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Control-M OverviewUNIXBusinessApplication

Control-M is #1 ranked solution in top Process Automation tools, top Managed File Transfer (MFT) tools, and top Workload Automation tools. IT Central Station users give Control-M an average rating of 8 out of 10. Control-M is most commonly compared to AutoSys Workload Automation:Control-M vs AutoSys Workload Automation. Control-M is popular among the large enterprise segment, accounting for 82% of users researching this solution on IT Central Station. The top industry researching this solution are professionals from a computer software company, accounting for 38% of all views.
What is Control-M?

Control-M simplifies application and data workflow orchestration on premises or as a service. It makes it easy to build, define, schedule, manage, and monitor production workflows, ensuring visibility, reliability, and improving SLAs.

  • Accelerate new business applications into production—by embedding workflow orchestration into your CI/CD pipeline
  • Scale Dev and Ops collaboration, with a Jobs-as-Code approach
  • Simplify workflows across hybrid and multi-cloud environments with AWS, Azure and Google Cloud Platform integrations
  • Deliver data-driven outcomes faster, managing big data workflows in a scalable way
  • Take control of your file transfer operations with integrated, intelligent file movement and visibility

Control-M was previously known as Control M.

Control-M Buyer's Guide

Download the Control-M Buyer's Guide including reviews and more. Updated: December 2021

Control-M Customers

CARFAX, Tampa General Hospital, Navistar, Amadeus, Raymond James, Railinc

Control-M Video

Pricing Advice

What users are saying about Control-M pricing:
  • "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."
  • "This is now from my previous years as support for banks and big companies. If it's not enterprise scale, I find that it's too expensive for smaller companies. You really have to be quite big and need to have a dedicated support staff to run it, then you'll be fine. What we've seen at smaller companies, it's too expensive because they want to automate everything. Now, stuff that can literally run once a day for the rest of their lives is costing them $3 a job a day. It becomes too expensive, eventually. They are not seeing the return on investment because it's not business critical. Nobody is going to die or they're going to lose money if that job didn't run exactly at 11 minutes past 4:00. It's definitely for bigger enterprise companies, especially banks or healthcare providers. We have had an instance where Control-M was unavailable due to external factors for 20 minutes and there was a loss of almost a million euros because the solution involved logistics."
  • "The cost is basically $100 a job, give or take."
  • "You must accept that BMC licensing can be very confusing. No one can easily understand how they calculate things, whether it is user-based, job-based, or server-based. The calculation is quite tough. How BMC calculates licensing is not easily available anywhere."
  • "Initially, our licensing model was based on the number of jobs per day. That caused some issues because we were restricted to a number. So at our renewal time we said, 'We want to convert from number of jobs to number of endpoints.' That cost us extra money but it gave us additional capabilities, without worrying about the number of jobs."
  • "This is an area where it is a little difficult to work with BMC. They want to do licenses by job, which is what we have. For example, the simplest is to license by job, but they can also license by nodes. While the licensing is simple to use, it might not be the correct licensing model for the customer. It is okay because we want to license by job, which is something measurable. At the end of the day, licensing by job is the most important."
  • "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."

Control-M Reviews

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HK
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 basically 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 in 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 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.

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.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using Control-M for about six 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.

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.

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: IT Central Station 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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WB
Maintenance Manager at a transportation company with 10,001+ employees
Real User
We have seen quicker file transfers with more visibility and stability

Pros and Cons

  • "If they have ad hoc requirements, then they can theoretically schedule their own file transfers with the Self Service. We are trying to push as much work back to the customers or developers that have that requirement, because they prefer to help themselves, if possible. We try empowering them and enabling them through Control-M, especially for file transfers, because it is a much broader base of the business then just with batch scheduling. Typically, with SAP batch scheduling, it would work with dedicated teams. With file transfers, the entire business is involved. There are business users, end users, etc. It definitely needs to be as simple as possible and as managed as well as possible. They need to manage it themselves, if possible, because our team is not growing but the number of customers, applications, and jobs are growing. We need to hand back some of the responsibility to the customer for them to resolve and action it."
  • "The high availability that comes from BMC with its supplied Postgres database is very limited. Even using your customer-supplied Postgres database is problematic. We have engaged with them regarding this, but it is difficult. My company doesn't want to do this and BMC doesn't want to do that. We just need to find some middle ground to get the proper high availability. We're also moving away, like the rest of the world, from the more expensive offerings, like Oracle. We are trying to use Postgres, which is free. The stability is good. It is just that the high availability configuration is not ideal. It could be better."

What is our primary use case?

We schedule the majority of our SAP jobs Control-M. We do that globally for all the production plants. We have tens of thousands of SAP jobs and managed file transfer.

SAP batch and managed file transfer are critical processes that we have automated. We are in the process of replacing Connect:Direct and SecureTransport, the legacy file transfer solution, with Managed File Transfer (MFT). That is on the global scale. 

The Control-M for Informatica is gaining a lot of popularity, primarily in the financial side of the business. They have a lot of security restrictions that make their jobs very difficult. Also, there are cost issues for Informatica, e.g., anytime they execute a workflow in Informatica, they get billed for it. We are adapting the solution to not scrum the workflow every half an hour or hour because they pay for it, but only when it is needed. Therefore, we can do a database query and check if there are new records that need to be processed. If there are no records to be processed, then depending on that output, we either run the Informatica job or leave it and check again for maybe half an hour. We are optimizing, saving money for the customers and ourselves, while reducing the number of executions, jobs, etc.

We are using on-premises. We have been for many years. We are aware of the new Helix offering, which is a SaaS/cloud offering from BMC, but it is not really ready for enterprise yet, not at our scale. We are doing some cloud, though not the Helix offering. I have installations in the cloud using Azure and AWS. We are not fully functioning there yet. We are waiting for the demand, but we are aware of the cloud opportunities and making use of them.

We have been busy upgrading to version 9.0.20 Fix Pack 100 but our production environment is still on 9.0.19 Fix Pack 200.

How has it helped my organization?

We use Control-M as part of our DevOps automation toolchains and leverage its “as-code” interfaces for developers. We have found that a lot of the new customers who are developing for cloud prefer to use the API and would like to test for themselves. That is really where Jobs-as-Code comes in. They can test and fail quickly the agile way. We definitely have some customers who are using that.

We have seen quicker file transfers with more visibility and stability. Because data transfers are part of the Control-M tool, they form as part of the normal workflow. We see the value in that.

If they have ad hoc requirements, then they can theoretically schedule their own file transfers with the Self Service. We are trying to push as much work back to the customers or developers that have that requirement, because they prefer to help themselves, if possible. We try empowering them and enabling them through Control-M, especially for file transfers, because it is a much broader base of the business then just with batch scheduling. Typically, with SAP batch scheduling, it would work with dedicated teams. With file transfers, the entire business is involved. There are business users, end users, etc. It definitely needs to be as simple as possible and as managed as well as possible. They need to manage it themselves, if possible, because our team is not growing but the number of customers, applications, and jobs are growing. We need to hand back some of the responsibility to the customer for them to resolve and action it.

What is most valuable?

A new feature, which we deployed about two years ago, is the Managed File Transfer (MFT). We also use Managed File Transfer Enterprise (MFTE) for external transfers of our biggest use cases. 

Another valuable feature would definitely be the MFT dashboard that is now available in Control-M natively. It is easy to just search for jobs, files, etc. Instead of the customers contacting us to find out what happened, when it happened, and why it happened, they are able to service themselves. This allows us to cut down on operational staff, costs, and time because customers can manage it themselves to a degree.

The most valuable feature is definitely the Self Service. A couple of years ago, it was available, but not with the features that it is today. There wasn't really uptake on it, although it was available. We have seen a steady growth in the number of users using it and what they are using it to do. They are using Self Service to schedule by themselves and do monitoring by themselves. They interact with their schedules. Also, the performance of Self Service is very user-friendly and more accessible. That is one of the features that we use a lot lately.

The reporting has definitely improved over the years. We are definitely doing more of that as well. We are definitely seeing more value in reporting on the batch schedules, optimizing it and seeing if we can cut costs. 

What needs improvement?

