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We LOVE ROBIN!
Robin is awesome. We have the Technology Marketing Toolkit and the Managed Services Blueprint and recently attended her Boot Camp in Nashville. We have also been a member of her Apprentice Club for about 2 years.
I have nothing but praise for Robin and her marketing. She gives you everything you need to create your own marketing machine. She will help you make a lot of money if you are willing to invest your time and follow her direction.
If you are an IT company with some MSP then I recommend the Toolkit.
If you are a 100% MSP or are wanting to heavily market Managed Services then get the Blueprint.
Bottom line is it's almost impossible to go wrong with her materials.
Good for new MSPs
We used GFI Max for about 6 months before we outgrew it. This is a great product for smaller networks and new MSPs.
GFI Max was our first RMM tool. We really liked the simple, easy to use web-based dashboard and the reporting. We found the client installation to be somewhat cumbersome as you had to configure the client every time you installed. We also had issues with having to hunt for the MIBs needed to monitor most of our SNMP based devices.
We give GFI Max kudos for 3rd party patching support, Autotask integration, and remote control, but have advanced beyond what it can give us. The "Building Blocks" approach to starting small is very cool and the pricing structure is hard to beat, making it more of an entry-level RMM.
We are currently using a more full-featured RMM that does everything we need, although with an on-premise server. We are really sad that we had to move on as we really liked the guys from GFI; they really are awesome. We spent a year continuing to monitor MAX hoping that we could go back. When we decided to leave our last tool we looked at MAX again and decided it still wasn't quite what we needed.
Bottom line is GFI Max is a great starter RMM. You can sign up for free, use it cheaply, and leave for free at any time. If you are a new MSP and really have no idea what you need or how to use it then this could be the RMM tool for you - at least for a while.
Plug and Play for new MSPs
We used Zenith for over a year before moving on. As another reviewer mentioned Zenith is great for the new MSP to get your feet wet, but you probably want to move on once you get to the advanced level.
Quick and easy setup
Minimal knowledge required to setup
Quick integration with Autotask
Back end NOC to handle things your team lacks experience in
Pay as you go: They begin billing or stop billing same day.
A great way to get alerted at 3 am to a problem.
NOC is there to fix things for you after hours.
Ability to push work like service pack installs to them
Confusing and difficult to tweak the monitoring settings
Manuals are sometimes hard to understand
Product support is horrible and from overseas
SNMP monitoring is useless
Only monitors BackupExec backups
Scripting is a real pain,requires a heavy investment in time
Patch management seemed to be spotty
NOC often would kick back simple tickets back to us for completion
NOC often would take hours or days to get to a problem ticket - we ended up doing the work ourselves to avoid breach of SLA.
Hard to understand NOC technicians
Overall, Zenith is a good place to start as a first RMM tool, especially if you do not have SQL or Exchange skills in-house. The product worked very well for basic alerting and monitoring and the included LogMeIn Pro made it even more affordable. Unless you have no plans on getting into scripting or really need their back end NOC support, I would suggest just starting with a full featured RMM like LPI that you can grow into.
Worth a Million Dollars!
Most of my reviews are very long to explain all the details. If I were to write about all of the benefits of our ASCII membership I would be writing all week.
ASCII membership has made us a tremendous amount of money while saving a huge amount of time, money and effort. ASCII membership has saved us clients and allowed us to increase our billable rates and provide better service.
SOME of the ASCII benefits we use:
1) Huge savings on our E&O and Liability insurance
2) Huge savings on products like PSA, BDR, and RMM tools
3) Increased discounts with distributors like D&H, Digitek, and Printer Essentials
4) Social Media service to send info to Twitter, FaceBook, and LinkedIn
5) E-mail newsgroup of peers to discuss products and provide assistance
6) Peer matching service to find us techs outside our coverage area
7) Free Annual Success summits to meet peers, learn about things to help us, and meet vendors
Our ASCII membership pays for itself almost every day. I encourage you to go to the nearest Success Summit this year and find out for yourself what The ASCII Group is all about.
We have been to two of the MSPU Boot Camps and are a Premium Partner. We find value from our membership and the training.
The training is designed for Managed Service Providers with upwards of $4 million a year in revenue that support clients over 20 seats. We are not in that class yet so some of the training on sales doesn't quite apply.
We have also found that the boot camps are very vendor heavy in the training areas - I understand that the vendors keep the event free so I cannot complain too much, but we do get a lot of vendor calls after the event we could do without.
For a new partner, I would suggest the $79/month to join one of the 4 program areas and then seeing if MSPU is worth it to you. They also stream their boot camps live and free so you can check them out before spending money on gas and a hotel. We have not purchased any of their extras like web site or marketing packages so I cannot comment on them.
Overall, the web based training, the web site content, the peer groups, and the boot camps have been worth it. For a brand new MSP just starting out I would suggest looking at Robin Robins and Gary Pica (TruMethods) as complements and not rely 100% on MSPU to make your first million.
