Financial System Outsourcer Taps UC4 to for Job Automation
March 17, 2009 Alex Woodie
Computer Research Inc. (CRI), which develops and runs financial services software for its clients, has licensed the Workload Automation Suite from UC4 Software to help it manage its System i environment more proactively, UC4 announced last week.
CRI develops a range of financial management products for its customers, which tend to be banks, broker dealers, bank brokerage subsidiaries, treasury operations, mutual funds, and other companies that need a way to maintain their portfolios, as well as their clients’ portfolios. The systems developed by CRI encompass a variety of needs, including trading stocks, bonds, futures, and other financial instruments; hooking into third-party systems such as Bloomberg, ACH, and JJ Kenny; monitoring market risk; settling trades; tax reporting; calculating interest; cashiering; accounting; and much more.
When it was founded nearly 50 years ago, the mainframe was CRI’s primary development and run-time platform. Today, some of CRI’s work is carried out on IBM i-based Power Systems (AS/400) computers, which are housed in a 5,000 square-foot data center at the company’s headquarters in Westminster, Colorado.
CRI employees said the company needed a better way to automate and manage its System i operations, which include 15 separate client environments that run 2,000 jobs each. The company had developed an internal system to manage the jobs, but the volume of trades and daily fluctuations of up to 300 percent were beginning to overwhelm the old system, and threaten the timely completion of batch and online processes.
CRI had heard good things about UC4, a developer of utilizes for i OS and mainframe servers that has U.S. headquarters in Bellevue, Washington. So CRI brought in UC4’s Workload Automation Suite, and was impressed with the results.
“UC4 immediately helped our organization run more efficiently,” stated Larry Cornell, a CRI operations analyst, in a UC4 press release. “During the trial period we completely automated one of our 24-hour run batch processes, with a significant reduction in overall elapsed processing time. We also used UC4 to monitor and intercept all console wait messages across multiple iSeries LPARs.”
In the future, CRI plans to use the Workload Automation Suite to manage other computer platforms. “UC4 is a key ingredient to automating our entire data center,” says CRI CIO Dennis Noto in a press release. “Many new applications running on different platforms will be managed by one solution that will maintain the pulse of our financial operation data processing.”