The reporting has improved. It is not where it should be yet, but we have seen improvements. The biggest thing for me is the restrictions regarding templates for reporting. You can't create your report with your own parameters. We have a meeting weekly with BMC and our customer lifecycle architect, and this comes up quite frequently. We have been privileged enough to do work with the developers. They are aware of the requirements regarding reporting and what our customers are asking for.

What I found lately about the YouTube videos, specifically, is that they are very simple. Usually, when I watch a video, I would read the manual, instructions, etc. to see if I understand it. I would hope that the interactive sessions, Q&As, or videos could be used to handle more complex issues of what they're discussing. An example would be the LDAP authentication for the Enterprise Manager. They would typically just go through the steps that are in the documentation. What people typically looking at those videos are looking for is how to do the more complex setup, doing it with SSL and distributed Active Directory data mines. Things that are not documented. I find those videos helpful for somebody who is too lazy to read the manual. I expect them to handle more than what is available in the documentation and the more complex situations.

The high availability that comes from BMC with its supplied Postgres database is very limited. Even using your customer-supplied Postgres database is problematic. We have engaged with them regarding this, but it is difficult. My company doesn't want to do this and BMC doesn't want to do that. We just need to find some middle ground to get the proper high availability.
We're also moving away, like the rest of the world, from the more expensive offerings, like Oracle. We are trying to use Postgres, which is free. The stability is good. It is just that the high availability configuration is not ideal. It could be better.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using Control-M for 12 years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Control-M is really stable. We have seen that throughout the years. I have had customers who have been running version 6.3 for seven years after support stopped. It has been running for three years straight, without a reboot or restart, doing its job. We have actually had issues with customers who don't want to upgrade. They have said, "This stuff is working perfectly. Just leave it alone because it just doesn't go down." 

We have a saying in our department as well. When somebody says there is a problem, we say, "It's not Control-M. Check everything else. Check the server, network, and database. It's not Control-M." 99 out of 100 times, we are right. It is either infrastructure or something else, but it is not Control-M.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I have never run into any problems scaling, either vertically or horizontally, with Control-M. In each version, it just gets better. I am really happy with that.

We were one of probably the first companies who bought MFTE, and it was not ready yet. It didn't scale properly. It didn't offer the functionality that the competing tools that we were currently using had. It's grown tremendously because of our input and feedback directly to the developers and BMC. I'm not complaining about it, but it put us back a bit. We have learned not to be a very early adopter. We have seen the same with the cloud. Everybody wants to jump on the cloud, but nobody knows why. They just want to do Cloud. We've made a substantial investment with MFTE. It was a couple of hundred thousand euros, and it was not ready yet for our enterprise requirements.

Our monitoring team who does 24/7 monitoring. They handle the alerts. They check their job flows. They make sure escalations are going through. If tickets need to be logged, make sure that gets done. They also interact with ad hoc requests from customers. 

There is the scheduling team who does the job definitions, updates, etc. 

There is the administration team, which I'm part of, with administrators who look after the infrastructure, Enterprise Manager, servers, agents, gateways, etc. Recently, we also have a dedicated MFT team that only looks after MFT because of the huge number of customers, requests, and requirements.

Other customers who use it are really all across the board. We had a presentation last week to our bigger department that is worldwide, but which we are a part of in South Africa. We have noticed about 52 main departments, then the sub-departments, between them. A lot of them sit right across the enterprise. Typically, the most active users would be SAP users who checks for output on the jobs running on Control-M. It is just 10 times easier to do it in Control-M than on SAP itself. We also manage to keep the output for longer than SAP. What they can't find on SAP after seven or 14 days, they can usually find with us, e.g., outputs for the jobs or logs. 

There are the MFT users who love being able to see each morning that their file was transferred, how long it took, and how big the file was. A lot of self-service users are using the Self Service function. Team leads and operational staff use it most.

How are customer service and technical support?

I love support and the support people. It is very good. Because we are quite a mature customer and the whole team has a lot of experience (sometimes more than the support people), if they don't realize the seriousness of the situation, then we would not escalate but just to make our customer lifecycle architect aware by saying, "We are not feeling this case is getting the required personnel on it. We need somebody more senior. We don't have time to cover the basics that the first line support is trying to deal with. We've been over that." Overall, I would rate the technical support as nine out of 10.

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

Previously, we used a big SAP solution, which was not a commercial, and specifically designed for our company.

We have recently taken over a mainframe migration as well as the scheduling was on TWS, which is IBM's scheduling software on the mainframe z/OS. We moved that all over to Control-M. That was a combination of SAP jobs, Informatica jobs, database jobs, and normal script jobs. So, we use a bit of everything. We have also used the automation API a lot for interfacing with Control-M and other middleware tools, but primarily it is SAP and file transfer.

We use Control-M to integrate file transfers within our application workflows. It integrates with the tools that we are replacing, i.e., Connect:Direct, which is quite a legacy tool, and our old IBM tool, which we have been using for more than 15 years and has no visibility. With Control-M, you get visibility on your file transfers and how it mostly interacts with your batch schedule. Something gets created, it's sent over, and then it gets processed. Control-M has already been part of the executing, extracting, import, or processing. Now, with the file transfer, customers can see the entire workflow from the data being generated, transferred, and processed. This resolves a lot of complexities because you used to need to contact three different teams to find out if the file arrived and was processed. One tool does all of that now.

There isn't a lot of new functionality that our previous tools didn't have. It is just re-consolidating all the tools that we need into a single one. That makes it much simpler. There is one team to contact globally for file transfers, and that makes it easy. It provides visibility with its Self Service that wasn't available with Connect:Direct or SecureTransport. Our customers are quite happy to have that. We can also provide reports. 

SecureTransport competes with MFTE. There isn't a conversion tool for that yet. Connect:Direct simply provides the means for a conversion tool, but it gets integrated into scripts and applications. It's very difficult to migrate or extract that data.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is straightforward. It changed a lot over the years as well, but in the nicest way. You have minimal downtime with the upgrades on Enterprise Manager as well as the Control-M servers. A lot of preparation is done before the tool is shut down for the upgrade. Our downtime used to be at least an hour for upgrades or migrations. That has typically come down to 10, 15, or 20 minutes, depending on the size of the server. It is definitely more stable and understandable.

We have also noticed that the exception handling is much better if there are issues. We don't get that many surprises. The errors are understandable. The agent upgrades have zero downtime, so that is just amazing. All the patching and maintenance is centralized. We have migrated our development and integration environments to 9.0.20 in the last month or two. That went very smoothly. We will start with production next week. We have been through this quite a number of times. We came from version 7 to version 9 to versions 9.0.19 and 9.0.20. We do all the upgrades in-house.

What about the implementation team?

We do it all ourselves. If we get stuck, we would contact BMC. At my previous job, we were a partner for BMC in South Africa, and I was on the support side for BMC. It is only we need to open tickets for bugs or problems that we contact BMC. Typically, upgrades and migrations, we handle those in-house.

There are three people full-time on the administrative side. We have a global setup: Europe, Mexico, America, Africa, and China. We have tons of virtual machines and hundreds and hundreds of agents, and even more that we might host.

What was our ROI?

I know we have already budgeted for more tasks. The company is very happy with the performance of our teams, specifically the South African team. We are really doing more with good tools and less people. There is definitely a return on investment, just from the stability and visibility which has improved a lot.

On the effort side, we have definitely seen a lot of savings. We have some bigger projects that are automating the schedule and removing human intervention. These have reduced department staff/headcount, by about 50%, when we were able to automate the batch side of it, because also our department offers monitoring and operations as part of our service. We have a dedicated monitoring team. Whatever runs in Control-M, that is monitored by us and escalated, if needed. 

Departments now have multiple scheduling tools between the mainframe, distributed systems, and cloud. Control-M brings all of that, e.g., we have it on a single pane of glass so we can see the exact execution on the mainframe, the execution on the line, and the execution in the cloud. This is instead of using three or four different tools. Therefore, the complexity of batch monitoring and scheduling has decreased as well with the standardization of Control-M. That is definitely one of the big advantages that we have seen.

