How To Choose Job Scheduling Software

Choosing job scheduling software doesn’t have to be difficult. There’s no need for complicated spreadsheets. You need a simple process. Use this post as a guide to finding the right job scheduling software in less than a day.

1) Start With Why You Want Job Scheduling Software

Before you dive into technical details, take a moment to look at the big picture. Why are you looking at job scheduling software at all? If you are like most users, there are a few reasons why you might be seeking this software.

  • You’re Drowning In Work. Many users come to VisualCron because they are overwhelmed with work. Using job scheduling software is a way to end the madness.
  • Company Initiative To Boost Productivity. Whether it is your boss or somebody else in management, you might face a demand to boost productivity – deliver more without increasing resources. In that case, job or task scheduling software might be a good solution.
  • Outside Scheduling Demands. Demands from other stakeholders are sometimes a factor. For example, you have a vendor that needs a particular file every day at 8 am. Manually fulfilling this requirement is time-consuming and you hate the pressure of delivering every day.
  • You Love Automation Challenge. Some users love the challenge of pushing their skills to a new level. Manually running through the same mundane tasks every week is boring. On the other hand, using software to schedule that task is an interesting challenge.

Before going further, write out one to three reasons why you want job scheduling software. With that level of clarity, you will have a strategy in mind to make a better choice.

2) Which Jobs Do You Want To Schedule?

In the first step, you discovered the business reasons to select job scheduling software. Now, let’s drill down a level to your daily work responsibilities. Make a list of a few jobs that you and your colleagues need to get down each week.

For this step to work, keep the following criteria in mind. First, focus your attention on software tasks because that’s what job scheduling software is for. Second, make a list of high-value tasks. To find these tasks, ask yourself, “which jobs are critical for other people to get their work done?” For example, if customers need a weekly database update, then you have found a high-value task. Finally, make a list of routine tasks you do that involve a lot of rules and checklists. Those tasks are often a good fit for job scheduling.

3) What Applications Must Be Supported For Your Scheduled Jobs?

In this stage, you will define the technical details. Specifically, what software applications do you rely on to carry out your work? To illustrate your options, here are a few examples of specific applications that lend themselves to automation.

  • Update A SQL Database. Databases quietly power the business world. Make a note of the SQL databases you use to get your work done.
  • Extract data from PDF files. Handling data submitted through PDF files, especially from outside the company, is time-consuming.
  • Transfer files on a schedule. Your third parties may require monthly file uploads to create invoices, account statements and other tasks. Make a list of files you need to upload.
  • Perform A Task In A Web Browser. For example, you might have a weekly task to download data from Google Analytics or another platform so that your marketing staff can review the results. This is one of the tasks you can automate.
  • Transfer files to Amazon EC2 and Microsoft Azure. Complete file transfer to popular cloud services on a set schedule or use triggers.
  • Protect sensitive files with encryption. Transferring a customer list or financial data raises security concerns. That’s why you should choose job scheduling software that supports encryption and decryption.
  • Automate Microsoft SharePoint tasks. Keeping SharePoint fully updated is a demanding task because there are so many layers to the system. If you rely on SharePoint as a company resource, choose a job scheduling software compatible with SharePoint.

Now we will move on to building a shortlist of job scheduling software.

4) Develop A Short List of Job Scheduling Software Options

Now that you know what you want to achieve, it is time to do some market research. Of course, we suggest that you include VisualCron as one of the options. For most organizations, building a list of 3-5 alternatives for job scheduling software is enough for your needs. Once you have the shortlist, put those options through their paces.

5) Use Free Trials To Evaluate The Software

Studying product features will only get you so far. At a certain point, you need to see how the product works. Ask the software provider if they provide a free trial and then start to use the software. During the trial, use the ideas you developed in steps 3 and 4 (e.g., SharePoint automation, file transfers, performing tasks in a web browser) to see how well the software performs. Based on these free trial tests, choose the software tool that suits your needs best.

Tip: If you are new to automation, scripts, and related technologies, expect a learning curve when you first use a job scheduling application. As you become more proficient with the software, you will be able to schedule and automate more tasks over time.

Why You Need To Try VisualCron Today

If you use Windows and Windows applications every day, VisualCron is one of the best options on the market. Not sure if it is right for you? You don’t need to take our word for it. You can use the product yourself for a few weeks. To download your free trial, click here. It is free to use for six weeks (i.e., 45 days) so you can go through more than a month of work.

Once you have your free trial, getting started may feel daunting because there are so many different tasks you can automate. To inspire you with ideas, check out our post: This Windows Task Scheduler Saves You An Hour A Day.


The Most Common Mistakes To Avoid With Task Scheduler Software

Task scheduler software is like fire. Use it with respect, and it will transform your life. Mismanage it, and you will end up with more problems. To give you the best task scheduler software experience, start by avoiding these seven critical mistakes.

1) Scheduling Tasks At The Wrong Time

Let’s start with the most fundamental mistake: choosing the wrong time. Many VisualCron users want to schedule tasks to run overnight while they are away from the office. That’s a good idea! However, the details matter. Let’s take an example of preparing a monthly customer service to be sent to the invoice team.

Scenario 1: You schedule the task to run at 12:01 am because the source database is automatically updated at midnight.

Scenario 2: You schedule the task to run at low-value.

Technically, either scenario will work under ideal conditions. However, what happens when the database administration takes the database down for a few hours for maintenance. If you take Scenario 1, the scheduled task might fail because there is no room for error. Therefore, it is better to take the scenario 2 approach because it will work in more scenarios.

