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Automox is #5 ranked solution in top Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) tools and top Patch Management tools. IT Central Station users give Automox an average rating of 10 out of 10. Automox is most commonly compared to Microsoft Intune: Automox vs Microsoft Intune. The top industry researching this solution is Computer Software Company, accounting for 25% of all views.
What is Automox?

Facing growing threats and a rapidly expanding attack surface, understaffed and alert-fatigued organizations need more efficient ways to eliminate their exposure to vulnerabilities. Automox is a modern cyber hygiene platform that closes the aperture of attack by more than 80% with just half the effort of traditional solutions.

Cloud-based and globally available, Automox enforces OS & third-party patch management, security configurations, and custom scripting across Windows, Mac, and Linux from a single intuitive console. IT and SecOps can quickly gain control and share visibility of on-prem, remote and virtual endpoints without the need to deploy costly infrastructure.

Automox dramatically reduces corporate risk while raising operational efficiency to deliver best-in-class security outcomes, faster and with fewer resources.

Automox Buyer's Guide

Download the Automox Buyer's Guide including reviews and more. Updated: October 2021

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Pricing Advice

What users are saying about Automox pricing:
  • "For all these software tools, it is usually a subscription model. There is a monthly charge that we need to pass along to our clients because we are doing all this for their benefit. It is only a couple of bucks a month per computer, and that is a low enough price point where our clients, without exception, have accepted it, and said, "This is great. We will pay that. It sounds like a worthwhile thing.""
  • "The product is a great value."
  • "The pricing and licensing costs have been great for us... My advice to others who are evaluating or thinking of implementing Automox is to give it a shot. If a free trial is still available, definitely use it, because it makes life a lot easier."
  • "We're doing it annually directly through Automox. It is per endpoint. It is $2 and some change per endpoint, but I believe the cost is right around $28,000. Everything is covered in this fee."
  • "Automox just charges us a set amount per user, per month, for using the product. That is very important to us. Because it's a cloud-native solution, you're saving on the cost of hosting an on-premises solution on your servers."
  • "There are no additional costs in addition to the extended licensing fees with Automox. You get your support and your per endpoint license with what you purchased."
  • "We are on the premium licensing, which is the one that has the API capability that we use."

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Christopher Dean
President / CEO at B/Net Systems
Reseller
Top 20
Keeps ours clients up to date with patch automation

Pros and Cons

  • "Previously, we would run a report, scan it, and compare it. We were spending 15 to 30 minutes a month on each machine on this stuff because you would find stuff that wasn't up to date, then you had to fix it. This solution takes that time down to minutes. Automox saves us easily many hours a month."
  • "When we bring on a new client, we need to go into that client and manually set up my account, my chief engineer's account, three technicians' accounts, and a billing person's account all over again, which is annoying. We have probably up to 15 or 16 of our clients on Automox now. For every single one of those, we have had to go in and set this up. Then, if anything changes, we have to remember to go to Automox and change it 15 or 16 times. So, we just want inheritable permissions, and that is it. We have talked to them about this, and they are like, "Yeah, we hear a lot of complaints about it." I am thinking, "Guys, I have been complaining about this for a year and a half. When are you going to do it?" It must be some tricky thing or not an easy fix, because I can only assume if it were easy, then they would have done it by now."

What is our primary use case?

I work for B/Net Systems. We are a managed services provider, which is outsourced IT. We have a lot of clients, mostly in the Washington, D.C., Metropolitan area. We do as much or as little of their tech work as needed. A lot of the work that we do, really the bread and butter, is what we call monthly maintenance. That is making sure that all the computers are healthy each month. This involves a lot of software patching, making sure there is free disk space, ensuring there isn't anything in the error logs, etc. Automox helps us manage the software update part. It is really great because it manages software updates for every piece of software on the computer. 

How has it helped my organization?

It has been a huge time saver and efficiency improvement tool. It goes down on a very deep level. It is checking stuff that we weren't even checking. While we were just checking the top line application software, we weren't really getting into the subsystem level. The tool does all that. It is all logged, and it is a big help.

We use their automation for patching. We let them do it. We have discovered all sorts of things, and a lot of it has to do with user behavior. For any type of software, you sometimes can update it in place and sometimes it requires a restart. That is because the application needs to shut down so you can install the patch, then it has to restart. Sometimes you can shut down the application, whereas other times it requires a machine to restart. We found that Automox would pop up, and say, "Hey, I am going to restart your machine. Is that okay?" and people would say, "No, I am busy. I am working on something right now." They would consistently defer it, and it never happened. Then, guess what? A month later, they are still not up to date. 

The biggest reason for doing software updates these days is the security aspect. Some developers found some sort of hole and put out a patch, so it's a security thing and you just want to make sure that you are as secure as possible. If you are in my position where we are taking the responsibility for our clients' technology, we absolutely have a responsibility to make sure that it is as secure as possible. Therefore, this is a real problem. We had to talk to our clients, and say, "You need a human policy where we all agree, for example, Friday at six o'clock that your machine will be restarted. You will get one opportunity to defer it. However, the next time it turns on, it will ask you again, and if you don't do it, then the next time it tells you, it will restart." We can customize all that. Some clients will give us two times and others give us three times to defer it, or make it on a Saturday. It is little things like that which make the tool great. 

It is important to us that this solution is a cloud-native platform. That is kind of how our business is set up. The whole world has been moving to the cloud over the past few years, but we have always tried to be cloud-centric. We don't have a physical office because no one comes to visit us, so we try to push as much as we can to the cloud for all the usual reasons: It is more scalable and robust as well as the security will generally be better. Features can get added on the back-end, and we will wake up one day, and say, "Oh cool. You can now do this in AutoMax and we couldn't do this last week." So, it is great.

What is most valuable?

For our Windows clients, it has been a huge help because we can now just go to the Automox dashboard and look at literally every single piece of software on that computer, even subsystems stuff that isn't an application that you would recognize, e.g., driver updates. It is great because we can see on the dashboard when something is up to date, and when it is not.

The interface is great. It is easy to use. It is really easy to see and drill down into systems that are compliant and also see where they are not compliant. You can push out updates. So, if for some reason that the Chrome update didn't take, then you can push out the updates from Automox, and say, "Hey, try it again." If it doesn't work after a couple of tries, then we can always remote into the user's computer and do it manually. This has been a huge time saver and convenience for our clients and us because we do almost everything remotely. We have been set up like that from the beginning. 

It was a different ball game when I started this back in the 90s, because everyone had a desktop computer. If you had to remote in, assuming they left it on, you could just get into it after hours because no one was taking their desktop computer home. Right now, everybody is on laptops and taking the laptops with them everywhere. As soon as they close the lid, it is in sleep mode and we can't get in. Having a tool like Automox means we do not have to chase around our clients, and say, "We need to install this thing. It didn't work. Can we pick a time on Friday afternoon?" They reply, "Friday afternoon at three o'clock is okay." and we set a calendar appointment. Then, we try to get in and can't. When we talk to the person. "Oh, something came up at work. I'm sorry, but can we do this next week?" We wind up chasing them around for days before we get a time to do it. Automox cuts through all of that. We just go to Automox, and say, "Push out a new update and apply it." We can tell if it took or not from the dashboard. It has made our workflow very efficient. Instead of chasing around people, trying to line up remote sessions and schedule them, we can actually work on other stuff. It has been a great tool for this.

What needs improvement?

A challenging thing, which isn't really Automox's fault, is updating hardware drivers. The software part is great, but a driver is a piece of software that lets the hardware interface with the operating system. For example, you will see that Dell EMC will put out drivers for their network adapters and it fixes some problems. For some reason, the hardware manufacturers keep very close to themselves. You need to go to the Dell EMC if you want to use Dell EMC tools to upgrade Dell EMC drivers. This could be any hardware manufacturer, not just Dell EMC. It would be great if Automox could do this too. However, it could be that it is not their fault that the hardware manufacturers don't want to give that up. This is only kind of a minor quibble that I have with it.

I know they are going to fix this because I have talked to them multiple times and complained about it. Our company B/Net Systems has an account with Automox. Under our parent company, we have these different child organizations who are essentially our clients, like XYZ corporation and ABC lobbying group. They are all listed with all their computers under each one. This seems like a minor thing, but it is a real headache. You would think that we could put all our technicians on the parent level and set permissions on who can do what, so we have billing people, technical people, managers, etc., then we set it up. You would hope you could set it up at the parent level and have it be inherited by the child organizations. However, when we bring on a new client, we need to go into that client and manually set up my account, my chief engineer's account, three technicians' accounts, and a billing person's account all over again, which is annoying. We have probably up to 15 or 16 of our clients on Automox now. For every single one of those, we have had to go in and set this up. Then, if anything changes, we have to remember to go to Automox and change it 15 or 16 times. So, we just want inheritable permissions, and that is it. We have talked to them about this, and they are like, "Yeah, we hear a lot of complaints about it." I am thinking, "Guys, I have been complaining about this for a year and a half. When are you going to do it?" It must be some tricky thing or not an easy fix, because I can only assume if it were easy, then they would have done it by now.

I wish we could create an inheritable policy too. That would be awesome because every time when something declines we have to set up a brand new policy all over again exactly like the other 16 that we already have. This is growing pains stuff, and they are going to figure this out at some point. Hopefully, in the near future, they will have inheritability.

Automox doesn't do Macs, so it doesn't help us there.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been using Automox for a little under two years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We have had zero problems. As far as I know, I have not had any indication that the agent is unstable. It seems to be pretty solid.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It seems scalable. We operate in this space where we are working with small- and medium-sized enterprises, nothing like thousands and thousands of machines. However, we have hundreds and hundreds of machines on it, and it has scaled just fine with the exception of the inheritability, which is kind of a pain from a scalability standpoint.

How are customer service and technical support?

The technical support is good. I have no idea of the size of their tech team, but they always resolve our questions, and it is always timely. 

We have a joke. We call it tech support roulette because you don't know how good of a technician you will get when you call the help desk. Sometimes, you get a good one. On the other hand, I have even called Microsoft and gotten a tech who didn't know what he was talking about, which is kind of shocking. However, we have not had an experience like that with Automox. Every time that we have called, the man/woman on the phone who answers, or we were transferred to, can fix the issue. It is also not more than one hop to a person who can fix it for us.

