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HCLSoftware: Fueling the Digital+ Economy

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The real measure of cloud transformation is an organization’s ability to quickly consume the latest technology and rapidly respond to market and line of business needs. A business transformation is incomplete without the automation of processes at both the IT and business application levels—which is why organizations today are relying on workload automation as a unifying force for IT and the business.

In this post, you’ll learn how HCL Workload Automation (HWA) can automate tasks related to batch processing, job scheduling, unattended processes, and event-driven automation.

You’ll also learn how the solution leverages Amazon Web Services (AWS) products, including Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service (Amazon EKS), and works with SAP environments to help organizations accelerate their digital transformation journey.

HCLTech is an AWS Premier Tier Consulting Partner that serves hundreds of global enterprises to solve day-to-day and complex challenges with a dedicated full-stack business unit. HCLTech has expertise in digital, engineering, and cloud and holds five AWS Competencies including Migration, DevOps, and SAP. HCLTech is also an AWS Managed Service Provider (MSP) Partner.

Automate Anything, Run Anywhere with HWA
HCL Workload Automation orchestrates unattended, scheduled, and event-driven tasks for business and IT processes across on-premises and cloud environments.

Organizations can have complete control of process automation from a central location while taking advantage of a cutting-edge automation solution that leverages advanced artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities.

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Figure 1 – Cloud-native and hybrid orchestration with workload automation.

HWA is designed to meet an organization’s current and future data processing needs across an enterprise application landscape, and during various phases of digital transformation from on-premises to cloud.

HWA’s dynamic scheduling capabilities help organizations maintain business policies and ensure service level agreements (SLAs) by defining automation with streamlined modeling, improved observability through integration with AI and AI-powered anomaly detection.

HWA achieves this by:

  • Automatically discovering scheduling environment resources
  • Matching job requirements to available resources
  • Controlling and optimizing use of resources
  • Automatically following resource changes
  • Requesting additional resources when needed

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Figure 2 – The need for a workload automation solution.

Powered by Amazon EKS, HCL Workload Automation offers support for containerized deployments and can be provisioned in minutes using infrastructure as code (IaC).

HWA has pre-built plugins available for AWS products including Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3), AWS Lambda, Amazon Simple Queue Service (SQS), Amazon Simple Notification Service (SNS), AWS Batch, and AWS CloudFormation.

Additionally, customers can choose from 90+ out-of-the-box plugins available in our Automation Hub.

Figure 3 – Job types and integrations available on the HCL Automation Hub.

Solution Architecture
The HCLTech product team chose microservices as design pattern for HWA, as microservices enable product teams to define service boundaries and achieve scale with flexibility.

The HWA application architecture is based on containers, which shine in key areas like automation, standardization, and efficiency.

To reduce the complexity of installing HWA application, HCLTech leverages CloudFormation-based one-click deployment. This allows organizations to deploy the HWA application on Amazon EKS, a Kubernetes platform with high security, reliability, and scalability.

By combining automation and container-based product offering, HCLTech’s HWA team reduced installation and configuration cycles, while providing customers a solution that can be quickly and easily deployed.

HWA includes a set of features that help customers define IT and business automation with streamlined modeling, advanced AI, and open integration for observability. The open standards for HWA data collection can be integrated seamlessly with observability tools available like AWS Managed Service for Prometheus and AWS Managed Service for Grafana.

In order to reduce operations overhead and achieve higher levels of availability of HWA for enterprises, the solution uses services including:

  • Amazon Relational Database Service (Amazon RDS) for hosting databases.
  • AWS Lambda for event-driven components.
  • Amazon EKS as the container runtime platform.
  • Amazon S3 as object storage service.

HWA helps enterprises focus on business process automation and data processing across various business applications, while AWS does the heavy lifting of managing the underlying infrastructure.

Figure 4 – HCL Workload Automation reference architecture on AWS.

Empower Your SAP Enterprise with Orchestration and Automation
HWA is SAP S/4HANA certified, which means it can orchestrate and monitor SAP and non-SAP workflows. This gives organizations the power to run end-to-end business, infrastructure and automation processes using a single platform.

