UC4 Dynamic Scheduling Gives Clearstream a Clear View

Due to the complex nature of its business, Clearstream had […]

June 22, 2009

Due to the complex nature of its business, Clearstream had always automated many of its processes, including the management of core business applications. This means thousands of MIPS of processing power on multiple platforms with secured back-up facilities over multiple locations, and, as such, the ability to handle complex IT operating/scheduling tasks, from a single interface is integral to the successful running of Clearstream’s business.

For many years, it had relied upon a first-generation job scheduling engine to automate these processes. Unfortunately, the tool was proving expensive to administer, often requiring fixes that took a long time to implement. Realizing that automation technology had advanced Clearstream decided to re-evaluate its existing scheduling requirements.

“The scheduler we were using required constant attention with 1.5 FTE (fulltime employees) tied up on maintenance. We were looking for a company that could, not only provide more advanced technology but also anticipate our future requirements in terms of workload automation functionality and performance,” explained Willy Schockert, Director – UNIX and ICSD Infrastructure at Clearstream. “Other key considerations were the TCO (total cost of ownership) of the proposed solution, proof that it was fit for purpose, and that the company we chose to work with could demonstrate previous project implementation experience of a similar nature.”

Additional requirements included the ability for swift integration with existing systems and an increased level of job processing, based on a quantitative requirement that the process should not take more than two minutes per 10.000 jobs, with a minimum level of disruption

UC4 Solution

Following a detailed RFP process, Clearstream selected UC4 Workload Automation Suite for evaluation. The decision was largely based on its ability to effectively manage a multi-platform and application environment. The IT team was also impressed by UC4’s consultants, who were very knowledgeable about the product but, more importantly, understood Clearstream’s situation and how the software could be applied to addressing operational IT challenges.

Fujitsu Technology Solutions (formerly Fujitsu Siemens Computers), as UC4 partner played a key role in the commercial agreement reached with UC4.

“It quickly became clear that UC4’s product was best suited to our dynamic scheduling requirements in terms of functionality,” said Schockert. “So, once we had worked through a proof of concept, we saw no reason not to start the implementation process immediately.”

Clearstream had a very tight three-month timeframe in which to transfer its processes from the incumbent scheduler to UC4. In order to ensure this went according to plan, the company decided to appoint a specialist ‘Commando’ implementation team in July, consisting of key personnel from UC4, Fujitsu Technology Solutions, as well as senior technical staff from Clearstream.

“Everyone needed to be onboard with the same goal in mind, so getting UC4 and Clearstream executive management sponsorship was crucial to the success of this project,” explained Schockert. “UC4’s flexible and responsive approach was integral to the success of our strategy through their engagement as part of the Commando implementation team – and regular weekly meetings meant that any problems were dealt with immediately, allowing the solution to go live in September as planned.”

Clearstream Benefits

Schockert reports that the performance of business operations has been greatly improved, and estimates that Clearstream has made savings of at least 40 per cent on scheduling costs to date.

“On average we are running 25,000 jobs a day which vary in length from as little as one second up to 45 minutes,” he said. “The performance across the scheduling of all these jobs has been greatly improved and, as a result, my levels of stress have been greatly lowered!”

Looking ahead Schockert is optimistic: “UC4 technology is now at the heart of what we do. We have been very happy with the improvements it has made to our business and are now looking at its ability to interface with SAP. As a result of this capability, we may be looking at how we can automate SAP related processing across the group going forward.”

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