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Maniaman
Mar 3, 2006


Nooooo Labtech. I was about to give you money. Then you go and announce a partnership with Symantec to bring BackupExec and Endpoint Protection to your system. Why did you do such a thing? I almost want to switch providers now just based on this partnership, even though I would never actually have to use Symantec.

Now, if you dump NOD32 war will be had.

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EuphrosyneD
Jan 25, 2004


Unless they are bringing them in to the exclusion of anything else, I don't think there's anything to worry about.

Maniaman
Mar 3, 2006


It's mostly the idea of it and my undying hatred for Symantec.

lunatikfringe
Jan 22, 2003


We have pieced together our own set of tools and it works great so far. Not exactly an all in one package but worth looking at some of these if you want to further reduce costs and manage more of it yourself:

Network monitoring: Open NMS http://www.opennms.org Cacti http://www.cacti.net/

Remote assistance: Teamviewer http://www.teamviewer.com browser based http://join.me

Patch management: VMware Go (Previously Shavlik Patching) http://go.vmware.com/

We run no antivirus for any of our 1000+ users. Admin rights are removed from every user, and we perform all software installs ourselves. Users cannot get into trouble if they cannot make changes to the C:\ All user files, folders, and profiles are kept on file servers.

Studebaker Hawk
May 22, 2004



lunatikfringe posted:

We have pieced together our own set of tools and it works great so far. Not exactly an all in one package but worth looking at some of these if you want to further reduce costs and manage more of it yourself:

Network monitoring: Open NMS http://www.opennms.org Cacti http://www.cacti.net/

Remote assistance: Teamviewer http://www.teamviewer.com browser based http://join.me

Patch management: VMware Go (Previously Shavlik Patching) http://go.vmware.com/

We run no antivirus for any of our 1000+ users. Admin rights are removed from every user, and we perform all software installs ourselves. Users cannot get into trouble if they cannot make changes to the C:\ All user files, folders, and profiles are kept on file servers.

This is insane. Get a real RMM, automate and do things properly.

mindphlux
Jan 8, 2004

ich esse keine suppe - nein
ich esse meine suppe nicht
nein, meine suppe ess' ich nicht






Studebaker Hawk posted:

This is insane. Get a real RMM, automate and do things properly.

yeah, I mean - by all means it's admirable that you've put together a set of tools, but my head hurts thinking about trying to use teamviewer without GFI's tools. I hate teamviewer enough as it is!

I'm guessing this is a single company's IT department, and not a MSP you work for? because I think my head would just explode if you're a MSP.

mindphlux
Jan 8, 2004

ich esse keine suppe - nein
ich esse meine suppe nicht
nein, meine suppe ess' ich nicht






So, in other news, I'm liking the Continuum demo thus far. Some of the script stuff that is just built in is blowing my mind with how easy it is. I was mulling over buying some automated install product and writing scripts to do things like install MWBAM on computers to use with GFI Max - but with the realtime script execution in Continuum it's like BAM. Already got the script, and by the way we installed MWBAM on your client desktop 5 minutes ago.

There are parts I don't like as much, like the UI and having to use IE, but I think I might be able to get over it. It's probably worth the higher cost vs GFI too. I mean I'm billing enough, I should probably just not be cheap and man up to the plate.

I'm about to pull the plug on my internet connection and see how fast they call me letting me know my server is down. ^_^

edit : 25 minutes before an unintelligible and breaking up over VoIP guy from India gave me a rang. v_v

mindphlux fucked around with this message at Jul 13, 2012 around 21:04

Trinitrotoluene
Dec 25, 2004



mindphlux posted:

yeah, I mean - by all means it's admirable that you've put together a set of tools, but my head hurts thinking about trying to use teamviewer without GFI's tools. I hate teamviewer enough as it is!

I'm guessing this is a single company's IT department, and not a MSP you work for? because I think my head would just explode if you're a MSP.

We use teamviewer as an MSP and it works fantastically well. We have literally one click access to all users; from knowing just their name I can have one click access to their PC in under 5 seconds.

Jesus Stick
Dec 14, 2004

Bomb Hills, Not Countries

Trinitrotoluene posted:

We use teamviewer as an MSP and it works fantastically well. We have literally one click access to all users; from knowing just their name I can have one click access to their PC in under 5 seconds.

How many companies/users do you support?

Sounds like a nightmare

tuned414
Sep 25, 2012


mindphlux,

I too am an IT consultant looking for an RMM system. I paid the $10 just so I could post and follow-up with you...