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

It is expensive. We have a lot of customers who complained initially about the costs. Because it's not just the licensing, unfortunately. It's the infrastructure, salaries, etc. I like the licensing model. It is pretty straightforward. We are on the task license. I know that we have some really good discounts. Our BMC account manager makes sure that we stay below the license count as well as checking for growth. Overall, it's good. The licensing is simple enough for me. It is a bit expensive. Especially with the cloud coming in, we might see the licensing change in the future, but I'm guessing.

This is now from my previous years as support for banks and big companies. If it's not enterprise scale, I find that it's too expensive for smaller companies. You really have to be quite big and need to have a dedicated support staff to run it, then you'll be fine. What we've seen at smaller companies, it's too expensive because they want to automate everything. Now, stuff that can literally run once a day for the rest of their lives is costing them $3 a job a day. It becomes too expensive, eventually. They are not seeing the return on investment because it's not business critical. Nobody is going to die or they're going to lose money if that job didn't run exactly at 11 minutes past 4:00. It's definitely for bigger enterprise companies, especially banks or healthcare providers. We have had an instance where Control-M was unavailable due to external factors for 20 minutes and there was a loss of almost a million euros because the solution involved logistics. 

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We have done the usual crontab migration. Everything is in crontab or Windows Scheduler. Typically, we end up with a migration, even if it's from a known tool, where we end by exporting it into Excel and converting it into job definitions with a script. We have been involved in that, but nothing using BMC tools.

When I joined the company, I first supported them through the local partner. Because we have such a vast array of scheduling tools, they went through a PoC and business case. We evaluated three or four tools, where BMC Control-M was one. Quite soon, because the company was already using Control-M in Africa and China, they were looking for global solutions to see if it really could create change.  

What it came down to was ease of use, enterprise capability, and BMC was already in the company with ITSM and a couple of other products as well. They had a good relationship with us. We consulted with other customers who have used it as well as references because it was expensive. It was definitely the most expensive solution then, out of the four. However, we didn't want to go five years down the line and then have to change again because of issues.

What other advice do I have?

We have had a very good run with Control-M. I love it.

With the move to big data and especially with our AWS Cloud presence, we have a data lake. We are in discussions with the analytics teams about how they can utilize Control-M in the cloud for analytics, big data, etc. However, at the moment, it is not a big deal.

What we have found with the Jobs-as-Code is that customers need to understand Control-M better, how the scheduling works, the knowledge around it, its conditions, etc. It took some time for the developers to get used to Control-M, then Jobs-as-Code. They are now confident with it. We are presenting twice weekly. We have an open forum for interested parties about Control-M or our department, Enterprise Scheduling and File Transfer, where we have a dedicated session about Jobs-as-Code. If there are questions about how other departments are doing it, if there is a better way to do it, if they are able to save on the number of jobs, can we make them rerun, or instead of creating 10 jobs, can it be done with five jobs? So, there is not a lot going from Jobs-as-Code directly into production, but we have a couple of parties, especially on the cloud front, who are very interested in it.

The solution is enterprise scale. Also, if you want to integrate all your applications into one view and offer all the functionality across the board, such as file transfer, scheduling, cloud, and on-prem, then you can create your own application integrations to integrate with applications that's not supported currently by BMC, like APIs. For top 100 enterprises, there isn't another better tool on the market for enterprise.

I would rate it as a nine out of 10.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: IT Central Station 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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Learn what your peers think about Control-M. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: December 2021.
554,873 professionals have used our research since 2012.
Randy Scott
Sr. Systems Engineer at a financial services firm with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
Top 20
Easy to use, extremely stable, and offers excellent technical support

Pros and Cons

  • "Technical support is very helpful and available 24/7."
  • "While they have a very good reporting facility, the reports that I'm asked to produce, a lot of times aren't necessarily what we need."

What is our primary use case?

A lot of the things we've done are just based on our needs, not so much because the product allows you to do it. Basically, I can do everything in Control-M. I mean, we've got plugins for Oracle, SQL, and Informatica, and I can go on and on and on. However, we don't use any of them as our developers prefer not to. A lot of what they do is they do the necessary connections through the batch files themselves.

It's used for our daily batch. It handles all the batch processes and a lot of our maintenance processes. I would say most of it is file movement of some sort. A lot of it is daily processing, to get it in. Our data warehouse runs through Control-M. The big impetus behind it, when we purchased it, was due to the fact that the auditors wanted a more robust system and something that they could audit. Control-M gives you everything you need for that.

How has it helped my organization?

It allows us to automate a lot of the jobs that used to run manually. Everything is automated. We can automate a lot of different processes using Control-M. You can know where it's at, and you can follow it, follow the job flow, from one job to the next, and whatnot, very easily. 

We used to run a lot of stuff in AT scheduler and Cron which really didn't meet the needs, especially for the auditors. We've taken that, and we've made the system where you know immediately if you got a problem with a job string. Our operations department will page it out overnight if we have a problem, and we take care of it. It's like any other system. If it allows you to do what you need to get done, it's the same every day, you know that you're going to get the same process. It drives the process.

Like most schedulers, you can bring jobs in many different ways. There are different ways to execute things. One of the things we had was when we were taken over. They were using a combination of the CA scheduler that they had, and they were also using SQL scheduler to do a lot of it. Prior to us converting our data warehouse system to Control-M, they were using the Informatica scheduler. None of this met any of the auditors. The auditors didn't like it as everything was spread out on different systems. They couldn't keep track of jobs. Everything's consolidated now. Everything's running off Control-M. You can follow everything through the entire process. We kick off all SQL jobs using Control-M. They were using SQL to launch just batch files, which had nothing to do with SQL - they were just scheduling it through SQL.

What is most valuable?

The capabilities of auditing have been great. 

The ease of use is one of its great aspects. It's very easy to use and very easy to pick up. 

It's got an excellent graphical interface. I haven't seen that in anything else that I've looked at, however, that said, I haven't looked at many lately. 

I know that in 20 years, I have had probably two problems where I've had to call the company to get immediate assistance from them, where we had a system down or something. Its performance is very reliable.

It integrates with other applications. You can use PowerShell, you can use Perl, you can use whatever. It doesn't really care. It's just running a process.

The product scales quite well.

Technical support is very helpful and available 24/7.

The stability is excellent.

What needs improvement?

I will say that at one time we used to run on Solaris and not Windows, however, we were taken over by a company that decided that everything had to be on Windows. We put this in when we were the previous company, and then we were more or less given to the current bank by the FDAC, during the 2009 banking crisis. At that point, they wanted us to implement their solution, which was rudimentary at best. It was a CA product that did not meet the needs. I could not convert what we had in Control-M, to run in that system at that time.

While they have a very good reporting facility, the reports that I'm asked to produce, a lot of times aren't necessarily what we need. They need to be better customized. I haven't been able to produce the right reports through their reportings facility. I was a Perl programmer and a C programmer at one time. Perl just worked right in there. A lot of our reports were written in Perl, which right now they don't like at all as Perl's not ideal for our company. 

I can't get to the database tables I want to get to. The database tables they allow me to get to aren't the ones I'm looking for, as, usually, I'm going right into the database, into the raw database, and pulling things out for the reporting I need. I can't do that through their reporting facility, Crystal Reports.

For how long have I used the solution?

We've been using the solution for two decades or so. It's been about 20 years. We've used it for a long time. We started using it around 2000 or 2001.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We've had issues only twice in 20 years. It is very stable. I will say that they have improved it. Originally, when we put in a Windows version of it, we had problems with the database that they were using at the time, which was a Postgres database. Then, at one point, we decided to go to Solaris and run it on Solaris. We had it on Solaris for six years. In six years, I don't think we ever rebooted the server. It ran for six years without any hiccups, any problems. The Solaris system was rock solid. 

Now, the problems we run into, if we run into any problems, are Windows-based problems. Those Windows-based problems are, for example, if you don't reboot a server once a month, which, thank God we do, you can have issues. We reboot as we have to patch monthly now and we have to reboot it every month. However, we would see if we went two, three months on Windows, that we would start seeing some problems. Rebooting it took care of it.

That said, that's a Windows problem, not so much a Control-M issue, as we see problems on Windows servers that run for two or three months in any application.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Right now, we are running on their small database model. We, at one time, had about 2,500 jobs, and we were on a medium model then. Now, we're down to about 800 jobs a day. It's just a matter of the requirements we have. In terms of scalability, it scales up very nicely. It works very well. You can have multiple servers if you need multiple servers. Currently, we have one Control-M server and one EM server. We used to have two Control-M servers and one EM - EM being the enterprise manager, which is really what's running the system. The Control-M servers basically take care of the current runs, what's currently running on a system. Adding more jobs and adding more resources to it is not a problem.

