🏆 Summer Contest: Win a Nintendo Switch, Meta Quest VR Glasses and more!

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nina
nina Administrator Posts: 428 admin
edited September 2023 in News and announcements

Hi Atera community -

Welcome! One of the main goals of our new community is crowdsourcing best practices and inspiration. And with that, we have our first contest. Things are about to get interesting!

The challenge: What are your best tips and tricks in the IT world or your “hacks” within Atera?

  • 1st Prize: Nintendo Switch or Meta Quest 2 VR Glasses with Active Pack 🎮
  • 2nd Prize: Audio-Technica Turntable 🎶
  • 3rd Prize: Ember Smart Mug ☕️

Let’s get creative… anything goes! Time to put your thinking caps on.

What you need to know:

  1. You must be a registered member of the new Atera community
  2. One entry per user
    1. Submit your idea below ⬇️
  3. The contest starts now and ends July 31st August 30th!
  4. There will be 3 winners (prizes are listed above)

*By submitting an entry, you agree to the official rules of the contest.

Good luck,

Nina & the Atera crew

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Comments

  • chad
    chad Member Posts: 2
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    I would love to have a checklist tenplate attachment for tickets. For example, Level 3 tech defines a set of tasks to be completed. The Level I technician can apply the appropriate checklist template for the ticket. As he completes the tasks, they get greyed out and the ticket is not allowed to be closed with any open tasks.

  • lg
    lg Member Posts: 7
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    A good monitoring and alerting system is key! Here's why:

    • Monitoring keeps an eye on your systems, catching issues before they become headaches.
    • Alerts notify you in real-time when something goes wrong, so you can fix it ASAP.
    • It enhances security by detecting potential threats and giving you a heads-up.
    • Monitoring helps you plan for the future and make smart resource decisions.
    • It also ensures compliance by keeping track of necessary documentation.

    In a nutshell, monitoring and alerting, keeps things running smoothly, users happy, and the bad guys out. It's a win-win!

    That's why atera is such an important

  • haris.marmarac
    haris.marmarac Member Posts: 3
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    I would like to have integration via WhatsApp, so we can add WhatsApp business number and so customer can open a ticket via WhatsApp. Also for customer that don't have agent installed, so we can install some free agent , not to buy SplashTop SOS.

    Other thing is block hours tracking by customers, so we can know how much we have time by customer and option to add one contract to lot of customers.

    Also good thing to is to integrate via Sentinel One.

  • daniel.orozco
    daniel.orozco Member Posts: 1
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    A task list/to-do list within the ticketing area of Atera would be wonderful. Taking it a step further and being able to run integrations or automations from the tasks would be awesome. Default task list generated from the AI solutions in the tickets would be a good start, but also give the ability to adjust them or create a custom task list.

    Example for common troubleshooting ticket:

    1. Restart Computer (can be done automatically if assigned)
    2. Run troubleshooting scripts you may have in Atera
    3. Do something
    4. Do something
    5. etc.

  • kris
    kris Member Posts: 3
    edited July 2023
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    Staying up to date with updates and patches is paramount for running and maintaining an IT infrastructure. Especially from a security perspective, it's of great importance to make sure all known leaks are sealed to keep those pesky hackers out of IT systems.

    That being said, Atera would greatly benefit from having a central updating system where we can assign a device to pull all updates from the internet and push them to the connected devices in the network. Especially in networks with low bandwidth or metered connections.

  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Posts: 0
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    @nina

    I think some people might be misunderstanding the competition (or I have?) people are posting their feature ideas, I think what is being looked for is "Best practices in the IT world or best practices or “hacks” within Atera".

  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Posts: 0 admin
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    Hey Nathan,
    We appreciate your feedback! We've changed the description of what we're looking for to (hopefully) make things more clear.
    Looking forward to your entry

  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Posts: 0
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    Here is my top Atera Hack,
    at the moment Atera lacks a proper mechanism for marking assets as retired, (the current exclude assets older than X days, is not quite the same thing).