Did you purchase Continuum and are you actively using it? If not, what are you currently using?


mindphlux posted:

So, in other news, I'm liking the Continuum demo thus far. Some of the script stuff that is just built in is blowing my mind with how easy it is. I was mulling over buying some automated install product and writing scripts to do things like install MWBAM on computers to use with GFI Max - but with the realtime script execution in Continuum it's like BAM. Already got the script, and by the way we installed MWBAM on your client desktop 5 minutes ago.

There are parts I don't like as much, like the UI and having to use IE, but I think I might be able to get over it. It's probably worth the higher cost vs GFI too. I mean I'm billing enough, I should probably just not be cheap and man up to the plate.

I'm about to pull the plug on my internet connection and see how fast they call me letting me know my server is down. ^_^

edit : 25 minutes before an unintelligible and breaking up over VoIP guy from India gave me a rang. v_v

St0rmD
Sep 25, 2002

We shoulda just dropped this guy over the Middle East"



mindphlux posted:



There are parts I don't like as much, like the UI and having to use IE, but I think I might be able to get over it. It's probably worth the higher cost vs GFI too. I mean I'm billing enough, I should probably just not be cheap and man up to the plate.



We have continuum and other than for a few specific functions that only seem to work in ie, I use chrome to access it almost all the time.

mindphlux
Jan 8, 2004

ich esse keine suppe - nein
ich esse meine suppe nicht
nein, meine suppe ess' ich nicht






tuned414 posted:

mindphlux,

I too am an IT consultant looking for an RMM system. I paid the $10 just so I could post and follow-up with you...

Did you purchase Continuum and are you actively using it? If not, what are you currently using?

I'm using it on a trial basis, paying for it just on a single client site right now. I like it well enough, but am really hesitant to go full throttle, because I have a ton of computers on my logmein free account that I'd have to commit to throwing a continuum agent on (and thus losing access to on my LMI free account).

The biggest last hurdle for me is the lack of logmein ignition app for continuum, as I remote in to computers pretty regularly from my android phone. They just released an iOS ignition app last week, but nothing yet for android. once they do though, I think I've decided to move all my clients over - I think the value I'm getting vs GFI is probably worth it.

St0rmD posted:

We have continuum and other than for a few specific functions that only seem to work in ie, I use chrome to access it almost all the time.

yeah, I think there was some specific issue with the dashboard not functioning properly under anything but IE - but it was brought up and resolved. I'm using firefox most of the time to access it, and it works fine now.

mindphlux fucked around with this message at Sep 30, 2012 around 09:18

vty
Nov 8, 2007

oh dott, oh dott!


I always use Chrome to access Continuum. I didn't even know anything in it didn't work and had to be done via IE. What specifically? I just logged in via IE and it seems the same.

Anyway, on the topic of Continuum, I'm trying to clean mine up and make it more useful. So far we just use it as a call service to tell us servers are down, and patch/virus licensing management.

Is there SOME way to add SMS text messaging to the escalation template that I'm missing? I'm really tired of them calling multiple times and leaving a VMail on the third call, typically a Vmail I can't even understand. I'd MUCH rather just be sent a text message that SERVER02 HAS NOT PINGED IN 15 MINUTES PLEASE FIX.

I assumed that it simply didn't have this feature, but I found a press release at some point that specifically says it has SMS text messaging for alerts.

Anyone?

Edit: Here is the article dated OCT 1st that says they added SMS alerts- http://www.continuum.net/Standard-I...MM-Control.aspx

Edit2: I just noticed it's even a big picture on their front page now.

Edit3: Do you guys have any interest in an IRC channel on freenode? I just joined #msp on there. Feel free to hop in. I love talking business with other MSP folk.

vty fucked around with this message at Oct 30, 2012 around 21:48

Stugazi
Mar 1, 2004

Who me, Bitter?

I own an MSP in San Diego. Our nine year anniversary is in March. We've gone through a lot of ups and downs.

We use Kaseya. I estimate we paid them ~$70k before ending our subscription. We looked at renewing but they are so scummy I decided to pass. Powerful product, horrible customer relationship management. On the bright side the agents we have we actually own so we still use Kaseya but when Windows8 becomes popular we'll likely need to update our RMM.

We used ConnectWise but no longer. They do a great job but the Server/Client got so bulky and slow that we moved to Zendesk, Freshbooks and Solve360. If you have ConnectWise go to the summit and do their educational stuff. I found it valuable but maybe less so now that EVERYONE is following the same game plan and delivering the same services via the same tools. Leads to commoditization and lower margins if your customer presentation is almost word for word match with your competitors.