2) Scheduling The Wrong Kinds of Tasks

When you first start working with task scheduling, it is natural to get carried away with the possibilities. You might dream of automating 25%, 50% or more of your job’s tedious tasks. Scheduling tasks effectively takes more than enthusiasm. You also need to ask yourself “which tasks are most valuable to schedule?” and focus on those areas first. Otherwise, you might end up automating low value tasks. That will not impress your managers or peers.

3) Scheduling Tasks Without QA Time

A scheduled task is designed to run with minimal oversight. Unfortunately, some people assume that task scheduler software can completely take over their work. That capability doesn’t exist today. That’s why we recommend including “quality assurance” time to check on your scheduled tasks before releasing them.

For example, you might schedule a task to extract data from PDFs every morning. Before sending the updated file to the customer success, consider 4:30 am a few rows for data accuracy. You might find that the scheduled task has a bug that needs to be fixed. It is better to discover this problem yourself rather than waiting for another group to highlight it for you.

4) Scheduling Tasks Without Engaging Your Stakeholders

Almost all the work you do impacts other people. That means that you need to think about how scheduling tasks will impact your stakeholders. For example, if you use task scheduling to get work done at two every day instead of 4 pm, this new speed will stand out. However, your stakeholders will not know your 10 am delivery is something they can expect every day or if it is a one-off scenario.

The solution to this situation is simple. Reach out to your stakeholders to tell them that you are using task scheduling software to improve efficiency. Ask them to provide feedback as the process unfolds. If you manage this process well, your stakeholders will be impressed!

5) Failing To Identify All The Tasks That Can Be Scheduling

In computer task scheduling, your imagination and creativity are significant factors. If your only experience with task scheduling involves Excel, you might not realize that you can schedule other kinds of tasks. For instance, you can use VisualCron to schedule data extraction tasks from PDF files. You can also schedule tasks to download and upload files.

If you can write a checklist or standard operating procedure to describe a task, there’s a good chance you can use task scheduling software to improve your productivity.

To avoid this mistake, put a reminder on your calendar every month for 30 minutes. During this time, brainstorm a list of tasks that you can schedule. In particular, take note of tasks that your customers, managers, and other departments ask you to complete regularly. Look through your email sent folder to find examples of files that you send to other people regularly.

Tip: Need more inspiration for activities you can automate? Check out VisualCron’s features for more ideas.

6) Failing To Help Others With Task Scheduling

So far, we have looked at beginner level mistakes with task scheduling. This is a more advanced mistake that you will probably encounter only after you have been task scheduling software for a few months. After some time, you will run out of tasks to schedule. You’ve brainstormed ideas. You’ve asked other people for ideas and cannot come up with anything else. A novice task scheduler would give up and keep their scheduled tasks running and move on.

That’s a mistake! Instead, you want to share the wealth. Reach out to one colleague and show them what you have accomplished with VisualCron task scheduling. Specifically, pick one or two complicated tasks and show how you’re able to run these tasks overnight or while you are away from the office. If your colleague is interested, offer to train them on scheduling their first task.

7) Failing To Take Advantage Of Time Savings

As you become proficient in task scheduling software, you are going to end up with more free time. That’s a fantastic accomplishment! At first, you might decide to head home early because you’ve finished all of your work. In the short term, that’s a fair way to recover from the burnout of too much work.

However, as you make more progress in automating and scheduling your tasks, it is a mistake to not put your new free time to good use. Consider using your new free time to explore new methods and technologies like robotic process automation. You can read more about that opportunity in our post: What Is RPA And How Does It Help Your Company Grow?

The Ultimate Mistake In Task Scheduler Software…

The ultimate mistake is to avoid getting started. Don’t let that happen to you. There’s no need to do the same monotonous tasks over and over again at work. Get started today with a free trial of VisualCron


What Is RPA And How Does It Help Your Company Grow?

What Is RPA? More importantly, why should you care about this new technology? Those are the questions you’ll find answers to in this post.

Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is an emerging technology trend designed to increase automation. McKinsey & Co defines this trend in the following terms:

“RPA takes the robot out of the human. The average knowledge worker employed on a back-office process has a lot of repetitive, routine tasks that are dreary and uninteresting. RPA is a type of software that mimics the activity of a human being in carrying out a task within a process. It can do repetitive stuff more quickly, accurately, and tirelessly than humans, freeing them to do other tasks requiring human strengths such as emotional intelligence, reasoning, judgment, and interaction with the customer.”

That definition is interesting because it also points out the limitations of RPA, such as emotional intelligence. Gartner answers the “What is RPA?” question differently:

“Robotic process automation (RPA) is a productivity tool that allows a user to configure one or more scripts (which some vendors refer to as “bots”) to activate specific keystrokes in an automated fashion. The result is that the bots can be used to mimic or emulate selected tasks (transaction steps) within an overall business or IT process. These may include manipulating data, passing data to and from different applications, triggering responses, or executing transactions. RPA uses a combination of user interface interaction and descriptor technologies. The scripts can overlay on one or more software applications.”

In practice, most companies tend to follow Gartner’s narrower definition. Automating entire business processes remains difficult and expensive. However, there are significant opportunities to automate select parts of processes and gain accordingly.

Merely defining the term will not help you very much. You need to see some examples of how this technology is used in the real world.


How Are Companies Using RPA Today?

To get your thinking started, here are a few examples showing how companies are implementing RPA. Note that each company will define it. Some might call these efforts automation, artificial intelligence or robotic process automation. The exact terminology is less important than the business goals achieved through this process. Drawing on AI Multiple’s RPA summary article, here are a few examples.

  • ANZ Bank (Australia). The company achieved an 85% reduction in the effort (roughly equivalent to 400 employees) across various processes.
  • Dell EMC (USA). By automating human resources and finance processes, the company achieved $2 million in annual savings.
  • Telefonica O2 (UK). This telecommunications company optimized 15 back-office processes and reduced the need to hire more staff.

