Atera Review

Enabled us to get a better picture of what is happening across all our clients

What is our primary use case?

We are a managed IT support company. We use Atera for ticketing, keeping track of work with our clients, and monitoring our clients' computers and devices.

How has it helped my organization?

Atera has reduced or eliminated frustrations that we experienced before we started using it. As one of the heads of the company, one of my biggest frustrations is when a client calls us about a system crashing. It hurts my reputation that I don't know about it before a client does. Atera has drastically reduced that, giving us higher insight into what is going on. It has also simplified the difficult process of managing multiple clients, jumping through a lot of different systems. We have worked very hard with Atera to make it a starting place or central point of access into a lot of different places for us.

What is most valuable?

The features that have had the most impact on our business have been their monitoring and automation tools, which are built into the product. When we first started working with Atera and rolling out their monitoring and automation tools, it enabled us to get a better picture of what is actually happening across all our clients. Before that, unless we were individually looking at computers, we really didn't know what was going on. Now, we can see issues coming up before our clients report them to us. Oftentimes, we resolve them before anybody actually notices. As an MSP, another important piece is how it increases the number of computers and devices each of our technicians can manage and support before we have to look at hiring more technicians. The automation has become another employee for us, managing a lot of stuff that now we don't have to manage individually.

It has a very good automation platform. While there are some things that I still wish it could do, it has been a solid platform overall in terms of automating updates on computers, rolling out software for customers, monitoring critical business services, and automating recovery of those services when they fail.

What needs improvement?

They are working on an update, and I would like to see more stuff outside of just computers and servers. Increasingly, we need to be able to monitor and manage network devices. Atera is improving on that already, which is one place that it is currently lacking.

We are getting more into cloud services now. Therefore, I would like to be able to see and monitor cloud services for customers in stuff, like Microsoft 365.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using it for about three years now.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It has been very stable for us. I can probably count on one hand the amount of times in three years that it was down for whatever reason. Most often, those have been related to Microsoft Azure outages that everybody has been dealing with.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We are managing 600 computers in Atera as well as a number of other devices. I haven't noticed an issue with scalability at all. We have close to 8,000 tickets in the system, and I have not noticed any issues with it at this point.

We are a very small MSP with three employees, all technical-focused, who use Atera daily for all our work.

In Atera, we have 45 clients and about 700 devices that we are supporting in Atera.

How are customer service and technical support?

Their technical support is very good. I have only had the rare occasions where I have needed to use it. Usually, it has been the case, if I have needed to use it, that the technicians who I speak to are very familiar with what is going on and how to solve the issue that is going on. So, it has been a good experience.

Atera has been super gracious. They have been willing to work with other community members and me to make Atera a product that is community-driven. I have had a number of calls with the CEO and the product development teams, where they asked, "What does Atera need to do to better support our business?"

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We did not use an RMM solution previously. 

We evaluated a number of solutions before deciding on Atera. We did use a different PSA for ticketing, Jira Service Desk, and Atera definitely is a more intuitive platform than that.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is very straightforward. They provide a wizard to walk us through setting up the basics of the account. They have made a lot of improvements to the platform since I set up my accounts. For example, when I started, I had to build out my own script library and monitoring library. Now, Atera has added those pieces and I can draw on what the community has built for it. So, it was very simple to set up when I started it, and it has only become easier since then.

The ease of use and user interface most certainly played a part in making our deployment of the solution quicker and helped with adoption. One of the big tasks at the time, which we had to be able to deliver on quickly, was being able to set up time sheets so we could bill out what time we spend with customers. Atera made it incredibly simple to track our time, then bill that back to the customers. That gave us a lot of options for how we set up contracts, track time, etc. Their RMM agents to install were super easy to deploy through GPO, or however we wanted to deploy them.

In total, we spent about six months rolling it out to customers. However, the initial onboarding, where we were using it as our primary platform daily, was probably within a month.

We initially focused on implementing it for managing tickets and tracking work for customers. We then rolled it out to monitor and automate customers, starting with a handful of customers. On the RMM side, we rolled it out with a couple of test customers before rolling it out across the board. 

What about the implementation team?

We did all the work ourselves on it, so we were able to do that as well as keep our day-to-day operations running.

What was our ROI?

Our clients are happier. When our clients are happier, they are more willing to invest more in what we are providing.

Atera has saved our organization money. We look at Atera as an extra employee that we only pay about $300 a month. This is incredible savings over having to hire somebody to do all the tasks that Atera performs for us.

We used to spend hours patching and updating client servers. That work always would have to happen after hours, and we don't have to do that work anymore. Atera does that piece for us. That is probably the biggest time savings: The hours that we would spend going through every single server that we manage and having to update them. The automation stuff that we have built on top of Atera has saved us even more hours by being able to see when users are getting locked out of computers and recover that without having to actually go to the server. We are saving tens to twenties of hours.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

Atera's pricing stays fixed and predictable, enabling us to add more customers and unlimited monitored devices. We still have a number of clients who fit a break/fix IT model. This is something where clients are complaining more about having to pay extra month-by-month for technology services. With Atera's model, we don't have to be going out and asking for more from clients each month. Right now, with where we are at in terms of scale, this is very important to us.

Understand that there are pieces that have to be built onto it, such as add-on licenses. I used to work in a software startup, so I am okay if they say that they are putting out new features and some of those features are going to have add-on licensing, e.g., where it adds on an extra $50 a month for this feature. I understand that there is a cost to having new features sometimes.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We evaluated Syncro, ConnectWise, and Autotask.

The ease of use and user interface are what really initially brought us to Atera. We looked at a number of RMM platforms and PSAs. At the end of the day, they were all really complex to use. Whereas, Atera is extremely intuitive for me. It is easy to navigate through tickets and what alerts are coming up. I give Atera very high marks as far as ease of use.

With ConnectWise and Autotask, you have to pay a pretty high setup fee. At the time, Syncro was a pay per technician model versus ConnectWise and Autotask, which are both pay per device. When we looked at all of that, there was no justification. They were going to be far more expensive than Atera or Syncro, and Syncro wasn't as intuitive to use for what we needed.

In terms of available customization, ConnectWise seemed like it had the most. However, it felt like to use them that we would need to have someone dedicated to maintaining our setup, which we were not prepared to do.

What other advice do I have?

It is a very intuitive product to get in and just start pushing buttons. I would advise anybody looking to sign up with Atera to check out some of their past webinars that they have run on various topics and engage in the Atera community. One of the most valuable things from Atera is they are committed to building a community of IT professionals. There have been many times that I have relied on the expertise of that community. So, I would advise people to get plugged into that.

In terms of monitoring and managing computers and servers, it is a very solid platform. I haven't found myself wanting a lot of stuff that isn't already there. 

Atera is very central to our operations, so we are always looking to expand our usage.

I would rate it as a nine out of 10.

**Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
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