Based in Berkley, California, Grocery Outlet is a chain of 200+ family-owned deep-discount grocery stores spread throughout seven states. Steve Tuscher, Director of IT, helps oversee the technology side of the business, which includes thousands of file transfers every day. Writing scripts for those transfers was time-consuming, but the real challenge was tracking down what happened if a file exchange failed. Watch the video to see how GoAnywhere helped transform workflows, allowing Steve's staff to devote more time to other important IT projects.
Hi, my name is Steve Tuscher. I'm Director of IT at Grocery Outlet based in Berkley, California. I help run the IT department for our 200 stores on the West Coast.
What challenges led you to look for a better solution?
We had always transferred files between our systems with homegrown FTP scripts, and we got into a relationship with another company. We needed a better solution, so that's when we started our search for a more robust tool than the homegrown FTP scripts.
What features did you require?
We were primarily looking to send files back and forth in a reliable and controlled manner with error reporting that's platform independent in terms of who we're communicating with.
[Another vendor] suggested a tool and it was a $100K, and we didn't want to do that. So we searched around. We knew of Linoma because they'd been in the AS400 world for a couple decades at least, as we have, so we thought we'd give GoAnywhere a shot. It's been a great product. It worked from day one and it's worked ever since.
How are you using Goanywhere?
You might be surprised by the number of jobs we run on GoAnywhere each day. It's over 33,000, besides all the file transfers that we run between systems that you would think of as a typical use of GoAnywhere.
After we learned that it can retrieve mail from an Exchange mailbox, we developed a script to do that. It checks for incoming mail every three seconds and it launches a job based on if there's new mail on the AS400. We take that request and we run another job, and then we return the email with a report. It's a handy little email-based reporting system that's very popular.
How has GoAnywhere surprised you?
All the other extras that came with it, and all of the ways we're using GoAnywhere now has been like a bonus. The scripting language – the robustness of that has been a real surprise – a pleasant surprise.
How did GoAnywhere improve your workflows and save you time?
We do extract data with FTP scripts a lot – a great deal. In fact, we just installed, we're implementing a new system where we extract data from our AS400, package it up into a CSV file, zip it up in GoAnywhere, and then FTP it to a SaaS BI tool called PivotLink. All of that runs unattended every night, and it's been great. So just the ability to run an FTP script to get data, zip it up, and send it somewhere has been phenomenal.
The time savings is in the problem resolution or not having the problems to deal with.
Typically you'd copy some script and create a new script, and it would generally run. The problem is that when it wouldn't run, you wouldn't find out about it until it's too late, or until people are waiting for their orders or you got a crisis situation. So that's the real time savings in GoAnywhere is A) it basically never fails – that thing is rock solid. I can't remember the last time we had a failure due to GoAnywhere. If there's a failure it's because the receiving side is down or not available.
How has GoAnywhere improved your processes?
We quickly replaced all of our internal FTP scripts and within a couple of months, we'd transformed our data delivery across all of our business partners and all our internal systems with GoAnywhere. So that was a surprise that we were able to do that as quickly and easily as we did.
The biggest surprise was now we use the email retrieval because that has been a huge homerun application for being able to request and report on your phone, and have it delivered back to your phone, like a sales report, within seconds. The response time is amazing! Literally within seconds to be able to get a nicely formatted HTML email report on your phone, no matter where you are, via GoAnywhere, has been great.
We just look forward to more … what's next, or what's on the project horizon for GoAnywhere. We try to stay up to date on the releases so that we can take advantage of any new stuff that comes around.
What advice would you have for others looking for a better file transfer solution?
I would advise them to definitely buy GoAnywhere. It will be the easiest implementation you've ever had. It will be the best value of software that you've ever had. And you'll be sorry if you do not explore this package.