It does high availability. We don't use the high availability due to the fact that we have another solution. We run everything in a virtual environment, and take regular snapshots if the system goes down. Should that happen, the snapshots are replicated from our production site to our DR site. We bring up the latest snapshot in the DR site if we lose the production site. It's up and running within minutes, literally. It's just a matter of going in and saying, "Bring these servers up." And they come up.

Currently, we've got three schedulers using the solution. They have more or less God rights, although they can't change user permissions. Those three schedulers can do anything with the jobs - delete, add, create, whatever. We have about 10 operators that have access to it as well. The operators have a somewhat reduced role from the schedulers. They can do a lot of it. They can bring in jobs, they can rerun jobs, they can kill jobs, however, there's a lot that they can't do. Then we have probably about 60 users that are developers, and they're basically read-only. They can see the jobs, they can see what happens. A lot of it has to do with corporate decisions on control. They didn't want the developers to be able to define jobs and items of that nature. They wanted the developers to define the job through a worksheet, and then the schedulers would actually implement the job. That's just a matter of policy, basically. They monitor their jobs that way. I'm trying to allow them to be able to at least bring in their jobs, for test - not for production - so that they can make it policy change here. If they could do that, it would greatly enhance their ability to get testing done. The downside to that is that you might have a developer that just keeps running the job over and over, and over, and over again, which I've seen happen too. Personally, I can do everything in test. I can't do anything in production at all, except view jobs. I have read-only on everything in production, except for the configuration part of it, to which I have full rights. I used to almost be a fourth scheduler at one time. At this point, there's no need. The limits of my job have been redefined several times.

Overall, the usage of the product in the company is very extensive. There's not a part of our daily businesses that's not reliant upon Control-M. If Control-M was done, the company would be at a standstill, literally.

That said, likely we won't increase usage. The company we just merged with, another organization and it's debatable as to how these things go. They have about 5,500 jobs. We used to have a lot of jobs like that, however, the business drives what we do. 

How are customer service and technical support?

The technical support is probably the best I've ever worked with.

If I need support help from them, if we are down, they get back to me, if not immediately, within an hour. 24/7. And usually, we're up within an hour, after the first contact. They help greatly with planning for upgrades. I need to contact them here in the near future. They have a group called the AMIGO group, that does nothing but migrations and upgrades. I need to get with them to go over my plans for transitioning from the old servers to new servers. They will verify that what I'm doing is the right way to do it. If it's not, they will tell me how to do it, which is an excellent resource. 

They have a very large knowledge base. It's integrated with everything I've ever had to have it integrate with. Their support's been very good.

When I call BMC, I get an immediate response. I've had products that I've supported, that I've called companies and been on hold overnight. I've literally gone home for the night and left my phone on my desk, off the hook, on hold, and come in the next morning, and I'm still on hold, listening to the hold message due to the fact that the support hasn't answered yet.

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

We have recently merged with a company that uses Tidal, and of course, they want to hang on to theirs. We use Control-M. I've actually used several other scheduling products in the past, however, we've been on Control-M now for over 20 years.

How was the initial setup?

I'm actually in the process of doing an implementation right now. I'm replacing our current production system. We're replacing EOS, actually, therefore, I'm doing a straight install of everything on the new servers. It is very straightforward. The install is not really difficult. It's fairly simple if you understand how databases work and whatnot. There's really no problem doing it.

In my case, I can bring up a Control-M server within hours. I only say that as I've done that, as we were not DR prepared back during Hurricane Sandy. I had to bring up a production version of it in Cleveland, in our DR site in Cleveland. Within 24 hours, we were up and running. Therefore, if you need it done fast, it can be done. It's just a matter of, are you willing to put in what you need to put in to do it.

It's a fairly easy install, really. I personally have never had any training on Control-M. Other people in my organization have had training. That said, I'm the one that put it in and I'm the one that read the manual. That's where I got all my information from, was from reading manuals and whatnot, and directly working with it.

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

I can't speak to what our support costs are. That's out of my realm at this point. At one point, I had an idea, however, I couldn't even tell you what that is anymore. I know that our licensing is based on jobs. We buy licenses based on the number of jobs. Currently, we have about 2,500 licenses. We used to run more jobs than we do right now. We did not get rid of those licenses. 

It's basically $100 a job, give or take.

They also don't charge us for items such as the plugins for MFTP, which we don't use, although we could. They wouldn't charge us for Oracle, SQL, or Informatica. It's a reporting product. 

There's no licensing for the server, there's no licensing for the EM server. All that stuff comes as part of the product. It's all-inclusive.

From what I've seen and heard from the other company about Tidal, that's where they're making their money from - the plugins. Whereas Control-M doesn't charge us. The plugins are basically free for us. I'm sure there is a charge for support every year. I have no idea what that is. I don't get down into that level.

I just tell them, "Yes, we need this" and then the purchasing staff takes care of the actual details.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

At the time we were looking for a product, I looked at five or six different scheduling packages. By far, at that time, Control-M was leaps and bounds above all the rest of them.

What other advice do I have?

We're customers and end-users.

We're using the latest version of the solution.

By far, BMC, from what I have seen, is the industry leader and they are the Cadillac of scheduling. I've worked with a lot of different scheduling systems over the years. When I first got into IT, years and years and years ago, as a JCL programmer, basically you had access to the scheduling system and you took care of the jobs. When jobs failed, you would do the restarts on them, do whatever fix needed to be done, and get them restarted, and get them to rerun. That was on a mainframe. 

I've used Cron, and I've worked with a number of different schedulers. In the Windows world, other than AT scheduler and Control-M, that's about all I've ever used. I did review five different products back when we put this in.

Having worked with so many products, and with this one for so long, I can advise that new uses should follow the installation instructions and notes. They're very simple, very straightforward. I would advise others to not get scared off by the price as, initially, the pricing seems rather steep, compared to some of the others. However, they all have their pricing quirks, and they're all making money in one way or another. The way they make their money is based on the way they license it. The per-job style actually works out very well.

I'd rate the product at a perfect ten out of ten. It has been one of the most stable products that I have supported, and I have supported a lot of different products. I've had fewer problems with it than I have with just about anything else I've supported. 

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.
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AS
Subject Matter Expert at a consumer goods company with 10,001+ employees
Integrator
Top 20
Workflow dependencies work well, and automated audit reporting helps out sort out issues quickly

Pros and Cons

  • "Workload Archiving is a very good feature for us. It helps with our customer requirements in terms of reporting and auditing... Previously, when we didn't have any archive server, we managed the data in Control-M with man-made scripts, and we would pull the data for the last 365 days, or three or four months back. Since we installed the archiving, we have been able to pull the data, anytime and anywhere, with just one click."
  • "With the current version update, I'm not sure why we needed a separate database upgrade. Why not put it all in one package? Previously, you could do it either via a manual upgrade or an in-place upgrade but it wasn't separate."

What is our primary use case?

I am working with a beauty products company and we are dealing with supply chain issues. Most of the jobs in Control-M are through SAP.

Right now we have it deployed on-prem, but we are planning to move to the cloud very soon. We are using Control-M Workload Archiving, Control-M Enterprise Manager, Control-M servers, agents, APIs, REST APIs, and Control-M Forecast. We use all the services Control-M provides except Control-M Workload Change Manager.

How has it helped my organization?

Since moving to Control-M we have seen a lot of reductions in the manpower needed. For notification, ticketing, and integration, we have different teams. We have Azure teams and some Windows teams. Previously, they were using and managing their own scripts and manually running them. After the migration to Control-M, there were no limitations. Where there are different protocols we can use the APIs and integrate things with Control-M. There are no worries about integrations with Control-M. In UC4 there were lots of limitations because we needed the same protocols to integrate things. With Control-M, there are no such limitations.

