technologies consultants are there the whole time, guiding the process, and making sure you'll have success. 

What about the implementation team?

We worked directly with SMA Technologies. 

What was our ROI?

We've saved thousands of man-hours with automation and reduced errors significantly. It's been money well spent.

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

This tool, like any other quality product, fits the idea of "You get what you pay for." The SMA Technologies consultants will help you get your money's worth of the products. 

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We did not evaluate other options.

What other advice do I have?

SMA Technologies provides great products with extraordinarily great service. 

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
PeerSpot user
AVP of IT at a financial services firm with 51-200 employees
Real User
Unhelpful documentation, unhelpful support, and the failover doesn't work
Pros and Cons
  • "It seems like it would scale well."
  • "Licensing would be the first part I would overhaul. Each time a new licensing paradigm comes out, more features are removed and costs are added. They "add" features that are rarely used and increase charges for the number of jobs run. I'm sure someone in finance got a raise for their brilliance but the end-users won't thank them one bit. Expect price hikes and threats when you hold them to account at every opportunity."

What is our primary use case?

OpCon is used as our primary scheduler for our Epysis core and related systems. We make use of user-initiated jobs from the web-based dashboard in addition to the core features of OpCon. A number of agents are installed on systems allowing OpCon control of tasks on those systems such as Powershell and SQL.

Automating file downloads is another area that is useful. Additional support for FTP clients outside WSFTP Pro would be a great boon to the software. There are a few others I wouldn't mind being able to test out.

How has it helped my organization?

OpCon has assisted in automating many tasks. Any number of task schedulers could also have performed the same function likely for a lower cost. This was the bundled scheduler with the system.

As users don't have access to the back end of OpCon (obviously) all issues that are automated become an IT problem. Plan to train your IT staff in all areas that will be automated.

The user-side web interface is nice, yet it l lacks read-only capabilities that are on the road map. Users will want to know the progress of their job but unless you're willing to give them admin control, they won't see it.

What is most valuable?

It schedules tasks.

What needs improvement?

The user-side web interface generally works but fails for more complicated tasks. Self-service buttons that are paid for to be created by OpCon support are not tested and left in a non-functional state. After four different SMA reps "fixed" it only to find when it was used that it still didn't work we simply gave up on some of the functionality.

Expect a lot of "the documentation says this will work" only to find it doesn't.

Failover is another feature that would be exceptionally useful if it worked. The database was corrupted and support has been unable to resolve it.

Licensing would be the first part I would overhaul. Each time a new licensing paradigm comes out, more features are removed and costs are added. They "add" features that are rarely used and increase charges for the number of jobs run. I'm sure someone in finance got a raise for their brilliance but the end-users won't thank them one bit. Expect price hikes and threats when you hold them to account at every opportunity.

Support could also use additional training. It is a bit of a crapshoot if support will be able to help or not. Seems they've been told to push their automation as a service which reduces the value of paying for support significantly.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been using OpCon since 2019.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

OpCon is relatively stable once running. We will give it credit there where it is due. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It seems like it would scale well. We are using an on-prem deployment with a failover.

How are customer service and technical support?

Tech support was excellent. It has since degraded in quality noticeably as the best techs were moved to automation as a service. 

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

I am unaware of the previous system used for our other core. It was prior to my tenure here.

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

Licensing was initially far better for small to mid-size operations. SMA has a need for additional funds so licensing went through a rather large hike. The setup cost was high but relatively fair if all the things in the setup worked. However, they didn't.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We purchased a package that included OpCon, unfortunately. We are now looking at other options and would advise others to do the same.

What other advice do I have?

Carefully consider all available options before settling on OpCon. Account managers were non-existent until new ones were hired that specialized in high-pressure sales. The best automation specialists were moved from support over to automation as a service, so expect lower quality support going forward unless you're shelling out for someone else to write the automation.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
PeerSpot user
reviewer1661889 - PeerSpot reviewer
User at a financial services firm with 501-1,000 employees
Real User
Reliable and easy to link processes monitor items
Pros and Cons
  • "Reliability is always important, and the reliability of the system is outstanding."
  • "A way to select multiple jobs in the UI for a quick change or to hold, release, et cetera, would be nice."

What is our primary use case?