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

Before Automox, we had a very manual process. We would set up Microsoft Windows to automatically download updates and install them, but that did nothing for Adobe, Firefox plugins, Chrome, etc. Those programs have their own auto update features. However, if you work in tech for a while, it becomes pretty obvious that you have to follow the trust, but verify model. It is great that an automated tool says that it will update its own software on a regular basis, but how do you know it actually happened unless you go and check? So, we had these long processes where we would manually go in and just check, "Is Adobe up to date? Is this up to date? Is that up to date?" It was a real pain in the neck.

We would have to go check all these different things, run reports, and compare version numbers. It was a time-consuming pain. It was a little easier on the Macintosh platform, because Macintosh mostly runs all software updates of its operating system through the app store. There are some that somehow escape that. Though it was a little easier, it was still trust, but verify. We had to go in and take a look at the report to make sure.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was pretty straightforward. We trialed it with one of our medium-sized clients, so we had to run around and install the Automox agent on all their computers then figure out how to tweak it, customize it, and set up the reporting and alerts. You can set up policies, where you can tell this group of computers to update just this software at this time. We played around with that, but it was all very well-designed. 

The permissions/inheritance thing was the only real major annoyance, which we didn't discover until we went to add our second client. Then, we are like, Whoa, where are all our accounts?" We called them up, and they were like, "Oh, you have to set them up again." I was like, "Are you kidding me?"

Setting up policies is not difficult because our methodology is to be as consistent as possible. Unless a client asks us, we will not set up 10 different policies for them. We want a one size fits all that would update every single piece of software on this computer at least once a week. That is all we care about. We are not going to subdivide and say, "These are developer computers." We haven't had that need, but if we needed to, we would. Our policy needs are very simple, so we haven't had a need to get complicated with it, so setting it up has been easy. It works. 

We learned some things, like you don't want it to update too frequently. It sounds counterintuitive, but the sweet spot seems to be about once a week. If you do it more than that, it will start alerting the user. Then, they will get confused and be like, "Wait a minute. I thought we just did an update yesterday. What is this?" Then we get a support call, a ticket is generated, and we need to talk to them. It just created too much confusion. We finally settled on doing it once a week, Friday at six o'clock, unless the client wants something else. We give them one chance to defer, and that's it. That is our base policy that we replicate across.

What about the implementation team?

There are some growing pains to Automox. For example, when you set up a new client, you would think you go to the console, set up a new client, and it will show up there as a child organization under your MSP organization. Then, you think, "I'm done," but you are not done. You then need to email or call the tech support people at Automox, send them the URL for the child organization that you just created, and make sure they link it to your account. I think that is for billing reasons. Even though it shows up under my dashboard as a client that is a child under my MSP parent, it is not on their system. They are very nice about it. They add it within an hour or two, then it is done. However, it is just one of those things where you are scratching your head going, "Why did you design it this way?" We have talked to them about it, and they're like, "It is on the list. We will get to that."

What was our ROI?

We have seen ROI. The cost isn't really an issue because our clients bear the cost of that. They pay for it. We have seen the benefit in process improvement, streamlining our operations, and peace of mind, e.g., being able to pull up a console and see how many systems are not compliant.

Previously, we would run a report, scan it, and compare it. We were spending 15 to 30 minutes a month on each machine on this stuff because you would find stuff that wasn't up to date, then you had to fix it. This solution takes that time down to minutes. Automox saves us easily many hours a month.

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

The pricing is great. It is inexpensive and on the lower cost side of some of the tools that we use. Our tools range from $2 a month per machine up to $7 or $8 a month per machine. Automox is closer to the $2 a month side. Of course, we are resellers, and you have to be a reseller to use it. I don't know that they sell the solution directly, so we could mark it up to whatever we want but we don't do that. We just pass through the cost and make our money off of labor. There are companies where that is their business model, and they pick up dollars wherever they can. Good for them, but that is not how we do it.

For all these software tools, it is usually a subscription model. There is a monthly charge that we need to pass along to our clients because we are doing all this for their benefit. It is only a couple of bucks a month per computer, and that is a low enough price point where our clients, without exception, have accepted it, and said, "This is great. We will pay that. It sounds like a worthwhile thing." 

Two years ago, we used the free period for a little bid with a trial client after we got their permission to give it a shot. The free trial was important in our decision to go with Automox. I like the "try before you buy" model. Because if it doesn't work out for whatever reason, the interface isn't easy to use, the tech support people are no good, or the product is unstable, then you can walk away from it, if you want. There is no big commitment, and having a trial is perfect for that.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We didn't have other options because we couldn't find anything that was exactly like this solution. It was also recommended to us by one of our clients who was using it. That is how we found out about it. Therefore, it came highly recommended, and we thought, "Let's take a look at this and see if we like it." We did, we loved it, and we haven't looked back. It has been a process of just getting as many clients as possible on it. I would love to have all our clients on it. It simplifies our life.

What other advice do I have?

Overall, we have been very happy with it. Like any new product, there are things that need to be fixed. When they fix them, the tool just gets better. So, I am very optimistic that it will only get better, and it has already been a huge help. We have been converting over as many of our clients to using it as possible.

At some point, because we have to restart, we need the collaboration of the user. This is not really a problem with Automox. It is more of a human being thing. However, it exposed something that we needed to talk to our clients about.

We use six or eight different tools on most machines. This is one of my favorites because we don't have to bother the client. The joke that a colleague of mine used to say was, "We are the plumbers of the 21st century." I thought about it and that really makes sense. Like plumbing, your average user doesn't understand how all this stuff works. They don't want to understand how it works. They don't care. They just want it to work. Also, like plumbing, when there is a problem, it needs to be fixed right now, not tomorrow or next week, because it is a mission-critical thing. Having Automox allows us to bother people less, fix things faster, and generally be a better managed services provider providing better service. There is a lot more transparency as well as be more under the radar than it used to be when we had to schedule everything manually.

Definitely do the trial. Pick some meaningful use cases, test them as thoroughly as you can, and also be very aware of the human policy side of things. When you get into technology like this, it is really easy just to focus on what the tech can do, but there is always a human side of it. The human side in this case was the forced reboots once a week. That was something we had to get our clients to approve because we were restarting their machines. Therefore, make sure you look at it not just from a technology impact, but how it impacts the users and what you will need to change as well as any kind of policy you will need to set up on the human side.

We are looking into how we can leverage more of the solution’s API functionality, but we are not using it at this time.

I would give Automox a nine out of 10. The only reason that I am not giving it 10 is because of the inheritability thing and having to call every time that we set up a new client, when we need to have them link it to our account. 

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. The reviewer's company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Reseller.
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Jeremy Loudon
Director Of Business Operations at Ihloom Cybersecurity
Real User
Top 5
A single product with which we can patch multiple operating systems

Pros and Cons

  • "The fact that it's just one product that can patch multiple operating systems is really great."
  • "As concerns the patching concepts, there's a bit of a learning curve in terms of working out how Automox wants you to work within the console, not only splitting up everything into groups, but then having the various policies assigned."

What is our primary use case?

As an IT company which is a managed security provider and managed services provider, we use Automox primarily for our own internal patching and policy management and, also, for reselling it to our client base. We are talking about the same product for the same solution set. We simply resell it.

How has it helped my organization?

Automox has improved our organization when it comes to the more traditional use we were making of RMM or remote monitoring and management solutions. Admittedly, some of the stories in the news over the last few years of managed service providers being hacked or compromised and of the hackers managing to obtain access to the RMM solution and to push out ransomware frightened us. While a person who was really intent on this could do the same with Automox, it would be more difficult as the solution has a lighter-touch. 

This makes it more lightweight than some of the RMM solutions. As it's a bit more complicated, a person would need a good grasp of what he's doing with scripting. In contrast, with some of the traditional RMM solutions, all a person needs to do is state his desire to run a given file and he will receive the help he needs. As such, we think it's a bit more secure than a standard RMM solution. Owing to its lightweight nature, it doesn't consume many system resources. This allows users to have a better overall experience, as their computer's are not getting bogged down by another agent that is consuming its resources.

Furthermore, Automox provides complete visibility for any laptop, desktop or server in our environment, regardless of whether the person is on the train, in the cloud or on the move. This is a very important feature for us, the reason being that these capabilities traditionally only exist on machines when they're in the office or in a defined place. Yet, there has been a general trend over the past three to five years, and particularly during the last year with the Covid-19 pandemic, towards working remotely, with people commuting to the office only several days each week. As such, it is a valuable feature to be capable of insights and machines regardless of their location and to be sure of our abilities to patch and manage them.

Additionally, the solution's speed in carrying out its functions is quite good. There are a couple of different use cases for patching. We have, indeed, set patch schedules and we have found that if we state our desire to patch a group of machines at 10:00 AM, they will all be patched at this time. There's no delay or staggering when those machines get patched. Also, from the scripting side, we can send out commands and they're often received by the end point within 30 seconds. Things are so nice and responsive, whether we're just performing a scheduled task or going into the console and doing something manually. Things just happen, which is nice.

Also, we make use of Automox's API functionality, although just for monthly reporting and we do so to make sure that we're getting accurate agent counts. I can slice up the reporting however I wish via the API, but I know there's much functionality involved in running through it such things as commands and patching. While we don't use it for that, I do utilize the API functionality.

Overall, the solution has definitely saved us lots of time, although an exact figure would be difficult to calculate. I would put the conservative figure at 20 hours each month. In the past we utilized a person whose job it would be to go in and manage patching, review everything and reach out to make sure that things are getting patched. In the past we could not even be certain that what we were using was actually patching the machines. The savings in time is incalculable to me.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature is the patching. The fact that it's just one product that can patch multiple operating systems is really great. We've been utilizing a feature called Worklets, which basically allows one to script, simply to run code on the machines on which it's installed. This we've been using to manage certain endpoint policies for some of our smaller clients who lack an alternate solution for doing this. 

Moreover, we value the patching capability of this solution and the fact that it's a single console across Windows, Mac OS, Linux and Points. Our impression of the solution's console for patch management, in particular, is that it's quite good. We have seen many improvement made since we started using the product over the last six months or so. A really big push has been made to consolidate numerous features within the console and to make it a little more accessible... Every month it seems like some updates to the console are being released which makes things easier. I trust that, over time, the product will be as efficient as it could possibly be.

We use solutions worklets to create and automate customized tasks across endpoints and we consider it very important that they enable us to enforce tasks across all managed endpoints.

