May 15, 2018

Nice Customer Testimonial

Filed under: General — Marcus Tettmar @ 12:20 pm

Just had this testimonial from a recent customer and had to share it with you:

“Just wanted to take some time to say thank you for helping us out on this project at such short notice. We’d sunk quite some time into getting up to speed with a competing product, and had bought personal licenses as well as evaluation and then to find that it could not script all the parts we needed, and frankly how terrible their support was left us in a very bad spot – thank God we’d not stumped up the £3k for their .NET module which we were on the verge of doing. We quickly ran through 4 other web automation packages – none of which were up to the job for our task, or the learning curve was too steep to find out – then stumbled on your Macro Scheduler. If only we’d got to you first. Thanks again, I have no doubt we’ll find use for Macro Scheduler on other projects – it’s a very useful tool to have in the tool-box now.”

You can read more testimonials here.

May 4, 2018

Macro Scheduler Discounts for Students, Charities and Not-for-Profits

Filed under: Announcements,General — Marcus Tettmar @ 1:21 pm

Students

If you are a student and want to use Macro Scheduler for your studies, please contact us with details and if everything checks out we will give you a 40% discount coupon.

Charities and Not-for-profits

Charities and not-for-profits do amazing things around the world. From small local groups feeding the poor to large organizations addressing global issues, these entities do incredible work often on a shoe string budget. We here at MJT Net Ltd admire the work these people do and hope that by offering them a 40% discount on our software we can support them.

If you represent a charity or not-for-profit organisation please contact us with your details for a 40% discount coupoon.

All we ask in return is that you tell all the people you work with about our software, and how it can help them become more productive (and therefore save your organisation even more money!)

So that this offer is used fairly we ask that you declare that you meet the following requirements:

  • You must have legal charitable or not-for-profit status in your country
  • Must direct at least 90% of any funding or donations to the actual work, and not administration
  • Must have no more than US$2 million in government funding per year
  • Must have a website with your mission and clear outcomes from your work
  • Your organisation must not discriminate against any particular race, age, religion or sexual persuasion

As an alternative to purchasing a license and ongoing maintenance you may wish to consider a monthly subscription.

April 19, 2018

Macro Scheduler Subscriptions from only 12.50/month

Filed under: Announcements,General — Marcus Tettmar @ 8:40 am

Did you know we offer monthly, quarterly or yearly subscriptions for Macro Scheduler Standard?

These subscriptions have no minimum term, so can work out very cost effective if you only need the product for a short while. You may also prefer the budgeting aspect of fixed priced subscriptions over the up front cost of a perpetual license and then potential future upgrade or maintenance costs.  I know I do.

A subscription gives you access to the latest version of Macro Scheduler for as long as your subscription is active. So maintenance and upgrades are included and you never go out of date.

Check our the subscription options here.

 

March 28, 2018

Will robotic process automation take your job away?

Filed under: Automation,General,Macro Recorder — Marcus Tettmar @ 2:25 pm

TLDR: No! That’s not what we’re here for. Robotic process automation is here to help you.

We often get called in to help a company automate a process. Many times this involves automating something that an end-user does. To make macros that make their job easier, less painful, and make them more productive.

Initial Resistance to Change

Sometimes, at the outset, we (or the IT department proposing Macro Scheduler as a solution) detect a little resistance from the end user. If not properly briefed they may be concerned that what we want to do is take work away from them, and they may be concerned that the macros, or software robots, are about to take their jobs away.

Epiphany!

Nothing could be further from the truth and by the time we’re done, the end users love us to bits and usually give us a long list of other things they’d like us to automate! Often they discover how easy it is to do it themselves with tools like the Macro Recorder and other code wizards.

I’ve written thousands of macros for hundreds of companies. I’ve never worked on anything that was designed to take a job away from an employee, other than one the employee didn’t like doing and didn’t have time to do without it impacting on their core purpose. In every case the macros we wrote were there to make the employees’ jobs easier, or to allow them to be more productive in more important areas. For example: removing a tedious admin task from an already overstretched clinician, allowing them to see more patients.

I suppose you could argue that the many over-night data-entry style macros we’ve written could have been done instead by a team of data entry personnel. But such a team didn’t exist to start with, or would have been cost prohibitive, or too error-prone to be considered in the first place.

Improving Productivity

So to answer the question, no, I don’t believe robotic process automation is about taking jobs away. It’s not about replacing staff. In my 21 years of automating user interfaces this isn’t what I’ve seen. Instead, I’ve been rewarded with making people’s lives easier, removing cumbersome, painful, processes, or using macros to simplify and improve an existing process.

March 15, 2018

Saving You Time and Money With Robotic Process Automation

Filed under: Automation,General,Macro Recorder — Marcus Tettmar @ 3:24 pm

Before Macro Scheduler existed I was a junior member of an IT department. As part of my job I built small tools to automate specific tasks. At the time I was using VB. Each time I had to automate a task I had to reinvent the wheel a little.

The whole point of Macro Scheduler was to simplify the task of building automation routines, or software robots. To avoid having to reinvent the wheel.

There’s no reason why you can’t automate your Excel-to-SAP/WEB/ERP/ACME-Desktop-App by writing code using C# or C++. But it’s going to take you longer than using Macro Scheduler. Macro Scheduler functions like “SendText” and “UISetValue” encapsulate some pretty low level and quite convoluted code. The code wizards and macro recorders which help you use them are even more complicated.

One of the main purposes of Macro Scheduler is therefore to enable people to automate things more quickly and more easily than could be done with traditional programming tools. It makes it possible for non-programmers but also simplifies and speeds up automation for developers.

