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Buyer's Guide
Remote Monitoring and Management Software
July 2022
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Chief Innovation Officer at TSA
Real User
Top 20
Works well for standard patches and updates, but I would like the ability to remotely manage configuration and settings on individual units
Pros and Cons
  • "Automation, in terms of the standard patches and standard updates, and remote support are valuable. When it does the standard Windows and patches, it works really well. This is something they focus on. Remote support is also something they focus on quite a bit, and it works really well. Being able to get to an agent or a client computer right away is very helpful."
  • "I would like the ability to remotely manage configuration and settings on individual units. Some organizations have a certain device configuration that needs to be consistent across all computers. For example, if we have computers that cannot go to sleep or hibernate because they're being accessed remotely, we need to be able to quickly configure those computers to not hibernate. With Datto, there is no easy and/or direct way to accomplish this. I can't create a group called No Hibernate and drag all those computers to that group so that they do not go into hibernation. There is no easy way to put in a policy or a procedure like that. It's still back to going to each computer and doing it by hand, which is what I'm trying to get away from. I want to automate and simplify as much as possible. I write code and scripts to do most of my work anyways. The intention is to get away from me having to be so hands-on."

What is our primary use case?

My use case is deployment and management of updates and patches, as well as remote support. Currently, it is still in the test phase. I haven't put it into production, but I've been working with it closely as far as production is concerned. I do have seven different machines and/or servers integrated into the product for test purposes with different known configurations. To test the thoroughness of the product, I'm emulating different geographic locations and sites that have specific needs. So, I have it on a sample base. If it works out for me, I will deploy it across all clients. I'm still waiting to see if it's going to solve my needs. 

I am using its latest version. The software is cloud-based, and it's deployed through agents that connect to their cloud-based service.

How has it helped my organization?

We can get more done in less time. It increases productivity, which ultimately increases our revenue.

What is most valuable?

Automation, in terms of the standard patches and standard updates, and remote support are valuable. When it does the standard Windows and patches, it works really well. This is something they focus on. Remote support is also something they focus on quite a bit, and it works really well. Being able to get to an agent or a client computer right away is very helpful.

What needs improvement?

Automation for updates is a feature that I'm really clamoring over, or it's an important feature to me. Remote support is also really important to me. I would like the ability to remotely manage configuration and settings on individual units. Some organizations have a certain device configuration that needs to be consistent across all computers. For example, if we have computers that cannot go to sleep or hibernate because they're being accessed remotely, we need to be able to quickly configure those computers to not hibernate. With Datto, there is no easy and/or direct way to accomplish this. I can't create a group called No Hibernate and drag all those computers to that group so that they do not go into hibernation. There is no easy way to put in a policy or a procedure like that. It's still back to going to each computer and doing it by hand, which is what I'm trying to get away from. I want to automate and simplify as much as possible. I write code and scripts to do most of my work anyways. The intention is to get away from me having to be so hands-on. This is a major feature that I need, but I'm surprised that it has been overlooked by Datto. There is no easy way to do that. There are indirect means that they've given me, but if I move it out of that group, there's no way to undo it. I still need the means to undo the policy change. It's just very frustrating.

It should also support end-device configuration and management, not just updates.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using this solution for the last month and a half.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I don't have long-term exposure to it. It is still in the test phase. So, at this time, I can't tell what it would be like in any production environment without actually having it in a production environment.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Scalability is there. It can easily scale to thousands of units or thousands of machines without any issues at all. I don't perceive it to be a problem at all. The main problem is its configuration and integration.

How are customer service and support?

Their support is slow. I would rate them a three out of five. If it's something doable, they guide you through the process and give you the information you need in order to accomplish the goal. If it's not doable and outside the scope of their product, and they're scratching their heads trying to find a workaround, they may get back to you in two to three days or sometimes a week, which is way too long, especially in this industry.

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

We didn't use any other solution previously. We've grown to the point where we need to have an RMM solution.

How was the initial setup?

It's majorly complex. There is definitely a steep learning curve, which is fine. With any product of this magnitude, there is going to be a learning curve. So, it's expected. I don't want to criticize the product for this. There is going to be a lot to embrace. The equivalent would be driving an automatic car versus a semi-truck trailer, which would have a lot more going on.

In terms of duration, it took us two weeks and about four to six hours a day. 

What about the implementation team?

It was completely implemented in-house.

What was our ROI?

Right now, with the way the product is, it's a wash because Windows has some automated tools to do updates, and it also has some reporting tools that can be implemented online or via the scheduler and the built-in log utility. You can set it up in the scheduler to send out information every time the update will occur. You can indirectly achieve a lot of what this product currently does with your own creativity. It's built into the system. 

So, in terms of what it costs and what it saves you on time for just the update portion of it, it's a wash. If it allows you to push out configuration and settings on a global scale, that's where the benefit will come. That's what I haven't found yet, and that's where I'm very disappointed. If a client's office has 75 people, and I have to make changes to 75 computers, when I send a tech out there to do that, I know it'll take two days minimum. That's because he's not going to be able to get onto every computer immediately. He is going to wait for somebody. There is going to be a lot of dead time. If I send him after hours, I will have to pay time and a half because he's doing it after hours. He will be able to work a lot faster, but we're still looking at several hours' worth of work. Now, if I can do it from a console and push out these changes to all 75 computers in 20 minutes sitting in front of a console, that saves me a lot of money. I'm breaking things down to what makes more sense. Right now, it's not making monetary sense.

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

It fluctuates on the number of computers you have. Depending on the number of computers you have, it can fluctuate anywhere between $5 to $10 per computer per month, which is not too bad.

I am not aware of any additional costs beyond the standard licensing fee. It was one flat rate per device.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I did evaluate other options. It wasn't just out of the book. Atera and ConnectWise were the two predominant ones that I did a comparison against.

Atera was too Windows-centric, and we have a large user base or a large equipment base that is non-Windows. We have Macintoshes. We have phones, and we have Linux computers or servers, but Atera was too Windows-centric, so that was a no.

ConnectWise was a bit on the expensive side. Its price was something I was concerned about. Initial costs are small, but with ConnectWise, it's like buying a fleet vehicle where if you want seats, those are extra. If you want tires, those are extra, and the steering wheel is extra too. It becomes so piecemeal that by the time you get all the pieces you need, it gets to be quite expensive.

What other advice do I have?

We are currently only a customer, but once we decide on a product that we're going to work with, I would like to move in the direction of being a business partner and/or a reseller because it'll be helpful with our growth and our company deployment. For everything we've done and everything we do, I encourage our staff to become not just knowledgeable but super proficient so that we can go out and teach this product. We're not just simply end-users. We are a master of what we do.

I would rate it a seven out of ten. It definitely has a lot of strong features, but some of the features that I need that would make the product invaluable to me aren't present.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Public Cloud
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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Buyer's Guide
Remote Monitoring and Management Software
July 2022
Get our free report covering NinjaOne, datto, N-able, and other competitors of Atera. Updated: July 2022.
622,645 professionals have used our research since 2012.