Now that you can see what is possible with robotic process automation let’s take a closer look at the details.

The Simple Way To Get Started With RPA Today

Do you need to wait for a fully developed AI solution to use RPA? Not necessarily. You can get started right now with VisualCron. Depending on your situation, there are a few ways to leverage VisualCron to achieve RPA

1 Get More Free Time For Robotic Process Automation Development

Pursuing an innovative project is difficult! That’s why so many organizations are slow to adopt machine learning. You might have just been asked to answer “What is RPA?” by your management this week and come back with some answers. There’s only one problem. You don’t have the time to investigate and experiment with new technology. You are overwhelmed with keeping up with existing responsibilities.

There is a simple solution to this kind of overwork situation. Leverage VisualCron to automate your recurring tasks. Think of it this way – if you can schedule five or six weekly assignments, you can free up several hours of work time each week. That means you will have more free time to brainstorm and develop your robotic process automation (RPA) ideas.

To get you started, use these prompts to help you identify Windows tasks that you can automate right now.

  • Extract data from PDF files. You can extract data automatically from PDFs with VisualCron. That means no matter long hours of looking at data in PDFs and retyping the information into a database.
  • Send files to third parties on time every time with FTP automation. You probably have customers and stakeholders that need regular updates every day. If you miss delivering one of these updates, you will face criticism! Your company might even incur late fees if a shipment or project is delayed. Fortunately, you can automate file transfers and file uploads to run on a regular schedule (e.g., send the customer list to the printer on Fridays at 11 pm).
  • Streamline your graphic design. Your graphic designs are creative! They don’t want to spend time on the same tedious tasks like resizing images and cropping images to a set size week after week. If you need all of your images to be cropped, adjusted to a new format, and otherwise updated, use the power of VisualCron image automation to get that work done automatically.

Your next opportunity lies in leveraging VisualCron’s RPA features.

2) Leverage VisualCron’s Robotic Process Automation (RPA) Capabilities

The traditional approach to Windows task automation and scheduling required significant technical experience. You needed to choose a specific application like a SQL database and specify each step. With VisualCron’s Desktop Macro Task, you now have much more flexibility to automate a process involving multiple applications.

Here is a simple example from an administrative assistant who helps to book travel for employees. The assistant could use Desktop Macro Task to record the process steps. This could involve sending out a reminder on what receipts to submit, extracting key data points from employee expense claims, and producing monthly reports for managers. In this example, there is still some judgment involved to assess whether a given request is reasonable. However, the system automates most of the repetitive steps for you.

The best part is that VisualCron doesn’t require you to remember when to use these recorded tasks. You can use triggers to start the process. For example, when a user opens a specific file (e.g., “Employee Travel Tracker” spreadsheet), that step will trigger the rest of the automated process.

Want to bring robotic process automation to your company? You can get started right now by downloading a Visual Cron free trial. It is free to try for 45 days! 


3 Key Questions To Help You Choose A Windows Scheduler Tool

The right windows scheduler tool makes a world of difference. It can eliminate tedious tasks you’re your to-do list forever! On the other hand, choose the wrong tool and you will lose time due to errors. With so many options on the market, making a smart choice might feel overwhelming.

Instead of looking at dozens of features and tests, you should take a straightforward approach. Use these questions to make a select the right Windows scheduler tool for you.

1) How will scheduling computer tasks make your life and work better?

Instead of starting with technology issues, let’s begin with the big picture. Scheduling and automating tasks are only valuable in the service of a larger goal. For example, ask yourself when you usually leave work. Is it 5 pm, 6 pm or even later? In that case, you might be stuck late at the office because you are overloaded with tasks. Scheduling those tasks to run without you means you can head home early without feeling tired.

2) What are the ten computer tasks that you regularly do each month at work?

The previous question was about finding your why to use a Windows scheduling tool. Next, let’s take a closer look at the day to day tasks you need to do. Here are some of the most common tasks that developers and business analysts have to manage each month.

  • Upload a current customer list to a supplier for mailings (this is an excellent way to reduce your mailing costs because you will send less mail to out of date addresses)
  • Extract financial data from PDF files (e.g., obtain customer data from paper forms without typing)
  • Update databases with new dates, names and other important fields
  • Backup a mission-critical database to multiple locations (i.e., you might have an overnight database backup for the most important data and monthly backups with less critical data)
  • Excel automation, such as updating financial reports and update calculations.
  • Automate your Office 365 calendar: set a trigger to create a schedule (e.g. “Review Q1 Software QA Report”)

Not sure which Windows tasks you carry out most frequently? There’s an easy way to get a list of your most important tasks. We call it the Sent technique. Open your sent mail folder in your email application. Look for reports, files, and other materials you have submitted to customers, managers and other people in the past week or month. If you are sending a report or an update to somebody important, that tells you it is an important task.

3) What specific Windows applications do you use for repetitive tasks?

In this step, you will identify specific Windows applications used in the previous step. For example, you may have a small list of apps like Office 365, PDFs and an SQL database. If you have a long list of applications, we suggest choosing three to five applications at first. When you are first getting started with automating Windows tasks, it is essential to start with a small number of applications. With that approach, you will avoid getting overwhelmed.

How VisualCron Helps A Software QA Analyst To Become More Successful

Becoming productive with Windows scheduling is easy when you use VisualCron. Let’s take the example of a software quality assurance (QA) analyst, Lisa. She works in a small company that is currently struggling to ship new software features on time. Lisa is frustrated with working late nights repeatedly. Here is what she wrote to answer three questions

1) How will scheduling Windows tasks make Lisa’s life better?