We looked at GFI. It had a lot of promise but wasn't quite ready for primetime for us. Simple things like scheduling a reboot were a big deal. Hopefully it's changed.

mindphlux
Jan 8, 2004

ich esse keine suppe - nein
ich esse meine suppe nicht
nein, meine suppe ess' ich nicht






Stugazi posted:

I own an MSP in San Diego. Our nine year anniversary is in March. We've gone through a lot of ups and downs.

We use Kaseya. I estimate we paid them ~$70k before ending our subscription. We looked at renewing but they are so scummy I decided to pass. Powerful product, horrible customer relationship management. On the bright side the agents we have we actually own so we still use Kaseya but when Windows8 becomes popular we'll likely need to update our RMM.

We used ConnectWise but no longer. They do a great job but the Server/Client got so bulky and slow that we moved to Zendesk, Freshbooks and Solve360. If you have ConnectWise go to the summit and do their educational stuff. I found it valuable but maybe less so now that EVERYONE is following the same game plan and delivering the same services via the same tools. Leads to commoditization and lower margins if your customer presentation is almost word for word match with your competitors.

We looked at GFI. It had a lot of promise but wasn't quite ready for primetime for us. Simple things like scheduling a reboot were a big deal. Hopefully it's changed.

To address your GFI concern - no, it hasn't changed. It's not ready for primetime for me, and I'm probably under 1/10th your size if you were paying Kaseya 70k.

But this is a great segue into a topic I was going to post today. And I'd love to talk with you more personally if you have any interest in chatting a bit.

I keep on thinking about using autotask, but it's just so expensive for what it is. What do you all (the thread at large) use for CRM/billing/accounting? I just use quickbooks/toggl/zendesk right now, and each thing does its task ok, it just sucks the amount of manual entry and figuring stuff out come invoice time every month.

mindphlux
Jan 8, 2004

ich esse keine suppe - nein
ich esse meine suppe nicht
nein, meine suppe ess' ich nicht






vty posted:

I assumed that it simply didn't have this feature, but I found a press release at some point that specifically says it has SMS text messaging for alerts.

Anyone?

yeah I think they just introduced this, I've played around with it, but so far haven't gotten it to work.

I'm a little discouraged because I've been using continuum basically the same way you are - a server alert tool, and I've been letting their NOC do proactive poo poo to my server just to try them out. Desktops are being patched on a weekly basis and the logmein pro is nice but...

Every time I go in to do something like 'update approved patches on all machines on a site, then reboot', I end up spending like 45 minutes trying to figure it out, get frustrated, and then just do it manually using logmein.

The scheduled updates feature seems to work ok, and I spent a lot of time customizing the escalation templates - it's just a lot of simple stuff seems more complicated than it needs to be. I might just need to spend more time with the product or do tutorials - but it's hard to motivate myself to do that when the things I'm trying to do don't seem like they should need tutorials.

Stugazi
Mar 1, 2004

Who me, Bitter?

Do yourself a favor and try Freshbooks. You'll never want to touch Quickbooks again. Here's my referral code if you want to thank me use it when setting up your demo. http://goo.gl/aT36B

We use Zendesk. Sucks for anything proactive but for reactive ticketing it's good. Also look at helpscout if you want to avoid ticket #'s etc.

For CRM we used solve360 and insight.ly. CRM is tricky as it's only as good as the people who use it. Both of those products have strengths and weaknesses. We chose Solve because it has a few extra features altho I think insight.ly is easier to use and learn. Neither is a bad choice.

Look at it this way. The future is web based apps. You can cobble together QB, ConnectWise and K into a mashup of fat clients that will take hours to manage, patch and debug or go the easy route and use existing web APIs from these slick and fast moving companies to build a cheap and scalable infrastructure for your company that all runs on top of a browser.

And once you're done you'll realize all your clients should do the same and that you just put yourself out of a job.

Welcome to IT!

vty
Nov 8, 2007

oh dott, oh dott!


mindphlux posted:

yeah I think they just introduced this, I've played around with it, but so far haven't gotten it to work.

I'm a little discouraged because I've been using continuum basically the same way you are - a server alert tool, and I've been letting their NOC do proactive poo poo to my server just to try them out. Desktops are being patched on a weekly basis and the logmein pro is nice but...

Every time I go in to do something like 'update approved patches on all machines on a site, then reboot', I end up spending like 45 minutes trying to figure it out, get frustrated, and then just do it manually using logmein.

The scheduled updates feature seems to work ok, and I spent a lot of time customizing the escalation templates - it's just a lot of simple stuff seems more complicated than it needs to be. I might just need to spend more time with the product or do tutorials - but it's hard to motivate myself to do that when the things I'm trying to do don't seem like they should need tutorials.