Exchange Defender does what it says, cheaply.
For $2 a user you get inbound and outbound spam and virus protection and web filtering, web file sharing, LiveArchive, encryption, archiving & compliance, and reporting. LiveArchive is a Microsoft Exchange 2010 Outlook Web Access login that you can use anytime; if your server is down your clients can still send and receive e-mail like nothing had happened!
We have been Exchange Defender partners for over a year now and are happy. We love the fact that they only sell to the channel - your client cannot buy direct. There is also easy branding that doesn't quite hide the ExchangeDefender brand in some places Autotask integration makes billing easy.
Support could be better and has improved. They are out of the US and do resolve the problem, but we wish they could do it a little faster.
Setup is pretty easy. You can type it all in by hand or run their VB script on a DC and upload the CSV file that is created.
There is also an Outlook plugin and a Windows tray application that will alert users when something hits their quarantine.
Interface: We like the fact that we use 1 console to control all of our clients and we can provision a new client instantly without waiting on someone else. The interface is pretty simple, however the design is confusing in a couple of places and can make you hunt for some options.
Overall a good product that does a pretty good job of filtering mail with a lot of features, at the right price.
Happy to be a part of CompTIA
We are very happy to be a part of CompTIA. We have gotten way more than our $250 a year from membership. The webinars, the events, the free employee handbook - just some of the plusses.
The discounts on test vouchers has helped us get our techs certified and being a CompTIA A+ Repair Center is great advertising.
CompTIA is truly an organization that cares about the IT Channel and does everything they can to promote it. I wish they were promoting the SMB reseller a bit more.
CompTIA now does $20 a month memberships that cover your entire company so there is no reason why not to join.
LPI 2011 Makes Me Money!
Level Platforms Managed Workplace 2011 is just awesome. I agree with Todd and STF's comments below. I have the advantage of using the current product in production for 3 months now and I can tell you it has gotten better.
We have been around 7 years and and an MSP for two. In that time we burned through HoundDog, GFI Max, and Zenith for RMM Tools. When we found LPI 2010 we thought things were good.
Then they came out with Managed Workplace 2011. 2011 is everything we need in an RMM tool. It does all the stuff you'd require in an RMM: pull software inventory, pull hardware inventory, Windows event log alerting, excellent SNMP alerting, great reporting, and PSA integration.
The 2011 version of LPI Managed Workplace combines the agent-less model of network scanning with an agent to give you the best of both worlds. You can now choose how you want to monitor. We prefer to use the classic agent-less scanning for the network and agents on portable computers and non-domain workstations. All of this information comes back to us and an Autotask ticket is created as needed.
We love the pricing and ease of setup. Rather than buy $20k worth of agents and hope we can use them LPI charges us by site. I can monitor a 15 device site for $29 and larger sites for a few bucks more. When a new device is added it costs me nothing - I just drop a pre-configured Policy Module onto the device and I am done. In less than 1 minute I can be monitoring and alerting on a Small Business Server! My bill only goes up only when I add a new site. They allow you to install for free for a couple months on a prospect to try and get the business. They also give you a free license to monitor your own equipment. Policy Modules for every OS and most hardware are included in the box - if one is missing you can easily write your own or LPI will make it for you.
I did ding them a little bit on rating the ease of setup as Zenith and GFI Max being SAAS are easier in initial setup. We use the on-premise server version of LPI, but LPI does offer a hosted version. We found with Zenith, though, that after setup it was cumbersome and time consuming to much more than basic alerting and monitoring. LPI is much, much easier to configure and customize.
Updates are awesome. Updating your server is as simple as running the updated software and agents are updated via click on your Service Center console.
Support is stellar. They have always been very helpful, knowledgeable, and wonderful to deal with. Support is North American based and is available via e-mail or telephone. There is also a Partner forum. When I call in my call has always been answered by a support person within 60 seconds. The President hands out his cell number and says to call if you ever have an issue with his people - how can you beat that?
Interface: The interface is beautiful and very functional.
Scripting: much improved. It is very easy to write scripts or use one of the 100s in the box.
You can always check the status of scheduled scripts to make sure they ran.
Patch Management: It just works. We only have to approve patches once to patch all clients. With 2011 3rd party patching is included in the box.
Reporting: Reporting is the best I have ever seen. The reports are beautiful and cover everything from executive health reports, to hardware inventory, server status, and software inventories. Every Monday morning at 5 am my clients get an e-mail with their Weekly Executive Health report in PDF format. Monthly they get the server reports and quarterly their asset reports - set it and forget it. If you need more reports you can write them yourself or have LPI do it.
Network Audit Reports
Not only is LPI trying to help you with your existing clients they want to help you get more. Their Partner Development Managers are constantly trying to help you with your business. One thing they released recently are the Network Audit Reports. Patterned after Robin Robins 27 point Problem Prevention Network Audit (and announced at her 2011 Boot Camp) the Network Audit Reports allow you to drop a device on-site and get a complete network audit done in minutes! The reports are very nice and branded with your logo. They have saved us a lot of time and money.