    Even when we scrap a machine I would like to be able to keep it in Atera, so I can show the customer how we are doing at replacing their assets.

    So we work round this by creating a custom field called "Date retired" and then have created a dummy customer called "Retired assets" and then create a folder for each customer in there. Then we just move the asset to relevant folder in the "Retired Assets" customer and hey presto, your reports are no longer skewed by retired assets getting in the way and you can still look up a retired asset easily in Atera.

  • m.vincer
    m.vincer Member Posts: 13 ✭✭
    edited July 2023
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    Mini Hack: Recover unknown Windows admin password

    Windows device fallen off the domain, or has that user forgotten their local account password again? Is the Atera Agent still running? Connect to the device through command prompt or powershell via atera and run net user administrator [password] to reset the local administrator password (change [password] to be the password you want to use of course! If you use a different local admin account username you will also need to modify that in the example above.)

    Remember to change it to something complex!

    Atera Tip: Triage Tickets for the team

    Do you want to see and triage tickets prior to your techs picking them up from the queue? Ideally a manager will prioritise tickets before your techs start working on them. If you want to do this, simply add a custom field (admin > tickets > custom fields) with the following properties:

    • Target: Ticket
    • TicketType: CheckBox
    • Checkbox Title: Triaged (or whatever you want to call it)
    • Customer portal configurations: Hide field

    Next, set up your tech's Views - on the tickets page, click 'filters' and configure the following:

    • If you've got SLA's set up, sort the tickets by SLA Ascending (so the most important and urgent tickets float to the top of the queue)
    • Status: Open
    • Assigned Technicians: Unassigned

    (other fields, you may wish to customise, for example depending on customer etc)

    • Click "Custom Fields", then in the "Meet all of the following conditions" fields, select your new "Triaged" checkbox in the first, set the second dropdown to "Is", and the third to "Checked".

    Apply this filter, save the view as a Global (call it "unassigned tickets" or something obvious!) then tell your team to grab tickets from that global view.

    Once they assign themselves to a ticket, that ticket will vanish from that queue and not clutter it up. There will be no tickets in that queue which you (or the helpdesk manager) hasn't seen yet and triaged, either.

    As a manager, you just set up a similar View that has the custom field filter, but with the "Triaged" checkbox, "is", "Not checked"! You or the manager will now only see untriaged tickets to be processed here. As you process them, just remember to tick that checkbox!

  • rstauffer
    rstauffer Member Posts: 15 ✭✭✭
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    Not so much a "Hack" as a best- practice, but always make sure you back up everything twice :)

  • mouse
    mouse Member Posts: 1
    edited July 2023
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    Here is a cool trick for O365:

    One of Office 365 known issues is shared or delegated mailboxes with automapping suddenly vanishes from outlook.

    To resolve this issue, use one of the following methods in registry editor.
    Method 1: Use ExcludeLastKnownGoodUrl to prevent Outlook from using the last known good AutoDiscover URL
    Configure one of the following registry subkeys as follows:
    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office<x.0>\Outlook\Autodiscover
    DWORD: ExcludeLastKnownGoodUrl
    Value: 1

    Or method 2:
    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Office<x.0>\Outlook\Autodiscover
    DWORD: ExcludeLastKnownGoodUrl
    Value: 1

  • email
    email Member Posts: 51 ✭✭
    edited July 2023
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    The ULTIMATE Software Installation/Removal Alert system

    Issue: Atera’s software installation/removal threshold item is unusable as it sends all event ID 1033-11707/1034-11724 which are 90% unrelated to installs and removals.