Some of our clients in, say, just a five person office, do not have a traditional, single central server which can manage policies that are then pushed out to various end points. So, we can use Automox to enforce policies locally on each machine, in addition to running one-off tasks and performing some basic management functions. For some of these clients this a really big sell. If we could only offer patching capabilities, maybe these clients would be more on the fence about purchasing. Yet, since we can help manage their end points, in addition to doing the patching and getting some of the other visibility that we get, it helps us to make the sale.

When it comes to policies, it is relatively easy to do setup via Automox. It is true that there are some complex use cases, especially as a person starts getting into work, at which point things can get a little more confusing. However, the general process of setting up a policy is quite easy.

Furthermore, we felt it to be very important to make use of Automox's free trial before going with this solution. We also took into account its availability. We are talking about an investment. One should not buy a product if he can't first try it out. This is standard procedure in the IT world. We considered this to be huge. We felt it important to get in there, deploy and play around with it, to break it a couple times and figure out how we can use it.

What needs improvement?

Overall, the ease of use is very good. However, in respect of the patching concepts, there's a bit of a learning curve in terms of understanding how Automox wants you to work within the console, not only splitting up everything into groups, but then having the various policies assigned, which is the point at which they all kick off. I admit that if we were a single organization or simply managing one, it would work a little better. Since we have so many different clients as a reseller, it makes it really complicated. As I know this is something the company is striving to improve in development, I can say that the product is great for the management of only a single environment. Only because of the issue with our specific use case would I knock it down a mark.

Furthermore, as we are managing multiple customers within a single portal, there needs to be a procedure in place for adding a new organization for each new client. The problem concerning the patch policies and all the workloads is that what is set up in one organization is not transferable when creating a new organization. This means that we have fifteen or twenty policies defined within a given organization. As such , it is a pain to make a new organization. It takes a lot of time.

Moreover, we have to recreate everything. While I know this issue is actively being addressed in development, I am left without a solution for the moment. This is definitely a sore point. While access control for users does allow me to grant user-specific access to a particular group within an organization, I must provide access to the organization as a whole. This is a pain, as it sometimes requires us to set up new organizations.

So too, patches and policies, when applied to a parent group, do not trickle down to any of the groups that are nested under the parent group. Consequently, if we have a group of Windows machines, and beneath each one of that parent group there appears each possible client, then every time that I wish to create a new client and put it under Windows Workstations I must apply new patch policies, or the same existing policies to that new group. It would be a lot easier if policies were just inherited from a parent group. Then, we could simply manage them in one place. It is true that all these issues can be surmounted, yet, as we scale as an organization, we are certainly looking to hire more junior members of staff to manage these things.

This complicates things for someone who is coming in with no experience. Certain features are typically included in a system, policies that are inherited from a parent group, so it's strange that in this instance this is not the case. These are some of the big things that come to mind. 

From the user's perspective, the product does allow notifications to be shown on his workstation when the patching is about to happen or when a machine needs to be rebooted. While updating the user about an impending patch to his machine is certainly useful, there is no status provided of the patching. 

I am always giving thought to the significant updates to the Windows features. A user who requests that a patch be made at a given moment cannot truly know what's getting patched. Also, this process can take an inordinate amount of time. There are times when a user will simply put a machine to sleep in the middle of a patch or do something to cause it to fail. A user lacks visibility into what's happening. He is aware only that his machine is about to patch and is left with the question of the best way to manage it. A large Enterprise company with an IT team may have a systems administrator who's only managing patching, perhaps sending out notifications to their users at all times.

Moreover, the process of keeping the user in the loop should be made easier. A company such as ours, which has several small clients, or one which is a small client itself, will remain in the dark and have to satisfy itself with the knowledge that the machine is getting patched. Consequently, I wish there would be more insight on the front end. It is here that problems and complaints arise. 

On a scale of one to ten, I would rate this product an eight. I say this only because of the issue that presents itself in our use case concerning the multi-tenancy set up. If more organizations were being contemplated, Automox would meet all of our criteria, be deemed by us to be a great product and would merit a 10 for sure. However, I feel Automox's present quirks in its ability to manage multiple clients to constitute its weakest point. This said, I know the company is actively working on this issue and am confident that it will be successful in addressing it. 

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been using Automox for around 18 months. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Being cloud-based, the availability of this solution and stability of our agents is very good. We haven't had any outages that I recall, so we trust that the agents are reporting in.
We don't tend to lose agents. We have not encountered computers that simply stop reporting in for no reason. Moreover, we've always been able to get into the console to do work, so I've been very happy with the availability.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scalability of the solution is quite good. We have a couple of issues in terms of our multi-tenant environment, but in terms of scalability, as an individual organization, I see none. A minor point I would mention is that there are occasionally some load time issues in the console when trying to load a page in the realm of 500 devices.

How are customer service and technical support?

Automox's technical support for their product is very good. They're responsive, they're knowledgeable and they help out when needed. I have encountered no issues in which a support case has dragged on or where concerns have been brushed off. The technical support always answers things directly and quickly.

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

Prior to using Automox we made use of the EMM solution Continuum RMM for patching and for numerous other tasks.

We switched to Automox because we wanted something that has a bit of a lighter touch. It is pretty incredible to think of the the number of agents that get put on people's machines nowadays. As a consequence, we were looking for something that would consume fewer system resources. We wanted something that wasn't so completely hooked into the system at every level. Automox really is a very lightweight agent. All it does is relay PowerShell or Bash commands. It's not really running processes that are hooked so deeply into the system that we would have another administrator account on the computer.

This is not its default function, although I suppose it can be utilized in this manner. What I mentioned was really appealing to us. So was the reliability and the ease with which we can simply go into the console and see what is going on. Our primary focus is to continue with patching and this was the big thing for us. Not only was it very difficult to see what was getting patched, but, while this was being undertaken, to trust that the reporting was accurate and that the machines were actually getting patched and reporting in. We switched because this was becoming cumbersome.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was straightforward and it's gotten more so. Improvements are being made to this.

The deployment may be accomplished in a couple of different ways. Broadly speaking, for the majority of our machines, which are Windows-based, we can customize an installer so that it can then be supplied to the client. All one would need do is double click and run the installer. That is all. This marks an improvement in the product from a year-and-a-half ago, which is when we first started utilizing the process. Yet, even at its most complex, we are really only talking about one installer that the client runs and then copies and pastes into a site token. Because we're managing the policies, it's all set up in the back end and all the user has to do is install an agent. There's no other configuration to be done on the user's computer, which is great. So, really, it can be easily deployed by anyone, as long as he knows how to run an installer. At this point, he will be good to go.

What was our ROI?

We have seen a return on our investment with Automox, although it is difficult for me to quantify. I do know that our consultants who utilize the product have had a good response. Also, I know that, simply from a management perspective, it makes things super easy to accomplish.

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

I feel that Automox is reasonably priced. If a person only wishes to patch Windows machines, there are probably cheaper solutions available, but this would be applicable to no more than a small percentage of organizations. As most organizations have a mix of MACs and Windows, it is certainly of great value to have one product that can handle both operating systems and Linux, as well.

This definitely increases the product's value. To be honest, I think we're on a bit of a different pricing model, because we resell. While I know that we get volume discounts the more that we sell, I have no idea if this would apply to a single organization that bought directly from Automox. I don't know how that works. However, I do believe that a person should investigate volume pricing. It is likely this would be relevant, or, alternately, that it would be advisable to purchase from a reseller, such as Williams Cybersecurity.

Moreover, we can get you a good deal. The product is a great value. It can provide a bunch of different types of functionality all in one place, it's easy to manage and it scales well, whether a company has five people or 50,000.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Ivanti Patch management was another solution we evaluated. We didn't go with this solution because it was only for on-premise Windows machines. Straight off the bat, we considered this a no-go.

There was, yet, another solution we considered, but its primary use was only for the patching of Windows machines. As such, even though it patched Windows machines anywhere they were connected to the internet, it would do so for these only. The main deciding factors in favor of Automox was the fact that it could patch multiple operating systems, that it could do so from anywhere that they had an internet connection, and that the agent is lightweight.

So too, when evaluating other solutions, we took into account the cost difference between those that are on-premise and the cloud-based feature of Automox. I recall that Ivanti is really expensive and on-premise only. We took this into account, as well. Of course, if it was something that we had to host or which had to be deployed at a client site, we would have done so. It wouldn't have been a deal breaker for us, but it certainly makes it easier when you don't have this to manage.

A nice feature about Automox is that it allows us to tell a customer "we're rebooting the computer in 15 minutes. You have no choice." So, depending on the environment, that can either be a pro or a con. This requires an understanding of the workload and the fact that  software can be fairly easily deployed through Automox. The advantage is that when a person is in the process of undertaking a series of manual installations or managements, he can have an understanding of what can be accomplished with Automox. This way, he may try to include this in his setup workflows as quickly as possible and to assess the potential benefit.

Of primary importance is acquiring an understanding of what the default experience is straight out of the box. The solution tries to patch by default. It does not satisfy itself with merely trying to reboot and sending out a slew of automatic notifications. Mostly, a person could simply set the default patch policy to "patch everything" and this wouldn't always work, especially on Windows machines. Therefore, it is important to learn how to stagger patches week by week or day by day, even if one needs a patch quickly, rather than simply accepting the defaults as being good. While the solution is easy to set up, there are still some configurations involved to ensure that everything happens cleanly. That can take some time to figure out.

What other advice do I have?

The present size of the environment that we are managing with Automox is around 1,500 agents and we have four IT consultants who work with the product. 

My advice to others who have not already purchased the product or are in the process of considering its implementation or use would be to take advantage of the free trial.

Automox facilitates an understanding of how to set up one's groups, the manner in which the notifications are employed, and how there are reboots referrals and patching deferrals. It enables the person to properly understand the product's capabilities and affords him the opportunity to match this up with the tolerance for patching in the organization. I think that, by default, Automox is really aggressive, especially in terms of forcing patching reboots. This will result in unhappy users if one is not careful and immediately proceeds with its deployment. As such, it is really important to properly understand what those defaults are and the default user experience.

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. The reviewer's company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Reseller
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Learn what your peers think about Automox. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: October 2021.
543,424 professionals have used our research since 2012.
Brett A Haines
Vice President at Atlantic.Net, Inc.
Real User
Top 5
Paid for itself in man-hour savings and auto-patching helps with compliance

Pros and Cons

  • "The biggest improvement to our organization involves the reduction in its man hours... We've probably saved hundreds of hours."
  • "We would like to see additional detailed reporting for Service providers like us. We had to build our own reports via their APIs to meet our needs."