In our current environment, there are three sets of applications. The first, an online application, is dependent on some 45 files that have to be generated on Saturday. Our middleware job is supposed to run once all the 45 files have been generated by SAP jobs. There are sequences running through Control-M: First are the SAP jobs that generate the files in a certain location. Once those files are there, the sequence initiates the middleware that moves the files to the proper IT server. All these process flow dependencies go through Control-M very easily.

We have also automated daily audit reports through the solution's reporting facility. Through scripting, we get an alert when anything happens in the Control-M environment. An issue might occur with the agent, the process, or the Control-M server. We have everything reported via email. We can easily see what happened on a given day and sort out any issues.

As a result of using Control-M we have also seen an improvement in Service Level Operations performance. We have some monitoring tools in Control-M and our service SLAs have definitely improved. We have a ticketing system integrated with it and we can easily monitor the SLAs for tickets generated through Control-M. If the person responsible for a ticket will not handle it in the right amount of time, the ticket will pop up with a message saying it's in danger of breaching the SLA. Our service levels are much higher with Control-M, when compared to other tools.

What is most valuable?

Control-M Workload Archiving is a very good feature for us. It helps with our customer requirements in terms of reporting and auditing. We have internal audits every quarter, and every six months we have external audits. During these audits, the auditors get historical data through Control-M. Previously, when we didn't have any archive server, we managed the data in Control-M with man-made scripts, and we would pull the data for the last 365 days, or three or four months back. Since we installed the archiving, we have been able to pull the data, anytime and anywhere, with just one click.

Control-M gives us a unified view where we can easily define, orchestrate, and monitor all our application workflows and data pipelines. We are mostly using SAP and other business warehouse jobs, and we can easily see the systems through Control-M. It gives us a very good view of geographical data. If I go through the Web Services to show things to my customers, they are very satisfied with the Control-M views. They can check historical data and they can see the current view. They can easily pull these up. We are satisfied with the fact that, with one click, we can see all the applications within one view.

Our line-of-business personnel use Control-M’s web interface to support their business initiatives. One of our big applications is our JG application, where a user needs a data pipeline and Power BI jobs with refreshed data. Instead of the user having to send a request to our Control-M team, they can use the Web Services directly to check their data. If they're using an iPad or a desktop, they can easily check on it themselves. They're not dependent on the Control-M team directly. We educate users on how to check things and how to pull the reports. It is very easy to use. Also, we don't have 24/7 support within our company. Suppose a user needs something at midnight. They don't have to wait for the Control-M admin team to give them the report. They can directly pull the details.

What needs improvement?

With the current version update, I'm not sure why we needed a separate database upgrade. Why not put it all in one package? Previously, you could do it either via a manual upgrade or an in-place upgrade but it wasn't separate. But for the current version, we needed to upgrade the database separately. It meant doubling our tasks to do the upgrade. That is something that needs to be improved.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using Control-M for the last 17 years. My specialization is in Control-M and I'm very happy and very comfortable with it.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I would rate its stability highly, compared to other tools in the market right now, such as UC4, and AutoSys. In the past, I have worked with many banks. All these financial companies are using Control-M, and there is a reason: It's due to the stability.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I would give the scalability a nine out of 10.

In our environment right now, out of 20,000 jobs in Control-M, 15,000 are SAP. We are planning to expand our usage of Control-M to Power BI, Business Warehouse, PeopleSoft, and Azure. Those are in our pipeline right now.

We have about 25,000 users of Control-M on different projects, in the U.S., Japan, India, and Asia Pacific. Some are monitoring programs through Control-M, some are only doing scheduling. Some are responsible for designing, others for the implementation before the licensing. And once this transition team is done, the operations team comes into the picture for monitoring. We have a separate team for integration, as well.

The number of people we require for day-to-day administration of Control-M depends on the job size and the user requirements. We work in an offshore and onsite model. We have a key administrator over the 20,000 jobs, seven schedulers, and nine people on the monitoring team, and that work is done 24/7. The schedulers and admin work 24/5.

How are customer service and technical support?

In a case where we fail to understand an issue by collecting data on our own through our audit reports, we open a case with BMC. BMC always gives us a fast resolution. Their support is very good.

How was the initial setup?

The setup of the current version of Control-M, overall, is very easy. The upgrade is in-place. With one click the agent upgrades, the server upgrades. The only point, as I mentioned, with upgrading, is that we needed a separate database update. When we upgrade our Control-M server, the database server should be upgraded at the same time.

The initial implementation in my current environment was in 2006. When we took over we just upgraded it. After that, we implemented two more Control-M Servers in this environment, as a PoC.

The amount of time required to implement it depends on the environment we are working with. In this environment, we have two production servers, four QA servers, and two testing servers. We have eight Control-M servers, three Control-M Enterprise Manager servers, and more than 400 agents. It depends on the change process. In our change process, we first need to upgrade our QA and test environments. Once that is done, we can go for the production environment the next day. After that, over the next seven days, we update our Control-M agents. Some of the upgrades require downtime. In four to five hours, we could easily update everything, but it's dependent on the downtime and the customer requirements.

When we upgraded to version 20, first we implemented it in our QA environment and we tested the new version in our test environment for three to four months. Once we see there are no bugs, we implement it in our production environment. We've seen a lot of bugs and BMC has had to produce some patches that we have had to apply in our environment. That is why we approach it the way we do in a QA environment, and wait for three months, and then go to production.

When we moved to Control-M, we used the Control-M Conversion Tool. It's a very important tool. It gives us an idea of where we stand. If I'm going to move an old environment to a new environment, it helps us with any errors so that we can rectify them.

What about the implementation team?

Back in 2016, when I was working with version 7, I opened a case with BMC and they helped me to upgrade everything. It was a very good experience. They dedicated a resource to us. We gave them our implementation plan, they reviewed it, and they suggested how to remediate some missing steps. We followed their approach and, at the time of cut-over, they assigned a dedicated resource. If there was an issue, we could open a ticket and they would come online and sort it out. The BMC Assisted MIGration Offering (AMIGO) is a very good program.

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

You must accept that BMC licensing can be very confusing. No one can easily understand how they calculate things, whether it is user-based, job-based, or server-based. The calculation is quite tough. How BMC calculates licensing is not easily available anywhere. It's a very tough part for the client at times.

But BMC is a market leader, so users don't easily go for different vendors. If there's an option to go with Control-M, they will always choose BMC. But for people who find the licensing challenging, they will go with a different vendor.

For us, the licensing part is managed by a team in the U.S. But what I deal with is that we have to manage our Control-M jobs to a maximum of 30,000, because we have 30,000 licenses. We have 20,000 with fraud detection and 10,000 in non-fraud. There is a BMC utility that can guide you and alert you if the forecast is for an increase beyond the licensing. It will notify us: "Hey, you have a license for 20,000 and the Control-M forecast shows you might need to increase that number in the coming days." So we do some cleanup, some internal housekeeping to remove things and remain under the threshold. Those are some of the things we do as administrators. We try to manage under whatever licensing we have. Through the BMC reporting tool, we can see our peak number of users in a month. BMC charges if you go over a certain peak.

Control-M is very robust. There is no harm to the customer if you choose Control-M every time. But when it comes to licensing, it's very expensive, and sometimes users think twice.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Previously we were using UC4 for more than 20,000 jobs. But our customers were not very comfortable with the user interface in UC4. Certain things were not appropriate in that tool. Since our decision to migrate to Control-M, our customers have been very satisfied.

Integration is very easy. When I'm thinking about integrating Control-M with anything I'm not worried about it. I know Control-M will definitely have a way to integrate easily. I have used UC4, AutoSys, and Dollar Universe. But when the requirements include integration, I always think of Control-M, because I know the integration will be very easy. I will never go for any of those other tools.

What other advice do I have?

Control-M is very critical for anyone who is using it.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: IT Central Station 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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SP
Lead Consultant at a media company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
Helps us monitor and deliver critical data, but support response to production issues could be improved

Pros and Cons

  • "We have a team called pro-mon and they monitor all the jobs for us. A single view for them makes it easy for them to monitor things."
  • "With earlier versions, the support was not accurate or delivered in a timely manner. What would happen is that I would be in production mode and I would have an issue and would want to get someone on a call to see what was happening. But they would always say, “Hey, provide the log first and then we'll review and we'll get back to you." I feel that when a customer asks about a production issue, they should jump onto the call to see what is going on, and then collect the logs."

