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CFS Blog and BMC Control-M News

We'll be posting the latest news, feeds, commentary and other BMC Control-M news from around the web as well as experiences and stories related to our work with BMC Control-M throughout our many years working with it.


Another Successful CTM Deployment!

We've been working for the past couple of months with the LCBO here in Ontario, and have just put the icing on the cake, so to speak, on their Control-M deployment! Way to go, team!

Delicious!

For any of your needs regarding putting together successful Control-M integration projects and deployments, CFS is at your service!

The CFS Team

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Big Win for CFS! Vendor of Record at the Ontario Government!

CFS Consulting has recently been selected as a successful proponent for Vendor of Record by the Ontario Government!

"This VOR Arrangement is primarily for task-based I&IT services which require specific I&IT skills and knowledge. Clients will be able to use the Service Categories and Roles as appropriate, to obtain the services that are necessary to complete I&IT projects."

This has us qualified for several IT categories:


  • Business Analysis & Planning

  • Architecture

  • Solutions Development

  • Testing & Quality Assurance (QA)

  • Deployment & Operations

  • Security

  • Information Management


Our team has one of the most versatile background regarding Control-M, go see what we offer in terms of services!

The CFS Team

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More from Engage 2015!

Here is more of the CFS team at Engage 2015, hope to see you guys at the Aria, Las Vegas, again in 2016!

The CFS Team

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BMC Engage 2015! Great Success!

It really feels like the whole week complete blew past us, but in reality, Engage was a jam-packed information overload about all the best and newest Control-M features that are oncoming!

Some of note include:

  • Historical SLA Analysis
  • Custom Conversion
  • New Reporting Facility

It was really great being surrounded by the best and brightest operating in the WLA industry, their insight, perspective, and knowledge were unparalleled!

Here is the CFS team at Engage 2015, hope to see you guys at the Aria, Las Vegas, again in 2016!

The CFS Team

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BMC Control-M 9 Sets New Performance Standard!

Well wouldn't you know it? BMC has again surpassed automation performance metrics with Control-M! Have a read:

BMC Control-M Sets New Performance Standard

The CFS Team

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LCBO! Big Win for CFS Consulting & BMC!

BMC Software and CFS Consulting team up to deliver services to the Liquor Control Board of Ontario!

CFS will be providing services to the LCBO in their upcoming WLA project, aimed at integrating a new WLA tool into their environment, and guess which tool they went with?

That's right! The best WLA tool on the market: Control-M!

A big win for the CFS and BMC teams, but the biggest win is for the LCBO, as they will have the best tool on the market integrated into their environment, delivered by the best Control-M integrators in North America! CFS!

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Keep a lookout, as we will be sponsors at BMC Engage 2015 in Las Vegas next week, stay tuned for our photo feed on our Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin pages!

The CFS Team

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What can MANAGED SERVICES do for your business?

Managing your infrastructure can be tough when you don't have the talent to tackle projects and changes as they arise. Something we've been seeing more and more demand for is the talent to manage our clients' Control-M WLA installations from A to Z. Many companies would rather have the professionals with years of experience with WLA take care of their environment for them, so why not make this the norm? Why not let CFS Consulting take care of administering your WLA environment so that you don't have to?

CFS has been hard at work figuring out the best solution to the pains of our customers, notably that sometimes clients may not have the in-house skills to take care of their WLA installations on their own. This is where we come in. CFS can take care of not only your WLA installation, but we will integrate with your IT business processes in order to work with you on changes, upgrades and migrations. We can also integrate seamlessly with the way you do business, work within your change/ticket processes, provide monitoring and support, all taken care of remotely!

Pulling from over 20+ years of Control-M scheduling experience, CFS is there to help you manage your WLA setup, so that the hours you currently spend on it can be freed up to get the work you need done that powers your business.

Drop us a line to hear about how managed services can empower you and your business!

The CFS Team

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The Control-M Application Integrator is here!

So what's the big deal, anyways? Why is this feature a must-have?

Central view. With Control-M, the main goal is to centralize the view of all scheduled jobs in all of your enterprise's various systems. BMC strives constantly to ensure that as many rich features get integrated into their solutions, and the features they integrate serve to assimilate disparate and scattered components, bringing them under the watchful eyes of your operations and first-line support teams, so that you can become more responsive in case of major incidents, or service level agreement delays.