The digital transformation of a business goes beyond SAP-related processes, impacting a variety of different areas. Therefore, it’s important to consolidate and coordinate heterogeneous workflows from a single point of control on a platform that can guarantee 99.9% of reliability.

The integration of SAP with other business applications makes for complex workflows that need advanced automation capabilities to run smoothly, and this is where HCL Workload Automation comes in.

SAP is the most common use case for the HCL Workload Automation and is currently being used by 90% of HWA customers.

As shown in Figure 5, HWA for SAP has four main modules:

  • Jobs editing and linking: Jobs defined and scheduled in the SAP system are visible from the HCL Workload Automation dashboard. Users can link them together with any other non-SAP job to create sophisticated flows.
  • Launching and tracking: HWA run-cycle capabilities are flexible and enable users to schedule SAP activities with the HWA calendar.
  • SAP monitoring: The HWA centralized dashboard provides a single point of control for both scheduled and running activities. This allows users to have a holistic view of application workflows composed by a sophisticated sequence of SAP and non-SAP jobs.
  • Performance and governance: HWA integration allows users to monitor SAP-specific KPIs to anticipate performance degradation and thereby control the volume of jobs submitted simultaneously to maintain optimal performance.

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Figure 5 – HWA solution modules for SAP landscape.

HWA-SAP Integrations
The following SAP applications can be integrated with HWA:

  • SAP BusinessObjects (BO): Jobs can be managed by HWA.
  • SAP Business Warehouse (BW): Jobs can be managed by HWA.
  • SAP Advanced Business Application Programming (ABAP): SAP jobs containing ABAP programs can be managed by HWA.
  • SAP Process Integration (PI): HWA can schedule actions on SAP PI channels.
  • SAP Intermediate Document (IDOC): HWA can monitor IDOC progress and status.
  • SAP HANA: HWA can define a job that executes a query in SAP HANA.
  • SAP Events: HWA can intercept these events to trigger automatic actions and workflows.
  • SAP Solution Manager: HWA can be used as the external scheduler from the Solution Manager graphical user interface (GUI), replacing the native SAP scheduling capabilities.

The following diagram depicts how HWA orchestrates the integration of SAP with non-SAP jobs and automates the entire inventory management use case for a customer.

Figure 6 – Inventory management automation using HWA in SAP S/4HANA system.

The workflow shown is an orchestration of SAP and non-SAP jobs in a single job stream running from a centralized location. Due to its native integration capabilities with SAP, HWA simplifies some complex orchestration scenarios as listed below:

  • Implement sophisticated logical dependencies among the jobs, parallel processing, and multiple dependencies, and launch the job workflow on a sophisticated run-cycle basis or upon certain event occurrence.
  • Automatically detect the result of the execution of a job step and re-run if necessary, or take corrective actions automatically.
  • Predict in advance the effect of changes in the schedule of a step on the overall workflow using its predictive analysis capability.
  • Create alerts and tickets in the customer’s ticketing system automatically based on the job execution result.

HWA enables customers to implement all of the aforementioned scenarios and helps increase efficiency and technical resiliency while reducing complexity and saving cost and time in implementing end-to-end flows.

Get Started with HCL Workload Automation
HCL Workload Automation on Amazon EKS is offered as a subscription service through AWS Marketplace. The direct subscription reduces the cycle time of software procurement and deployment for customers.

HWA offers a free migration assessment for the customers who are looking for a custom workload automation solution and looking to migrate from on-premises to AWS.

You can take advantage of HCL Easy Move to migrate seamlessly and effortlessly with a proven four-step methodology, including workload assessment, infrastructure deployment, data migration, and go-live/enablement.

Summary
In this post, you learned how HCL Workload Automation (HWA) can be used as a central platform to schedule, run, and manage digital business processes from end-to-end in an automated manner without any human intervention.

You also learned the value HWA delivers to organizations in providing improved business agility, rapid SLAs, and time savings in implementing a complete business process automation solution.

To learn more about HCL Workload Automation and its synergies with SAP, reach out to HWAinfo@hcl.com or get started with these additional resources:

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