Yeah seriously.

Simple example- Something as simple as setting up "QUICK Suppressions" is a damned pain. Not only do you have to ALWAYS set the timezone, you have to manually enter in times and it will NOT allow you to set a time in the past, as in, if it's 5:13 right now my suppression can't be 5:00, or 5:12. Probably not even 5:13. It has to be 5:14+.

I won't even get into the Escalation Templates. There's NO way to set layered triggers.. as in, if this server generates an alert, test again in 3-5-10 minute intervals and at minute 5 send an email, minute 10 send a text/call. It's way too basic.

Stupid, stupid UI.

Trinitrotoluene
Dec 25, 2004



What's the pricing like on continuum? Any rough guide?

mindphlux
Jan 8, 2004

ich esse keine suppe - nein
ich esse meine suppe nicht
nein, meine suppe ess' ich nicht






Trinitrotoluene posted:

What's the pricing like on continuum? Any rough guide?

$4/client which includes antivirus, malwarebytes pro, and logmeinpro. not horrible considering logmein pro is expensive as gently caress itself - but too expensive for me still. GFI is $1 a client w/o antivirus, or $2 with.

Servers are like $13 with GFI, which doesn't include any extras, and like $15-20 for continuum, which includes their proactive 'critical alert' poo poo. Basically if an exchange store or something shits bricks or a server goes offline, some dude in india will do his best to log in and fix the problem, or give you a call after ~30 mins.

mindphlux
Jan 8, 2004

ich esse keine suppe - nein
ich esse meine suppe nicht
nein, meine suppe ess' ich nicht






vty posted:

Yeah seriously.

Simple example- Something as simple as setting up "QUICK Suppressions" is a damned pain. Not only do you have to ALWAYS set the timezone, you have to manually enter in times and it will NOT allow you to set a time in the past, as in, if it's 5:13 right now my suppression can't be 5:00, or 5:12. Probably not even 5:13. It has to be 5:14+.

I won't even get into the Escalation Templates. There's NO way to set layered triggers.. as in, if this server generates an alert, test again in 3-5-10 minute intervals and at minute 5 send an email, minute 10 send a text/call. It's way too basic.

Stupid, stupid UI.

thanks, glad to hear someone else say it. I thought I was just being lazy and/or stupid. but yeah it's pretty horrible. have you found anything better?


edit : maybe I should just go into the MSP vendor business, hire some people, and make a goddamn tool myself. it can't honestly be *that* hard, can it?

I guess I feel this way about tons of products though :/

mindphlux fucked around with this message at Nov 4, 2012 around 05:02

Maniaman
Mar 3, 2006


We settled with GFI for now. Not the greatest, but the price is right.

Seriously all the MSP software out there sucks. Interfaces are as complicated as can e, there's no good remote access that's cleanly branded or for that matter hidden, and the decent software is cost prohibitive unless you have a ton of customers.

univbee
Jun 3, 2004

Let's maintain dazzling beer indefinitely.


Maniaman posted:

We settled with GFI for now. Not the greatest, but the price is right.

Seriously all the MSP software out there sucks. Interfaces are as complicated as can e, there's no good remote access that's cleanly branded or for that matter hidden, and the decent software is cost prohibitive unless you have a ton of customers.

Having used both Kaseya and LabTech, I've learned that they're never going to get everything built-in right, and you pretty much have to buy some additional software/subscriptions and figure out how to integrate them to make things work in a way that doesn't make you want to kill yourself. LabTech's VNC connectivity is roughly at the same level Kaseya's was a few years back, which is to say it's god-awful and requires crazy lucky and voodoo to work right, let alone with a fast speed. Currently we have both a TeamViewer license and a Ninite license, and with the back end properly managed that's doing what we need it to for the time being.

vty
Nov 8, 2007

oh dott, oh dott!


mindphlux posted:

thanks, glad to hear someone else say it. I thought I was just being lazy and/or stupid. but yeah it's pretty horrible. have you found anything better?

edit : maybe I should just go into the MSP vendor business, hire some people, and make a goddamn tool myself. it can't honestly be *that* hard, can it?

I guess I feel this way about tons of products though :/

No I really haven't looked for anything better. I rolled out N-Able years ago (geez, like 2005) and it was pretty awful as well.

I still haven't figured out how to SMS text message via SAAZ!

I swear, between Connectwise and SAAZ I'm tempted to go back into the hosting business.

