PLATFORMS: Tivoli Maestro is currently running on Sun OS, Windows NT, AIX-RS/6000 and MVS/ESA.

BACKGROUND: Founded in 1952, New England Business Supply (NEBS) is a leading direct marketer of business forms, packaging, shipping and warehouse supplies for small businesses in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and France.

PROBLEM SOLVED: Prior to installing Tivoli Maestro all UNIX processes required many dedicated resources to manage. With the addition of the PeopleSoft applications, these resources could not possibly manage the production workload without an automated solution. Tivoli Maestro was selected for its ability to manage fault tolerance/high availability, scalability, security, integration, recovery/restart, load balancing and "mainframe- like" job scheduling. The scalability that this solution offered meets the NEBS future growth requirements. Tivoli Maestro also provides Internet validation between its central and remote systems. Tivoli Maestro will tightly integrate with Tivoli Systems Management Environment (TME) which NEBS is currently implementing. Tivoli Maestro's interface to OS/390 allows us to maintain our investment in our legacy job scheduler, CA-JOBTRAC. Tivoli Maestro's master scheduling file, like the mainframe, is optimized to support job scheduling with well-defined interfaces for extracting data. Tivoli Maestro also does not depend on a third-party database for storing scheduling information.

PRODUCT FUNCTIONALITY: Our operators can now monitor UNIX, NT and MVS jobs from one place. Our long-term goal is to have Tivoli Maestro run all production job runs on these platforms, including PeopleSoft applications. We have also integrated Tivoli Maestro with Tivoli TME which allows us to pass alert messages about failed processes to the Tivoli management console. This gives TME operators status on all jobs that need attention.

STRENGTHS: Tivoli Maestro is very useful for analyzing and troubleshooting job flows. Tivoli Maestro gives us an enterprise view, incorporating mainframe scheduling activity. We also need to constantly transfer and order customer information between UNIX and OS/390, and we rely on Tivoli Maestro to trigger File Transfer Protocols (FTPs) while ensuring the existence of these files back and forth between UNIX and OS/390. We are also able to use a Tivoli Maestro test environment separate from the production environment to test new applications and verify that jobs run on schedule within the new applications and kick off interdependent jobs across platforms.

WEAKNESSES: To define, launch and monitor jobs we rely on the Tivoli Maestro's graphical user interface (GUI) and the UNIX command line. The GUI doesn't have all the point-and- click features translated from the command line. Tivoli Maestro forces job date definitions (ON/EXCEPT) to be set at the schedule level with no flexibility at the job level which results in the creation of multiple schedules.

SELECTION CRITERIA: We wanted a client/server scheduler that could be integrated with CA-JOBTRAC, our mainframe scheduler, and had a similar look and feel and methodology that would help reduce the learning curve. Tivoli Maestro integrated very well with CA- JOBTRAC. With Tivoli Maestro we can click on a job and display the status of all interdependencies for that job within the JNEXTDAY process period.

DELIVERABLES: With Tivoli Maestro we run reports or use the GUI to display job summaries and analyze patterns. We can analyze whether jobs are running under optimum conditions.

VENDOR SUPPORT: Technical support is very responsive to our calls, particularly when we've had problems with the OS/390 agent triggering jobs on the mainframe. As part of our licensing agreement, we have technical support staff on site each quarter to train us on new product features.

DOCUMENTATION: The product documentation is complete and easy to understand.

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