Overall, we are very pleased with LPI Managed Workplace 2011.
Saved our Business
Our 3 person MSP switched from spreadsheets, sticky notes, and e-mails to Autotask two years ago. Prior to the switch we were dropping client requests, double and triple entering information, not communicating effectively, and flat out leaving money on the table.
The other reviewers have covered much of what I was going to say. Suffice it to say that we were going down in flames and needed help, badly. After evaluating TigerPaw, ConnectWise, CommitCRM, and Autotask, we chose Autotask Pro.
We went Pro right away even though Go! was for three users as we saw the advantages of the extra users. Two months later we added our 4th employee and were even happier to have Pro.
My admin has told me time and time again she will leave if we ever get rid of Autotask. She loves the ability to easily put tickets in, check ticket history, and quickly invoice clients and transfer to QuickBooks.
My techs like it because of how easy they can enter tickets, track time, look up resolutions in the Knowledge Base, and keep their service calls synced with their Exchange e-mail. The ability to use any web browser or mobile phone to work tickets is also a hit.
I love it because Autotask is cheap and makes us money. I can quote, manage a project, and see everything that's going on in my business from one program. The reports are critical to understanding where we are compared to where we need to be. I also like the fact that AT runs fine on very slow connections; my competitors have to pay for employee Internet upgrades so they can work for home - not me!
Since we have implemented Autotask our client communication has gotten much better, ticket resolution is faster and more accurate, and client satisfaction is way up. The seamless and beautiful integration with our Level Platforms RMM has been an important part of this increased efficiency. We actually converted two break/fix clients to Managed Services Clients when we rolled out the ticketing as they believed we were now "big time IT players."
As one reviewer said the sales part could be better. That is the only negative I can say about Autotask Pro. The seamless integration with QuoteWerks has resolved any issues we had there.
In short: Autotask Pro is awesome!!!! Every quarter there are new features rolled out, the service has never one down, and I don't have a server to patch, backup, support, and upgrade. Autotask is one bill that no one at VanGuard quibbles about.
I sleep at night because Intronis Just Works
I love Intronis. We have been a partner since 2009 and have a full 1 TB backed up.
For 7 years we used a product that we ran in house on our own servers that cost us thousands per year in maintenance. The last few versions of the product caused more and more problems and became very unreliable.
When I got sick of it I researched and tested many products and decided on Intronis.
Intronis is not the cheapest and not the most expensive.
I think it's the simplest and best channel-friendly SMB solution out there. Setup is a breeze and only takes a few minutes. Your client can even download your branded installer and manual and set it up themselves.
There were three things I was looking for when I was testing products:
1) It had to work without a lot of human intervention. Intronis is nearly bulletproof. The product backups files as you would expect plus Exchange and SQL databases. The scheduling is great, the automated reports to the client and myself are great, and there is very rarely anything we need to do. We have done many restores of real client data and never had a problem. Ever. Not even with Exchange or SQL. I can guarantee 100% data recovery and that's a wonderful thing. There is no manual steps needed to monitor as Level Platforms has a policy module for Intronis so a ticket is automatically created to check up on any warning or errors.
The updates are also automatic. I no longer have to remote for free into computers that didn't take the upgrade. Seamless and automatic allow me to keep my costs down and provide great service.
2) The support had to be stellar and had to be North American. Using the previous N****** product we had consistently bad tech support experiences. The Intronis support experience via e-mail, chat, or telephone has been exceptional. I just can't say enough about how they quickly can fix anything. The only negative thing I could say is that their support isn't 24x7x365. Fortunately, the one time I did have a question at 3 am on a Sunday one of their support techs actually did reply to my e-mail and resolved the problem.
3) It had to be brandable - easily. Our last product forced us to hire a graphic designer and web designer to be branded. Intronis takes care of that for you. Give them your logo and they brand the software, the manual, a website, and marketing materials for you.
We weren't specifically targeting cost issues, but we were definitely on a budget. We found the products meeting our three requirements either were very expensive, had high partner buy in cost, or had confusing price tiers. Intronis was the easiest to justify cost-wise.
The one bad thing I will say about Intronis is every once in a while the program seems to get kludged up if you have missed some backups because a really long one was running. Scheduling backups with proper windows largely resolves this and setting you RMM tool to restart the service takes care of the rest. Overall, a lot less tickets than BackupExec.
Overall, we are very happy with Intronis and plan to continue using it for those clients where a BDR doesn't make sense. With the new web portal we can now manage, backup, and restore clients without a remote session. We can also configure backups using tape style rotations like weekly, monthly, yearly and set custom retention so I gave them an A for customization.
As a previous reviewer said - Intronis is a no-brainer.
Finally infrastructure monitoring made easy!