What is our primary use case?

Most of my customer's jobs now run on Control-M, mainly on the finance side and for data management. Those are the core applications that we are running. We are using it as a scheduling tool. 

We have a few other applications that we are migrating to Control-M. Until about two weeks ago we were running on an older version of Control-M, so not many people were interested in migrating to it. But now we are running on an updated, supported version. So more applications should move to it.

Control-M is deployed on-prem.

How has it helped my organization?

Let's say the business wants to run some reports. We give them a console or the Self Service where they can run jobs. That way, they don't have to depend on the IT team: “Hey, can you run this job?" And then they have to open a ticket and the IT personnel have to keep to the SLAs. Instead of that, we give them Self Service where they can run their own jobs and they can see the data instantly.

For each job we have SLAs and, based on the SLA we define which ones are critical. The most important processes for us include the SFTP process. We have a few files that are very important and are generated every day. They have to be delivered to the business before they come into the office. That is a very critical process. We tried various options but after implementing Control-M we had better results. Another of our critical jobs is what we call our master data management, where we have near real-time data. We have a few SLAs where a job has to be completed within 20 or 30 seconds. That means the data has to be delivered within that amount of time. Using Control-M helps us to monitor and deliver critical data to the business.

We used to use a native scheduler, like a cron or MDM scheduler. Those kinds of schedulers were very effective, but there were no cross-platform capabilities. With Control-M, we have both types on a single page, and we can see when a file is available and when it's picked up. If I have two different data centers and Job A is running data center 1 and Job B is running in data center 2, when we used the native schedulers for moving files and getting alerts, there was always a delay of a couple of seconds. We have tight SLAs. With Control-M, we're able to deliver on time. While our earlier and our current schedulers are automated, we have a better solution now.

Control-M has also helped to improve our Service Level Operations performance. If I had to take a wild guess, I would say it has improved SLO performance by 20 percent.

What is most valuable?

The main reason we came to Control-M was to integrate everything together and have it all in a single platform. We use different applications, and integrating them was not possible previously. With Control-M it is. Apart from integration, the main features are for long-running jobs and SLA alerts. But there is definitely a lot to explore and to work on within Control-M.

The solution provides us with a unified view where we can easily define, orchestrate, and monitor all application workflows and data pipelines. We have a team called pro-mon and they monitor all the jobs for us. A single view makes it easy for them to monitor things. Control-M comes with a documentation section for each job. As an SME, I put in the high-level steps in the job documentation; what to do if a job fails. They can read it and do level-one support. Some jobs are very critical and require an immediate call, but with other jobs they can wait, re-run, or read the documentation to give them some guidance. That really helps all our teams. That single view for the monitoring team, where they can see things in a single application, is important because the business needs all jobs completed within their SLAs. Indirectly, it's helping the business to get its data on time.

Another reason we use Control-M is to integrate file transfers within our application workflows. We have cross-business functionalities, where one business generates something and another business wants to use those files. We use a lot of MFT and AFT functionalities. As a result, Control-M has definitely improved our timelines and SLAs. We have an easy-to-monitor solution now. Before Control-M, each application team had to monitor its own jobs. Sometimes they would miss something and they wouldn't know that there is a mistake in a job. But once Control-M came into the picture and we had a dedicated team to monitor everything, we were able to provide timely files to the business. The business is very appreciative of the improvements after implementing Control-M. It has improved things a lot when it comes to providing files to the business on time.

For how long have I used the solution?

With my current customer we have been using Control-M since 2017. I started using it over the last four or five years.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Now that we are using the supported version, we can leverage a lot of the features. Going forward, it's going to be very actively used by all our business teams, including all the applications teams. We don't have many jobs at the moment, around 200 or 300 jobs, but down the line, in the next six months or year, we are going to double that count.

It's a good tool, and they're coming up with a lot of new features and a lot of improvements on the scalability side. Version 20 might have come up with more features and more performance-related things.

Control-M is running multiple applications for us, including SFTP, MFT, Arkin, Informatica, and Java. There are also a lot of BA jobs and a few OS jobs. We have also integrated some of our reports with Control-M and I'm running them on my local machines. We are planning on expanding Control-M to other applications in the future. That's one of our next steps, to go to applications at the organization level. We are working on it.

We are not heavily dependent on Control-M as of now, but we are slowly migrating to it. Our users of Control-M are developers and application owners, which puts our number of users in the double digits. There are some business users as well. But it's more the application side and the team leads who are using it. Previously, I worked with a very big financial company where we had thousands of jobs. Everyone was using it there.

How are customer service and technical support?

Jesse, my account manager, is very prompt and he answers all my questions in a timely manner.

We have hardly reached out to the support team. Whenever we would reach out to them when we were running on the older version, they would always say, “Hey, you have to upgrade in order to troubleshoot.” In my experience, the support has not been excellent but it has met expectations. Since upgrading our version, we haven't reached out to the support team.

With earlier versions, the support was not accurate or delivered in a timely manner. What would happen is that I would be in production mode and I would have an issue and would want to get someone on a call to see what was happening. But they would always say, “Hey, provide the log first and then we'll review and we'll get back to you." I feel that when a customer asks about a production issue, they should jump onto the call to see what is going on, and then collect the logs. At least that would give me hope that the support is there and that they are on top of it. I did not get that kind of support from Control-M.

It could be this was just my experience from a very limited number of tickets. Once or twice we had a production issue and I was expecting that someone would join the call immediately. I know they need a log to see what is going on, but before that they could jump on and see if they can fix it. Sometimes an expert will know what the problem is before seeing the log.

I do work with support from other vendors' applications as well, and I get a different response from those vendors, so this is something BMC might have to improve.

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

We moved from native schedulers to Control-M.

What about the implementation team?

We have in-house people who are expert enough to implement Control-M, but due to other engagements, they were not able to do so.

The initial setup was straightforward. The vendor implemented it for us. We reached out to our account manager from BMC, and BMC sent a certified vendor, Cetan Corp., to our environment and they implemented it for us. Overall, it was a simple installation, a simple environment. Our initial deployment took about three months, end-to-end.

We recently upgraded and we also used a partner for that, VPMA Global Services. The process took about six months but that was not six months of work every day. The actual working time on it was about one month. The other five months were due to securing hardware, testing things, et cetera.

When we went with VPMA for the upgrade, we gave them our requirements, how we wanted our implementation to be. They came up with an architecture diagram and we had an internal discussion about it. The VPMA team came up with their recommendations, multiple approaches, and we choose the best of them.

Both partners were recommended by our account manager at BMC.

I also definitely check the integrated guides and how-to videos. They are very helpful. Products like this might be using different approaches, but they have the same types of features, so we had an idea of how to implement this. We know there are best practices so we went ahead and searched the integrated guides and YouTube support. We got a lot out of them. They're very helpful for our new people. They can search and go through the how-to videos.

We don't require many people for day-to-day administration of Control-M. We spend around one to two hours on Control-M most days. The monitoring team is always monitoring all the jobs on the screen. But the application owners, who are the admins, hardly spend two to three hours on it per day, unless there is an alert.

What was our ROI?

Whatever we have spent has definitely been worth it. At every renewal we evaluate it internally. As a Control-M SME, I have to provide some stats in terms of man-hours, the amount that we spent on it, the stability, and SLAs. Based on these, we have always had a good impression. We have to justify it that it's worth the cost, and it is.

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

Initially, our licensing model was based on the number of jobs per day. That caused some issues because we were restricted to a number. So at our renewal time we said, “We want to convert from number of jobs to number of endpoints.” That cost us extra money but it gave us additional capabilities, without worrying about the number of jobs.

At first we had the standard edition and later on needed some additional features and we paid extra for those.

What other advice do I have?

Control-M helps us to proactively monitor things and see what is coming up and what is happening. Based on that, we can take steps for resolution. But I don't think Control-M itself has the ability to proactively fix issues.