Lisa is currently working about fifty hours per week and still isn’t getting everything done. Working this many hours means that she is tired and sometimes make mistakes on critical reports. As an analyst, Lisa isn’t measured based on revenue or other traditional business metrics. Instead, she is measured based on quality and meeting deadlines. Automating Windows tasks with a high degree of reliability will help her look good at work and get home on time.

2) Which software QA tasks can be scheduled?

In reviewing her work responsibilities, Lisa identifies four critical weekly tasks that must be performed on time. Each of these tasks requires obtaining or providing information to another stakeholder. If any of these processes break down, the entire software development process will slow down. Here are a few examples of software QA tasks to be scheduled.

  • Sort software bugs in the database and prepares a weekly report. Each week, new software bugs are reported and these need to be organized for analysis. VisualCron helps carry out this work. Lisa schedules this task to run at 7 am on Mondays to summarize the previous week’s reported bugs with database automation.
  • Summarize software developer quality checklists. Each month, software developers at the company submit quality checklists for review. Lisa uses VisualCron to extract data from PDFs and load them into a database.

3) Which applications should Lisa start with?

For software QA work, Lisa decides to focus on two Windows applications. First, the company’s Windows SQL server, which manages software development bug reports and other details. Second, PDF files which contain additional quality information.

VisualCron is a great productivity solution for software QA analysts like Lisa for a few reasons. First, she noticed the fact she works with Windows applications. Second, we can see that Lisa is responsible for a large number of deadlines. That means much stress for her to keep up with demands from customers, managers and other people in the company.

Your Next Step To Choose A Windows Scheduler Tool

Not sure yet whether VisualCron is the right scheduling application for your company? The analysis will only take you so far. Now, it is time to make a decision. Take the free trial and schedule tasks with one application this week. If you want, you can keep experimenting with VisualCron for up to 45 days! You could be saving hours each week by scheduling your Windows tasks to run while you’re at home. Click here to download VisualCron.

This Windows Task Scheduler Saves You An Hour A Day

To save an hour of work time per workday, you need to work harder. Using a Windows task scheduler, you can easily save a few hours of work effort each week. If you’re new to automating tasks in Windows, use this step process to get started.

1) Find Your Why

Before we dive into the specifics of different tasks to automate, we need to clarify your why. There is a learning curve for every automation technique, including Windows task scheduler. Some common reasons to embrace task scheduling include:

  • Boredom. There are certain tasks at the office that you have done hundreds or thousands of times. You’re bored with this work and don’t want to do them anymore.
  • Excessive workload. You have more tasks than you can handle! That leads to long work hours and exhaustion. Use a Windows task scheduler to lighten the burden.
  • Automation and Productivity Curiosity. Some of our users are simply fascinated by productivity tips and tricks! If that’s you, automating and scheduling a task will contribute to your goal of becoming the most productive person in your office.

In 60 seconds or less, come up with one or two reasons why you want to learn automation and task scheduling.

2) Choose Your Windows Tasks To Automate

Now that you know why you want to be productive, it is time to choose a task to automate. There are technical and non-technical criteria to keep in mind. Let’s take each set of criteria separately, starting with technical criteria.


There are some specific tasks that lend themselves more to automation. Here are some examples to inspire you.

  • File Transfers. Do you have files that need to be transferred from one place to another every day, every week, or on some other frequency? That’s a perfect task for VisualCron. Scheduling file transfers for overnight is a good idea because you will avoid impacting other users.
  • PDF Automation. Extracting data from PDFs and manipulating PDFs can be automated. For instance, you can automate tasks like inserting pages into a PDF, searching and extracting data from a PDF, and adding footers and headers. With task scheduling, you can produce professional PDFs with a consistent look and feel every time.
  • SQL and Database Automation. You already know that databases quietly keep the world running smoothly. However, these databases are only effective if they are kept fully up to date. For example, you can use a trigger to monitor a database for certain types of changes (e.g., if a user enters problematic data, you can now detect that problem early)

Non-Technical Criteria

Let’s consider some of the business factors to use a Windows task scheduler.

  • Schedule Importance. Some business processes – like updating PDFs for customers – have to be done on a set schedule to keep customers happy. Hitting these deadlines consistently is difficult! You can improve the consistency of your customer service by using a task scheduler.
  • Reduce Employee Burnout. Doing the same task over and over again gets boring! Make a list of recurring tasks you do each month. You may be able to use a task scheduler to take some of those issues off your plate.

Based on your review of technical and business factors, develop a shortlist of ideas for task scheduling. Aim to develop a list of at least 10 distinct processes to automate.

3) Pilot Test Your Automation With VisualCron

In the past step, you came up with a list of ideas for task scheduling. Your next step is to choose one idea for a pilot test. If you are new to task scheduling, start with a relatively simple task that does not impact many stakeholders. If you are experienced with scheduling and automation, you can choose a more complex task to automate.

To obtain the greatest value from your pilot test, use these principles:

  • Timing. When you pilot test a task scheduling activity, schedule to complete a few hours before your deadline.
  • Live Data and Processes. Use real data rather than dummy data.
  • Frequency. Use a pilot test that involves at least five repetitions. For example, if you are running a daily task, run the pilot test for 5 days.

4) Check The Results Of Your Automation

Now that your pilot test is complete, take a few minutes to evaluate the results. There are a few questions to ask.

  • Quality Assessment. Measure the quality of the process completed with your Windows task scheduling software. For instance, compare the scheduled pilot vs. doing the task manually to see if there are errors. Make a note of any errors before rolling out the process into production.
  • Speed Assessment. Compare how long the task took to complete manually vs. with a task scheduler. Measuring the improvement helps you to report efficiency gains to others in the company.
  • Secondary Review. Ask another person in your team to review your pilot test’s results. This will help you identify blind spots with how you used task scheduling software.