The other review is primarily from an MSP perspective, which understandable since this is an MSP site. However, here at Lucid Solutions Group (www.lucidsolutionsgroup.com) we focus more on the infrastructure monitoring aspect of the product more than managed services per se. That is to say we offer the solution to larger enterprises as THEIR infrastructure monitoring solution as opposed to the more costly and complicated in house solutions from vendors such as MS, IBM and HP. From that perspective set up is a breeze. Simply install a software service, not a suite, on any internal server. This can also be a virtual server. Then from the web console discover devices by IP address (Windows, firewalls, switches, storage devices, even AIX!, etc.). Within minutes the device is discovered and pre-configured thresholds, filters and alerts are applied. Period. The best part? No agents! This allows for roll-out to occur over a period of hours instead of weeks or months. We recently implemented the solution in a large healthcare customer who already had SCOM installed in house. But SCOM required an already over worked IT team to take yet another huge reponsibility which they were not trained for. So they basically stop using it. In comes RIM. Within a few hours they were receiving alerts and automated reports about the environment. The real power is the fact that it is cloud based with the heavy infrastructure cost and back end complexity left to tell. Allowing IT departments to focus on the core business instead of more complicated technology.
The Biggest Heart In The Channel
I am so glad Coach Stu stopped me at SMB Nation a few years ago. Since that time we have become great friends and trusted advisors to each other. Coach Stu knows what it takes to make your MSP a success. You just need to stop and listen to him. He has it going on and knows what you need to do.
It starts with you and your own personal commitment to success. You get out of it what you put into it.
I have seen clients of mine flourish under Coach Stu.
You need him in your corner.
A must have product for small business owners
If you are running a business and don't have an MBA, this is the best way to see what is actually happening in your company. This is a great resource for a routine monthly management process.
Company growth and Product improvements
We've been a Labtech client for over a year, and their software is the core of our MSP business. Their rate of growth is phenomenal. While we have had support issues in the past, they've taken steps to improve what was a well-known weakness, and are well on their way to making it a strength. The leadership and continued development of the product, their willingness to listen to their userbase, and their commitment to their product is second-to-none. I've used Kasaya, Zenith, Commitwise, Autotask, and about 100 other glued-together solutions, and find Labtech to be both comprehensive and customizable. With access to the underlying data, there's no barrier to integration, and their partnership with and suppoort of other products (Various ativirii products, Doyenz, Commitwise, etc.) demonstrate the integration potential perfectly. Combine this with one of the lower barriers to entry in this marketspace, and by my criteria you come out with a winner On the downside, the user interface needs some design love, and the upgrade process isn't all it could be. I have no doubt that both of these are being addressed as resources permit. All-in-all, I'd give labtech a solid 8 out of 10.
Not good for real MSPs
This product as an MSP tool is just plain bad. It only monitors Microsoft programs. There is no dashboard to get an overview of all of your clients.
This was designed for a dedicated IT individual. I just sat there and sook my hed while I was using it.
It is too expensive and does not allow a true MSP to charge their rate. The Customer pays Microsoft and then has to pay the MSP. It's just not a good model.
Heaven forbid you ever uninstall it, there are at least 4 programs to remove.
Has potential, but, like all of Microsoft's offerings, is not very MSP friendly.
LPI 2011 Rocks!
I am a LPI user since 2007 and the program has come a long way over the past several years. It has always been great at tracking and reporting information and it is very customizable, enabling you to build alerts for just about anything. The support has always been stellar too. I am very excited about the new functionality in LPI 2011, in my mind; it really boosts the products value and capability to a whole new level. I have been playing with 2011 as it has been in development and there are some major new features that really will save time and can eliminate your dependency on other tools. Let me give you some for-examples:
1) Remote control in less than three clicks: The new LPI interface enables you to remote into a desktop via a pop out menu from the central devices screen in just a few clicks. This is super easy to use and really is a nice enhancement to the existing remote control functionality of lpi.
2) Flexibility between Agent or Agent less: One of LPI's main selling points for years has been the fact that you did not need an agent installed on all devices in order to collect information or interact with the machine. This was wonderful provided that everything was connected and inside a traditional network, but with the increased dependence on remote users and laptops, the option to have an agent has become increasingly effective. This is now available with LPI 2011, and the agent install is simple, quick and not recourse intensive. The option to use an agent less onsite manager, or an agent based Device Manager is very powerful and really completes the solution.
3) Detailed device information: In if we had a customer who wanted to order a ram upgrade, we could use LPI to rapidly remote into the machine and pull information, but now with LPI 2011, you can just bring up the device view and right on the screen is very rich information about system components. This will also be a huge time saver!
Over all, I am very impressed with LPI 2011!
Managed Workplace 2011 Rocks
Level Platforms is taking out all the stops in 2011. Competition from other RMM providers has really pushed LPI to take their product to another level. The hybrid model of Agent vs Agentless will give us the ultimate flexibility in our offering for 2011. Being able to harness the new automation framework has our gears really turning also. There are well over 100+ Scripts included right off the bat. I see us starting to migrate away group policy and moving towards policy management via the MW framework.