How is everyone's year going? We hit 1MM rev! Growth has been slow though, I really need to make some connections.

vty fucked around with this message at Dec 12, 2012 around 01:08

mindphlux
Jan 8, 2004

ich esse keine suppe - nein
ich esse meine suppe nicht
nein, meine suppe ess' ich nicht






vty posted:

No I really haven't looked for anything better. I rolled out N-Able years ago (geez, like 2005) and it was pretty awful as well.

I still haven't figured out how to SMS text message via SAAZ!

I swear, between Connectwise and SAAZ I'm tempted to go back into the hosting business.

How is everyone's year going? We hit 1MM rev! Growth has been slow though, I really need to make some connections.

mine is going pretty well, I'm getting close to 100k revenue, which I think is pretty decent for basically my second year doing this, and about a 2x growth for me. hopefully 2013 will be the year of hiring someone and ramping this on up!

if only I had a decent tool to do it with


thanks stugazi for reminding me I should be using webapps. I got unlazy and set up zendesk, which seems pretty worthwhile. but, inadvertently when I was researching zendesk, I came across Harvest, a time tracking app.

my god.

I had been using toggl, which I loved, but toggl didn't integrate with any bookkeeping system really. Harvest not only integrates with Quickbooks, Freshbooks, etc - it integrates with Zendesk, works as well as toggl, and does invoices/billable hours! and integrates with credit card APIs like Stripe, which I already have set up for my web hosting side of the business. AND its invoices look great! AND it will automatically e-mail them, let you track when they get paid, and follow up with reminders as specified intervals.

my god. I just saved myself an ungodly amount of time every billing cycle - a number which grows by like 15-30 minutes with each new client I get.

only downside is that Harvest can't export invoices to quickbooks, so I'm stuck re-categorizing my deposits after they hit my account I think - but still. pretty neat app, and very reasonably priced.



PS - I'm about to begin actually advertising my MSP offerings in a product form, working up a physical brochure to explain pricing, etc - in anticipation of being able to hire someone next year. Had just been going on word of mouth, but just need a little boost to help me finance things going forward. Would love to hear any stories anyone has to share about growing their business past the 1-2 person team level. Marketing and branding are kind of tough areas for me in particular, but I feel like it's gonna be a pretty big leap for me... in a good way I guess!

mindphlux fucked around with this message at Dec 13, 2012 around 02:16

Stugazi
Mar 1, 2004

Who me, Bitter?

We're back in the market for a RMM. Time to ditch Kaseya.

So far it's between Labtech and GFI. We did a demo of GFI a year ago and it felt really basic. Labtech has a good reputation. Plus there's this review which I agree with from the limited exposure I have with each product.

http://www.bradkendall.ca/gfi-max-v...duct-comparison

Labtech is part of ConnectWise. I think Labtech is complicated but my concern is that GFI is too basic. Labtech may REQUIRE Connectwise to truly be useful. I am the goldilocks of RMM.

Maniaman and others, how has your experience been the past few months with your respective decisions?

Maniaman
Mar 3, 2006


Good question. We finally settled on GFI based on the pricing and lack of a minimum amount of agents. It's certainly more basic than LabTech, and some of the things like built-in TeamViewer doesn't work as smooth as I would like, but it does work.

If we ever get enough customers, I'll probably be looking to switch at some point.

mindphlux
Jan 8, 2004

ich esse keine suppe - nein
ich esse meine suppe nicht
nein, meine suppe ess' ich nicht






don't pick GFI. at this point, even though I'm not convinced I really like continuum, it just does so much more poo poo than GFI that I wonder how I ever really used GFI effectively. and then I realized that I didn't.

I logged on to GFI the other day (for the first time in 3-4 months) to do some support work for a system I still had on the product, and I was pretty floored by the difference/lack of features. I installed continuum's agent on all my remaining machines, and now have it on my todo list to call GFI and cancel my account.

but really, don't take this as any sort of broad endorsement of continuum - I'd ditch them too if I had any decent alternative.

man, sometimes I feel like I should just stop everything, get a small loan, and make my own MSP software. :<

Stugazi
Mar 1, 2004

Who me, Bitter?

We started demoing GFI again. My concerns with GFI:

-Lack of real time capabilities
-Lack of scripting: it will run any script/batch you write but it's not graceful like competitors
-I've found TakeControl to be hit or miss. Works wonderfully or complete fail. I'd take average reliable performance above all else.

Really the only deal breaker is TakeControl. That has to work 100% or we can't go GFI.

I heard on the street that Labtech is $400/month for 500 agents but that's a commitment to buy and running it on your own server. Anyone have hosted pricing from Labtech? I am not interested in hosting our own.