Now that you have evaluated your pilot test, you have two options. First, you can optimize the pilot test and put it into production. Second, abandon the pilot test and explore a different idea if you were disappointed by the quality.

5) Decide How To Use Your Extra Time

By using a Windows task scheduling application, you will free up time in your workday. That is a major success! Take a few minutes to savor the experience. Next, you will need to consider how to best use your free time. If you don’t think through how to use your new free time, you might end up wasting it away on low priority activities.

Let’s assume you have used automation to save yourself four hours of work effort per week. That’s enough time to carry out two focused work sessions. At that time, choose your number one work goal and apply that time to make progress on it. Finally, share your improvements with your team and others in the company. Your success can inspire other people to implement Windows task scheduling!



New Version Release Coming! VisualCron 9

Dear VisualCron Customer, It’s been a while since we last wrote to you, but that doesn’t mean that we haven’t been busy making sure that VisualCron remains the most affordable yet feature-filled solution to your business process automation needs. We know you’re busy and don’t have a lot of time, but we have a major announcement we think you’d like to know about…

New Version Release Coming! VisualCron 9


We have exciting news for existing users of VisualCron and potential users alike: within the next two weeks we’ll be releasing VisualCron 9, the latest version of our business process automation software for the Microsoft Windows operating system. This new release is a great opportunity to make sure you have the most current, feature-filled version of VisualCron available. Here’s a quick view of what’s new in VisualCron 9:



Increased Encryption Capability


VisualCron 9 uses Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) AES256 encryption for locally stored values like passwords, the highest level of AES encryption and an improvement from the older and soon-to-be-retired 3DES standard.

  • For existing VisualCron users, this means that version 9 will not be backward-compatible with your current client installations. But when you install version 9 over your existing installation, VisualCron will automatically import your existing settings and upgrade you to the new encryption standard.
  • Also, if you use an existing version of VisualCron and can’t upgrade all of your servers to version 9 at the same time, you can still use dual desktop client installations as a temporary workaround. VisualCron only allows a single instance of the software to run at any given time, so you will need to exit one version before logging into the other.


.NET 4.8 Framework Requirement


VisualCron 9 needs .NET 4.8 Framework to run. To learn about, download and install .NET 4.8, click here.

  • You may need to reboot your server after installation for the changes to take effect.
  • Note that some earlier versions of the Microsoft Windows operating system do not support .NET 4.8. For .NET Framework system requirements, click here.


More Features and Fixes


There are many more changes and additions to VisualCron 9, too many to mention them all here. For an up-to-date listing of all the new features and bug fixes, see our VisualCron 9 forum page where you also can test this verson before final release.


What’s in Development


Here are some of the features that won’t be in the imminent release of VisualCron version 9, but which we will incorporate into updates as they become available:

  • New synchronization capabilities: We will soon be releasing this new feature, which allows one VisualCron server to selectively subscribe to part or all of the objects located on another server. This gives you more flexibility to set up a server as a test platform (for example, if you only want to subscribe to some object updates and not others), or if you want to use a server in a slave or standby relationship with a separate server.
  • Load balancing: This will enable you to use your VisualCron servers to schedule and allocate jobs, based on criteria you select like the maximum number of concurrent jobs per server or the number of servers to use. This is one feature for which we are still seeking customer suggestions for this feature, you can tell us what you think or would like to see here.
  • Redundancy features: This is related to load balancing, for example how to switch to another agent if a server becomes disconnected. We are still deciding how deeply we will integrate VisualCron with the Windows Failover Cluster. Like with load balancing, we encourage your input as we move forward with this capability.
  • Robotic Process Automation:VisualCron is a premier business process automation tool, but today the trend is toward robotic process automation, which allows for more automation to take place at the desktop client level. We are committed to introducing robotic process automation features into VisualCron in the near future, to give you the best of both business process and robotic automation capabilities
  • Mobile applications: We are developing a mobile application for VisualCron that will be compatible with both Apple iOS and Android operating systems. Through this app you can not only receive job and task notifications, but also interact directly with your VisualCron servers, and more.


Take Our Survey!


At VisualCron, we believe that meeting the needs of our customers includes listening to what you want to see in our software. The future of VisualCron depends on you. Check out our current survey, where you can have your say on current and planned features, bug fixes, added capabilities you want to see, and more. Please take our survey here.


What’s Next?


Keep an eye on our downloads page for VisualCron 9 availability. We’re finishing up testing, and it should be ready for you very soon. Or in the meantime, visit our main forum page for more information about VisualCron, answers to frequently asked questions, tutorials, problem-solving tips, and more.


Automation program has become the key to success in most of the industries as it doesn’t only boost the speed of the operations, but it also delivers accurate outcomes. The drift from manual processes to automation program is surely acting helping businesses; big and small, and this drift has led to the emergence of Robotic Process Automation or RPA. If you want to dig into the roots of RPA and understand its application, then you have come to the right place.

What is RPA?

Robotic Process Automation is the application of modern-day technological marvels for managing high volume, repetitive tasks that previously required manual efforts. With the help of RPA, businesses will automate various tasks, just like a human being was doing them across different platforms. You should know that RPA requires no complex IT integration, and it can co-exist with the already available IT infrastructure. From calculation to maintaining a high volume of records, RPA is now being used at different business applications.