The primary use was to automate and schedule batch processes for a banking core system. As OpCon is more capable than our previous job scheduler, we have automated more jobs. 

We quickly found it was capable of doing much more, and expanded the uses. As the ability to schedule processes is so flexible, we now use that to start SQL agent jobs, SFTP processes, file transfers, and backups. 

We also have automated daily processing on a loan servicing system as well, which lets is run batch processes during low usage times overnight without having staff scheduled for those times.

How has it helped my organization?

The biggest change was having a robust way to schedule critical processes. Once it was set up, things just worked. Input errors were eliminated and we can quickly see the status of jobs, with instant error reporting in case we have an issue. We were able to automate processes and increase productivity so staff could focus on more complex tasks and project work that move the organization forward. That, and the peace of mind of knowing things run on time, are the biggest improvements for the organization.

What is most valuable?

Reliability is always important, and the reliability of the system is outstanding. The ability to link processes, have dependencies, and monitor things like file arrival has let us automate some fairly complex processes that previously involved a lot of user time.   

Being able to do this, and present it to staff as a self-service button that takes one click to submit was a big win. We have a large number of files, from multiple vendors, that must be accessed through FTP, and being able to get these files, unencrypted, and process for reporting or ETL processes overnight has streamlined our mornings and lets us deliver reports much earlier than we would otherwise.

What needs improvement?

We don't have a lot of asks, and the limitations are typically in deficiencies of the APIs or interfaces on other proprietary systems. OpCon would let us, but some vendors don't have that attitude. 

A way to select multiple jobs in the UI for a quick change or to hold, release, et cetera, would be nice. For example, I was testing a process where after a job finished, a multi-instance job for splitting out 12 report runs. When I made my adjustment to re-run, I had to click on each job separately to restart. It was time-consuming.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've used the solution for about 5 years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The solution is very stable. We have had no outages that I recall.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It is highly scalable. We can't imagine pushing against any limits.

How are customer service and technical support?

We rarely contact support. When we have had to, its typically a very fast single call resolution. 

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

We had a different product, and it was limited. OpCon was less expensive and did more.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was straightforward and the learning curve was that after a few days building things in our test environment we rapidly moved jobs to live.

What about the implementation team?

We had an OpCon person on site, and the experience was very helpful.

What was our ROI?

The ROI is hard to quantify as it is so much a part of what we do, however, it does the equivalent work of a few staff members, for much less than the cost of one person.

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

We found it was a better value than our other option. I'd advise users to ask a lot of questions when setting up as chances are there is a way to do it. Having a lot of examples of processes was useful in expanding. We could copy a job, modify it, and be off and running. 

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We compared this solution to our previous product ISE Enterprise Scheduler and spoke with other Opcon users.

What other advice do I have?

It always works and we rarely need support.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
PeerSpot user
TitleSystem Administrator at a financial services firm with 201-500 employees
Real User
Removes tedious tasks, offers great technical support, and is easy to use
Pros and Cons
  • "MAS is by far the best feature, although not a feature of the software specifically. MAS has more knowledge than our employees, so we have been able to develop schedules that are far beyond our own skillset."
  • "The only downside to OpCon is that its features can be complicated and really must be taught. Most of our users don't have training beyond the free Basic Training that SMA provides, so for fresh eyes, it is kind of difficult to understand some of the language used."

What is our primary use case?

We are a mid-level financial institution. We specifically used OpCon to help schedule important tasks that could not be trusted to human error. We picked it up as a tool to make lives easier for all of our different departments. We began working with MAS a few months ago as our scheduled jobs became too much for a few people to handle while we were experiencing high turnover. We became bogged down with users who did not understand the system and did not have time to train them. MAS stepped in and made this transition a lot easier for us. 

How has it helped my organization?

OpCon has made our lives easier by taking out the guesswork and removing tedious activities from employee's workdays when their time is better spent elsewhere. OpCon also helps because it is easy to "read the job" to know what the job does, why, and how to do it manually if needed. 

Through the use of self-service buttons, we have been able to give the option to run jobs whenever the user needs without having to manually do an entire process. Many of our end users use this without any complaint. It is simple and easy to use. 

What is most valuable?

MAS is by far the best feature, although not a feature of the software specifically. MAS has more knowledge than our employees, so we have been able to develop schedules that are far beyond our own skillset. 