    Solution: Create a custom threshold item attached to a PS script that has the following benefits:

    1. The solution has a script for both software installations and removals
    2. Email alerts are generated only when software is install or removed, no more false event IDs
    3. The emails are sent from a system context, and therefore will work without a user being logged in capturing all installs that generate these event IDs
    4. The script uses the SendinBlue API and sends the email directly from the computer using SSL and all that is required is a free SendInBlue account (all free) > create API – just adjust your domain SPF record
    5. Filter - The alerts are generated and captured via the Atera agent and recorded in the alerts section, and then emailed directly from the client, however, the script has a filter so you can avoid the products you don’t want email alerts from e.g. no alerts from *chrome*, *zoom*, *Microsoft .net*
    6. You can customize the from/to email and subject
    7. The email displays the last 10 or X install events to provide context and to capture software installed in rapid succession
    8. The email is formatted nicely and includes: Computer name, logged in user, date and time, event ID and product name - events that occurred on the day that the email is sent are underlined

    This system sends email alerts for software installations you want, and filters out junk events. I've been using it for a few months and it's captured a few noteworthy installations. If software is installed/removed and I don't need the email alert - I simply add it to the filter.

    If the community "likes" this idea, and maybe even gets it the win, I’ll post the scripts in the shared library.

    All the best, DP

  • lg
    lg Member Posts: 7
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    Tip: A good monitoring and alerting system is key.

    - Monitoring keeps an eye on your systems, catching issues before they become headaches.

    -Alerts notify you in real-time when something goes wrong, so you can fix it ASAP.

    - It enhances security by detecting potential threats and giving you a heads-up.

    - Monitoring helps you plan for the future and make smart resource decisions.

    - It also ensures compliance by keeping track of necessary documentation.

    In a nutshell, monitoring and alerting keeps things running smoothly, users happy, and the bad guys out. It's a win-win and probably the most important thing you should have.

    That's why atera can be such an essential tool! 😉

  • m.vincer
    m.vincer Member Posts: 13 ✭✭
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    Recover unknown Windows admin password

    Windows device fallen off the domain, or has that user forgotten their local account password again? Is the Atera Agent still running? Connect to the device through command prompt or powershell via atera and run net user administrator <password> to reset the local administrator password (change <password> to be the password you want to use of course! If you use a different local admin account username you will also need to modify that in the example above.)

    Remember to change it to something complex!

    Triage Tickets for the team

    Do you want to see and triage tickets prior to your techs picking them up from the queue? Ideally a manager will prioritise tickets before your techs start working on them. If you want to do this, simply add a custom field (admin > tickets > custom fields) with the following properties:

    • Target: Ticket
    • TicketType: CheckBox
    • Checkbox Title: Triaged (or whatever you want to call it)
    • Customer portal configurations: Hide field

    Next, set up your tech's Views - on the tickets page, click 'filters' and configure the following:

    • If you've got SLA's set up, sort the tickets by SLA Ascending (so the most important and urgent tickets float to the top)
    • Status: Open
    • Assigned Technicians: Unassigned

    (other fields, you may wish to customise, for example depending on customer etc)

    • Click "Custom Fields", then in the "Meet all of the following conditions" fields, select your new "Triaged" checkbox in the first, set the second dropdown to "Is", and the third to "Checked".

    Apply this filter, save the view as a Global (call it "unassigned tickets" or something obvious!) then tell your team to grab tickets from that global view.

    Once they assign themselves to a ticket, that ticket will vanish from that queue and not clutter it up. There will be no tickets in that queue which you (or the helpdesk manager) hasn't seen yet and triaged, either.

    As a manager, you just set up a similar View that has the custom field filter, but with the "Triaged" checkbox, "is", "Not checked"! You or the manager will now only see untriaged tickets to be processed here. As you process them, just remember to tick that checkbox!

  • tanderson
    tanderson Member Posts: 226 ✭✭✭✭
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    The number one best practice for a Managed Service Provider (MSP) is to "Understand and Meet Client Needs and Expectations." While there are several critical practices and principles that any successful MSP should follow, understanding and meeting client needs is paramount.