What is our primary use case?

We use Automox as part of one of our product offerings, our server management, where we use it for patch management.

As concerns the Atlantic.Net side, when we're selling to the marketplace, we sell mostly public cloud with dedicated hosts, or cloud VMs. We also sell hybrid cloud and private cloud, as well as co-location when that unique need arises.

Obviously, with so many servers out there, our clients are very big into compliance, examples being HIPAA, PCI, NIST, ISO certifications and the like. We need to be able to provide patch management and that's how we utilize Automox. That's what got us started looking for this back in 2017. We needed something as our in-house solution was not working very well in terms of what we wanted: visibility and up-to-date patching. At that point, we decided to explore new open source options versus what is out there for purchase. 

This is how we stumbled across Automox and started using it with our clients. We never truly made this kind of functionality into a formal offering before settling on Automox. It was more on an urgent-need basis. But, once we adopted Automox, we made it a formalized offering.

How has it helped my organization?

The biggest improvement to our organization is the man-hours it saves us. One of the reasons we shied away from selling these kinds of things in a formal product, prior to Automox, is simply that it would have taken two or three dedicated people just to do updates — and that was before we really started it. We had some formal things for Windows in place, but because we've had so many different product offerings for operating systems, not just Windows, it was really tough to have everything covered under one solution, especially an open-source solution.

The savings in man-hours alone, in switching from that to Automox, means Automox has paid for itself. While I do not have exact figures, since then we've been patch managing five to seven times the number of servers. There's no way we would've been able to do that and still keep it cost-effective. How much time do we save? It depends on the load, since there is always that spike, given that Microsoft comes out with a new patch on Tuesdays. Not taking that into account, we probably spend about an hour a day, per person, meaning roughly five hours a week. That comes out to about 20 hours a month doing patch management through Automox, where in the past it was a full-time job for about two people.

Since we have scaled—and all the more so because in security compliance you have to test the updates, and do other things as well—we've probably saved hundreds of hours a month, at least. This amounts to significant savings.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature is probably the interface. Obviously, the work they do behind the scenes is important, such as: making sure that all the patches are there and making sure that everything is explained, such as what requires a reboot and what does not. It saves us on much legwork by removing all that manual processing from our side. From our point of view, the interface is clearly super simple to use, super simple to get up and running. It also makes it very easy to digest the data.

When I look at the dashboard, I can see how many are scheduled for updates, how many are already fully up to date, and how many need attention. I can see if there are any exceptions that my people put in for the customer. It's one of those things where it's really easy for everyone to be on the same page.

I can go to the Control Panel and I can create different organizations. This way, not everything has to be under one single interface and account. We can split it out as we see fit. That was something that we wanted. While it was not a big deal, it is nice that I can now go in and see a customer who has 400 VMs with us in a single pane of glass. I can click and see where they stand, as opposed to having to go through thousands all mixed together.

What needs improvement?

We would like to see additional detailed reporting for Service providers like us. We had to build our own reports via their APIs to meet our needs.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using the product since June 2017.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Other than when maintenance is being performed, we have had no issues with the stability of the product, no downtime.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scalability has been great, especially now that we can segment out large customers. 

We have significant plans for integrating it into our cloud portal. We can start with just the patching, which is what we are undertaking at present, and progress to offer it as a self-service model in our cloud portal.

How are customer service and technical support?

We have had no complaints about the technical support. We've used it twice in almost four years now and have had no issues, and no complaints from our side. It's been great.

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

Prior to using Automox, we utilized open source and a Microsoft solution together. We would not consider the Microsoft solution to be a direct competitor of Automox. It was used solely for patching Windows systems, and the open source was used only for patching Linux-based systems.

There were a host of reasons that we decided to switch from this approach to utilizing Automox. The old systems were cumbersome, very hard to understand and to train on. They involved a long learning curve. Also, you were very limited in what you could and could not manage. You were very limited in terms of scheduling or the updates that you wanted to apply. For certain OS’s, even with the open source solution, you could not patch Windows and you could not patch certain Linux flavors with it. Just that issue alone left us asking ourselves how we could offer a full-fledged product without even being able to do all the OS’s that we offer.

That is when we started looking at a real system to replace it. We were not set on going with a cloud-native solution, but this being in the cloud reduced, by two VMs, what we would have had to manage, update, monitor and the like. That made life that much easier for my people.

We did make use of Automox's free trial prior to using it, which we considered extremely important. You may get promised the world concerning tech solutions, just to discover that they often do not properly work. A sales representative may promise you the world and then not carry through. We actually got an extension on the trial because we were not yet ready. We then ended up paying for just one endpoint on a server. We were getting a little delayed. Once everyone received the approval from everyone buying in, we proceeded to push it live. If they still make available a free trial, definitely use it, because it makes life a lot easier.

How was the initial setup?

We required four staff in total for the deployment, involving two engineers who did the actual work, and two decision-makers. I found the initial setup of Automax very straightforward, very easy. My tech level is that I know what I'm talking about. I can kind of navigate pretty well, definitely not day-in and day-out, as I'm not in systems anymore due to my position. But, even if you told me to set it up today for a smaller-medium sized business that has 50 VMs, I could probably knock it out and do so without having too many headaches. That includes setting up policies, the VMs, and the hosts, and having everything set up and reporting back and making certain that we are hitting the criteria we set out to achieve. That is all pretty easy thanks to the interface. 

Regarding the length of time of the initial deployment, we did not rush with the testing. We had a trial and then we asked for another trial because we got pulled away due to what was going on with our customers and other systems. Once we decided to move forward with it, it took less than a week. This did not involve pushing very hard to get it done. It was more the case that my people had the time.

For our implementation strategy, we matched it up. The hardest part involved defining how we wished to put customers in at the time. That was before we had the ability to split them out into different segments. We had to figure out how to match what our other systems do, such as: customer number, customer name, and the relevant service policy. This is because some customers only want critical updates and some want all updates. Other customers want no updates to ever be applied. They just want to be notified of them and then they can update the patches themselves. We went in there, took our customer feedback and made it fit our needs.

What about the implementation team?

We did not work with any third-party integrator or a consultant to help out with the deployment. I had experience because I'm actually the person in charge of our Salesforce and its development. With Salesforce, you definitely need the help of a consultant no matter what. You can get away with a simple deployment of Salesforce. Once you start getting deeper into CPQ and the like, that this is where the devs come in. With this, there's no need for them. It's very simple to deploy. We have two people maintaining it.

What was our ROI?

While I cannot supply you with specific numbers, the savings in man-hours alone has been a great ROI on the use of Automox. On the flip side, as we are heavily involved in the security compliance sector, we have to take into account HIPAA, PCI, SOC and the like. We need an offering for auto-patching. Whether or not the customer actually opts for it, the ability to provide him with the option at least gets us in the arena to bid on the deal. If we didn't have that as an offering, then we would have lost a lot more deals over the years.

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

The pricing and licensing costs have been great for us. We got in early and then they had a little price rise. Overall for the price that they charge now, you get your money's worth on it.

For us, they had no additional costs beyond their standard licensing price. I don't know if they do setup now but we did all our own setting up and deployment. It solely involved licensing costs for each endpoint.

My advice to others who are evaluating or thinking of implementing Automox is to give it a shot. If a free trial is still available, definitely use it, because it makes life a lot easier.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We did evaluate other options although I do not recall which ones off the top of my head. Most of them were not just patching solutions. They were a lot of other things too, and we did not need those extra pieces.

There are other differences between the other solutions and Automox, in terms of pros and cons. When it comes to solutions, we want to try to do open source first. We are very big on open source, our entire cloud platform having been built from the ground up by our development team. When comparing Automox to the open source solutions, we were finding many gaps where, perhaps, the open source could not support all the OS’s that we wanted to support, or which involved much more manual labor, or involved delays in the patches being made available in the appropriate amount of time. There were a number of reasons that, once we started examining everything, it made much more sense to go with Automox.

What other advice do I have?

I recently asked my team about which areas of the product have room for improvement and for the moment we don't have any complaints, something I find anomalous. When I hear that from my techs and engineers, it’s always a great thing.

We're not heavy into the Worklets yet, so those may have room for improvement, as they are something new for Automox and for us. But overall, when it comes to patch management, the dashboard, ease of use, and the ease with which data is digested, have been great for us.

We're not trying to push what Automox is for. We use it for patch management as its key task and it's been fantastic for that. There have been no complaints by us so far.

Our staff who access it include systems administrators and systems engineers. Across our organization, we have around ten people who access it at least once per month. There is not a lot that needs to go into this. I haven't really had to do much work with it altogether during the past year or two. We really only need one or two guys in here, depending on whether Microsoft or, perhaps, Ubuntu drops a large patch. The amount of manual labor required of an employee is very limited, which is nice.

The biggest lesson that we have learned from using Automox is that as a managed service provider, it gives us a lot of insights into what our customers want. There are many customers who come in and state that they want everything patched up and up to date. Then, there are those who are the complete opposite. Most of our customers fall somewhere in the middle. Many of them do not have a proper understanding of why things need to be patched. But this has been very interesting because once we went live, we started getting feedback from our customers and this gave us insight into other areas that our customers consider to be important.

The cloud-native aspect of the solution was not very important to us. We considered it to be a "take it or leave it" feature. Retrospectively, it is a great feature to have. It saves us from worrying about the servers or about updating Automox. So it does, in retrospect, make a lot of sense to go cloud native because we don't have to worry about it. We have had no issues, no downtime issues with Automox. There are no complaints in that regard. While being cloud native was not a key feature at the time, looking back it’s pretty nice not to have to worry about it.

The solution provides us all the visibility we need, although we do not actually manage laptops. We only deal with what's inside data center walls. We actually use it for our employees’ desktops and then on the server side. It gives us complete visibility.

While we don't have any macOS on here, the patch management definitely covers Windows, Linux, and even Unix. We love the overall patch management abilities. It's the main driver of why we adopted Automox, and it has definitely stood up to the test of time.

It is absolutely important to us that it provides a cross-platform patch management across Windows and Linux endpoints. This was one of the driving factors and among the decision-making criteria for us. We already had two different patch management systems in the past, one of which could only handle Windows, the other only Linux. We were looking to try to unify that. It was such a pain since we were forced to bounce from one to the other. One of our older solutions capped out on how old an OS could be, since we have some customers who simply cannot move an application off an older OS. With Automox, the gamut is covered. That's what we want, that single pane of glass for patch management.