Overall, it's a good automation tool. And it gives us a single view of the customer. I would advise going with something like it. I'm not going to advise about any particular solution. All these tools are very powerful and give you a single view.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: IT Central Station 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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NP
Director at a performing arts with 5,001-10,000 employees
Real User
Top 20
By using the credentials vault, we don't need to share passwords anymore

Pros and Cons

  • "Before Control-M, we didn't have a centralized view and could not view what happened in the past to determine what will happen in the future. The Gantt view that we have in Control-M is like a project view. It is nice because we sometimes have some application maintenance that we need to do. So, in a single console, we can hold the jobs for the next hour or two. We can release that job when it is finished. This is a really nice feature that we didn't have before. It is something really simple, but we didn't previously have a console where we could say, "For the next two hours, what are the jobs that we will run? And, hold these jobs not to run." This is really important."
  • "We develop software. More frequently, we are working with microservices and APIs, using our integration tool, MuleSoft. While Control-M is really a good tool to integrate with other tools, it is important for them to continue improving their microservices and API."

What is our primary use case?

Because of security issues that we have, we are a private and public enterprise. Our main area is the lottery in Portugal. This is the most important business that we have. Also, because the money comes from the game, we need to invest it in social, health, and real estate areas.

How has it helped my organization?

For my current organization, it is a new tool. We are implementing the tool right now. We have a lot of impact jobs running every day and night, but in a skeletal matter. So, these jobs are running at one o'clock in the morning. With historical run jobs that we needed, we know it took six or seven hours to finish. Then, we have another cron job in another system at eight o'clock. With Control-M, we can reduce a lot of this time. Because when this job is finished, it will immediately start the job in another system. At this moment, we do this manually with an operator. Sometimes, they have errors because it is manual. It is not robots who do the job. Also, it takes a long time. We are losing time between jobs, if it is not automatic.

Our operator guys mostly use the web interface. As a client, we are more using the UI for the planning of the jobs. However, if we want only to do monitoring, then we only use the web interface. As we continue to work from home, there are a small number of operators who are still at our work. For security purposes, it is important to have the web interface in place because we don't like to install it on our clients because we don't have administration of the PCs. We cannot install on laptops without authorization. Access to Control-M only with a browser is really important and makes our job easier to do. We can access Control-M with a laptop, app, or mobile.

Before Control-M, we didn't have a centralized view and could not view what happened in the past to determine what will happen in the future. The Gantt view that we have in Control-M is like a project view. It is nice because we sometimes have some application maintenance that we need to do. So, in a single console, we can hold the jobs for the next hour or two. We can release that job when it is finished. This is a really nice feature that we didn't have before. It is something really simple, but we didn't previously have a console where we could say, "For the next two hours, what are the jobs that we will run? And, hold these jobs not to run." This is really important.

We use the Conversion Tool for audit purposes. We have had things working for a long time, but not documented. The Conversion Tool is nice because it helps us understand our jobs, whether they should be in Control-M or not. 

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature for us is Managed File Transfer. We have a lot of file transfers in-house. Every FTP was being done by hand. Managed File Transfer is simply the best thing for us. This is the most used feature.

The credentials vault is really important. Before Control-M, every user's operator needed to know the username and password to access a system. With Control-M, we don't need to share passwords anymore. We write down the username and password one time, then we use it without knowing the password. 

The amount of integration that Control-M already has. We use the web services. We are using the SQL and Oracle integrations because we have a huge environment and a lot of applications in-house. Because we have integrations with all these tools, we don't need to give access to the operators. Now, we have everything in a single pane of glass. The operators can see all night what is happening, where, and if they need manual intervention.

One of our most used features is Control-M's library of plugins for orchestrating and monitoring work flows and data. We have a lot of different applications, plugins, and API automation, which are really important for us. We are migrating a tool from Apache, which is Java code. So, we can schedule the Java code with the API automation plugin that Control-M delivers for us. We are now starting to operate this way.

We use the Control-M Role-Based Administration feature. It is integrated with our Active Directory. We have groups in Active Directory, who are administrators and operators. Then, we map this role-base directly in Control-M. Role-Based Administration empowers us to decentralize product teams to manage their own application workflow orchestration environments with full autonomy. We divided this by environment: production, non-production, and demo environments. For each of these environments, we have different roles in Microsoft Active Directory. These roles are implemented by Control-M Role-Based Administration.

The use of Role-Based Administration eliminates the need to submit tickets or requests to the Control-M administrator. They don't open tickets and are autonomous when doing their job. From a security posture standpoint, it is important for us because we know that only the people who have credentials can access these environments, doing the job that they have to do.

We use Control-M Centralized Connection Profiles. We create the connections for the user and password. After that, we don't need to share passwords anymore, which is important for us.

What needs improvement?

We develop software. More frequently, we are working with microservices and APIs, using our integration tool, MuleSoft. While Control-M is really a good tool to integrate with other tools, it is important for them to continue improving their microservices and API.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been working with Control-M for more than 10 years. First, I was working in a consulting company, as a consultant, where we implemented Control-M. Now, in the last year, I have been a customer in a huge organization in Portugal. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We can work with jobs that should run daily because of it. When we need to do an upgrade, it is really important for us not to have any downtime.

We are always afraid to install the latest version. However, with Control-M, it is really comfortable to move onto the latest version because of the stability. When I worked as a consultant, I never had any problems. Even when we had Control-M in two data centers, if one goes down, then we can run Control-M in another data center. Few software solutions have the stability of Control-M. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We have different areas: real estate, games, social activities, and healthcare. The scalability for us is really important because we have different agents installed by business area. We don't mix it. Also, we have to always buy our VM servers per business area, so we can upscale how we want, which is really nice to have in Control-M. Critical jobs can run from different servers if something is not working.

How are customer service and technical support?

BMC support is an eight out of 10. Everyone has centralized outsourcing for the first line of their service desk. They always ask some of their normal questions. After a while, once those guys know our workflow and understand that we already have some knowledge in Control-M, it is really fast to solve the problem.

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

We really needed a job scheduling tool. At the end of the day, we bought BMC Control-M. It is for a distributed environment where we have a lot of different working systems, operating systems, and applications. Control-M is the application and tool that meets our expectations.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was straightforward. It is really easy to understand the architecture, and even install it. Based on some internal rules that we have in-house, Control-M fits well with our architecture.

It took a day to install and a week to implement. After one week, we had some jobs working and were able to get the users to see, control, and monitor the jobs. We had it deployed and working in less than a week for Windows, Linux, and HP-UX operating systems as well as VMS.

What about the implementation team?

My principal difficulty implementing in-house was that people didn't understand what the job scheduling tool can do for us. It was long hours, and a lot of days, saying to our internal colleagues that this is the right tool. With this tool, we didn't need to have a lot of consoles anymore, i.e., working 24/7 to try and open every console to understand what is happening. We can have a single tool for all the jobs, applications, and operating systems. We can monitor and schedule all the jobs. They thought this is rocket science and doesn't exist. This solution has existed for a long time and is really important. 

What was our ROI?

The use of Centralized Connection Profiles has helped lower our total cost of ownership. Before BMC Control-M, we had different environments with the same users. We saw before that even the passwords for the different environments are the same. Before Control-M, we had passwords in emails and chats. Sometimes, the password would expire. With Control-M, we changed that. Every environment has an administrator who needs to write a password. We give them access to write the password directly into Control-M. The person configuring the job only needs to know who the user is, not the password.  With this functionality, the time that it takes has been reduced.

It reduces the duration for a lot of our jobs. We no longer have a window for maintenance applications at night.

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

This is an area where it is a little difficult to work with BMC. They want to do licenses by job, which is what we have. For example, the simplest is to license by job, but they can also license by nodes. While the licensing is simple to use, it might not be the correct licensing model for the customer. It is okay because we want to license by job, which is something measurable. At the end of the day, licensing by job is the most important.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We evaluated other vendors, like CA, but CA was bought by another company, and we have been a little afraid. Our organization always buys with a tender. Our tender had a lot of requirements on it and only Control-M could meet them all. It was a public tender, so we didn't really choose Control-M. We had a huge list of requirements that we really needed for job scaling. Only BMC could do it. IBM Tivoli tried to answer, but it didn't meet all our requirements.

Most tools have a huge GUI. You need to open five to seven windows to go to the parameters. Sometimes you don't have all the parameters in the GUI. With Control-M, it is three clicks and we have all the information that we need. We can see that in Control-M, we can see that all the perimeters are there for one job, like Managed File Transfer. It is very intuitive, and we can understand where to find the parameters to configure.