----

On the PSA side we have come full circle. We ditched ConnectWise to go with a group of shiny Web 2.0 apps that all talk to each other.

Web 2.0 has worked, sorta.

MSP is a round hole while the mashup of Web 2.0 apps is a square peg. The setup works, but you gotta shave off the corners. It's like any app built for a business, a PSA is going to work out of the box better than a bunch of general purpose apps that sorta talk to each other.

The discussion around RMM has us also looking at going back to a PSA. Since RMM and PSA go hand in hand, what are you using for PSA?

sanchez
Feb 26, 2003


I find takecontrol to be reliable but still inferior to logmein as far as performance goes. It is much better than VNC.

Logmein is the main reason I prefer continuum over any other RMM solution we've tested, you just need enough servers to get the price break. Once we get there I think we'll switch from GFI.

Farking Bastage
Sep 22, 2007

You fargin sneaky bastage. I'm gonna take your dwork. I'm gonna nail it to the wall. I'm gonna crush your boils in a meat grinder.


I do MSP work and we exclusively sell maxmail. It works very nice and is a viable DR option. The admin console is a flaming piece of poo poo

mindphlux
Jan 8, 2004

ich esse keine suppe - nein
ich esse meine suppe nicht
nein, meine suppe ess' ich nicht






sanchez posted:

I find takecontrol to be reliable but still inferior to logmein as far as performance goes. It is much better than VNC.

Logmein is the main reason I prefer continuum over any other RMM solution we've tested, you just need enough servers to get the price break. Once we get there I think we'll switch from GFI.

yeah, I agree with this 2000%.

Teamviewer wasn't 100% with GFI, and that for me was unacceptable. Before I had any RMM software, I used logmein (free) ignition a lot when on the road from an ipad/phone, so not having easy access to machines via mobile was a huge deal. I also had cases where teamviewer would stop working on a machine for no reason, and require me to go onsite or use another remote access program to un/reinstall it. I posted long idea threads on GFI's ideaboard, and they were summarily ignored.

Continuum's implementation of ignition isn't perfect (they only have a iphone/pad client, no android yet), but it's a million times better than teamviewer. If it's worth the $3.50-$4/workstation, I'm not sure, but I'm paying it anyways for the time being.

bimmian
Oct 16, 2008


I'm currently demoing N-able and Labtech, we don't use anything but logmein free here at the moment. I just started here and took over managing the tech/MSP side of the business, so there are lots of areas to improve.


My thoughts...

N-able is pretty, quite polished compared to labtech. That being said, it is made for an MSP that is way past any break/fix model imo. It is 100% about scripting, automation, and self-healing - which admittedly can be extremely powerful and seems to work quite well. The automation manager is very very cool (think powershell in a drag and drop format, see screenshot). AD, exchange, SQL, PC performance data, conditional logic, more. You can script some really powerful and complicated things in minutes, with zero powershell knowledge.



With labtech you can see all the computer data very quickly, way more info than you need really. N-able isn't really like that, assuming that all your environments are stable and on auto-pilot.

Screen showing all your devices, very good filtering capabilities.


But, when you go into a device, you pretty much just see performance metrics and standard hardware details.


To get the info that you would quicly get in labtech, you need to run multiple scripts. And even then, I don't think you can dig in as deep.


As I said, comparatively Labtech seems quite unpolished(read: ugly) and convoluted.

Remote access with labtech seems to suck, which I'm not too excited about. It may be better on-premise though, since it looks like those "direct tunnels" are not routed directly but go through the hosted platform first. Skipping that step would improve that a lot, especially for us since we have point to point fiber to the majority of our clients.
N-able is much better in that regard out of the box.

The licensing for N-able is based on two licenses - Professional and Essential. Pro is for your pcs, servers etc, Essential for snmp devices. You can use essential licenses for PCs as well, you just get much more limited data and more infrequent check-ins. The pricing I got based on 500 Professional Licenses (comes with like 5000 essential licenses) - $2.40/agent/month with lots of freebies for the first year, on-premise. That is on a 3-year term. That pricing was without any negotiation though, so I'm sure I can get it lower. MDM slated to be introduced at the end of the month.

Labtech, for on-premise 500 agents was ~$1.20/agent/month on a 4 year term. You can cancel at any time with no penalty though. MDM is an additional $1/d.


I haven't started looking at any others yet, but I sold my boss on n-able at $5/agent so looking at ones that are more expensive could be an option.