Benefits of RPA

ROI in RPA is very high. According to a study, top performers were able to earn 4X of their total investment on RPA while other organizations were able to make double the amount they invested in RPA. 
In addition to this, cost-saving is another significant advantage of RPA as NASSCOM reports say that users were able to save 65% on their operational cost through RPA. But one of the most prominent findings in the RPA field is that RPA software robots cost only one-fifth of full-time employees.
Thereby, RPA is essential to enhance efficiency by cutting down on the manual task, saving significant time and money, otherwise wasted with manual efforts.

5 RPA trends to follow in 2019

RPA will be mainstream

In 2019, RPA will come out of its infant stage and become a mainstream technology. By the looks of things, we can say that the companies using various applications of RPA in their business will surely have a competitive advantage in the year 2019. Due to the vast array of benefits offered by RPA, experts are saying that soon we will see an influx of RPA. RPA industry is expected to grow from $250 million in 2016 to $2.9 billion in 2021. As more businesses realize the potential of RPA, individual organization investment in RPA processes is increasing. According to Deloitte’s fourth annual RPA survey, 78% of the survey respondents will increase their investment in RPA in the next three years.
All these data and studies are a clear indication of RPA becoming a mainstream technology in 2019. Now businesses are moving beyond the usual task of RPA and considering it as a transformation lever.


If you think that RPA will remain the preserve of operations even in 2019, then you are highly mistaken. In 2019, it is expected that various leaders of an organization will start taking an interest in RPA applications, and they might be asked how RPA can be used in different ways. This shows that RPA will become more diverse in 2019. But you should know that the ability of RPA to perform a large number of tasks with a remarkable speed and its increasing diversity of implementation will surely have a significant impact on all those businesses that are working with a decentralized model.


Even in the current technology-driven world, employee engagement will never lose its value, and they will be at the coal face whenever a new problem or issue arises in business. Even in the future, where automation through technologies like RPA will take over many job roles, engaged employees will be the one who will be responsible for managing the customers. The dream of making operations more agile without employee engagement is near to impossible.
RPA will help employees become more productive and effective in their tanks, thereby increasing engagement and boosting their morale to perform better. One thing's for sure that the implementation of RPA will inevitably be measured through employee engagement.

Customer interaction with RPA

You will be surprised to know that many organizations have already started using RPA for interacting with their customers directly. This is mostly being practiced in the customer service department. Customer service is the top three benefits achieved from implementation of RPA. One of the best examples of customer interaction with RPA is American Express. The giant airline company is now using RPA for canceling airline tickets and even for giving refunds to its customers. The modern RPA based applications can interact with customers online, and the customer might not even realize it. So, customer interaction with RPA is another growing trend to keep track of in 2019.

AI with RPA

Artificial intelligence will continue to remain the most used technology because of the growing focus on innovative technologies. Every year, the implementation of Artificial Intelligence is proliferating, and an increasing number of businesses are now deploying robots at various departments like manufacturing and packaging. This shows that the AI will continue its dominance in the world of RPA in the upcoming years, and they will be used to make organizations more effective and efficient.

Why opt for VisualCron’s RPA tool?

VisualCron has been automating desktop through its Desktop Macro Task. So, when it comes to automation tools, then you can trust VisualCron without any second thoughts. Through VisualCron’s RPA tool, you will be able to increase ROI, improve quality of work, minimize cycle time and enhance throughputs, and increase your accuracy. In addition to this, you will also get the required flexibility and scalability along with round the clock availability with VisualCron’s RPA tool.

You also get the option to download a 45-day free trial, and you can also request a demo. This way, you will be able to test the compatibility of VisualCron’s RPA tool with your business process. But you should know that most of the people who request a demo or opt for our 45 days free trial, always find our RPA tool in sync with their organization and they finally purchase the full paid version.


Secure File Transfer Protocol is one of the best ways to copy and transfer files between computers over a network. Most of the people prefer SFTP because it offers them a secure and safe medium of file transfer. But, if you receive tons of SFTP files on a daily basis then manually retrieving, unencrypting and processing these documents can become a bugbear.  The manual process of dealing with SFTP files is not only time consuming but it also increases the chances of errors thus making your file vulnerable to security threats. If you are facing similar kinds of issues then going for SFTP automation is the best idea.

What is SFTP automation?

The Secured File Transfer Protocol was developed as a safe way to use File Transfer Protocol.  SFTP uses SSH for creating a secure connection where the FTP file can be run to copy a file over the Secure Socket Shell connection. The SSH is used to secure various types of connection over the internet. If you want to transfer files through SFTP then you will need both SFTP client and server.

The software of SFTP client allows users to logon to a remote SFTP server and then receive or send files.  But SFTP automation helps computer to operate without any human intervention. If there is an automated SFTP process then it can be setup to send, receive, encrypt and process files as per requirement.  

All this can happen without the need of any action from the operator’s side. The automated SFTP process becomes very helpful when files keep coming at any time and also when the amount of files received and sent per day is very huge.  So in layman’s language, SFTP allows businesses to streamline the exchange of data over a network connection.

What entails SFTP automation?

If you are looking forward to go for SFTP automation then the best way to do it is to find and implement a file transfer automation solution.  There are various SFTP automation solutions available on the internet but you should choose the best one after analyzing its various features. If you will have a single, centralized product then you will have the chance of automating your SFTP in the best possible way and you will also be able to secure FTP connectivity.  There are various parameters on which you can analyze an SFTP automation solution but the most important ones are workflows tasks, built-in scheduler and file monitoring.

Business Benefits

Following are some of the common benefits of SFTP automation

Scheduling- The Built-in scheduling of SFTP automation system allows executing task for future dates and times. For example, you can easily schedule workflows as ‘one time’ or you can simply you can just set them up to run at different times like ‘every hour’, ‘every day’ or ‘every week’ or you can just choose the time interval according to your preference. This allows minimal human intervention and better efficiency.