They have also helped with maintenance so we can be assured if something goes wrong, MAS is there to fix it. Our on-call schedules are easier and we get full nights of sleep. Our team morale has greatly increased since we began working with MAS. Another great feature is the exit codes which help us understand why things are failing so the jobs are easier to fix. 

What needs improvement?

The only downside to OpCon is that its features can be complicated and really must be taught. Most of our users don't have training beyond the free Basic Training that SMA provides, so for fresh eyes, it is kind of difficult to understand some of the language used. 

Another thing that is difficult to understand is that not all failures explain why they are failing. Some give generic exit codes. 

Otherwise, I have no complaints. Working with the MAS team has really simplified everything for us. They're easy to reach, knowledgeable, and quick.

For how long have I used the solution?

Personally, I have been using the solution for two years, but our organization has been using it for five or more years.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The software has many features that are even beyond my knowledge, having worked with it for two years. Working with the MAS team, I have learned even more. 

How are customer service and technical support?

You will often find that you speak to the same people over and over again so you develop a rapport. Everyone is always helpful and very nice.

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

We did not use a different solution. We were doing all of this manually. 

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup can be complex, however, transitioning with the MAS team was very easy and straightforward. 

What about the implementation team?

We used a vendor team. Our engineers developed a close relationship with them. 

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

It is not the cheapest solution on the market, but it is relatively easy to use. I absolutely recommend splurging to hire the MAS service to make the transition easier. They can help teach your users how to use the program and they are able to quickly build jobs so you see an immediate impact. 

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I am not entirely sure if there was an evaluation as this was before my time, however, knowing management, I assume that they had many demos with other vendors as well but eventually chose SMA.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
PeerSpot user
Data Management Services at a financial services firm with 51-200 employees
Real User
Great on-demand access with helpful email notifications and good File Water features
Pros and Cons
  • "File Watcher can run jobs when files are made available in a folder."
  • "We would like a display of the created date, created by, and last modified date, as well as modified by."

What is our primary use case?

We primarily use JHA SYMITAR Episys (Currently running through EASE). Our Episys server is now hosted at Symitar and they run most of our OpCon schedules, and we run a version of OpCon in-house and connect to the Episys server at Symitar through OpCon "Ease Connector". We've used Episys Batch/On-Demand in-house job scheduling (2014-2019) and Episys Batch/On-Demand Ease Connector job scheduling (2019-present). We also use OpCon to schedule non-related Episys jobs, such as file transfers to/from vendors. Everything is automated.   

How has it helped my organization?

It has eliminated the need for a full-time Operator. All Batch jobs are automatically scheduled. We do not have IT Operators overseeing Batch jobs. All FTP's are done through OpCon also. We have OpCon set to notify the team by email if any job fails, or notify front office staff when a job is completed. Some jobs are scheduled with the OpCon feature "File Watcher" and will run a job when a file is present in a Network folder - eliminating the need for intervention by staff. If files are not present when they should be, OpCon can be set to let you know a schedule is past normal run time.

What is most valuable?

On-Demand access allows the front office to run jobs on their own, making it unnecessary to contact IT when they need on-demand reports run.

We get email notifications for failed jobs, jobs completed, schedules past run time, etc.

File Watcher can run jobs when files are made available in a folder. 

What needs improvement?

We would like to keep a previous version of a job/schedule just like UC4 used to do. 

We would like a display of the created date, created by, and last modified date, as well as modified by.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've used the solution for 7 years, since September 2014, and I have used 5 OpCon in-house and 2 OpCon EASE Connectors.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability is excellent.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scalability is excellent.

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support is excellent.

How was the initial setup?

The setup is a little complex. We couldn't have done it on our own. You must work with SMA to get set up and have training, but once you become familiar with it you should be good to go. The only time we consult them now is when we are upgrading to a new version. The instructions have never allowed us to do it on our own.

What about the implementation team?

We have an in-house team for the in-house version.

We needed the Symitar OpCon team to work with us when we switched to Symitar Ease and to document all the schedules/jobs. 

What was our ROI?

We could not work efficiently without OpCon. It eliminates the need for full-time operators.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
PeerSpot user
Buyer's Guide
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Updated: July 2022
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Buyer's Guide
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