For the moment, we do not use the product for automation of patching. While it is definitely in our R&D pipeline to adapt it, we do not yet have it automated. They have the playbooks and they seemed very interesting to me. I'm just waiting for some R&D time on our side so that it may be integrated.

My people have been using Automox's Worklets for simpler tasks or those that are not overly complex. We're waiting to get these into our cloud portal. For the moment, we are making some use of them. We feel it is pretty important that Worklets enables us to enforce tasks across any managed endpoints. Especially in light of some of the vulnerabilities over the past two years, we want to enforce that our customers update. While we do not force updates, we want to make certain that the updates are covered and are applied in a reasonable amount of time. There are some delays with clients. Consequently, this capability of follow up and notification, should it still be waiting, is very important to us. We’re using some of the Worklets from the community, which is really nice. One of them involves getting Windows Update events, and that is great because it's part of troubleshooting.

I've never had a complaint with Automox's speed. None of my people have had a complaint. We are satisfied with it. 

While my technical level is not that of an engineer, I can set up VMware, Windows, and Hyper-V environments. I can do the basics and follow instructions. This solution was super easy. We just installed it on a server during the original testing and then had it phone home and that was simple.

We do not yet make use of it for API functionality, but this is something that we are looking into. It's part of our R&D plans to be able to push it from the cloud portal for customers. My people have already used it internally, but it's not yet for our clients.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Public Cloud
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. The reviewer's company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner
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Justin Hidalgo
Senior Project Manager at a government with 51-200 employees
Real User
Top 20
Monitors our devices irrespective of the location and the environment, allows us to exempt certain machines from certain patches, and has perfect patch management abilities

Pros and Cons

  • "They've been adding some new features lately, which I'm not nearly as familiar with, but the ability to just deploy patches and exempt certain machines from certain patches is helpful. For instance, for our servers, we may not want to roll out zero-day patches. We are able to exempt those and make sure that they don't get those policies. We've got certain servers that have to run a particular version of Java, and being able to exempt those servers from receiving Java updates is pretty fantastic."
  • "The only thing that we've ever truly wanted is an onsite repository. Currently, all updates are provided directly from the internet. So, if you have 1,000 devices, all 1,000 devices go directly out to the internet. We would love the option of being able to put the updates on local storage so that we're not consuming as much bandwidth. That is literally the only thing that we've ever wanted."

What is our primary use case?

We are a municipality, so we are not a traditional business. We've got it deployed throughout the city. We've got it on roughly 120 servers. We've also got about 1,400 other endpoints. So, there are roughly 1,300 computers, and those computers are also police vehicles, EMS vehicles, and fire vehicles. We are continuously monitoring them and patching them to make sure that they stay up to date and meet all the criteria for compliance. Obviously, EMS has to worry about HIPAA, and police have to worry about CJIS. So essentially, we're making sure that we stay within the guidelines of compliance.

It is web-based, so we are using the version that they're currently on.

How has it helped my organization?

Our previous solution of patching simply did not work. Even though it said machines were getting patched, we turned back and discovered that patches hadn't been deployed. Automox just works. We used to spend time running and circling back to see if machines were getting patched. We no longer have to do that. If Automox says they're patched, they're patched. It saves a tremendous amount of time. I don't really have anything in the way of metrics. Being in the Government world, we're not in the business of making money. We're in the business of spending money, so very rarely, we track those kinds of metrics.

It is fantastic that Automox is a cloud-native platform. Obviously, we don't have to worry about updates. We also don't have to worry about carving out any physical space. The one thing that is unique to us is that we're on the Gulf coast. We are in a hurricane-prone area, and in the event of a storm or anything else, we may lose power or internet at certain sites. So, having to be reliant on physical servers is sometimes a downfall. With Automox being a SaaS solution, it can monitor our devices no matter where they are in the country, which is a huge plus.

It provides 100% visibility for any laptop, desktop, or server in our environment, regardless of whether they're on-prem, in the cloud, or on the move. It doesn't matter where they're located. We're a municipality, and we are restrained to a pretty small geographic area. We do have a lot of machines that are not in traditional office spaces, such as police cars and vehicles. They are constantly on the move with unreliable internet and with being power cycled quite often. They're being touched no matter where they are or the kind of environment they're in, which is important for us. These police devices may not necessarily be in the office, but they have to be up-to-date by law. Being able to have a solution that's reliable enough and being able to make sure that everything happens in a timely and reliable manner is invaluable. 

It provides patch management from a single console across Windows, macOS, and Linux. We don't use the Linux side of it. We have very few Linux devices in our network, but we do have macOS, and obviously, Windows devices. This cross-platform patch management is not as important to us as it is for a lot of other places because we don't allow people to bring their own devices, but we do have a lot of macOS devices in our libraries, and we obviously want to keep those updated. Them not being up-to-date obviously still puts us at a security risk. It is obviously important to any IT environment. 

Its console is fantastic. It can be accessed from anywhere, such as from your cell phone, tablet, or PC. From that single and very nice UI window, you can deploy patches across your entire environment. It has a great UI, and it is easy to look at and easy to navigate. We've enrolled the rest of our IT department, and we've not had a single training class. It is easy to figure out and intuitive. For the most part, it is dumb proof.

We use it for the automation of patching. It is very hands-off. We have it set on a schedule. We've got a number of different schedules based on the type of device and geographic location. We do have different sites within the city. For instance, we've got around 10 buildings downtown that belong to the city and that have devices on them. While they are different sites, they're all on the same fiber. So, we space them out time-wise and day-wise to make sure that we're not essentially blowing our pipe and using too much bandwidth. Everything is scheduled and automated, and we don't touch it. We get a weekly report that tells us about the devices that need attention, if there are any, and whether they require a follow-up. 

Patch automation has affected our operations. Previously, we used to rely on our guys to follow back up and continuously check our servers to make sure they're patched. We no longer have to do that. So, we've freed up a lot of manhours to actually do the work that we're supposed to be doing, not just chasing a bad product. It has given us a lot more time and a lot more freedom to do the work that we're supposed to do.

We have started to use Automox Worklets to create and automate customized tasks across endpoints. They've introduced community Worklets directly into Automox, where you can very quickly see Worklets that have already been built by other users and deploy them. We've started using them a lot more recently. We've mainly used the ones that are available for the community. Worklets make it convenient to enforce tasks across any managed endpoints. There are a lot of smart people using Automox, and there are so many Worklets. In fact, the last time I looked, there were a little over a hundred. So, you don't have to reinvent the wheel. There are already solutions out there to uninstall software, install software, or change software without you having to know PowerShell or figure it out. You can simply click on it, run it, and it is done. So, it is very convenient. We use PDQ deploy a lot as well.

It has saved us an untold amount of time. I wish I could put a figure on it, but I know that I used to spend hours a week making sure that everything is being patched, and everything is being updated. That number is virtually zero these days. I simply look at the report, and I know I can trust it.

What is most valuable?

The fact that it is pretty much hands-off is most valuable. Basically, you set up your policies and give it free rein, and it just does its thing. 

They've been adding some new features lately, which I'm not nearly as familiar with, but the ability to just deploy patches and exempt certain machines from certain patches is helpful. For instance, for our servers, we may not want to roll out zero-day patches. We are able to exempt those and make sure that they don't get those policies. We've got certain servers that have to run a particular version of Java, and being able to exempt those servers from receiving Java updates is pretty fantastic.

Its patch management abilities are perfect. We've gone through probably five different solutions in the past 10 years. Automox is the only one that we've found that we can just set and then forget. It simply works. It is the best.

Its speed in carrying out functions is good. We've never experienced any performance issues. We've never noticed any delays. If we have to do a manual update, when we click update, within moments, we can tell that our computers are being updated. The actual UI is quick. Navigating between menus is seamless, and the actual communication between the console and the clients is seemingly instant as well. So, everything is as fast and quick as it can be.

It doesn't require much brainpower to navigate the UI and to figure out how to update. Building schedules and different groups is very intuitive. It is just a matter of a few checkboxes, and they've got great examples already in the software when you first get hold of it. Their support staff is fantastic in helping you get those configured if you do have any questions, but the likelihood of you needing that is pretty minimal. It is built to make sense.

It is very simple to set up policies using Automox. They've got several sample policies that are actually out there when you get access to the portal. The process is very simple. They've already got the samples out there, and it is so easy to duplicate them and modify them the way you want. It is just a matter of clicking a few checkboxes. It does not take much at all.

What needs improvement?

The only thing that we've ever truly wanted is an onsite repository. Currently, all updates are provided directly from the internet. So, if you have 1,000 devices, all 1,000 devices go directly out to the internet. We would love the option of being able to put the updates on local storage so that we're not consuming as much bandwidth. That is literally the only thing that we've ever wanted.

For how long have I used the solution?

My company and I've been using it for about a year. We signed it about a year ago.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I have never noticed it go down for anything, and I have never been made aware of a maintenance window. Every time I've tried to access it, it is online and working. It is pretty stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We have a little over 1,400 devices, and we've not noticed any slowness or any issues. I know there are much larger environments out there, but for us, it is pretty scalable. We've had no concerns about deploying it even further, and we've had no qualms about adding more devices.

We have about 18 people in the console. They range from our network admins and server admins to our help desk technicians, and then, of course, there is our actual IT admin as well.

It is on every single device in the city with the exception of devices it can't be installed on, such as iOS devices like iPads or phones. We've got around 600 phones in our environment and a couple of hundred iPads. Obviously, we can't patch those, but they're being managed through another solution. 

It is as extensive as it could get. The client is on every single PC in the city. There are no intentions of expanding its usage unless we just buy new PCs because it is already on everything.

How are customer service and technical support?

Every time I've dealt with them, they respond almost instantly. They've always been a breeze to work with. I would rate them a 10 out of 10.

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

We've been trying to use SysAid's patch management, and the reason we switched from it is that it simply did not work. Genuinely, we were never able to get it to actually patch. It would tell us that the machines are patched, and when we looked at the machines, it had failed to do so.

