What is our primary use case?
We are using Atera as a managing solution. I am an MSP. We provide our clients support services and protection. We are using Atera to get control on a machine, results, information, license keys, serial number information, performance on the machine, and rates of the hard drive, e.g., if it is SSD or HDD. Everything is possible to do. As well, we are running the background scripts without interrupting users. We are running the command line and PowerShell, if we require it. It seems like an easy, light tool to use.
How has it helped my organization?
In the past, people have usually locked the local administrator account. Sometimes, I have students work for me after they have done some IT college for a couple of months or a year, and they're looking for a job. I take them on as a student in the beginning to see how they perform and help them out. Once in a while, we hear of situations where a person tried to join a machine from domain and forgot to enable the local administrator or some local credentials so it can be easy to unlock the account. When people forget, you join the machine's domain, then use third-party software to unlock the password or user. In Atera, if your agent is there and the machine has been joined, you can use the command line or PowerShell to enable/disabled an account or machine. This saves me a lot of time.
Sometimes, you have to do things in front of a person. For example, some key information might need to be sent to them, which I usually send by email. If the person doesn't understand it, then you have to drive to the person and be in front of them. We do that only in extreme situations, if something really doesn't work and we need to do something. With Atera, it's much easier. You just show them what you are doing and what they have to do. If you want to transfer the file from your machine to theirs, then you can transfer in an easy, convenient way. It is pretty quick and simple.
Atera has saved us a lot of time. Our medium client is approximately 10 machines. We need to go and make sure every single agent is installed on a machine is up-to-date as well as that Chrome is up-to-date. On a weekly basis, this sometimes takes between three to five hours per machine. However, with Atera, we cut this down to 30 minutes to an hour. There is an Automated patch system, where you identify if everything is fine in event logs and working great. After that, it runs a couple of reports, gets them, reviews them, going one by one, and then goes from there. It is great.
What is most valuable?
All features are valuable because we use them on a daily basis, like remote control, file transfer, Registry configuration, delete and editing, the command line, PowerShell, the graphic of the memory in the CPU, the Patch Management system, and ticketing system. Even chat is very convenient, e.g., if you would like to connect to somebody, then you can go to the chat option, activate the chat, and start chatting with someone.
I use the IT automation for our clients, but not very often. I'm using it because:
- It is easy and convenient.
- You can add scripts and do patches.
If you are using a third-party SOC application, something like EDR advanced, etc., then you need to implement some scripts on some agents. Whereas, with IT automation, it is very easy because you are just adding scripts automatically to profiles. Then, in a second, it is working.
What needs improvement?
It will be interesting if Atera can integrate all kinds of products. In North America, there are a lot of resellers, like Ingram Micro, Tech Data, Arrow Electronics, etc. It would be amazing if Atera could integrate with these products. If they could integrate with these products for MSPs, it would be much easier. Then, if you are buying something, and need to add something, you don't need to jump from place to place because this is a very quick sales instrument for use on a daily basis.
For how long have I used the solution?
I have been using Atera for approximately three years.
What do I think about the stability of the solution?
Every single machine works for me as a consultant. What is important is that it is installed and working.
The stability is pretty amazing. For some reason, the solution has always worked for me without any issues or problems. Maybe during maintenance something doesn't work, but usually 24/7, it is working fine.
What do I think about the scalability of the solution?
The scalability is great.
My company is small. There are three users: an FTE engineer, a part-time engineer, and myself (the CEO).
We are monitoring 300 endpoints.
Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?
Before Atera, I was trying to use TeamViewer, and it was completely frustrating. The main difference is functionality. TeamViewer doesn't have the functionality. TeamViewer is not a complete RMM solution, but a portion of one. It didn't have all the functionality nor was it always stable.
How was the initial setup?
It is a very light product to install and configure. It gives us perfect results for what we want as an MSP and IT production company.
The initial setup is very straightforward. While I like this process, this is an area for improvement. They had tools where you could insert the username and credentials as well as find older agents in the network, then you could just push the agent to everybody. It would be awesome if this tool could come back.
The deployment is usually very quick if someone has Active Directory. However, if I am coming to somebody's place, then doing an investigation/assessment. Sometimes, I am unable to get my hands on Active Directory servers, so I am unable to implement this rule from group policy to all agents. I need to go one by one on each machine. This is why I would really like to use the tool from the past, because then it would be very quick. Usually, if a client has approved me, then we need to make sure the client is working well. For example, if the client says, "Okay, we want you guys onboard. We need the staff to implement the Atera with all scripts and IT automation." Then, that takes about 10 to 15 minutes, not more.
What about the implementation team?
It is usually just me deploying Atera. If we have a new client that needs some help, I have a tech who helps me out as well to deploy it.
What was our ROI?
Instead of driving all the way down to the client, we can make them configurations from the office. It is very easy and convenient.
Atera saves money. A trip to the customer costs between $20 to $30. Then, you need to charge the customer $20 to $30 for the travel. However, if you are doing this work remotely, then you are not driving. This makes the process easier and saves money for you and the customer. For example, if it is just one machine, then the savings comes out to $50 to $60. If we are talking about a huge client, who has hundreds of machines and is changing their infrastructure, that is a lot of money.
What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?
The value of the product is perfect, neither cheap nor expensive. I think it is the right rate. It would be awesome if it continued to be the same price because it is a great solution that I like. I like it because I'm not paying per device. I have some customers on monthly contracts and some of them are on break'n fix. If I have a client who is on break'n fix, and they need to pay per agent, then I am losing money. If they were ever to change structures, going to pay-per-device model, then I would need to think about changing to something else.
Which other solutions did I evaluate?
I tried NinjaRMM, Datto RMM, SolarWinds, and ConnectWise. I found these solutions complex and unstable as well as more costly.
I also found that one time I called support for another solution, and I said like, "I don't understand something. Can you please explain it?" When I told them exactly what I am looking for, she's like, "Hold on. I have to ask my manager because I have no idea how to do that." Then, the manager comes back, saying, "You know what? We don't know this portion. Usually, people do not use it like this. People use it by developing some advanced feature or RMM." Then, I waited for a day or two before they came back to me, saying, "Oh, this is something for the future." They had no idea how to answer my question. There are more complex RMMs than Atera. However, when making their applications more complex, they need a knowledgeable enough team to get you answers.
What other advice do I have?
If you will not try it, you have no idea. If you have two green apples, and people say, "This apple will be sweet and a bit sour." You have to try to understand it. What exactly is sweet? What exactly is sour? It is exactly the same with RMM: You have to try it before you make a decision.
There are tons of different RMMs on the market: NinjaRMM, ConnectWise, Autotask, Datto, etc. All of them are good, but you always need to take a look where someone is using it and who likes it. You have to think, "What will be easy?" and, "How can you serve the client?" So, try, look, and see. There are people using the more expensive RMMs, paying per device, which is so expensive. It's crazy. They have no idea what they're talking about, because they have never used something like Atera. They should take a look at Atera and understand it.
It is a 10 out of 10 because it is the best, and I like it.
Which deployment model are you using for this solution?