On the PSA side, I'm also debating CW vs Autotask at the moment. The CEO isn't a fan of connectwise though because their sales process has been filled with gotchas and incomplete pricing. Working with the reps from AutoTask has been really pleasant though, they seem much more professional. That being said, I used connectwise for the past 3 years in my last job. Some of the main annoyances I had with it (thick-client, poo poo web interface, $10/user/month mobile license) aren't an issue with AutoTask. To me, at this point, not having it web-based is a major drawback.

mindphlux
Jan 8, 2004

ich esse keine suppe - nein
ich esse meine suppe nicht
nein, meine suppe ess' ich nicht






bimmian posted:

I'm currently demoing N-able and Labtech, we don't use anything but logmein free here at the moment. I just started here and took over managing the tech/MSP side of the business, so there are lots of areas to improve.


My thoughts...


Thanks for the write up, I enjoyed reading it. N-Able and Labtech were two that I just didn't even get that far into demoing because they were wanting contracts and larger volumes of machines than the ~40-50 I'm dealing with.

unknown
Nov 16, 2002
Ain't got no stinking title yet!

Tiny thread hijack, but people here would know - I've gotten into the consulting situation where I'm now having to track a lot of general systems/network details on various clients. I don't really want to get into the full on MSP type of work of managing individual computers.

I'm currently storing things (maps, documents, etc) in a wiki, but I'm wondering if there are better apps for doing that, since it's really easy to have the data get unstructured very quickly - especially if multiple people are updating it.

mindphlux
Jan 8, 2004

ich esse keine suppe - nein
ich esse meine suppe nicht
nein, meine suppe ess' ich nicht






unknown posted:

Tiny thread hijack, but people here would know - I've gotten into the consulting situation where I'm now having to track a lot of general systems/network details on various clients. I don't really want to get into the full on MSP type of work of managing individual computers.

I'm currently storing things (maps, documents, etc) in a wiki, but I'm wondering if there are better apps for doing that, since it's really easy to have the data get unstructured very quickly - especially if multiple people are updating it.

I used OneNote to good effect in the 2007 / 2010 versions, but the 2013 version completely sucks layout wise. Switched to evernote. Just my 2 cents. All client files (documents, scripts, contracts, invoices etc) are on a SBS server with redirected folders and a VPN. Box would work equally well.

I'm sure there are probably CRMs out there that do a better job organizationally, but I haven't found them yet.

Stugazi
Mar 1, 2004

Who me, Bitter?

We merged with another company that has ConnectWise. Being back on that platform is a blessing and curse.

On the good side, I appreciate having an app that is custom designed for our business.

On the bad side CW hasn't evolved a single bit in 5 loving years it's embarrassing. The helpdesk, which is arguably the most frequently used feature, is poo poo.

Granted, the company did a horrible job of onboarding CW so the problems are made much worse through lack of training but drat CW doesn't make anything easy. I am the most knowledgeable person on CW and I haven't used it in five years. I am torn on switching us from CW to Autotask. Long term I feel it's the right play but it's a big undertaking.

Is Autotask better or just *different*?

We are also looking at Labtech again which is difficult to evaluate separate from CW. They are sister products in my mind.

This sucks. It's a big decision and I am the only one who has the full view of the challenges. I'd prefer to go web based with Autotask and maybe Continuum or Kaseya but CW and Labtech seem to be the price leader and have more traction internally.

bimmian
Oct 16, 2008


I used CW from 2009 through mid-2012. Even though I had that experience, I ended up going with Autotask. We've only been live on it since May 1st, but that is primarily service desk and basic CRM. I'm still working on configuring and defining processes for the other modules, but I'm mostly waiting on sales at the moment to get me the info I need. So, incoming wall of text



Autotask is hands down the better product. There a few things CW does better, and AT does have its issues, some that are kinda surprising.

For me, one of the biggest factors was the platform. Not being web-based is a huge drawback for CW. Maybe if the client was lightweight and quick then it wouldn't be as big of a deal, but it's not. Autotask is fully web-based and recently finished up implementing cross-browser support. Even being web-based and fully cloud-based, it is way faster than CW.

-Autotask is much easier to configure than CW. 75% of my time was spent defining policies and processes because they simply weren't in place prior to me coming into this position. From initial research through today, I've done 95% of the work. Keeping in mind that I essentially re-built how we operate from a helpdesk and workflow point of view, I had it live in a month and a half or so after purchase. That was with plenty of other duties at the same time, including installing and configuring n-able (not my choice to do them at the same time, boss likes to pull the trigger hard when it's the end of a company's fiscal year).