We manage about 150 servers and 600 workstations so we rely on LPI to be the eyes and ears into our customers networks. I have never been more confident that we have made the best choice possible for our RMM solution and look forward to everything that will come in 2011. We have insight into the roadmap for 2011 and believe me when I tell you that LPI will be the best in class RMM tool come 2012.
Great product, wonderful support
We decided to bring our spam filtering inhouse and avoid expensive monthly fees by hosting it with a 3rd party. After months of evaluating products, we decided to go with CanIT. We've been using it for going on 2 years now and have never had a glitch, false positives are at a bare minimum, and support has been wonderful if we have needed assistance. I highly recommend the product and the company.
Amazing Product and Amazing Service
Been using CAN-IT for over two years now for hosting various clients. The team at Roaring Penguin has done great job with this software. Highly configurable and often if it doesn't do exactly what you need out of the box the team at Roaring Penguin can make it do it. We needed a custom solution to login to a legacy mail service and they had no trouble writing the routine to allow each domain on the appliance validate credentials against this legacy box.
In terms of SPAM having used Barracuda for years, I have to say that CAN-IT has far better spam control. One of our clients is staffing agency so had lots of spam with words like work, resume coming in. Now clearly we can't block these words, after a little bit of tweaking in the first month we were able to eliminate around 99.99% of spam with less than one or two false positives per quarter. After two years most of our users don't even realize it exists, it's that good.
For most people getting 95% of spam removal out of the box willl be sufficient, but if you really want to get rid of the next 5% you can with this product.
This product is 5 STARS. We needed to move from a hosted product to an in-house solution alomost two years ago and afterlooking at many solutions we decided to take the CANIT plunge. The experience has been terrific and we use this for both managed service clients as well as for a hosted Exchange environment.
The flexibility and scalability are both great and this runs in a virtual environement with no issues.
The Vendor also makes referrals based upon your location which has also been a plus for us.
Service Provider Business Model
We have been using Can-IT for over a year now and it is one of our easist products. It has great funtionality and takes very little maintenance.
We uhave it running in a HA/load blancing cluster mode and we have not had any major issues whatsoever. When we do have small hiccups the support team at RP are great and very efficient.
The end-user interface is highly brandable and very intuitive for end-users and they love it.
I would not hesitate to recommend this product for anyone looking to cut out their spam.
The Utility Company
Feature Packed, Time Saving, Reliable Package!
We use CentraStage here at Somerset LA for support to Schools based around the County. I've been using it for almost 2 years now and found it to be an excellent tool that assists me in my day to day work.
The whole system relies on a small "CentraStage Agent" being installed on any device you need to support. There is the ability to automatically deploy the agent to any workstation connected to a Domain Controller using the Deployment feature. This feature works flawlessly, but there is also the ability to e-mail a direct link to anyone that allows them to download and install the agent themselves. Once running, the device will automatically populate within CentraStage.
Our primary use is for remote support via RDP/VNC. The ability to connect remotely to any device is tied in perfectly with the CentraStage Agent that sits in the system tray. Innate a VNC/RDP connection from the web interface and within 15 seconds, the Agent has loaded and I'm connected and ready to go. Features include an overview of the device, remote chat and a built in FTP client. You can also get instant access (without having to log onto a device) to the Task Manager, Windows Services & Command Prompt.
We also use CentraStage to perform centrally managed tasks such as upgrades, SQL backups, file & software deployment, scheduled data extraction etc. We used to rely on Scheduled Tasks set up on each server. These proved timely to manage due to the sheer number of devices we supported. Now every task is run centrally using CentraStage. This gives us a real edge in time saving and greatly reducing man hours. CentraStage gives a real time display of running jobs and once completed, provides you with a full detailed list of job results. It also contains customisable filters to allow you to look specifically at devices that have completed the job, failed the job etc.
There are bags more features and I would recommend to anyone that they take the free trial to really experience it for themselves! I'm sure you won't be disappointed.
We have used the product for over 2 years now. Every time they come out with an update and we install it, we have nothing but errors. In some cases the update broke the server. Last update 2 weeks ago was installed and we Re still waiting for resolution to all the errors it created. Support has been nonexistent
A Service Providers Best Friend
At Connectivity IT (http://www.connectivityit.com.au) we have been using Naverisk for about 3 months now.
Naverisk's ease of device attachment hooked us. It takes seconds, not even minutes to deploy an agent to a machine - and managing huge virtual environments, seconds count. The online community has great user support, including group policy configurations to enable easy large scale connecting of client PCs.
The web page management interface is fantastic, super easy to use. We consolodated our help desk, our monitoring, our remote support and our application patch management for about 30 clients in about 3 months. The IT admins we support love the console and their improved capacity to support users.
The package is clearly evolving with the times, critical in todays market, which means our support tools will remain highly effective into the future. This was not a project I wanted to undertake twice and our team are pleased we made the right decision the first time.