File monitoring- Through SFTP automation, you will be able to track the company’s file with better accuracy. For example, through automated system, you can easily monitor all the files created, modified or deleted within a given time frame over the network. So, through SFTP automation, your file tracking will improve and you will be able to minimize manual workload as well.

Triggers- SFTP automation also allows you to set triggers for monitored events like file uploads or downloads by specific partners. When the file is uploaded, you may want it archived to a folder or process it by running a small script. If you will set a trigger then you can set a motion of sequence of actions prompted by an event. Through trigger, you will be able to wipe out the manual process of completing the routine follow-up task.

Better focus- All the firms need competitive advantage in order to gain operational efficiency and that can’t be done if you don’t allow your staff to focus on strategic jobs. Through automation, you will be able to free your staff from time-consuming and complex process of business that is out of their league and they will be able to use this free time to focus on jobs with higher value.

How will VisualCron’s SFTP Automation help your business?

VisualCron’s SFTP automation allows you to automate SFTP in the most seamless way possible. With the help of VisualCron’s, you can store all encrypted details in an object which is known as Connection.  You should know that there are global objects that can be used across Tasks and Triggers. This means that you don’t need to enter server details directly into Tasks or Triggers. Any change made on the Connection will be updated everywhere else on the network and you will never have to manually repeat the changes everywhere.

In addition to this, you will also get access to a popular feature which is known as file filter in the user interface.  Through the file filter, you can easily filter local or remote files for upload and downloads. Along with the ability to filter in a very detailed way, the file filter feature can also test the filter before the actual transfer of the file.  Along with the download scheduling, you can also use the remote file trigger to monitor any deleted or modified SFTP file.

Manual processing of SFTP file can be a troublesome task for any business as it is very time-consuming, repetitive and complex. In the modern era, automation is the key to increased effectiveness and the same approach should be used while dealing with SFTP files.  With SFTP automation, you will not only increase the productivity of your business but also succeed in making file transfer and file processing a pie.


Business Process Automation or what is popularly known as BPA is simply a process of managing information, data, and procedures in a way through which costs, resources, and investment can be minimized. With the help of BPA, businesses are able to enhance their productivity by automating business processes with the help of computing technologies. When a person hears the word automation, then the first thing that comes to his mind is robots making cars. But you should know that this type of automation is just industrial automation, which is entirely different from the kind of automation we are discussing here. On one side, IA focuses on automating physical labour; the BPA focuses on workload automation and process automation.  

Currently, more and more businesses are adopting BPA and getting benefited from it. Instead of making your employees busy in particular business operations, you allow software solutions to take care of it.

What is the importance of BPA?

There are many benefits offered by the Business Process Automation system, and because of the long list of benefits, it becomes paramount for businesses to adopt BPA in their firm. Workflow automation through BPA offers a bunch of benefits. So, let’s take a look at some of the critical benefits of BPA so that you can understand its importance.

  • Minimized Errors

You should know that mistakes are a part of human nature, and it doesn’t matter how qualified or skilled employees you hire, it will always be prone to errors and mistakes. Most of the documentation mistakes made by businesses are user-generated. Such type of errors occurs mostly occur because of manual data entry.

This is just an example of errors in business documentation as such mistakes are made at various levels and in different forms, but that is not the case after the adoption of Business Process Automation as it wipes out the need for manual entry and the information is automatically transferred to the digital database. With the help of BPA, you can completely wipe out any chances of error in the documentation and other processes.

  • Reduced cost

Another great advantage of BPA is cost-effectiveness. Since BPA frees your employees by automating most of the task automate, you have more staff-hours available. So this means that even after reducing the workforce, the output of your company won’t be hampered as those employees who used to be busy in manual workload can now be freed and invest their time and energy on something that matters and add to productivity. With the help of BPA, you will be able to focus more on the quality of your employees instead of quantity, and therefore, you will be able to save the cost spent on a large number of employees.

  • Better collaboration

If you are dealing with a complex project in your firm, then monitoring every employee and making sure that there is proper flow of information becomes very difficult, time-taking and complicated. But if you will automate tasks like keeping track of the project process, updating team members, setting goals, seamless flow of information then your team members will be able to collaborate in a better way and give better results.

How are industries leveraging BPA?

Here is the example of two different industries using BPA:-

  • Retail

Some of the biggest hassles of the Retail industry are inventory management, high rates of employee turnover, multi-location store management, and paper documents. Well, all these problems are now being solved by adopting BPA in the form of a single automated platform for managing orders, enhanced inventory management, better transportation cycle management and secured customer and employees information storage.

  • Healthcare

When it comes to the Healthcare industry, then the most significant obstacles are a legacy computer system, proper compliance documents, lack of communication and inefficient manual data entry. Well, in the current era, the healthcare industry is overcoming such obstacles by automation as it helps in a central repository for the records of patient and billing, improve compliance reporting, hundred percent automated data entry and PII encoding.

Mistakes to avoid in BPA

  • Not able to define automation strategy

If you don’t want your organization’s journey of automation to go haywire, then you should have a defined automation strategy as this is one of the biggest mistakes which most of companies commit while adopting BPA. Most of the businesses create teams, go for the most evident and profitable process and work on it. But you should never do such a thing as it can have a devastating effect on your business.

  • Over-Automation

Automating a significant part of your business process might make sense in some cases but over-automating can have an adverse impact on your business. If you have planned to move towards automation, then you should choose processes that have a better probability of delivering quick results, and you can highlight their success. Such a type of approach might look obvious, but if followed correctly, it can build momentum.