-Autotasks licensing model is also so much better. CW still charges misc fees for add-on modules, and their mobile app is still $10/user/month, which is insane. Autotask is all-inclusive. Their mobile app is limited in functionality, but a rewrite is on their roadmap. CW seems cheaper, but after all the add-ons and modules, it is actually very close. We're pretty good at negotiating for software though, so our per seat cost is a fair bit under their norm.

The annoyances I have with it are relatively minor, except for one

-permissions. There are only 8 or 9 pre-defined security levels, with extremely limited ability to customize (literally just a few options). I don't see how larger companies with a greater need for security handle it. For instance, if you want your helpdesk guys to have access to the CRM module to look up accounts/contacts, they will have access to the entire CRM module, including quotes, opportunities, previous sales, etc. The options are literally "Full or None", with one setting to restrict which sales orders they can see. The release coming early June and as well as the Fall release will be addressing this though, so hopefully it won't be an issue much longer.

-Recurring tickets. If you make a recurring ticket for a weekly activity for 1 year, it creates all 52 tickets at once. Quite annoying, I've advised my techs not to use them at all for the time being. It's cluttered and requires making too many workflow rules to be useful.

-The ticket creation and ticket window could use a refresh. Like CW, there are just too many fields available/required when creating a ticket, it needs to be made easier. They need to look at something like zendesk and make it that usable.

Overall, just a handful of minor annoyances and lack of customization options in some areas.

Autotask sales/support are also 100x better to work with.

The differences in infrastructure are quite drastic as well. Here is an overview I got from my AT rep:

• There is a reason CW are the low guys on the block. For their “pseudo cloud solution” (which requires a fat client on each PC) they do not OWN their Data Center or equipment. This is a key differentiator. See attached SaaS platform pdf. Ask Connectwise for a similar document. We guarantee 99.99% uptime in our contract, Connectwise contract states they will use their “best effort” for uptime and reliability
• Autotask was purposely built for the cloud and has been a SaaS solution since 2001. It’s what we do, all we do.
• Autotask is the only multi-tenant SaaS package on the market. Multi-tenancy means that all of our customers are on the same version and data schema. This allows AT to rollout out maintenance and major releases without downtime or to have regularly scheduled downtime.
• UPTIME/AVAILABILITY: Autotask has a 99.9% uptime stated in our contract. CW does not. Autotask had 11 minutes of un-planned downtime in 2011 and Autotask planned maintenance downtime has been less than 4 hours per year the past two years. CW on the other hand has 4 hours of planned downtime each week as they are not multi-tenant and must perform maintenance on customer databases. If you are running a 24/7 business and rely on a mission critical application can you afford to have 200+ hours of planned downtime per year? That is what you will receive from CW
• Autotask has multiple SAS70 Type II data centers around the word and we own/maintain all of our own equipment. CW on the other hand uses Rackspace and must rely on that team to maintain their infrastructure.
• There are no fat client downloads required to use Autotask remotely, with Connectwise there is.
• Autotask offers a mutual out clause in our contract while Connectwise is an adhesion contract that is one sided to them.
• Autotask 24x5 and 24x7 Support is available to all users (phone, email, web) and we also provided contracted response rates (1 day, 4 hour, 2 hour..based on bundle purchased)
• Autotask is OPEN. We offer a full web-services API to our customers. Autotask allows our customers to select the vendors/products they wish to run their business and to integrate with Autotask.




On the subject of RMM, I evaluated labtech and n-able and went with n-able. Like CW, labtech is in major need of a UI refresh. It has an incredible amount of information, but they basically just throw it at you. N-able is much nicer to use. The price does reflect that, but depending on how many licenses you'd plan on getting, you can get pretty aggressive rates.

N-able also got acquired by solarwinds yesterday, which may be a pretty good thing. Their(n-able) development seems slow, and if there is one thing solarwinds is good at, it's pumping out products at a good pace.

Biggest issue with N-able is quite an important one- remote connectivity. They use a third party solution called Direct Connect. Along with the Remote Support Manager, it is fantastic when it works, but its success rate is pretty bad. Bad enough that some of my techs have all but given up using it in favor of vnc or just plain rdp. Those options are also built-in though, and it uses ssh tunnels to allow you to rdp to a pc in another environment without having to vpn or go to a server first.


I suppose I need to get back to work, but let me know if you have any specific questions.

sanchez
Feb 26, 2003


bimmian posted:

CW on the other hand has 4 hours of planned downtime each week

When does this happen? It's not something we've noticed or been told about, is it at 2am on a sunday or something?

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bimmian
Oct 16, 2008


I'm not sure either. I didn't notice it as a regular thing, but then again we weren't a 24/7 shop. I assume it is for maintenance and is an "up to" 4 hours type thing.

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