We opperate the on-site version and delpoyment was easy. My team has excellent SQL and IIS skill sets and the deployment guide was clear and easy to follow, the proccess took about 2 hours including VM and OS deployment.
Coach Stu rocks
During my time of working with Stu, our sales have increased over 100%, and profits have grown dramatically, as well. He is always professional, knowledgeable, and conducts himself with integrity. His guidance has helped me immeasurably, and he always makes himself available for those emergency situations that arise in business. Even as our business has undergone major changes, and we have taken new risks, I have always found Coach Stu there to help provide sound advice and work hard to push us towards success.
If anyone is balking at enlisting Stu as their business advisor, I would highly recommend that they consider all of the partners who can point to massive increases in sales in their business. Stu knows his stuff, and every small business owner of an IT firm owes it to themselves to enlist his services and attend his training events.
Perfect for monitoring my Small Business Customers
I've been a GFI user since early 2008, and couldn't be happier with the product.
The low price and no minimum-node restrictions make it the only affordable option I've been able to find that allows me to scale up as my client base grows. Because the entry point is so affordable, I'm able to offer my new clients a free trial of my monitoring service, which helps me to get my foot in the door and close more deals.
Having the live dashboard available from anywhere lets me demo the product for prospective clients in sales meetings and it never fails to impress. The dashboard displays all the critical items that are important to the small business customers I'm presenting to, such as backup status, virus updates, hack attempts, etc. in a very easy to identify "Green Check" or "Red X" display. The instant alerts are also very easy to show customers from my BlackBerry, and the dashboard-based Inventories also make for an impressive demonstration of services I know my customers want.
Because the dashboard is branded with my own company's identity, it greatly increases the professional image I want to project.
The low entry price also makes it easy to offer new clients a limited set of managed services if they seem reluctant to go for a full-fledged support package. For instance, I can say, "How 'bout I only monitor the backups and virus updates for starters, just to make sure these very critical components don't fail?" Since GFI lets me pay for only what I use, I can offer a limited monitoring service at a rediculously low price, still cover my GFI costs, lock my new customer into a recurring service with me and lock me in as their go-to IT Provider.
All-in-all, GFI Max is a very easy product to demonstrate and has helped tremendously in increasing new sales volume for me.
Once the product is installed for a paying customer, I have no complaints about functionality or performance issues. The dashboard is super-easy to install and use, the instant alerts work flawlessly and the weekly reports are excellent for keeping my customers informed that I'm on top of keeping their network performing optimally.
Excellent product at an excellent price. Couldn't give it a higher recommendation.
The coolest technology in 2010
Well, okay, maybe the Network Performance Monitoring and Management we're delivering with the help from our associates at Apparent Networks is not the coolest technology of 2010, but it certainly is the MOST USEFUL. With these tools, we can solve real-world problems experienced by most businesses today. We can detect bottlenecks and slow-downs in a network so faulty equipment can be replaced. We can determine whether ISP and telcom providers are delivering the contracted level of bandwidth (and the quality of that bandwidth). We can determine--in advance--whether a client has enough bandwidth to support new services (e.g., moving to a hosted ERP platform, or installing a VoIP or teleconferencing systems). And we keeping finding new applications where we can make a bottom-line business impact...
The Fantastic Voyage to Healthy Networks
Until a year ago, I was providing what I liked to call 'Network Assessments' for customers. Since using PathView Cloud I realize I was really doing traffic assessments. This much mail, that much web, from here, to there. That definitely has its place but just knowing what's running over the network doesn't begin to describe what a network's capabilities actually are or should be. If the network is not performing as intended your business productivity and profitability is already compromised, hitting every user, every application and every customer.
From a birds-eye view SNMP tools can indicate the condition of individual network devices but much more critical is what's happening from a packet's eye view. Just like in the 60's film 'Fantastic Voyage' the only way to get to the truth was to get into the bloodstream. PathView travels the veins and arteries of your network where everything else just stands on the outside taking the pulse from a single point.
I've lost track of the number of problems, many of them long standing for months - even years, that PathView identified within the first hour of deployment.
And things just keep getting better. Meaningful and useful new features are released regularly. PathView travels light, exercising the network using a truly unique technology that's almost invisible on the network. AppView sends real application traffic over the network to see how the network handles it and the characteristics of the reduced network resources left for other applications. PacketView captures packet traces at local or remote locations and securely brings them back for detailed analysis.
PathView Cloud shows how well your network is performing by silently exercising it and describing what to do if there's a problem. Take a look at the live interactive demo site at http://trypathview.com or for real in your own network with a 5-minute deployment. There is quite simply nothing else like it and everyone can afford it.
