Automox Valuable Features
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.View full review »
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.View full review »
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.View full review »
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.View full review »
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.
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.
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.View full review »