Some clients of ours have, as an example, spent days, weeks, and months writing scripts to bridge the gap between some of their older legacy code or systems in order to achieve the reaching of multiple systems. The Application Integrator serves to help you bring those components together in order to provide you with better control over your scheduled jobs.

Who would then be at the top of our list of teams in enterprises that would best make use of this feature? Why, the application development teams! The A.I. assists developers in creating and maintaining jobs for their environments by providing Control-M experts the ability to design job templates that match business logic. By doing this, they can create single jobs that can, for example, tie into a host of different web services, triggering each of them in sequence, and provide valuable feedback to operators based on how execution went.

Most would say, well, what about all of the scripts that we've developed so far? Is it wasted effort? Absolutely not. In-house knowledge is, and will remain, paramount, as this is your competitive advantage. The Application Integrator is a new feature that will help you bolster your future endeavors, and even assemble and unify past one!

For any questions about the Application Integrator, we're always here to help! Drop us a line!

Don't forget to come see us at Toronto's BMC Tech Day! June 16th, 2015

The CFS Team

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The Journey from Mainframe to Distributed

Mainframes are by no means dying. Their ability to very effectively treat massive amounts of transactions in an ordered fashion are hard to beat, and the paradigm of centrally located computing is still in itself a useful model. Distributed systems, however, have offered a flexibility that mainframes lack at times.

Have you at your company been faced recently with the need to move away from mainframe work, and to the distributed side? How has that process gone so far? What were the pitfalls? These questions can be equally posed when moving batch workloads from a central scheduler, to distributed systems.

What is important when moving batch jobs away from a mainframe and into distributed systems is to understand that the breadth of configuration of your environment has now grown, especially for Control-M. While before it might have been easy to simply log into IOA from TSO, now you'll be using the WLA client to get a picture of all the moving parts. Agent deployment is another important factor.

Agent/Agentless deployments need to be considered. Know that when you deploy agents to physical or virtual hosts, you can choose to either install the software, or go agentless. What are the pros and cons? Well, with agentless, there's no software to update, however you won't be able to make use of any of the feature-rich application modules that can be installed. It all depends on the desired setup.

Developer time is key here too, as efforts shift from JCL/Rexx to Java/C++ as an example, there will be major considerations to make with regards to the transition. If the same batch calculations are now going to be called in, say, a cluster of machines, the call will need to be made in a different way. Script and command type jobs will be come a lot more prevalent.

These are just a few points of differences that exist between mainframe and distributed, let alone filesystems and structure, and is also something that CFS helps our clients work through when moving over to a new structure.

We wish you all the best in your migration endeavors, if you need any guidance, drop us a line!

The CFS Team
http://www.cfsolutions-inc.com

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The Human Element

Over the course of our years working with Control-M, after having worked with the various teams that maintain and operate the solution in their respective places of work, one thing remains the same: the human element. People love process. Why shouldn't they? Process makes life easier, following it typically provides standardized results, and processes can also be passed along, as roles and positions change.

What happens when you throw existing process into upheaval? Adjusting takes time. People have a tendency to resist change that isn't brought about with proper structure. Having to consider all possibilities can lead to analysis paralysis. How do you achieve buy-in from the multiple teams that rely on Control-M for your daily processing, while still moving your project forward?

Achieving buy-in from multiple teams can be time-consuming, and discovery is critical. It is guaranteed that bits of human process will come creeping out of the woodwork, and will require further solution design or additions to your existing migration or conversion plan.

There is no way that your team can integrate changes to your scheduling environment without hosting many meetings, gathering information from all of your involved teams, before moving forward. Likewise, you must communicate all that has been discussed, document proposed changes, and draft a mapping document outlining what old notions have been replaced by newer ones.

In addition to this, why is simply converting the baseline hazardous? Why would you, as the project manager for this Control-M conversion, want to preserve how the workers worked before, when the underlying product has changed? It's important to understand that when converting, people are going to search for equivalencies, and will want to continue on with their old processes. In some cases this is alright, in many others things will have to be adjusted.