For the IT Guy, at-a-glance network awarenes
I've been a user of Pathview for over a year with heavy emphasis on assessing network voice readiness for customers - and potential customers - as they prepare to take the VoIP plunge. Prior to Pathview, we used "Pingplotter" which is basically a network management "Lite" app and while it was, well ... okay, it just wasn't enough. I had also tried Solar Wind and What's up Gold - all nice in their own way but unless you are sitting at your desk 24/7 and have ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do but stare at the screen all day, they were simply TMI.
One of our biggest challenges in the VoIP world is dealing with ISP's and their uncanny ability NOT to acknowledge a possible problem with their network (see my article on this at http://www.ronek.com/blog/2010/09/02/remember-3-ds-dealing-isps/ ). We needed a quick and definitive way to point to a time and IP address and say "Ah ha!" whenever a problem arose.
When our customers complained about choppy voice quality at a remote user's site (i.e. their home) - and we knew it was because they purchased the cheapest Internet DSL connection possible - it was hard to simply say "It's your crummy, cheap, bottom feeding DSL connection that you are paying $14.95/mo for along with that used Netgear you got on Craig's List for $6 plus shipping. " even though it was true. Their response usually was "The phone/cable company says it's not their fault and I can surf the Internet most of the time without a problem." Now when they complain and we have Pathview monitoring them, we can say all the above and be able to prove it. Wow! How great is that?!
Pathview gives the IT guy a simple interface and an at-a-glance view of things that affect the flow of data from point A to everywhere else in the country or beyond. The most important factors such as bandwidth, utilization, latency, jitter and packet loss are all on a very readable console. With today's IT staffs being scaled down, it's all about time. Those who survived the 2008-2009 economic winter often inherited IT responsibilities outside their expertise - like the network. Most of the time when a user complains about slow access on the LAN, troubleshooting usually centers around the server or the host (sometimes it's the user but that's another type of 'shooting). For LAN issues, they'll turn to something like Wireshark and hope they can interpret packets flying "Matrix- like" across the screen. For these scenarios, i.e. internal ones, the fixes are usually traced to a rouge device that YOU can do something about. Relatively easy.
For WAN issues, that approach simply is not realistic and this is where I think Pathview really earns its keep. If you are on the hook for an MPLS, Point to Point or VPN meshed environment, you need this. Period. Think of the time you save if you could prove that the problem with that remote office in Gator-Swamp Alabama is NOT your equipment - as the carrier insinuates - but is instead at their edge router. You probably don't have time to sit and stare at a console all day because of the extra "responsibilities" you now have (that probably came without a raise btw) or you're scrabbling out in the field trying to bring in more customers, but you DO have time to read your emails no matter where you are. Pathview will notify you - based on the criteria you set - that something is going on. Plus, the fact that it is all web based, you can log in with your Droid and actually take a look at the trouble in real time.
Under the heading of "Things you need to get" - get a "micro-appliance". Actually, get at least two, Pathview has this neat feature that lets you measure bi-directional bandwidth statistics on async circuits and you will need one at either end. Very cool. Definitely check out the new AppView Voice for your voice assessments - we usually charge for these so if you are a consultant, have at it.
Finally, one of my favorite things about Apparent is that they are constantly refining and enhancing this product. It really makes my life easier knowing who to blame (whether it's me or the ISP) and even though they probably don't do it just for me, I like to think so.
Product is great for MSPs that are willing to take the time to write their own scripts and monitor sets. We still use it, but based on their pricing model we will not be purchasing any more licenses due to them as a company just not getting it. Some of the new players in the market have a much better understanding of MSPs and where they are coming from and do not force you to not only pay a premium price but to also buy more than you need. Good produce.... bad company. Tech support request usually go unanswered or if they are answered it is usually a link to a KB that does not apply to your request.
Only for new MSPs
It is a good solution if you are a new company just starting out or do not have a highly trained staff. However they are easily outgrown and their support is extreamly poor. Resolving issues that would tek 10 minutes if you do them yourself will take days or weeks if you count on them do the work.
so like it.... simple installation even for newbie, simple of use,great features.... tapi kalo blh usul, gmn kalo ditambahin fitur hotspot voucher generator...... penting bgt tuh. coz satu2nya yg pny fitur itu adalah OS berbayar.....
I have to say that I have been surprised by some of the previous comments.
I looked at the functionality of Labtech and the pricing structure and have found it very good on both.
I would prefer the reporting to be editable without the need to purchase/install yet another software, and would also like to have seen a network mapping tool included, but on the whole this is an excellent product for the price.
With regards to support...everytime I have had an issue, I have recieved support very quickly and the level of support has been excellent.
Great to work with!
If you're a MSP, Intronis is a no-brainer. We've been a partner for over two years - their support is great, pricing is fair and they have a full white label for your software. The software is a little slow (gets unresponsive when it's working in the background at times), but seems to be improving with each release.
Don't look other places - if you're serious about providing a good backup experience for your clients, take a look at Intronis.
We've used all of the major tools (LPI, Zenith, Kaseya, N-Able) - we loved the no-nonsense interface of Level Platforms, but the agentless model does not work in real life. Slow to notify when machines go down, limited monitoring ability, misses network devices if you don't go in and configure each individual workstation as necessary to allow probing via WMI. Look towards agent-based technologies if you're doing this as more than a hobby.