    Here's why:

    1. Client-Centric Approach: Clients are the lifeline of any MSP. The most successful providers understand that every client is unique, with different needs and challenges. By focusing on understanding these needs, MSPs can tailor their services to provide the best solutions.
    2. Customer Satisfaction: If an MSP can understand and meet their clients' needs, they will significantly enhance customer satisfaction. Happy clients are likely to continue using their services and recommend them to others, thus bringing in new business.
    3. Proactive Service: Understanding client needs means being proactive. Rather than just reacting to problems, an MSP should anticipate potential issues and solve them before they become a significant problem for the client. This is a fundamental shift from the traditional break-fix IT service model to a more comprehensive and proactive managed services model.
    4. Strategic Partnership: When an MSP truly understands a client's needs, they become more than just a vendor; they become a strategic partner. This partnership can lead to long-term contracts and business stability for the MSP.

    That said, other best practices are also crucial, including:

    • Adopting a proactive approach to IT management
    • Implementing robust cybersecurity measures
    • Regularly updating and patching systems
    • Using automated systems to streamline tasks
    • Offering clear and transparent billing
    • Continually improving through training and certifications
    • Building a competent and reliable team
    • Ensuring business continuity and disaster recovery

    Remember, all of these best practices ultimately tie back to the main one - understanding and meeting client needs. For instance, implementing robust cybersecurity measures is about understanding the importance clients place on data security and privacy. Similarly, ensuring business continuity is about recognizing that clients rely on your services for their daily operations.

  • jstewart
    jstewart Member Posts: 18 ✭✭
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    Scripts sometimes need a bit of oomph, but we are limited to "System" or "Current Users" for execution.

    Using "Invoke-Command" can elevate your script for have it executed as another user. Beware that saving the script in Atera saves the password in plain text, but can work in a remote PS session or you can always enable/disable service accounts when you need to.

    $username = 'DOMAIN\User'
    $password = 'TopSecretPassword'
    $securePassword = ConvertTo-SecureString $password -AsPlainText -Force
    $credential = New-Object System.Management.Automation.PSCredential ($username, $securePassword)

    Invoke-Command -ComputerName localhost -Credential $credential -ScriptBlock {

    #Your Script goes here

    }

    Here's hoping Atera can bake in this feature with protected passwords, but in the meantime this works like a charm.

  • mb
    mb Member Posts: 4
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    When Windows is not working properly:

    sfc /scannow
    DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-image /Restorehealth

    For Outlook related Problems scanpst.exe is often the solution.

    kind regards Marco

  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Posts: 0 admin
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    📣 Hi everyone! We are delighted to share that the submission due date has been extended to August 30th. Carry on sharing advice and top techniques. 👌

  • mbudke
    mbudke Member Posts: 94 ✭✭✭
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    Hey all,

    please find my best-practice attached for a product called "uniFLOW Server" monitored by Atera.

    While creating the best-practice-document I noted a few things:

    • should we have a "Threshold" section within the forum, so we can share configurations. I believe there are other products which could end up in a good configuration
    • Atera should make it possible at some point in time to share/ exchange threshold configurations like scripts. This will save us all a lot of time :) (maybe including an "Update Button")
    • as you can see in my attached file the default Atera threshold are a "nice 2 have" but the important checks are done via scripts. Atera could use the such Threshold examples to update their threshold management (check if registry exists, check if registry value is set, check size of a specific file (incl. variable), check if file exists, check if there is a specific text in a file, check amount of files in a folder (maybe with filenamepattern like ends on .dat), check memory usage of specific process, check CPU usage of specific process, check how long a specific process is running to cover if temporary processes are stuck, etc..) I believe there can be many more ideas depending on thresholds :)
    • Atera should allow to run scripts with arguments so you could use one single script for all checks and do not require to create many scripts

    I am not the best scripter but as long as it works, it works 😁

    Matthias

  • hleavens
    hleavens Member Posts: 9
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    I am so jealous! How do You start this? I feel like I would get lost in the directions. IE; first step log into Atera, wait- you don't know what your password is? Oh right, ok, lets start with where to get that. Oh right you don't have an email yet. OK, step 1; email- wait, did I forget… How do you keep on track?! (My company does not have this).

