Honest opinion about Atera

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frank.pietersma
frank.pietersma Member Posts: 78 ✭✭✭

Anyone familiar with my posts on Atera knows I can be quite critical.
I wouldn't be surprised if Atera sometimes considers me a "pain in the
ass" ;-) haha.

By being critical and persistently highlighting issues, we've seen positive changes over
the past year. Several bugs have been fixed, certain functionalities
improved, and the overall system has become better.

It's not only criticism; there are also quite a few good points. The good and the bad must be told and that's why this post.

Atera has a lot of potential. They have an a unique approach and stands out from its competitors. The live chat support, where they directly assist and collaborate with users, is a distinctive feature none of the competitors have.
General accessibility is another strong point—getting in touch with someone at Datto or N-able is not as straightforward.

On various forums, you can read criticism about the AI in Atera. It's true that in some cases, it doesn't add much value yet. However, it's recognized that the potential it holds for the future is substantial, putting Atera ahead of the competition in this regard.

In terms of functionality, Atera is an RMM with all the 'bells and whistles.'
Not everything is streamlined yet; there are still some things in the remote tools that could be improved. But you get a mature RMM system that delivers on its promises.

In terms of the target audience, functionality, and pricing, Atera is compared to Syncro, Nsight, and Superops. All are platforms that provide an 'all in one' solution with a per-engineer pricing model. Nsight is slightly different because their unit price is up to 100 devices. Beyond
that, you pay per device. Atera emerged as the clear winner during our MSP demos. It boasts a clear interface, efficient workflow, a well-designed customer portal, and a configurable ticketing system. The integration of RMM and tickets works seamlessly, There is proper documentation of all the features and Atera was the company that was most transparent regarding pricing.

For those seeking a fully developed platform with all possible features, Datto is mentioned. However, it comes with a much higher price tag, not to mention the recent Kaseya acquisition (brrr)

We are most critical of SNMP monitoring. It works but is still quite Spartan. No MIB import, for example. Manually look up the OIDs and enter them one by one. While SNMP monitoring is an area where we are particularly critical, improvements are hoped for, given its essential
role in hardware monitoring for an MSP.

The past year has seen many positive changes and new features, especially
in the first half, with a slower pace of "cosmetic" changes in recent months. The absence of the indicator light bulb to announce new features is noted. That way, you could always quickly get the latest changes, and it gave the feeling that everything was in motion. Obviously we can
read the release notes, but it's different. It's acknowledged that it may be due to fewer major changes recently.

In the Features board are a lot of great idea's. Some of them are planned for a long time. It would be great to see a couple of them implemented soon.

Having been Atera customers for a year and a half, we've evaluated our experience and decided to continue our trust in Atera for the next year.
We anticipate Atera's continued development and a stronger position in the market. While there's still a lot of work to be done, being a part of a developing company is enjoyable, and we look forward to growing with them.

All in all, we are genuinely satisfied with Atera, and it's about time we said it out loud!

Comments

  • kim
    kim Member Posts: 113 ✭✭✭
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    @frank.pietersma What I appreciate most about your posts is the candor and concerns. I know at times I am normally “glass half full” versus empty and the lens I read through sometimes misses that criticism doesn’t mean “empty” but instead an opportunity to fill the cup.

    Your suggestions and opinions I feel is very valuable especially if I was on a UX or Product team because your feedback not only voices aspects that some might not have considered before and at the end of the day elevate Atera beyond its competitors.

  • [Deleted User]
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    Nice post Frank! I wish I could be quite as positive about Atera, but it only does about 80% of what it claims to do, the other 20% is clunky, poorly tested/maintained and despite 4 years of logging feature requests those clunky bits remain untouched despite repeated conversations with my last 6/7 customer success managers (I've lost track of how many it has been now).

    SNMP support is very lacking (as you and others have covered here)

    Reporting is poor unless you pay a lot of money on top for the "advanced reporting" which lacks things like reporting on custom fields, bitlocker status etc… Why should we pay more to be able to report on our own data ?

    Registry editing and the file transfer tool are restricted to the size of a tiny postage stamp making them very hard to use.

    Half the UI improvements are still not completed - so you have a mess of screens that behave in different ways with missing functionality in some.

    I could go on but I won't.

    I don't care in the slightest for AI in any of the areas that they have rolled it out in and I wish they would just concentrate on making the core product work well.

    Atera could be great, but too much time is devoted to playing with space age branding and bells and whistles that people have not even asked for.

