Workload Automation Blog

FinServ Company Improves Financial Close with Control-M and ThruPut Manager

4 minute read
Flora Tramontano Guerritore, Spencer Hallman
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When I joined IBM at the beginning of my career, I saw firsthand how reliable, available, scalable, and secure the mainframe was for customers. Over the years, I have watched as concepts like virtualization were pioneered on the mainframe and how mainframe technology has consistently evolved to enhance its importance to the enterprise. According to IBM, mainframes now manage up to 19 billion encrypted transactions a day. That’s why I’m not surprised when SHARE says that mainframes handle 90 percent of all credit card transactions, or when IDC says most large enterprises have mainframes that run mission-critical workloads.

As organizations work to be more agile, data-driven, and customer-centric in their journey to become an Autonomous Digital Enterprise, continued mainframe modernization will be critical and companies must  integrate their mainframes with the wider IT ecosystem.

BMC’s acquisition of Compuware last year is an example of how we are helping customers speed their modernization journey. Forrester said of the acquisition: “CIOs have realized their digital transformations get stuck if they don’t modernize their core systems, many of which run on mainframes… The bet of BMC and Compuware is to scale DevOps on the mainframe like any other platform. We like this move by BMC.” The acquisition provides mainframe developers a fully integrated DevOps toolchain that supports agile, high-quality mainframe application development.

We are already connecting innovative mainframe solutions that will help customers thrive now and in the future. A few weeks ago we announced an integration between Control-M, BMC’s leading application workflow orchestration solution, and ThruPut Manager, Compuware’s best-in-breed mainframe batch processing optimization solution. Here’s a look at how one customer is already using the integration to improve the management of its month-end close processes.

Automating the complexity out of financial close processes

Every company, regardless of industry, completes financial close processes to verify and adjust account balances and produce summary financial statements. These financial statements are critical to help executives make strategic data-driven decisions.

A large financial services company that offers banking, insurance, and investment services decided to use application workflow orchestration and mainframe batch management to improve their monthly financial close processes. To ensure timely delivery, their financial close processes required the flow of accounting and summarization jobs–triggered from different lines of business–to enter the system in the middle of the last business day of the month, and to be executed at the optimal point in time.

This meant that financial close workflows must be given preference over daily cycle jobs, which are accommodated once the monthly jobs are completed. But they had to ensure that daily jobs would not be delayed too long, or business service SLAs could be missed.

In the past, customers running Control-M for z/OS and ThruPut Manager needed to write substantial amounts of code to be able to align the prioritization logic of the two solutions. However, the recently announced integration changes all that.

Control-M for z/OS and ThruPut Manager

Control-M for z/OS simplifies the orchestration of mainframe application workflows. It helps customers define, schedule, manage, and monitor mainframe application workflows so business services are delivered on time, every time. It is part of a wider platform that enables end-to-end application workflow orchestration, mainframe to cloud.

Control-M’s orchestration planning is based on a rich set of data, including predefined date and time schedules, job durations, dependencies, priorities, SLA deadlines, and other logical requirements. It also includes historical run-time statistics, which are used to refine plans and improve SLAs over time.

With this built-in intelligence, Control-M for z/OS produces an accurate job prioritization that determines the job submission order. It submits jobs in that specific order to the system for execution but does not have control over their actual execution. That’s where ThruPut Manager enters the equation.

ThruPut Manager automates the processing of batch queues and determines the execution order of jobs, based on its own service levels, queue waiting times, resources, and CPU utilization. It constantly reprioritizes jobs in the queue and adjusts the load based on workload performance. As a result, ThruPut Manager delivers intelligent batch processing, optimal system loading and balance, higher service levels, maximized throughput and speed, and reduced MLC charges.

In summary, Control-M for z/OS managed the job submission order, based on scheduling insights, and ThruPut Manager controlled the job execution order, based on real-time environment insights.

However, the customer still faced a critical challenge. Their month-end close jobs, submitted by
Control-M for z/OS with high priority order, were not being selected for execution with the same priority. ThruPut Manager can give precedence to other Control-M daily jobs or even ad hoc workloads or online workloads, based on its prioritization criteria. But it doesn’t have visibility into the scheduling view and information such as when jobs need to start and complete to meet SLAs, or their average duration.

Better together

Instead of having to build a lot of cumbersome (and difficult to scale) code logic to check both ThruPut Manager and Control-M for z/OS for priorities, the products’ integration does this for the customer automatically. The scheduling logic built in Control-M for z/OS is leveraged by ThruPut Manager to drive intelligence in real-time execution of jobs.

In addition to real-time environment load levels, ThruPut Manager now has visibility to SLA business requirements to prioritize workload execution most effectively, respecting business priorities and infrastructure constraints. It defers or anticipates the execution of workloads depending on real-time system loads, resource availability, and CPU consumption, plus scheduling needs and SLA impacts.

This helps the customer optimize workload performance based on business service levels and real-time resource utilization, ultimately:

  • Ensuring critical business services are delivered on time, every time
  • Providing executives accurate, timely monthly financial close data
  • Reducing costs through optimized mainframe performance

What Control-M for z/OS and ThruPut Manager can do for you

The new integration between Control-M for z/OS and ThruPut Manager helps companies optimize mainframe performance by syncing business requirements with real-time resource utilization and system load data. The result? You get more efficient, cost-optimized batch workload and SLA performance, and improved resource utilization.

Want to learn more? Check out these great resources:

Achieve faster, more accurate financial close processes

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These postings are my own and do not necessarily represent BMC's position, strategies, or opinion.

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About the author

Flora Tramontano Guerritore

Flora Tramontano Guerritore, Lead Solution Marketing Manager at BMC in Rome, Italy, drives Solution Marketing efforts for solution messages and positioning, products, sales plays, and use cases that support the Digital Business Automation marketing program. With deep domain expertise and staying current on key industry trends and hot topics, Flora applies her mindset to understand customer goals and the value they can derive from Digital Business Automation solutions. Flora built her technical foundation in IBM, working in various roles in engineering, software development and customer support. Prior to joining BMC, Flora served for 10 years as the Worldwide Product and Offering Manager for IBM’s z/OS and distributed Workload Automation products, directing key technical and marketing tasks, which included business analysis, product roadmap and strategy, as well as the development of messaging, collaterals, and content delivery at customer briefings and events.

About the author

Spencer Hallman

Spencer Hallman is the Product Manager for Compuware's ThruPut Manager and zAdviser products. Previously, he was the Product Manager for Strobe, the Subject Matter Expert for Mainframe Performance and Field Technical Support for Strobe. His diverse experience over the years has also included programming on multiple platforms, providing technical support and working in the Operations Research field. He has a Master of Business Administration with a concentration in Operations Research from Temple University and a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from the University of Vermont. He lives in Devon, PA and when he’s not attending virtual meetings, enjoys walking his dogs, riding his bike and spending time with his family.