Heartland Taps Help/Systems for IBM i Job Scheduling
January 14, 2014 Alex Woodie
Job scheduling is one of those things that you may not pay a lot of attention to. For the folks at Heartland Financial, keeping track of IBM i and Windows jobs manually worked just find–right up to the day it didn’t. And that’s when it brought in Help/Systems and its Robot/SCHEDULER to automate the situation.
Heartland Financial USA is a $5.7 billion multi-bank holding company providing banking, mortgage, wealth management, brokerage, and insurance services to clients in the Midwest and the West. The publicly traded company is considered one of the top 100 bank holding companies in the US.
An IBM i server running the Fiserv Signature banking software lies at the heart of Heartland’s diverse operations. Surrounding the IBM i platform are a series of Windows systems. The setup has served the company well. But as the company grew, it struggled to manage the IBM i and Windows jobs in a manual fashion. At one point, Heartland was managing more than 400 jobs, according to Help/Systems.
“We have a lot of extracts that feed third-party systems,” says Charles Bertsch, Heartland’s computer operations manager. “There were a lot of manual jobs that we had to run after nightly processing, and operators had to physically watch those jobs. Our nightly workflow never ends at exactly the same time so it was complete guesswork to schedule subsequent jobs in the IBM scheduler and then go to the Windows server to set up a download in one of the Windows schedulers.”
Upgrades, in particular, were a total nightmare on the Windows scheduler side. “We used to go through and take 15 screen prints of jobs we put on hold in the scheduler!”
That sort of workaround is no longer needed, now that it has Robot/SCHEDULER (for controlling IBM i jobs) and Robot/Scheduler Enterprise (for controlling Windows jobs via IBM i) keeping the jobs running smoothly.
As Heartland grows, it’s become even more critical to complete all processing in the nightly window. The adoption of Robot/SCHEDULE is key to meeting those goals. “Automation is huge for us to maintain that window,” Bertsch says. “We also wanted to make sure we could function at twice our size in a few years with the same application. With Robot products that’s not an issue.”