  • Overlooking the end-users

You must understand that the users are the backbone of your process, and they play a significant role in deciding how a process will be executed. Most of the organizations ignore their end-user while planning critical business strategies like automation, but you should never do so. Involving end-users in the automation planning will give you better insight, and you will be able to implement BPA in a much better way while getting expected results from it.

Why trust VisualCron’s BPA tool?

VisualCron’s BPA tool is one of the most trusted and popular BPA tools that are used by businesses of all sizes and industries. One of the best things about our BPA tool is that they are straightforward to use. You and your team don’t need to invest too much time in understanding as it is very user-friendly, and you don’t even need programming skills to use our BPA tool. In addition to this, we understand the tight budget constraints of SMEs, and that’s why we have kept our prices very nominal so that it can fit in like a glove in even a small budget. So, if you want to go for Business Process Automation in your business without any hassle and without burning a hole in your pocket, then you should choose VisualCron’s BPA tool and get expected results.  


Download 45-day free trial of our BPA tool, today!


Cloud Trends To Watch Out For

What is Cloud Computing?

It's 2019, and Cloud computing was coined back in 1996, so we expect you to know the gist of it.

Cloud computing is the technology which helps storage and processing of data, which is hosted by the third part and remains on the global network to resolves the issue of limitless storage space, without the need of hard drive. It is a cost-effective manner of facilitating accessibility, flexibility and strengthening security, which was not possible in the traditional large servers and data storage devices. With data available on demand on the global network, no longer will the operator has to worry about the updates and the service delivery timing.

Cloud computing is being adopted at an exponentially higher rate, and with the passing time, the technology is evolving rapidly, which means new trends are picking up the pace. Today we are going to discuss a few such significant cloud computing trends that you should consider implementing:

Use Of Hybrid Cloud

There is an increasing demand among the businesses to find a middle ground if they do not want to move their data and application entirely to a private or be hosted on the public network. This is where the hybrid network would be of use. Under hybrid cloud solutions, businesses can benefit from the security and customization of the private cloud wherein the critical applications can be stored while the rest of the data can be migrated to the public cloud. This will ensure security as well as cost reduction.

Attention To Cloud Security

Never has security not been a concern for the cloud solutions, it has been prevalent since the inception and the alarming data breaches every year are only adding to the vulnerability. The lack of access, control, and risk management in the organizations is further increasing the security fear. Although the General Data Protection Regulation has proven substantial in enforcing compliance on the organizations, cloud security is still a severe problem. What organizations can do is ensure that the security is incorporated and implemented right from the initial stages and simultaneously moves alongside development.

Cloud Cost Management

Another more pressing issue for organizations other than security is the cloud cost management. Organizations have a tough time trying to come up with a competent cloud management strategy that ensures productivity without financially straining them. If not thought of, carefully, your organization might be at the risk of surpassing the cloud budget in the hope of adapting and executing new emerging cloud technologies. A cloud management software or the cost optimization tool can help you keep tabs on the allocation and utilization of the resources.

Serverless cloud-based applications

Developers are looking for a solution to build and run an application that does not take time, involves less overhead, and requires minimal infrastructure management, which is what serverless applications are promising. Unlike the traditional way, wherein the organizations are charged for the pre-purchased unit, and they had to rent or buy servers, in the serverless cloud-based application they will be charged for the amount of resources they have consumed.rdr

Having discussed the fundamental trends, let us talk about the one that has become the need of the hour for cloud computing:

Used by business, big or small, cloud computing came to a point where the need for efficiently managing cloud migration became an urgency. This lack of IT development system led to the introduction of automation in cloud computing as well, just like how every other industry is fervently adopting and leveraging from it. Gaps like these and the ever-evolving complexity of the cloud computing orchestration has increased the demand for cloud automation today.

What is cloud automation?

Automation is a technology's gift to humankind to lessen their burden on repetitive tasks and enhance their efficiency and skills for better contributing to the development of the organization.

Cloud automation is what makes cloud computing, storage easy yet efficient. You can read more on it on our blog dedicated to the significance of cloud automation in the business sector.

But did it ever occur to you that why would computing, which is basically what the world wanted, considering the data flooding and the exchange of information every microsecond, needs to be automated? Because with cloud automation:

  • Real-time collaboration on a globals scale has become significantly easy and effective;
  • There is no need for a dedicated infrastructure, which drastically reduces the expense;
  • There is no possibility of human error; automation has increased accuracy, speed, and process efficiency.
  • Made integration, management, and deployment in the complex IT environment, quick and easy.
  • Frees unused resources and ensure optimum utilization of the critical ones, thereby eliminating the unnecessary processes and streamlining the business operations.

Why trust VisualCron's cloud automation?

  • The growing need for unrestricted storage space and escalation in the scalability of the infrastructure, demands several cloud services for file storage.
  • By incorporating VisualCron's cloud automation tool, you get support across various platforms and services, such as Dropbox, one drive, google drive, azure, amazon s3, Box.
  • It entirely automates the file transfer from delete, list, create features syncing upload and download of the files. VisualCron's' cloud file explorer helps in filtering out files to the specifications. With the connection explorer, any existing connection on the cloud services can be used to navigate through the files and folders. From the start, stop creating, listing, and deleting screenshots.
  • VisualCron's cloud automation software efficiently manages various instance on two platforms; Amazon EC2 and Microsoft Azure. Its cloud file trigger helps in monitoring cloud files stored at different networks, depending on the settings.

You can trust VisualCron's wide range of automation, integration, and task scheduling tool to simplify your business processing in a tailored and cost-effective manner. Our customer-driven development approach, easy to use interface and efficient flow and error handling will ensure that your workflow is adequately streamlined and you no longer have to worry about the declining productivity and efficiency because of old and redundant software.

Get our cloud automation software on a 45 day free trial period, today!

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