Existing hard-coded software solutions that have human processes that revolve around them also come into play here. Custom developed code that requires human intervention might not always immediately be properly taken advantage of by Control-M. When tertiary bits of software responsible for timing and triggering enter the picture, how do you mitigate people's desire to continue to use them as before?

All in all, here are some things to look out for when considering human process in a Control-M Migration or Conversion:


  • What teams need to be brought on board?

  • What items need to be communicated clearly?

  • What will be different, what processes will need to be adjusted, and how?

  • What will the steps be in migrating or converting, and when will they happen?

  • Who will be part of what activities, and why their roles are crucial?

May your conversion efforts go smoothly! For any of your Control-M needs, drop us a line, it's what we do!

The CFS Team
http://www.cfsolutions-inc.com

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The Best WLA Product on the Market!

We specialize in the integration, consultation, and training for Control-M, the best Workload Automation product on the market BY FAR! What makes it the best? These facts among others serve to demonstrate Control-M's value:

  • Best user experience, and user-friendliness
  • Most comprehensive application integration suite on the market
  • Most automation options/parameters and full-featured integration
  • Best Development team, and most consistent releases
  • Unparalleled support team, ready to help you at moment's notice
  • Probably the most important: Best Long-term WLA Vision!

Don't take our word for it, though, over the past decade, Gartner has been accumulating data on on all competing products in the WLA domain, and have consistently ranked Control-M as the leader in the market.

Please see:

http://www.bmc.com/blogs/gartner-magic-quadrant-for-workload-automation-going-going-gone/

We specialize in taking our clients from their previous solutions, or from no existing solution, to fully integrated, functional, and automated. Our team consists of IT professionals with over 20 years experience in the field of WLA, having worked closely with BMC in the past. For any questions regarding how to best fit WLA into your environment, drop us a line, and we'll be more than happy to help you leverage the most out of automation.

Get your company set up for the future of automation! Get BMC WLA!

See our blog for regularly updated content and client success stories, as well as informative tidbits about WLA integration in the workplace.

The CFS Team
http://www.cfsolutions-inc.com

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Taking the Leap!

Companies approach us all the time asking "We want to transition from our current workload scheduler to something new, our current one doesn't have the functionality we need, what can we do to make sure the whole process goes as smoothly as possible?"

We have yet to meet a company that shows zero hesitation when choosing a new Workload Automation product to replace their current system. Replacing a complex legacy system can be a very daunting challenge, as unpredicted reactions and job conversion issues can arise, leading to project deadlines being missed, and QA not being up to snuff.

We normally hear the following short list of concerns when deploying conversions:


  • Will Control-M work exactly like our previous solution?

  • Can Control-M do all of the same things, and cover the same scope of functionality?

  • What if all of our pre-existing jobs can't be converted?

  • What if Control-M can't support the systems we use?

  • What if after conversion all of the converted jobs don't work as intended?

Firstly, let's talk about the best Workload Automation product on the market: Control-M from BMC Software. Every WLA tool has its own set of characteristics, and Control-M tops them all, especially in terms of ease of use, and application integration. Version 8 of Control-M has brought with it numerous graphical and UI updates, making the use of the tool a real breeze, for schedulers, operators, admins, as well as business owners.

Control-M is the best fully-featured batch scheduling solution on the market, and far surpasses the functionality of competing products without any issue.

Depending on the complexity of a job being converted, and the number of steps in the job, the conversion may either turn many jobs into fewer, or a select few into two or more. In our experience, the latter is rarely the case.

We have yet to see an issue where a specific system cannot, in any way, be accessed from Control-M, and if no connector exits, one can be fashioned between CTM and the targetted system.

BMC's development team have put together one of the BEST solutions for companies looking to migrate to a new solution, the Control-M Conversion Tool! This tool minimizes the possibility that the converted jobs don't work as intended, and frankly does an excellent job of converting job objects, with vast-reaching notion equivalence and mapping.

So, why do companies choose a professional service, then? Taking a company from zero to 100% converted and live in production takes time, effort, patience, and most importantly, the knowledge of people that do this kind of thing day in, day out.

All the best in your conversion endeavors!

The CFS Team
http://www.cfsolutions-inc.com

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