Please share with the community what you think needs improvement with ConnectWise Control.
What are its weaknesses? What would you like to see changed in a future version?
I really didn't care for the onboarding process and it is something that should be improved. They just sent me an email and said, "Hey, here's your account", and I have a group of folks using it. I had to go through and figure out specifically how to do it. It's really a combination of onboarding and support. It wasn't great. I would have rather them just let me upload a list of who all needs it and then send everyone directions on how to get it. I would love to see the ability to send out bulk updates to third-party tools through their command line. This would mean being able to write a script and execute it on a group of machines, all at the same time. In my past, I've used software like Dameware Mini Remote Control, which is now part of SolarWinds. In that software, the reporting was very good. For example, you could specify a group of machines and send a query to ask a question like how many of them have Adobe Reader installed. The report would be generated pretty easily.
Something that I would like to see in the future is mobile video streaming. They do provide audio conferencing, but seeing the problem makes it easier to solve the problem. If they had video streaming, if a client had a physical problem with something and I couldn't get remote access, the client could use his mobile phone to show me the problem. In these cases, even if a client's systems were down, I could help, so long as I had a mobile phone environment. Even without mobile, it would be helpful to have video conferencing chat functionality with a customer we're trying to support. It's not always needed, as most of the time, we do our work after hours. However, sometimes, when problems arise during business hours, you want the interaction to be a little more personal. The component that I would like to see at the moment is currently an add-on you need to install. It is free of charge. However, if they could improve their reporting that would be ideal. We've managed to figure out how to generate all the reports out of the system, but I would like the reporting to be a little bit more flexible.
The solution is a little bit complicated when you want to implement it. That could be because of the number of features. If there was some simpler way for non-technical people to just implement it. The solution should update a few of its features. We still need to get acquainted with the system. We've only been using it for a few months, so everything is still new.
Support for PAC files on the guest's side and support for proxy on the host's side. Currently, there is no support for guest-side PAC files or for the host-side proxy (which uses authentication). If I can have this, it would be improvement. It would benefit my organization because we would be able to connect with guests using PAC files in their environment, then connect to our server from a proxy environment (which uses authentication).
The complaints I have are more regarding my side - not on the users' side - regarding setting up. For my company, just installing the software and using it is very easy. But if I need to give one of my customers access to their machines, the process that you have to go through is some 15 to 20 steps. You have to create a group, and then you have to assign a policy. It takes 15 to 20 minutes to set up someone for remote access to their own machine. When I was using LogMeIn Central, that process was just as simple as sending an email and having the person create an account. It's much more of a pain in that respect. If they could fix that, make that more automated, that would greatly help improve the quality of the product. Also, here's the biggest thing. What we need this product to do is to be able to control Windows Updates. LogMeIn Central allowed us remote access but also allowed us to push and install Windows Updates, and third-party updates. LogMeIn Central raised their price extremely high, so we ended up finding this solution and going with it. But there is a new product on the market called the Atera. It does everything ConectWise does, but it also does all the patching and Windows Updates. Eventually, we're going to be moving to them and shutting off ConnectWise. Not only does Atera do Windows Updates and patching, it has a ticketing system built in, remote control, unattended access, file transfer, printer sharing, etc. When we made the switch to ConnectWise we lost the ability to do patching. That forced us, for our larger clients, to move to WSUS. We had to set up a VM on those larger clients to push Windows Updates and patches into the network until we found Atera. We have both ConnectWise and another product installed because ConnectWise won't do patches for people that are not on a domain. If I have 15 or 18 computers in a workgroup, I can't use the WSUS to push updates. I have to use a third-party tool to do patch management. If ConnectWise wants to keep people on their product, they need to integrate patch management. The reason we still have ConnectWise is because we just haven't had the time to learn Atera yet, because it's an entirely new system and with a new UI. It does so much more than what ConnectWise does that it's taking us time to learn how to use it. Eventually though, once the guys feel comfortable enough, we will probably discontinue using ConnectWise. That is, we will discontinue the unattended access product but keep the on-demand product. Another issue is that the ConnectWise installation software is not recognized by Microsoft as a legit piece of software. So any time we go to install it, it will pop up a screen saying that the software is unrecognized and that it could be malware. If we're in front of a client when this happens, we have to explain to the client, "Oh, this is just a Microsoft thing." But we never had that problem with other solutions. We don't have the problem with Atera, and we never had that problem with LogMeIn Central's installer. But this solution actually comes up in Smart Screen as if it's malware, when it shouldn't. The other problem we have is using this product on Apple devices; it's the same thing. During the Apple installation, it comes up as blocked in Apple, because Apple doesn't recognize it as a certified install. What happens is, I can't install the software remotely because there are eight steps you have to go through on an Apple machine to actually make the software work because Apple blocks it. Again, it thinks it's malware. So this issue is happening and is even worse on Apple products than Windows products. With Windows, you have to tell it to install it anyway and it will install; it's just an extra step. And with the way people are really wary these days about malware, we have to say to clients, "No, really, it's okay, it's just Microsoft, it's not malware, we promise." That needs to be fixed. They need to get their signed certificate updated into Microsoft's database at the least. We don't have a whole lot of Apple computers that we support. It's not a huge issue for us and it certainly wouldn't be something we'd leave ConnectWise because of, but the issue with Microsoft is a big issue. Some 400 to 500 of our endpoints are Microsoft operating systems.
Other product have the ability to merge both monitors into one space when logging in if a customer has more than one monitor set up on their station. Essentially, you are just seeing one big blob of screens that you can move your mouse through versus having to switch between the different monitors which are on the workstation with ScreenConnect. There is one back-end issue that I am running into at some of locations where I login to provide support, and sometimes port 443 is blocked. That is what it uses to connect. So, I am having to do workarounds to get a session started.
Speed is a major factor in Automate, and the control panel is horribly slow.
If it had Chrome capability, that would be great; being able to use it on a Chrome device. Right now, I can't use ScreenConnect on my Chrome device, it has to be on a PC. I know there are other remote services that are capable of utilizing a Chrome device, such as TeamViewer.
The biggest room for improvement is in the setup, getting it started. Figuring out how to get it all set up from scratch.
I'm presuming that the software is designed as it is for a particular reason. An option I would want would want to have is a shortcut on my desktop, to click on it, and immediately be able to select which system I wanted to access and which computer in that system I wanted to access, and have fewer steps that I would have to physically go through to do so. However, I realize that to have it set up that way, there are numerous steps of security that I would have to be gotten around, and I accept the fact that I have to take three or four steps in order to get what I need.
I don't really have any suggestions for improvement. I didn't even use the full ConnectWise suite. I'm sure if I did, there would be other good stuff, too.
We all know it's really hard to get good pricing and cost information.
Please share what you can so you can help your peers.