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Hands Off Those Processes

Optinuity's process-automation software aims to cut the amount of work by I.T. staff to keep systems going
Startup Optinuity Inc. this week will introduce software designed to automate many of the manual processes IT departments use to run the systems and networks on which their businesses are built. Called C2O, the software aims to document, manage, and execute IT operations, procedures, and scripts, reducing the amount of hands-on work done by IT staffers to keep systems running. C2O can automate a range of processes, including job execution, data backup and archiving, indexing databases, and restoring data.

C2O is built on software called SKEmatrix, developed to automate scheduled tasks in mainframe batch environments. Developers Rachid Sijelmassi and Anil Parthasarathy joined with Scott Stouffer, founder and former CEO of Visual Networks Inc., to raise capital and launch Optinuity last October. "We turned it into a workflow platform that lets IT departments take basic IT functions, turn them into building blocks, build procedures, and let the system run it," Stouffer says.

The Oklahoma Employment Security Commission installed an earlier version of the software last summer to reduce the number of staffers devoted to running jobs on the agency's mainframe, says Michael Evans, CIO at the commission. Evans was looking for a product that could schedule and run jobs, work with the agency's AS/400s, and handle nighttime mainframe jobs.

"I had to staff my computer room 24-by-7," Evans says. "This software let me reduce the number of people devoted to these tasks. We were able to take flow-chart-type diagrams and turn them into automated procedures. We cut three hours off our nighttime run, and it eliminated one of our biggest problems--operator error."

IT departments in large companies spend as much as 80% of their budgets on day-to-day operations and maintenance, analysts say. Says Emre Onder, a senior consultant at Fletcher Spaght Consulting: "If there were tools available to automate IT processes, IT departments wouldn't need all of these people to manually manage these things."

Illustration By: Brian Rea/Veer