What other advice do I have?

I think that every single company should have Control-M installed, because it is really important and useful for everyone.

I would rate this solution as a 10 out of 10.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: IT Central Station 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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BB
ITSM Implementation Manager at a transportation company with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Top 20
Provides us with a unified view where we can easily define, orchestrate, and monitor all of our application workflows and data pipelines

Pros and Cons

  • "The ability to integrate file transfers has been instrumental in allowing us to accomplish the things we need with Control-M. In our industry, we take a lot of data and either push it down to the stores or retail grocery stores. We take files and push them down to the stores or pull files and information from the stores and bring it back to corporate. So, it's two-way communication with file transfers. One of the bigger things that we do with Control-M is scheduling data moves and moving data from one location to another."
  • "The MFT applications should have more functionality and flexibility within that tool. Having more flexibility with that tool for handling the one to many or many to one concept. Like being able to take data from one source and push it to many locations or pull data from many locations and bring it back into a single source. That's why we still use our TPS program for the file transfers just because we don't have some of those capabilities available to us within MFT."

What is our primary use case?

I manage the team responsible for the tool itself, the administration of the system. We have a separate team internally that does all the operations and scheduling facets of the tool.

Our primary use case includes supply chain, payroll, accounting, information technology, pricing validations, etc. Most of the areas of the business have some facet into Control-M.

How has it helped my organization?

We have automated critical processes with Control-M. It is critical in a lot of different processes. We use it for all of our server patchings every month, we schedule that so that it kicks off the job every month, then goes and updates all of our Linux servers, for example, or our Windows servers. It does deployments and things that are critical to IT business.

Automating this critical process has taken the human aspect out of that process. So, that user no longer has to be up in the middle of the night to do server patching. That's all hands-free, completely zero downtime, knowing back to the customers. It's been beneficial in that regard.

Control-M helped improve data transfers. Specifically things like processing sales information. So we have all the data from our various retail locations, our individual stores that get processed every day automatically using Control-M. And we have our daily pricing information that we send to the stores to update all the pricing for all the different locations. Those would be some of the bigger areas of business automation.

It has helped to improve data transfers. Specifically things like processing sales information. So, we have all the data from our various retail locations, our individual stores that get processed every day automatically using Control-M. And we have our daily pricing information that we send to the stores to update all the pricing for all the different locations.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable features are the scheduling aspects of the tool and to have everything scheduled and automated to be able to run on a set timeframe.

It's important to our work because we can set it and forget it. We don't have to worry about logging in and pulling that data every day or manipulating the data. It can be run on a schedule and then the proper timing after dependencies are run.

Control-M provides us with a unified view where we can easily define, orchestrate, and monitor all of our application workflows and data pipelines. It's not super important in my particular line, but it is important for the operations and scheduling team that use the tool.

We use mobile interfaces. They allow the development teams to be able to go in and set up the jobs that they need to schedule them accordingly. There's still quite a bit of a gap between the two tools. So, a lot of our users still prefer to use the desktop client.

We use Control-M to integrate our file transfers within our application workflows. But we do not use the BMC MFT program. We use a different third-party file transfer tool.

The ability to integrate file transfers has been instrumental in allowing us to accomplish the things we need with Control-M. In our industry, we take a lot of data and either push it down to the stores or retail grocery stores. We take files and push them down to the stores or pull files and information from the stores and bring it back to corporate. So, it's two-way communication with file transfers. One of the bigger things that we do with Control-M is scheduling data moves and moving data from one location to another.

We also use Control-M to streamline our data and analytics projects. It's not doing any automation now. That would be done with the tools that it feeds, like Cognos or other reporting tools. It just collects data for us.

The integrated guides and how-to videos in the solution's web interface are okay for some of the basic user questions that we get for how to use the tool and do some of the basics, but from an admin standpoint, which is what I'm responsible for with my team, they're not very helpful. We still go back to BMC Docs, open tickets when we need to, and things of that nature to get the information.

What needs improvement?

The MFT applications should have more functionality and flexibility within that tool. Having more flexibility with that tool for handling the one to many or many to one concept. Like being able to take data from one source and push it to many locations or pull data from many locations and bring it back into a single source. That's why we still use our TPS program for the file transfers just because we don't have some of those capabilities available to us within MFT.

It is still a little difficult to get support on Control-M. It seems to be its own very specific BMC product unlike Remedy and some of the other BMC tools we have. It's quite a bit more difficult to get support for Control-M.

I would rate their support a five out of ten. They're just average to adequate. 

You don't have the option to have a dedicated support resource and engineer. Someone that works with you individually to understand your environment, to help you grow and adapt to new things, and to roadmap your maturity within the tool as you do with some of the other BMC tools.

We use Premier Support for other BMC tools, just not this one.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using Control-M for two and a half years. The company started using the product in 2014.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It's very stable. We have no complaints in this area. The application is very well built and it is reliable. We were also very focused on the idea of availability when we built our environment.  We are setup with both high availability and a fail-over environments. If we were to have problems with a particular server, we have the secondary to fail over to.  Or, worst case, another environment to use in our secondary datacenter.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Scalability is excellent. It's easy enough to spin up another server and add it to the server group.

Pretty much every application that we have in this company has some kind of Control-M piece to it. That's everything from accounting and payroll for our stores and customer interfaces. We're pushing and pulling data and doing different job-related things for almost all applications.

We'll continually use Control-M. Our IT business has 3,400 people. Control-M is mostly used by some of our development teams, traditional application development groups that develop our in-house applications. We have our system administrators, our infrastructure teams, IT security, operations, and those types of groups.

We require only one staff member for day-to-day administration. She was responsible for all the day-to-day administration of the tool like adding users, provisioning users, making sure hotfixes are applied to system upgrades.  

We recently did overall system health initiatives. It was also a point of contact for our operations scheduling group. If they have questions on the tool if there are any issues, or things of that nature.

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support through BMC Support can be challenging at times.  If any issues need to be escalated to R&D then you have to work with directly with the team in Israel.  This can cause problems coordinating between time zones.  

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

We previously used ESP. There were a few reasons the company decided to move from ESP to BMC Control-M.   

1. The need for a product that was distributed based vs. mainframe based.  The company was working to retire the mainframe so there wasn't as much of a need for a product that was heavily mainframe focused. 

2. We were told that BMC Remedy and BMC Control-M were integrated so job failure ticket automation would be simple.

3. There was a desire to have the same vendor for our automation, orchestration, monitoring, CMDB, and ITSM tools.  BMC was able to meet this requirement.

What about the implementation team?

For the initial conversion, we used BMC. Through the last couple of upgrades, we used other BMC preferred partners.

We have used both CFS and Cetan Corporation to assist us with upgrading the application.  Both companies were knowledgeable and we were able to perform the upgrades without problems.

Recently, we have been able to upgrade the environments without assistance from a third party.

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

The licensing and pricing are bundled together with our other BMC products. I don't know the specific cost of Control-M by itself. For us, it is based on how many jobs we run annually.  We run roughly 9,000 jobs a year.

If I had to guess, I would say it's in the neighborhood of about $250,000.

Since it is based on a per-job run, if we increase the number of jobs that we run annually, the cost will increase accordingly.

There are also additional operational costs, hardware for servers, databases, BMC maintenance, etc.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Yes, other vendors were evaluated at that time.  Control-M was selected primarily because of the integration between it and other BMC tools.

What other advice do I have?

Make sure that you spend enough time to design and build your environment, both high availability and failover are critical to overall success.  Because we rely on Control-M so heavily, it needs to always be available. Control-M is critical to the success of our business, we cannot accept downtime. We do everything we can to keep the system running 24/7, 365. For example, we have invested additional time and resources to fully automate our monthly server patching. Now we can patch our environment with zero impact to jobs. 

Another piece of advice, use BMC as a partner for professional services, especially when doing your initial implementation.  It is a big endeavor and BMC can help you be successful.  Lastly, spend time training your staff on how to use and administer the product.  Control-M is a powerful but complex application.  It requires skilled and knowledgeable operators and admins to keep the system working well.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: IT Central Station 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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Gana Muthanna
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: IT Central Station 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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