  • m.vincer
    m.vincer Member Posts: 13 ✭✭
    edited August 2023
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    Atera: Please don't include this comment as a contribution to this competition, I'm just replying to this query to try and help out an industry colleague! :)

    It's easy but time consuming! Start at the beginning - say you're an MSP writing for your client facing tech support team: get each client a page. Then list out their core infrastructure you deal with (network info, server list, switch list, router, voip, etc) and key contacts. Then drill down a bit more - what role does each server perform? What software facilitates that role? How is that software set up? How do you <do thing> (like, create an account or grant access, this error message is common - here's how you fix it, etc) - at each step you're getting deeper into the weeds. Once you have a general overview sorted, you can then stop updating the documentation as a priority and instead make "update documentation" part of the regular ticket closure process - get notified of a problem, verify problem, identify fix, apply fix, inform customer, update documentation, resolve ticket.

    You'll find a lot of documentation can be shared across orgs and products. The trick is organising it in a sensible way… if you ever figure out how to do that let the rest of us know :D

    If you're not an MSP it's the same process, you just skip the first "build client list" bit.

  • hleavens
    hleavens Member Posts: 9
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    Thank you, this is actually really helpful! I understand the organization part! it always impresses me when people can find a way to do that!!!

  • kim
    kim Member Posts: 113 ✭✭✭
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    These are all such great ideas! I've worked for education, corporate, and start up IT service desks and one thing that all of them have in common is similar to the documentation idea. Having details in submitting tickets, or just letting your internal team know what solutions were done to remedy issues are literary gold. Especially in our industry where some solutions end up being solutions for other unrelated issues, having screenshots or work flows in the documentation is very helpful. Not only does it help your current team, but it also helps future teams as well. I am a visual learner so colors, screenshots, workflows, and diagrams helps me understand what is supposed to be going on.

    How many times do we as IT pros search through forums or "Google" with error codes or software symptom? Then we end up on a forum that kind of helps, but can seem like an infinite rabbit hole of replies? If we could have more people understand good tagging in documentation helps search engines find the answer quicker, that would be such a game changer.

    I wonder if chatGPT or AI can be retroactive and go tag some of those old but popular forums.🧐

  • lg
    lg Member Posts: 7
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    A good monitoring and alerting system is key. Heres why:

    - Monitoring keeps an eye on your systems, catching issues before they become headaches.

    -Alerts notify you in real-time when something goes wrong, so you can fix it ASAP.

    - It enhances security by detecting potential threats and giving you a heads-up.

    - Monitoring helps you plan for the future and make smart resource decisions.

    - It also ensures compliance by keeping track of necessary documentation.

    In a nutshell, monitoring and alerting are your IT superheroes, keeping things running smoothly, users happy, and the bad guys out. It's a win-win!

    Thats why atera is such an important tool!

  • email
    email Member Posts: 51 ✭✭
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    @lg when the mod finally approves your post - hahah (all 5 times you tried to pressed "post comment" and got rejected)

    @nina Are you able to enabled our ability to delete a post?

  • lg
    lg Member Posts: 7
    edited August 2023
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    yeah, i contacted support over a month ago and they told me it got flagged and i should try again :-D

  • nina
    nina Administrator Posts: 428 admin
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    Hi @DP - The issue has been fixed re: discussions or comments not posting. In addition, we will enable users to delete comments moving forward.

  • nina
    nina Administrator Posts: 428 admin
    edited September 2023
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    Congrats to each and every one of you who participated in our first-ever contest! Your creativity and love for problem solving have truly made the 'Summer Contest' a resounding success. Your contributions have undoubtedly enriched our community and have set a high standard for future contests. Community for the win!

    It is my pleasure to announce the three outstanding winners of our first contest:

    🥇1st Place: @Protechtor
    Prize: Nintendo Switch or Meta Quest 2 VR Glasses with Active Pack 🎮

    🥈2nd Place: @nathan
    Prize: Audio-Technica Turntable 🎶

    🥉3rd Place: @DP
    Prize: Ember Smart Mug ☕️

    🏆 And let's congratulate @terry.cook for winning our Community raffle… $250 and Atera swag!!!

  • [Deleted User]
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    @dp Congratulations on the Win! I look forward to seeing your published scripts for this cool idea.