Before that, we used a combination of WSUS and a lot of the stuff that Microsoft provides natively. While it actually worked, it was just very time-consuming. It took hours upon hours to manage it, and it just simply wasn't the right solution for us. It also struggled with a lot of our remote machines such as the computers in the police vehicles and so forth and so on. Those are the two main reasons that I can recall. There are probably a few more.

SysAid is technically on-prem, and so is WSUS. WSUS is kind of cheating because Microsoft provides a lot of those tools for free. Outside of just the cost there, we were spending an incredible amount of manhour time, which obviously adds up. With Automox, we pay the fee, and we don't have any in-house bare metal costs. We are just paying their annual fee, and we are spending almost no manpower on it. In the end, even if it were to cost a little more than Microsoft's native solution, the time-saving ability to potentially recover almost an entire person's salary is a pretty big deal.

How was the initial setup?

I could have slept through it. It was very simple. It took minutes when we first set it up. The console was already configured. We installed a couple of agents, and within minutes, they showed me how to use it. There were very few questions after that. They give you kind of a rundown of standard practice about how they recommend setting up servers versus just traditional clients. It was painless and very easy. It was the least time-consuming thing I've ever done.

Deployment took a long time just from our side because we had other things going on. It took no time at all in terms of Automox giving us full reigns over the software. The day after signing the contract, we were on the phone with their engineers. We already had the environment set up, and everything was kosher. So, it took just a day. They had offered to help us with the deployment to all of our clients, but we just politely declined because we knew we wouldn't be able to focus on it.

In terms of the implementation strategy, because we are a government organization and we have a lot of projects going on, our main focus was ensuring that our whole critical infrastructure has the clients so that we can make sure all critical systems are getting patched and are up to date. So, our main focus was getting our servers updated to the front line, and then from there, we started updating all the core infrastructure that is actually attached to our network. We have a lot of satellite sites and places like landfills and water reclamation that aren't directly connected to us. They're just connected via VPN. So, our main focus was getting all of our core infrastructure updated, which was a pretty quick process.

We made use of Automox's free trial before deciding to go with it. It was very important in our decision to go with Automox. Being able to put your hands on it and actually use it in a live environment has a huge benefit. During our trial, we probably got about a hundred devices on it and made sure it worked. We were able to show it off to the other folks in IT and let them drive in it for a little bit to see if they saw any big red flags as to why we shouldn't purchase it. Once we made sure everybody was on board, we pulled the trigger, but it was a great experience. The free trial was very important.

For deployment, we had three people involved, but they really weren't required. We had our two network admins and me. Essentially, that was just so that we could get familiarity with the product and how it worked, and then from there, we began deploying the clients automatically, and they automatically enroll in Automox. So, when you're doing the install, you have silent install options that allow you to put them in groups and assign them to different policies and things of that nature. So, literally, you can do it hands-off and never even touch it. It doesn't require any maintenance.

What about the implementation team?

We didn't take Automox's help for deployment. We ended up signing directly with Automox. We didn't go through a reseller at all. So, everything was directly through Automox.

What was our ROI?

We have not calculated ROI. We're happy with it. It works, and there is no reason to try to justify it.

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

We're doing it annually directly through Automox. It is per endpoint. It is $2 and some change per endpoint, but I believe the cost is right around $28,000. Everything is covered in this fee.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We looked at Tanium and one more solution. With Tanium, we didn't have any problems with the patching itself, but patching is a second thought to them. It is not their product. It is just an add-on to their product. Their portal was very cluttered and convoluted, and it had a lot more stuff that we would never have needed. The other one was strictly cost. Automox was very affordable for us, and for the options it gave us and for its reliability, it just made sense.

What other advice do I have?

I would advise others to just try it. The demo is free. There is no risk. They don't ask for any information. You can just install the clients on some of your endpoints, and you'll be able to see very quickly that Automox works. Given the pricing, it is just a no-brainer to go with. The biggest lesson that I have learned from using Automox is that there is actually a patch manager that works. We had started to doubt that there was anything out there.

I would rate Automox a 10 out of 10. It has been a very pleasant experience.

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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JosephTaylor
IT Director at a healthcare company with 501-1,000 employees
Real User
A cloud-native platform that saves me lots of time in patch automation and auditing

Pros and Cons

  • "The flexibility in creating tools to make changes on remote machines is most valuable to me. The reporting feature is also fantastic because on any given day I can bring up a list of machines that don't have patches, for example. Or I can bring up a list of machines that are in my environment on a certain day. The solution helps me with not only my own role, and what I look for internally myself, but it also helps during audits. I can go in and look at the number of machines in there, and their owners and timelines. It certainly helps tell a story for anything that IT requires."
  • "Asset management would be a great feature to add to Automox. We would run easier scripts or more out of the box scripts that would help us in audits. \"

What is our primary use case?

We use Automox for patch management, software distribution, and to implement security controls. Any time we have to connect to a machine and run an automated process, we use Automox. The solution gives us complete visibility for any laptop, desktop, or server in our environment regardless of where they are located. Automox gives us the tools for writing scripts to see even more if we need to.

We use the Automox worklets to create and automate customized tasks across endpoints all the time. We love going in and using the worklets to find solutions for common day to day stuff. Sometimes it's a worklet that we run on one machine, and sometimes it's a worklet that needs to be run on every machine in the environment. We use them all the time.

One example is when we had an old antivirus that was on all our machines and we had a new antivirus that we needed to apply to the machines. So we created a worklet script that in one step removed the old antivirus. It was complicated because it had to check many buttons to guarantee that the old antivirus was removed and install the new antivirus, and then give us a report at the end that it was installed securely and effectively. So it was a complicated and long worklet, but it was very effective.

How has it helped my organization?

Automox has improved our organization in the security sense. We created a worklet that allows us to harden a machine after an employee leaves. So the scenario is, for example, that we terminate an employee in the middle of a workday, maybe on a Wednesday at noon. We don't want that employee to log back into his machine or to extract data or to do anything dangerous. Automox gives us the ability to create tools so that we can make some changes inside that laptop. This way the person cannot log in as usual. And just by virtue of having an agent on the machine from Automox, with creativity from us or the user base, we can get some great things done.

Automox has saved us on multiple tasks at least 10 to 15 hours a week. There are times when I don't even know how we would have done some of the things that we do today without Automox. I can't even put that into time, but just having Automox at our fingertips has enabled us to do stuff so much quicker, so much easier.

What is most valuable?

The flexibility in creating tools to make changes on remote machines is most valuable to me. The reporting feature is also fantastic because on any given day I can bring up a list of machines that don't have patches, for example. Or I can bring up a list of machines that are in my environment on a certain day. The solution helps me with not only my own role, and what I look for internally myself, but it also helps during audits. I can go in and look at the number of machines in there, and their owners and timelines. It certainly helps tell a story for anything that IT requires.

Being a cloud-native platform was one of the features and reasons we went with Automox. Having machines that are hosted in a particular facility is limited in a lot of cases to VPNs and subject to slowness and outages.

Automated patching has helped us to a great degree to know that patches will happen regardless of whether we jump in or not. And it's a positive feature.

What needs improvement?

I'm not sure about areas of room for improvement. Basically, just improving the product or building more features into the product will help us. For example, asset management would be a great feature to add to Automox. We would run easier scripts or more out of the box scripts that would help us in audits. It's not a defect in the product. It's just that the product is so strong that I think Automox could add even greater functionality. They're doing it every day and they're adding features all the time. It's just that you start dreaming about all the things you could do with Automox and asset management is one of the things that really resonates with us.

For how long have I used the solution?

We've been using Automox for a little over two years now.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Scalability works fine, and all the scalability is in the cloud with Automox. They make it easy to do this. As they've grown, it's become obvious that it's easier to do it. Initially, when we bought the product, it was a little challenging as they were growing while we were growing. Yet they provided the tools to be able to scale, as needed, very effectively.

I can't give you exact numbers, because it changes on a daily basis, but we are monitoring thousands of endpoints. We have end-user endpoints that are probably in the 1500 and above position. And we have server nodes that are probably close to thousands.

At this stage, we've 100% adopted the solution so we don't have plans to increase our usage. There's not a computer server of ours that hasn't gotten the agent and is not fully implemented into the Automox way of thinking. As we bring clients online for new hires, they have the Automox agent ready to be deployed in the scripts. The minute the person has his machine and is using it, he's Automox ready.

How are customer service and technical support?

I would rate Automox technical support as really excellent. There were times when we needed them. We haven't always gotten the answer back immediately because they've misunderstood what we said or something has happened. Yet the quality of the people answering our questions, and the attentiveness to our business, is way beyond what we get with comparable tools and products from much bigger companies. We're really, really happy with the support we get from Automox.

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

Before Automox, we used a home grown solution. It's something that we put together ourselves that wasn't ideal for a growing company.

How was the initial setup?

It takes a little bit of time to ramp up and understand how the Automox tool works and how effective it can be. So once you put a few days of moving through the system and understanding it, the solution becomes very easy to use.

The solution setup is straightforward. We have some intelligent people who were involved in the patching process, who understand Active Directory, who understand the patching process and understand internally our users and how they work. All along the way, AutoMox was excellent in providing us with all the help and resources we needed to understand how to do stuff. They were there for our questions and suggestions as we hit roadblocks, and to try and figure out different ways of doing things. They were instrumental in getting us up and running very quickly.

I think it took us two or three weeks to get comfortable with how we had set it up and to start not only pushing out the first patches, but also to try and run different software packages and do different things with it. We didn't exclusively dedicate time to AutoMox. We jumped in and out for a period of two weeks while emailing support at AutoMox on maybe one or two questions. We were up and running very, very quickly.

Being a small company, we realized that we needed a product that would do the work. Our implementation was essentially just to look at what we had existing in our patch rollout tool prior to AutoMox, and to get AutoMox side-by-side with this tool and copy over dates, times, groups. This way we could get the patches rolled out whilst at the same time, we're looking at our software management tool. The team had no trouble setting up policies with Automox.

What was our ROI?

We have seen a return on our investment. Number one, fewer man hours are spent trying to understand how to roll out patches. Number two is reporting. You can go inside Automox and get reports to see exactly what you have. 

The visibility, far beyond patching, allows us to see which machines have what sort of software installed, or which users are using old hardware. The old hardware is all available inside so you can go in and say, "Show me everybody who's using this particular model of a laptop, which is four to five years old." You can plan to reach out to these people in good time and get them swapped out with newer hardware. So the list of things is endless. It's just really up to the user to be creative in how they use it.