  • frank.pietersma
    frank.pietersma Member Posts: 78 ✭✭✭
    edited December 2023
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    Thanks Nathan,
    It's exactly that what keeps us here: "Atera could be great"
    We strongly believe that Atera has the ability to be great. It will take some time though.
    Atera should stop thinking its already great and fix the basics like the examples you mentioned.
    We're not there yet. Fix the basics, get better and continue to build new things. Then it will be great. If they only could imagine what it will do with their market share. It's going to explode. I think Gil would like that!
    I personally believe in the AI as a valuable add-on and seeing lots of potential for it. Not in its current form. These are just the first baby steps. Imagine what it could do eventually. Agree on the feature board. Atera should do way more with feature requests. The feature board is filled with great " Planned" ideas, some of them for years, making the features board less credible.
    We hope that things will move forward and things improve step by step. We will all benefit.

  • mbudke
    mbudke Member Posts: 87 ✭✭✭
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    Hi @frank.pietersma

    thanks for raising this post which I really like!

    First of all I would like to mention that I personally like the idea of being into space.
    It is not about the "space" itself - it is about the idea to be different. With Atera I have the feeling they don't do the job because of only being professional. I have the feeling they like their own business culture and that is a perfect situation for a company. The people don't go to work as they need to but as they like to.
    Doesn't matter if I open a chat, a ticket or here within the community. On one side they tackle your problem but on the other side they talk to you on the same level and not from top to down. At least this covers my experience.
    I had an experience with other bigger companies in which you first discuss with a 1st level supporter which has less IT knowledge than my dog, then you are forwarded to a 2nd level supporter which has the IT knowledge but doesn't know the backend of his own software to end up in 3rd level which has the backend knowledge but no idea about IT itself. Of course these levels are not talking with each other except when moving the ticket.
    I think this works different with Atera and that is a big pro!

    As a con I agree with what you said that some functionality is not complete or missing.
    Every start of the month I am watching the releasenotes page just to see what has been changed (just doing it now 😁 ).
    I am hoping for changes to the ticketing and knowledgebase area, other are waiting for SNMP changes but take it combined these are improvements and not really new features we are waiting for.

    Maybe just a suggestion from my side.
    I really like and enjoy this community but I have the feeling it is just used by a very few of your customer. One of the reasons might be that except some swag the benefit compared to the effort might be too low. After every big webinar you are doing I can see new faces in the community but in most cases these disappear again after a few comments.
    Then I see a comment from @nina about linux user (

    ) which unfortunately is not used by the people within this community.
    I am pretty sure there are people using it and I also feel the feedback is important for your further development.

    I am pretty sure that if you involve the community more into future development this could be a game changer.
    People like me would have a chance to comment and give the voice so this keeps me quiet in complaining 😜
    More of your customer would start using the community as this gives everyone the chance to bring in new ideas.
    If you keep your ideas more open you can also first get all ideas and then summarize it into a picture - maybe there is something you have not thought about before.

    I would trade my community points against an improvement if that counts 😁

    I know you are working agile why this is not always that easy BUT you are also working in space and therefore nothing should be impossible 😜

  • tanderson
    tanderson Member Posts: 204 ✭✭✭✭
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    @frank.pietersma Well said! If you can't speak your mind freely, then do you really have a good relationship? I am glad to see that Atera doesn't shun its community into posting only positive feedback. That is a much larger deal than people realize. Atera has grown a lot since I have used it and it has a lot of growing up to do still. My team has been very pleased with the product to date, and things seem to keep getting better. I do agree with the comments that it seems like, lately, it has been more superficial design updates, but the Atera team is in the midst of a major conflict at home, and I will give them some leeway for a while.

    I am excited about what is to come, and I hope that the Atera team will work more closely with design/feature requests with its most active community members. I think once you reach a level of points, you should be invited to a design team that actively works with the developers to help implement the most needed features. I would not be opposed to signing an NDA on new features to come as well. I think that if you have very dedicated community members, these are the ones you want to listen to the most. They use your product the most and contribute the most and can probably steer from a customer perspective the most important features. Even if it is a simple "Hey guys, we want to implement these 3 things next. What is most important to you?" @nina maybe you can make this happen?

    If not, I will only be slightly hurt 🤣haha, just kidding. But really, my point is, Atera, you have been a great partner, and I am excited to see where our relationship takes us. Even if you don't give me more sway in product development.

    Thanks for the post @frank.pietersma

  • kim
    kim Member Posts: 113 ✭✭✭
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    Can I say how much I love this feed? This is why I love this community and Atera. Its comments by real people, with honest opinions that want to improve this product. I too would not be opposed to the NDA if it means we can help improve the products.

  • frank.pietersma
    frank.pietersma Member Posts: 78 ✭✭✭
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    hahaha hey @kim don't overdo it 😂

  • kim
    kim Member Posts: 113 ✭✭✭
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    I think my sides started to cramp with the side to side clap.