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Review: "BMC Control-M, your opportunity for greatness"
https://www.trustradius.com/workload-automationControl-MUnspecified8.986101
Zach Warren profile photo
Updated February 09, 2016

Review: "BMC Control-M, your opportunity for greatness"

Score 10 out of 101
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source

Software Version
8

Overall Satisfaction with Control-M

We utilize Control-M across the entire organization to manage batch on multiple environments including Windows, Linux, and Mainframe. We are able to support the complex business and IT requirements through various features and plug-ins within Control-M.
  • Centralized view of workflows across the organization.
  • Ability to expose workflows to the business in a user friendly interface called Control-M Self Service.
  • Powerful administration tools, intuitive administration utilities, and fantastic customer support.
  • I would have some areas of discussion here, but with version 9 out now, BMC has really focused on addressing many of the administration issues and has really produced an outstanding product with version 9.
  • Increased efficiency of the Production Control staff
  • Empowerment of end users via Control-M Self Service
  • Buy in from various development and infrastructure teams that Control-M can solve their particular issues, and/or more fully automate their processes.
  • TWS and Tidal

BMC Control-M has always been a leader in batch scheduling. I did support Tivoli Workload Automation for several years and I found it to be a good product as well. However I feel that BMC listens to the client community and betters the product based on their feedback. BMC's customer support is by far better than what IBM provided for TWS and what Tidal provided for their enterprise scheduler.

BMC's Control-M is expensive compared to other competitors, but the ease in which you can deliver results to the business and provide value to the developers makes it an easy decision.

Having been an administrator of Tidal Enterprise Scheduler and Tivoli Workload Scheduler, I can say that BMC Control-M is the cream of the crop. I've been able to encourage ideas from IT and the business and incorporate those into our batch processes with ease. Control-M is stable, reliable, able to handle extremely complex scenarios, and the customer support is really fantastic.

Control-M Feature Ratings

Multi-platform scheduling
10
Central monitoring
10
Logging
10
Alerts and notifications
10
Analysis and visualization
10
Application integration
10

Using Control-M

Users and Roles

650 - The user community spans almost all functions of the organization. We have developers, application owners, business users, and upper management that use Control-M or Control-M Self Service regularly. The business, management and application owners primarily use Control-M Self Service. The developers primarily use the Control-M WLA GUI interface.

Support Headcount Required

3 - We are a one stop shop in that our team is responsible for the batch scheduling as well as administration of the tool (upgrades, patches, and automation). In my opinion, to support Control-M a person must have strong problem solving / analytical skills and solid background or understanding in other IT technologies. Good communication skills across functional areas is key as well. Systems level knowledge in DOS and UNIX is required and a good understanding of databases and SQL.

Business Processes Supported

  • Centralize the management of all batch into a single console and stop using cron / Windows scheduled tasks.
  • Workflow automation which involves complex multi platform batch dependencies.
  • Exposing batch workflows to the end user and empowering those users to improve, automate, and reduce downtime of their applications.

Innovative Uses

  • Allowed the business to run their batch processes when convenient to them, via Control-M Self Service.
  • Automation. Everything from SQL Server refreshes to embedding complex shell scripts into a Control-M job. We automated hundreds of manual tasks.
  • Reduction of 'wrapper scripts' used to communicate to other applications. We have implemented control modules for IBM Datastage, Informatica, and IBM Cognos all of which save the end user from learning and maintaining external programs.

Future Planned Uses

  • We are looking to automate more and more business and IT processes. We regularly attend meetings across the company to showcase and promote what the product can achieve.
  • We may look to Control-M to perform file moves in the future.

Likelihood to Renew

10
It is a great product plain and simple. We've had Control-M for 20+ years and the support that BMC Software provides is really second to none. There is always a situation that someone can think of where I have to say, "No we can't do that", however I'm confident that we've been able to meet and most of the time exceed our end user expectations with what the product can offer them.

Evaluating Control-M and Competitors

Products Replaced

Key Differentiators

  • Product Features
  • Product Usability
  • Product Reputation
  • Existing Relationship with the Vendor
Unfortunately Control-M was purchased prior to me joining the company.

Evaluation Lessons Learned

n/a

Control-M Support

Support

10
For the 16 years that I have supported Control-M, their support has always been fantastic. They are very responsive and typically either solve the issue or answer the question in a matter of one or two emails or phone calls. For any high severity type problems, team members 'swarm' the case and you may get multiple technicians assisting you at the same time. Support also as they say "follows the sun" so whenever you speak to someone, it is their daylight hours and you are not waiting for someone to fully wake up to provide support.

Control-M Customer Support Pros and Cons

ProsCons
Quick Resolution
Good followup
Knowledgeable team
Problems get solved
Kept well informed
No escalation required
Immediate help available
Support understands my problem
Support cares about my success
Quick Initial Response
None

Bug Resolution

Yes - Yes I have reported many bugs to BMC. Once reviewed and approved by the development team it will be assigned a tracking number and will most likely be fixed in a future fixpack. Any bug or issue that is more serious in nature with no workaround (which is rare) is promptly handled by the BMC support and development staff and typically a special fix for your situation is released.

Exceptional Examples of Control-M Support

A feature on Control-M for z/OS is called "notes" which allows a user to add a custom note to a job is not available on Distributed jobs and also not viewable in the Control-M WLA GUI. BMC Support assisted in opening up an enhancement request which was in turn approved. Within a few more fixpack releases, we should see this new feature in the product. This just demonstrates that end users have a say in the product itself, which I thought was really fantastic.

Using Control-M

Usability

10
I've been a Control-M admin for a long time so I think its usability deserves a 10. I would imagine a brand new user could be overwhelmed but after a short time would find the interface easy and intuitive to use. I also give it a 10 because I've supported other scheduling packages such as TWS and Tidal that (at the time) were not near as user friendly as Control-M.

Usability Pros and Cons

ProsCons
Like to use
Relatively simple
Easy to use
Well integrated
Consistent
Quick to learn
Convenient
Feel confident using
Familiar
Requires technical support

Easy Tasks

  • Creation of simple and complex workflows. You can easily copy/paste jobs or folders to create new workflows. The drag and drop dependency creation is also very powerful and allows the user to specify dependency site standards
  • Monitoring the batch cycles. There is an array of filters and viewpoints to create customized views of the batch environment which work harmoniously with integrated alerts and service monitors.
  • Forecasting batch schedules in the future. We can easily get estimated run times based on different scenarios we can define.

Difficult Tasks

  • Reporting has never been that good. The reporting function is based on Crystal Reports and is very rigid and cumbersome to use. We do all of our reporting outside of this built in tool.
  • Maintaining 'services' for Control-M Self Service. Certain types of services have to be manually updated and managed. I've always seen an opportunity there for improvement as updating large numbers of services can be very time consuming.
  • Agent upgrades on a large scale are very cumbersome, but on a positive note Control-M v9 has a built in Agent upgrade deployment which works very nicely.

Mobile Interface Availability and Impressions

Yes, but I don't use it