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If you've got gobs of IT and business processes, bringing in intelligent automation software can significantly streamline operations. But finding the right tool can be complicated.
Just ask David Deering, IS operations administrator at CAP COM Federal Credit Union, in Albany, N.Y.
When he went looking for a way to automate a loan-related process that periodically get botched up by human error, he initially assumed the software the company had selected to automate several back-office, batch-oriented jobs would be able to handle his needs as well. Turns out he was wrong.
While robust, that application didn't have the capability to support a user interface that allowed for administrators to enter dates and numbers before the process ran -- but that's just what he needed, Deering says.
"This process had to be run every day in sequential date order, but it wouldn't be run over the weekend. So, the Monday morning person had to enter the Saturday, Sunday and Monday dates and run those in sequential order," he describes. "Should the regular Monday person not be in, the backup a.m. processor, because of unfamiliarity, often messed that up, forgetting to run Saturday and Sunday, for example."
IT operations would then have to restore the database to the date of the mistake and rerun in sequential order each day for this process, Deering adds. Not only was this time-consuming and inefficient, it meant an inability to deliver daily reports to third parties handling the loan type associated with this process, he says.
"We'd been living with this situation for a couple of years, but we didn't have any solution so we had to bear with it. Every time the issue came up, we had to restore the system back to a good date and manually run the process till we caught up," Deering says. "We needed to find some way of automating all of that, so daily update and reporting wasn't delayed."
Since its back-office automation software provider didn't offer the ability to do screen captures or key stroke recordings, it recommended a tool from Automation Anywhere, previously known as Tethys Solutions. After investigating the Automation Anywhere software, CAP COM decided to give it a shot, Deering says.
With this IT automation software, the troublesome process now runs automatically every day. "With no human interaction required, we haven't had any errors or the application being run out of date sequence," he reports.
In addition, CAP COM also now uses Automation Anywhere to run gateway server backup processes on a daily basis and to run several applications in its mortgage servicing systems, Deering says. "We're very enthusiastic about Automation Anywhere," he adds.
"Taking the element of human error has been a top benefit, plus the automation means nobody has to remember to sit down and run a report."
Read more about infrastructure management in Network World's Infrastructure Management section.