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

Automox just charges us a set amount per user, per month, for using the product. That is very important to us. Because it's a cloud-native solution, you're saving on the cost of hosting an on-premises solution on your servers.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We looked at some solutions that were similar yet they were hosted on site. Being a cloud native platform was a reason we ultimately chose Automox. Not having an appliance in our environment was very positive. Not having to pay for the bandwidth and the power of that appliance in our environment was positive.

We did a brief proof of concept with Automox and it worked well, so we were already sold by the time we had seen the demo. We understood the pricing and we understood all the other features that they'd shown us. The demo was important, but our minds were already made up. We liked what we saw.

We looked at an IBM solution, but I can't remember the name of the solution. We also looked at another third party solution that I can't remember the name of either. The IBM solution was extremely costly. It required $250,000 in upfront money, and a lot of learning. It even required that we had onsite hardware. The other solution that we looked at was semi-cloud-based and it also required a lot of capital investment into the product. The beauty of Automox is that there is no upfront money. There is no server that needs to be installed in your environment. The pricing is all based upon what you use and everything is in the cloud. It works much better than the other solutions that we evaluated.

What other advice do I have?

Cross-platform patch management is very important because we have a diverse environment and need the flexibility of one tool that can do everything. We automate our patching via Automox and also manage it manually. We have automation set up that runs once a month on a certain date. Then we go in and discuss elements of the business that would stop us giving certain patches to people on a certain day. So automation is in place, but we do sit down and have a hard think every month about whether the date that we're planning to roll out the patches works or if there are any changes that we need to make prior to the patch roll out.

The solution provides patch management from a single console across Windows, Mac OS, and Linux. It gives us the ability to manage all our endpoints for patching in a single pane of glass with advanced features that enable us to turn on, turn off, change days, and change the criteria for how patches are delivered to certain groups of machines. The patch management console requires an owner, a person who will be dedicated to managing patching going forward. Once that person is trained, they become a master in how to do it. So it's not the most simple thing if you want to use advanced features, but it's very effective in helping you see everything that you need to patch at your fingertips and to edit it easier.

Automox works quickly to do its job and it will try to find machines that are turned on to implement workloads or patches. Sometimes if you want something done you're at the mercy of people having their machines turned on. The beauty is that even if a machine is not on and it only comes online later in the day or a week later, Automox realizes that this machine is missing worklets, patches, tools, or software, and installs them after the fact.

Automox has downtime when they provide maintenance, but they keep it to off-business hours. So it rarely impacts businesses who are using it. There were times in the past, when they realized that they were close to capacity, and they asked for feedback on how things were working. Then they made changes with some downtime to facilitate being a better product and this is completely understandable. Being in the software business ourselves, and hosting solutions for customers, we realize that sometimes you can do 95% of your maintenance off-hours, as we do. But sometimes, you need to impact the business day in the event that there are large changes that need to be made.

I would say go try and buy. You don't have to make a huge capital investment to try out the solution and see if it fits your environment. They're a great company to work with on multiple levels because their product works. It's efficient, easy to implement and consistently delivers. Don't be afraid to reach out to them with any questions. They work like a company in 2021 should. They're very attentive to their customers for everything from billing to technical support, to all sorts of interactions. Automox has very modern day thinking.

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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JackSmith1
Security Engineer at a retailer with 501-1,000 employees
Real User
Top 20
Establishes patching policies that continuously work with minimal effort

Pros and Cons

  • "Coming from prior solutions that were a lot more effort, Automox's patch management abilities are transformational. When I took over patching at my company, they were using on-premise architecture to patch. As the workforce shifted from being in the office into their home offices, I was able to lift and shift with no effort other than deploying the new agent out into the environment."
  • "There should be better inventory capabilities. Right now, they only allow you to have insight into software out-of-the-box. It would be nice to also extend that into custom inventory that can be modified and managed by the practitioner."

What is our primary use case?

My primary use cases for Automox are for patching, configuration management, and support. Our help desk receives tickets and we use Automox to create solutions that the help desk can use in an automated fashion rather than having to manually do the work. We have created ways to help them work faster.

How has it helped my organization?

A big benefit is Automox's ability to automate repetitive tasks for our help desk. If the VPN breaks, we can just click a button and fix the VPN for that person. If the software is having a hard time, we can run solutions to remove and reinstall that software rapidly so that they can get back to supporting the next person in line. Especially as our company is growing exponentially, Automox helps us scale rapidly because we can't just hire a bunch of help desk people and have them up and running quickly. Automox allows that particular effort to be a little bit more seamless. Almost every person that has the tool absolutely loves it.

It is very important to us that it is a cloud-native platform. Software as a Service means that I'm not maintaining internal architecture, servers, licensing, and the likes to keep it online or High Availability if I need it. I don't have to think about any of that because it's just there.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature is its ability to establish patching policies that continuously work with minimal effort. That's important to me because I am a long-time configuration management person and have dealt with other tools that require me to build the schedule up manually each time to create the list of patches. The value-add is that I'm not doing those two steps. The former step of building out lists of patches is the most important to have to deploy. The third-party patches require a lot more effort and Automox has taken that work off of my plate. That is a lot of work that a practitioner would have to do every single month. I am able to be more focused on patching compliance rather than building up patching, which has more value.

I patch across Windows, Mac iOS, and Linux. If I split it, it would be 90% Windows, 8% Mac, and 2% Linux.

Coming from prior solutions that were a lot more effort, Automox's patch management abilities are transformational. When I took over patching at my company, they were using on-premise architecture to patch. As the workforce shifted from being in the office into home offices, I was able to lift and shift with no effort other than deploying the new agent out into the environment.

Automox's console for patch management is very successful. There are some challenges in regards to third parties that change how they deploy software. Examples would include how Adobe or Oracle approach some of their third-party tools. From an Operating System standpoint, they're well on their way. In the time that I've been with them, they have overcome the challenges of feature updates in Windows and I think they'll also overcome the challenges of major updates across Mac and Linux in due time. 

In terms of how much time Automox saves us, I've had a few examples in my environment where I can explicitly point out how much time savings there is. One example was replacing Office 32-bit with 64-bit. We wrote a worklist to do it and that saved each interaction roughly an hour. There were about 300 people that wanted to do it. We were able to multiply that effort, remove 30 minutes and turn it into two minutes of effort. Over time, we're saving at least 40 to 80 hours a month due to all the different features that Automox is helping us automate.

I use their Worklets to create and automate customized tasks across endpoints. I heavily rely on Worklets across many aspects of the company. I have created Worklets to manage drivers, security configurations, and software management. It's way faster than expected, coming from traditional tools that take forever for policy to download. Manually deploying a payload to it running on an endpoint is almost instantaneous. It's so fast.

In terms of Automox's ease of use, I have multiple help desk individuals operating within the tool and building Worklets who have less experience in the field. From being able to take people with fewer capabilities and helping them be highly successful, the tool is much easier than it was with prior configuration management tools that I've used in the past.

We use their API to review clients to check how to pull back some of the Worklets that we've used that are doing inventory-type or compliance-type checks to build out custom reports. The API is almost an extension to every script that we can run.

What needs improvement?

It is still a challenge but not impossible to patch solutions like Adobe via Automox. It just requires me to go back to some of my older techniques and older tool belt items. I still have to reach back out to some of my old ways of doing work and accomplish it that way, but it's not impossible. Where there are gaps in their automation, there are ways for me to fill those gaps. They haven't left me high and dry. They've still left me with a way to work around it. It might be a little effort, but I can get there.

There should be better inventory capabilities. Right now, they only allow you to have insight into software out-of-the-box. It would be nice to also extend that into custom inventory that can be modified and managed by the practitioner. 

It would also be really great if every device that's in Automox is limited to a single group and you can only apply policy to that one group. It would be nice to put a computer in multiple groups and apply different policies to different systems. I might only have seven or eight systems that I want to do a very specific config on, and in order to be able to do that, I have to use the API to make that a reality in another automation. Automox is short. I'm able to use the API or manual effort to get past it. They should improve the experience so that less technically skilled people can also be just as successful as a higher skilled person.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using Automox for 11 to 13 months.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

In terms of stability, Automox is equal to other tools I've used. I tend to run into problems with systems on every network. It's to be expected. It's always difficult to be 100%. Automox is very comparative to keeping the stability across the board as far as clients staying healthy and online and continue working without intervention. It's very similar to other tools in the industry. From an entire solution perspective, it's almost always online. When there is an incident, they give me updates every 20 minutes as to what the status is. They have really good incident responses when it does go down. Overall, my impression has been very positive. It hasn't caused me any significant constraints on my company's ability to perform.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It scales with my environment quite well. I don't have to think about it. I started out with 1,000 devices and quickly went above that. I found a surprise bill and then was able to come up with a solution and put a guardrail up so that I wouldn't go over my licensing. Today I'm using it for 1,500 points. Within the next year, I'll probably be using it for 2,500 endpoints.

Four to five people work on Automox on a regular basis. We have security, systems engineering, and help desk workers. 

How are customer service and technical support?

Support is very quick to respond. The support personnel are knowledgeable and they tend to be very positive in their interactions. They have a genuine "I want to help you solve the problem" feel. I've used them multiple times and they've taught me a thing or two, and hopefully, I've taught them a thing or two along the way. It's more of a partnership to me.

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

Prior to Automox, I've used WSS, SCCM, PsExec, and PDQ Deploy to manage the infrastructures for these particular outcomes.

I switched to Automox because we can go from zero to hero with all of our complex needs really fast. We don't have to have the infrastructure. We don't have to have highly skilled individuals. We simply just need to turn it on and start doing what we need to do and the rest takes care of itself. 

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was straightforward. I set up my environment in the course of three hours across about 600 endpoints.

I used my existing tools to push the product and then I used other tools to find the gaps and made an effort to close them manually very quickly. There was no plan. We just stumbled through the implementation. That's a testament to how easy the deployment is. You can come in without a plan and tackle it with no problem at all.

It was very easy to set up policies. They're rather straightforward. The user interface is very pointed. It keeps you aware of what you're doing. My only critique is that they should explicitly call out and make a policy event. Building the policies is rather intuitive. You can go in without any prior knowledge and build a policy without messing it up on the first try.

What was our ROI?

There has certainly been a return on the time spent accomplishing the tasks and accomplishing tasks that we didn't even think would save us time, but it ultimately did. We have also seen a return in our ability to patch everything and keep it compliant. Our vulnerability management program measures this and so far has been a success.