Over the last 21 years – yes 21, Macro Scheduler was first launched in 1997! – we’ve helped people with a lot of automation tasks. We offer consultancy and have been into people’s offices and also helped over the phone and remote desktop. Most routines take us a few hours to create a macro for. Some take a day or two. Rarely do we need to spend more than three days on one process, though there are some projects which involve a series of automation routines that may therefore take longer or be done over a few sessions.

To do the job from scratch with C#, C++ or VB might take weeks. Many people who approach us seem to be imagining that to automate their task may take days or weeks. They are often very surprised when we tell them it’s a few hours not a few days.

We are all about saving time and money. That’s what our tools do and it’s why we built them. Our tools mean you don’t have to pay developers lots of money to spend weeks or months building custom solutions.

The only down side to this from our point of view is that we routinely disappoint large consultancy businesses and potential partners who are used to selling IT contracts worth hundreds of thousands. They approach us thinking that there’s a huge opportunity and that we’ll pay them a large cut of a big consultancy project.

But rarely does a job require so much time, and that’s the reason we’re here. Sometimes I sense these people want us to “flesh” projects out. They think we’re “too good” at what we do. We should slow down, make things more complicated and thus charge for more time.

But that isn’t us. That’s not why we’re here or why we created Macro Scheduler. The whole ethos of Macro Scheduler and MJT Net Ltd is to save time, to find more efficient, less expensive ways of doing things that were once thought impossible or too expensive to do, and to enable people to automate without specialised knowledge.

That said we’re happy to work with companies on an on-going basis. I have found that most businesses approach us with one specific routine in mind and then when they see what can be done they realise how it can be applied across the organisation in other departments, for other teams. Saving a team one hour a week may not seem like much, but do that for 500 other teams and it adds up to a huge efficiency saving for the entire business.

If you would like to talk to us to find out how we could help your business, whether on an ongoing basis or just for a one-off job, please drop me a line here.

January 2, 2018

Happy New Year – Welcome to 2018!

Filed under: Announcements,General — Marcus Tettmar @ 10:16 am

Just a quick note to say Happy New Year to all our customers. This year will be our 21st year of selling Macro Scheduler. I think that’s pretty amazing. Thanks for all your support over the years and for continuing to use Macro Scheduler. It’s always great to hear how Macro Scheduler helps in your work and business processes, so please continue to keep in touch and let us know how it’s helping you. Here’s to a happy and healthy 2018!

October 11, 2017

What is Robotic Process Automation (RPA)?

Filed under: General — Marcus Tettmar @ 2:32 pm

Our longstanding customers will know we’ve never really been into jargon here at MJT. Jargon in the IT industry tends to come and go. And there’s something quite amusing about a term that pops up and is touted as being some amazing new thing when it simply describes something we’ve been doing here at MJT Net Ltd for 20 years! On the other hand any term that helps to describe what we do is useful and I suppose it’s nice to know that finally, after all this time, what we do in our little niche of the IT world now has a name: Robotic Process Automation or RPA.

So those of you who have been using Macro Scheduler for a while know what RPA is, even if you’ve never called it that.

Robotic Process Automation tools allow you to create “bots” (we’ve always called them macros) to automate business processes (often by simulating a user). With RPA we automate repetitive tasks – taking the robot out of the human – freeing people up for more value-adding activities.

Our customers have been automating their processes robotically for years, ever since Macro Scheduler was first released way back in 1997.

August 11, 2017

Morning Rant

Filed under: General — Marcus Tettmar @ 10:13 am

A customer filing PayPal disputes rather than emailing us and then, despite confirming that they have the software, failing to cancel the dispute and PayPal finding in their favour, leaving us out of pocket!

PayPal is costly and causes so many accounting headaches it isn’t true. I’ve a good mind to remove it from our site. How many people only buy because we accept PayPal? Anyone?

Another “customer” asking us to write a script, watching us write code, seeing it working, speaking favourably throughout the project at every step, never voicing any concern and then refusing to pay at the end. What’s the answer, lawyers and contracts, which would mean we’d have to put the prices up, or just stop offering script development services? Answers below.

Maybe give up completely. It isn’t what it used to be. This was fun in the early Internet days. Now it just feels like everyone wants something for nothing. Convince me otherwise below.

February 6, 2017

Our 20th Year!

Filed under: Announcements,General — Marcus Tettmar @ 5:39 pm

Happy New Year! A somewhat belated new year greeting, but one that comes with the realisation that this year marks the 20th year of Macro Scheduler. The first version was released way back in 1997!

20 years! Quite amazing. It all happened by accident really and I certainly didn’t expect it to still be going strong 20 years later. In fact it’s stronger than ever.

Thanks so much to all of our customers for all your support and feedback, helping to make Macro Scheduler the product it is. Some of you have been around since that very first year and still use the software today, and that makes me very proud.

Here’s to another 20 years!

January 25, 2017

Templates and Default Templates

Filed under: General — Marcus Tettmar @ 11:49 am

Did you know you can create script templates to use when you create new macros in Macro Scheduler?

When you create a new macro you can choose File/New Macro from Template. This allows you to browse for a .scp file to use as a template. There are some pre-built templates in the Templates subfolder of the program folder which by default you will be presented with.

To create your own templates just create a script as normal or use the standalone editor and export it to a name and folder of your choice. You can then use it later with the “New Macro from Template” option.

If you’re always writing the same stuff when you create a new macro – e.g. maybe you have a standard way of documenting your macros with a code block at the top, you might find default templates really useful. You will probably have noticed that “from the factory” Macro Scheduler puts some comments at the top of all new scripts. You can change this or add your own comments/code by creating a default template.

To create a default template create a script file called default.scp and store it in a Templates subfolder beneath your main macro folder (usually My Documents\Macro Scheduler 14). This default template will then be loaded whenever you create a new macro using File/New Macro.

Older Posts »