We have been using N-Able for over 3 years now. The Server side has been offline once during an upgrade from one version to the next. We are extremely happy with the software, except the pricing could be a bit better.
We started our operations using OpManager .. but realised quickly this was not a good choice seeing that the software was offline more often the customer Nodes. How could we monitor customers when our monitoring software doesnt respond. THis is a problem we have not faced with N-Able at all. They are constantly improving the product, help out with the basics right down to even auditing your company see if you understand MSP and what it means.
If we had to choose again we would defnitly choose N-Able. Even local support in Holland. Only thing we would like to see is more support for FreeBSD in the future. Software comes in variuos versions from probe / agent . The probe and agent do not use a lot of CPU / mem on the Node side.
I requested a quote from Dell on their MSP platform. Their offering, from an MSP point of view, is very fragmented. To get what you would need to properly manage and protect a customer is very expensive (more than 2x what I pay today) compared to other tools. The offering looks to be a cafeteria menu for end user companies to select from, based upon how much they want to pay, not what they necessarily need. It doesn't integrate w/ CW, but does integrate w/ other PSA's I'm told. AS it has so many pieces, it just can't be easy to setup. I'msure support will be good, as Dell has good support.
Stuart Selbst Consutling
I have been working with Stuart Selbst for about 9 months now. Stuart is very focused on my success, his advice has been priceless. We have grown our managed services business over 300% in the time that we have been working with Stuart. We are even having Stuart and his team write our blog and newsletter. Once we turned that over to them our readership when up and our SEO when through the roof.
I must say that working with Stuart Selbst has been by far the best investment I have ever made for my business.
Managed WorkPlace 2010
I find it strange that LPI is not as popular as many other other RMM tools. I know that they had challeges in the early days but my experience with the product over the last 9 months has been excellent. The product works well, has been reliable and has met my expectations. The pricing is reasonable and the support has been great. One of the great things is the ploicy modules that they have that you apply against the devices you want to monitor such as any app / OS or hardware device These policy templates really cut down on the amount of time required to get a monitoring framework in place and partners can submit there own versions that you can use or customize.
Fantastic product, makes us much more money than before..
We switches from a manual system about 12 months ago and haven't turned back.
Even for a small house, our billing is nearly double some months due to us capturing all the billable time.
As with any system of this size, there are some downsides, but we haven't found anything that we haven't been able to work around at the moment.
We did try the sales module, but it wasn't great 6 months ago. They did purchase VAR Street but it isn't released in Australia as yet, so we still use a manual Excel based system and hoping this works.
A fast internet connection is a must with this product as it is hosted. If you are in a poor Internet area, you will have a slow experience (when we use it on 3G wireless Internet dongles it is a much slower experience).
The only way to go if you really care about your customers' data. I rated this lower on customization because there really isn't much to customize, you select things to backup and it does it. The reporting could be a little better for MSP's, but they are working on it.
Intronis is certified, secure and you actually get good data retention periods and version control that the cheaper end of the spectrum just doesn't offer.
Backup Exchange mailboxes and databases, MS SQL and just about any files you can put on a server or computer.
I compared dozens of backup providers before selecting Intronis. Unless Mozy has seriously upgraded their offering, it really isn't a serious solution for a customer with important data.
Nice features but has bugs
Unfortunately there isn't a "quality control" rating. If Labtech has a weak point it is in testing and quality control, IMHO. Support is responsive, but we have been told on numerous occasions that a particular issue is fixed in a maintenance release beta, but after installing it, we have to reopen those tickets because it's not fixed. In version 2.5 several scripts didn't work out of the box, and as I recall ones for things like Java (v6 update 8? was included) didn't work with the current Java 6 updates 15 and above.
We upgraded several 2.5 releases without issue, but after upgrading to version 2010 we discovered that several of the built in scripts don't work, since they reference groups that don't exist in non-clean installations of 2010. There was a logic error in the "automatically restart a stopped service" script that opened a ticket saying the service had not started if the service HAD in fact started (and it couldn't be corrected/saved because a group name it referenced didn't exist). For the 2010 installer there is a checkbox on the installer to reset the "theme" for the web site to the default. It does that even if the checkbox is unchecked. The Blacklisted Application alert will flag an application and immediately send another alert that the app was removed. Monitoring for the LTBackup program (ShadowProtect) regularly sends false "backup failed" alerts and Labtech shows incorrect schedule information in the computer's view. If anyone is intending to allow a client's IT staff to log in to use VNC, say, note that the Messages and Monitors windows allow all users to view a list of all client names, and the PC names at those clients. The Exchange Server and Exchange Server 2007 searches use the same test so show the same results (instead of differentiating versions).
You get the idea...there seem like a lot of little issues that would have been easily found and resolved with a basic level of testing.
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