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

There are no additional costs in addition to the extended licensing fees with Automox. You get support and per endpoint license with what you purchased.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I looked at ConnectWise, BigFix, and considered Cisco Meraki System Manager. I considered going towards SCCM for that. Out of all of them, I couldn't see any other product besides Automox that would get me where I needed to go as fast as I needed to go.

It is much cheaper to go with the cloud-native solution than it was for on-prem. There's a trade-off there. There's a lot of functionality and features that you don't have with Automox that you would have with some of these on-prem solutions that just don't exist yet.

For example, the ability to push policy control, Bit-Locker control, remote access, or having a self-service software portal for any employee to log into a portal and say, "Hey, I need Adobe reader." They click a button and they now have Adobe reader. We still have to rely on our help desk to call in and ask for said software and then we can use Automox to push it. It would be really great to have that ability. 

What other advice do I have?

If I've installed the solution, I do not have complete visibility, but I definitely know the endpoint is there or if it's missing patches or any configurations that I custom make.

The free trial of Automox was really important in our decision to go with it so that we could know how it really works. It's one thing to read a review or have them tell you how great their product is. It's another to see it working in real-time and especially working in one environment with all the different pieces they might have that could potentially make it harder to work. The trial is important for that consideration.

My advice to anybody considering Automox would be to think about potentially investing in the API ahead of time because if I was to do it all over again, I think I would put source control around anything getting pushed into Automox, and I would probably set it up to where I would use the API to create policy. I'd use the API to push the code that sits in that policy. I think everything would be pushed through source control that way versus using the web console to log in and push all that. Every time you go in and make a change, there's really no history there. The only thing I would change about the implementation is to focus a little bit more on how to manage it over time and make some modifications to it.

I would rate Automox a ten out of ten. 

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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Jon Abbott
CEO at ThreatAware
Real User
Top 5
Fully cloud-based, supports multiple platforms, easy to set up, and the interface is intuitive

Pros and Cons

  • "It's super easy to use and we haven't found anything easier."
  • "The biggest area they need to fix, without a doubt, is the ability to copy and sync profiles and worklets between all of the organizations you manage, and the ability to have top-level user access control across all of the companies that you manage."

What is our primary use case?

We are a managed service provider and we use Automox to patch our clients' systems.

How has it helped my organization?

We have integrated Automox directly into our breach prevention platform, ThreatAware, which means that having an API is a massive win.

Automox provides us visibility of devices in our environment, in terms of patch status and applications, and it is important to us because you can't protect what you can't see.

This product provides patch management from a single console across Windows, macOS, and Linux endpoints. Overall, the patch management is very good. If it can't do something because I haven't integrated it, you can use the worklets and do it yourself, which is great.

The speed that Automox carries out its functions is really quick. When you install the agent, literally within 30 seconds, the machine will appear. This is really handy because if you are rolling out a load, you can just check them off as you go. You don't have to wait half an hour and come back. We've natively integrated it with their API to ThreatAware and if we say, "run a patch or reboot," literally instantly, those patches start installing within seconds. It's very quick.

One of the key features we use is the worklets, which are used to create and automate customized tasks across endpoints. My team uses worklets all the time. One example is that they use them to install all of the other underlying agents. We use them to connect to Freshservice and TeamViewer, where Automox installs the Freshservice agent and the TeamViewer agent, all within minutes.

We use the fully automated patching process and it's great. It literally just follows the schedule and does it when you want. Obviously, the machines need to be turned on but as long as it's on, Automox will patch it.

Patching automation saves us a lot of time. We try to utilize automation in everything we do. Then when we link it into ThreatAware and use the bulk operation feature, it just makes life easy. We're probably saving between 10 and 12 hours a month, which is pretty decent.

Automox gives us one less thing that we need to worry about. It used to be a real pain, where perhaps something wasn't installing or we didn't have something that was covering all the operating systems, or we had multiple products being used. We never felt fully confident that everything was being done but now, we can see exactly what's done, and what isn't. Literally, it's our go-to product for patching and we don't use anything else.

What is most valuable?

There are three features that I find quite valuable.

  • It is completely cloud-based.
  • It works on every operating system.
  • It supports worklets, which means that it's really agile in what we can do with it.

Although we use it for patching, we also use it for pinging off other commands and scripts like uninstalls and just general fixes. We put Automox on first, then everything else follows using the policies and it's all automated. It works very well.

It is important to us that this is a cloud-native platform because we are a fully cloud-based business. We only use things that are in the cloud, pretty much. For us, the thought of having to maintain servers is foreign because it's something that we just don't want to do anymore. We used to, many years ago, but not anymore.

Automox's console has a clear interface, it's easy to use, and it looks good. In terms of importance, looking good doesn't really matter but the fact that it does look good means that it just makes it a lot more intuitive. What you need to do is clear.

It's super easy to use and we haven't found anything easier. You just specify what you want to patch, and what level. For example, you can choose to just do security, or you can do everything. You tick a few boxes and it's done. That's how easy it should be.

We've used a lot of other products, as well, and many of them are not easy to use. I think that SCCM is probably a prime example of the most complicated way of doing patching. With Automox, its usability is a sign that it's a very well put together, well thought out product. If it's there to do a task, you shouldn't need to be tweaking and adjusting.

What needs improvement?

The biggest area they need to fix, without a doubt, is the ability to copy and sync profiles and worklets between all of the organizations you manage, and the ability to have top-level user access control across all of the companies that you manage. This is important to us because we manage multiple companies and they're all in our profile, but all of the policies, the worklets, and the user access is all unique for every single company. It's a real pain and I wish they'd fix that.

As it is now, we have to create a worklet or policy for each client instead of replicating them. Also, for users, you have to invite one user to every single company. So, you create the user one, then invite them. If you haven't been invited to a company then you don't know what you haven't been invited to. It's a real pain and they really need to sort that out. 

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using Automox for a couple of years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability is rock-solid and I've never had a problem accessing it. It's always online, and it's always fast.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It's scalable, but there's definitely that issue with the overall manageability of each client, and it is becoming annoying. In terms of adding in new machines, there is no issue there. However, adding in lots of different companies, because we're an MSP, does become a bit of a pain.

We've got approximately 15 people working on it and they're engineers ranging from second to third line.

This is a chargeable product, so we don't have all of our clients on it. At this point, we're probably protecting about 1,800 machines with it. We do plan on increasing the number of endpoints in the future.

How are customer service and technical support?

The technical support team is really good. We have used them and they are fast. They're getting issues solved.

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

We were using SolarWinds N-able a long time ago and we were using Windows Update Services before that. Neither were fit for the purpose. N-able was unbelievably complicated to set up and not very effective. Windows Update was not fit because it can't do Macs, third-party tools, or Linux. Also, it was pretty hit and miss on how good it was during the patching, even on its own Windows machines.

Both of these solutions were pretty abysmal, to be honest, which prompted us, a few years back, to go looking for something better.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is really easy and it involves only four steps. All you have to do is create your policies. In fact, we've written a guide on it in ThreatAware.

We've rolled out to each of our clients and we have a set way that we create our policies. It is a top-level template that we implement and we follow it each time we're setting up a new client. It takes about four hours to complete.

Setting up the policies is extremely easy. You create your groups and you do this by working out what type of machines you have and how you want those groups to be. You may choose to do it based on the operating system type, or on the severity of the criticalness. You might have a testing group, and you might also have one that's linked to schedules.

Then, you create the relevant policies that match that. So for example, you might decide that you're going to patch once a week, and you're going to start patching your test machines on Monday, then you're going to expand your group a little bit further on Tuesday. Eventually ramping that up to the critical systems on Friday.

After that, you link the policies so you know one's going to do X number of updates and it's going to do that once a week. Then you might have another policy, maybe once a month, where you are going to do feature updates. You may be doing security updates once a week, then your feature updates once a month. You just create those relevant groups and policies and tick the boxes you need. It really is that simple where you can specify something like "I want Windows and I want security, critical patches only, and I want that every Monday." Create that, then link it to the group. That's it, done. After that, all that remains is assigning the computers to the right groups.

What was our ROI?

We have definitely seen ROI from Automox, both in terms of time and money savings.

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

The pricing is fairly reasonable for what you get. We are on the premium licensing, which is the one that has the API capability that we use. There isn't any additional cost on top of that.

I wouldn't mind it being a bit cheaper but I wouldn't want it to be much more expensive. It's getting close to the point where we would need to look at other options if it were priced any higher.

We made use of the free trial before implementing it. This was very important because we don't implement any technology unless we try it.

We have used on-premise solutions to manage patching, configurations, and software, and it's going to be more expensive if you implement the on-premises route. It's not about the cost of that one server; rather, it's the cost of maintaining on-premises equipment, in general, and all of the limitations that come with it.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We looked at ManageEngine and several others. I know that there was none that actually supported all of the operating systems and worked solely on one agent being rolled out. They all needed to have some kind of infrastructure.

That landscape has changed now, as there are more competitors than they had then. However, they are leaders in this area, and we know this because we do evaluate quite regularly.

What other advice do I have?

My advice for anybody who is considering Automox is to utilize the free trial. It really doesn't take long to do it. What you can do is just install the agents on a handful of machines, then you can just put it in discovery mode. From there, it would tell you exactly what patches are missing, and you'll see the difference between what Automox is finding and how many things are missed already. Generally, whenever we do that, you see that the previous patching method is not as good.

Then you can start testing out the policies a bit more and actually getting them installed. It really doesn't take long. In a week, I think you'll be able to see how effective it is. It's a neat little system. It's good.

The biggest lesson that I have learned is an obvious one, but watch out for the auto-reboot option in the policies so that it doesn't just go and reboot all of the machines. The notification feature is okay, although it's a little bit hit and miss. It will give you the notifications, but then if you ignore them enough times then it won't tell you that it's just going to go ahead and install immediately. When this happens, it may just reboot the machine. It will have given you a lot of warning but it's not right at that moment. It is something that you should be mindful of. The best thing to do is choose to reboot at one of the times it is asking.

Overall, this is a really good solution and we are really impressed with it. However, I would still like to see further integrations. I know that they are pushing people to use the worklets but I still think it creates more effort for the client. I would also like to see the ability to handle customers within one larger group and fix the access control between multiple customers.

I would rate this solution an eight out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Public Cloud
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. The reviewer's company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner
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