We were delighted to be joined by so many of you for our ‘End of the Year Fireside Chat’ this week via webinar, and to be able to share what we’ve achieved in 2018, as well as our vision for Q1 of 2019.
For those of you who are looking for a recap, or if you couldn’t make it, here’s what we discussed!
A recap of 2018
Throughout 2018, one of our strongest focus points was scalability. Atera has grown dramatically in 2018 with customers in 44 different countries. Ensuring the platform was able to deal with this growth and run smoothly so that you could manage your own businesses without any bumps took a lot of our attention.
To manage scale, we are in the process of moving our infrastructure to Microsoft Azure Service Fabric. This will have multiple benefits:
– It’s highly scalable, so that as our users increase, our resources can increase alongside.
– It’s very flexible in terms of feature release. Each feature is an independent entity, allowing us to quickly release features and fix issues without it affecting the whole system. This will support us in moving towards a continuous deployment model of features and updates rather than periodic releases.
An additional main focus throughout 2018 has been agent and system reliability, as well as improvements to Splashtop. We understand that some of our customers aren’t fully satisfied with their Splashtop experience and we’re working on improving this integration. At the same time, in about 14 days we will be introducing integration with ScreenConnect and TeamViewer, to give customers three options for Remote Desktop going forward.
Earlier in 2018, by popular demand we introduced a new chat feature. Quickly, we realised that the authentication stage, added for security reasons, was a mistake – impeding our customers from using the feature in an intuitive way. In the Service Fabric version of chat, this has already been removed. Chat will be simple, clickable and without authentication barriers to use.
For more information about our 2018 improvements and releases, you can find release notes, patch management updates, and information on new features on our website. For those of you that opt into the Beta version of Atera, in the next few weeks you will start to see the new features in the Service Fabric version, such as customized MSI, signatures in tickets, improved filters and more.
Looking ahead to 2019
One exciting area that we’ll be improving in Q1 of 2019 is automation. We will be enhancing the agent installation process, integrating this with network discovery and making it simpler for you to select the devices you want to install, and automatically deploy agents onto new PCs that are added to the network. You’ll be able to see all devices and add them to the system in one click.
Automation will also improve your ticketing system, allowing you to assign time-based actions such as automatically closing a ticket a certain number of days after the customer replies, or send a follow up at the right time to improve your customer satisfaction.
You can also look forward to an improved customizable dashboard, where customers can add details, play with the data, and select specific customers or data that you want to keep front and center. Improved and redesigned, this dashboard will be as interactive as possible, a direct response to your input and the features you’ve asked for.
During the webinar, we asked for more feedback, and discussed the dilemma we are experiencing over our Atera mobile app. Should we be putting resources into improving our web app and its UI, or should we be creating a native mobile app from scratch? Your feedback on this issue will help us clarify our way forward, and so we took a poll to understand the top features you would like to see improved. The winning feature was the ability to use the app as a Service Management tool, which we’re looking forward to discussing further as we decide on the roadmap for the rest of 2019.
We’re also excited to introduce our brand-new script library, coming in Q1. With one click, you’ll be able to trigger actions like cleaning temporary files, disabling USB ports etc, and fix problems by automating actions in response to specific alerts. We will also be improving the search bar to provide better search capabilities and return results from all the different fields in the system, including custom fields.
In response to customer feedback, you’ll be able to support SSL for your customer portal, allowing you to be more secure in front of your customers. We will also be working on deepening our QuickBooks integration.
We Couldn’t Do This Without You!
Improving our relationship with all of you is one of the main priorities for us. We already have webinars and training programs for both trial customers and experienced Aterans. This year we will be adding 8 more webinars. Thanks to everyone at the Fireside Chat who voted on potential topics! The winning choice was System Automation, so we’ll add that to our upcoming topics.
We will also be adding a video library to our self-service portal and in-app walkthroughs to cover popular features,. This will be in addition to the dozens of articles which already cover almost every aspect of the system.
We love the democratic way that you can vote on feature ideas and help us develop our priority list. To help ensure that everyone is aligned in their requests, we will be adding a small explanation box for voting on an idea. This will help us understand what suggestions are going to benefit the most users, and where we can provide true value. When you have a new idea, please make sure to copy its URL and post it to our Facebook group so that the community has the chance to upvote it.
If you’re not already part of our Facebook community – get involved! This is where our users connect with other professionals from around the globe, share tips, ask and answer questions and help one another by discussing both Atera and non-Atera related topics. It’s open for Aterans and trial users, and all of us here check in often to read your posts and learn more about what our customers are looking for.
If you need help with something, or have any questions about our Q1 roadmap, make sure to open a ticket via the support portal, rather than ask directly through the Facebook page. For security reasons, it’s not always easy to be sure that an Atera account is being linked with the right Facebook name. We have a global team, and the customer portal and email support is manned 24/7, with 80% of emails answered within 2 hours. We also have live chat which is open between 6AM and 9PM EST Monday to Friday, for an immediate response.
Thanks again to everyone who participated in our End of the Year Fireside Chat, and keep your eyes peeled for another round of webinars before Q2.