The job role of an MSP has changed tremendously over the last few years. Instead of spending time executing every task manually, you can now harness IT automation tools to create a set of rules that execute repeated processes on a scheduled basis. Automating a low-grade routine action that occurs several times a day frees up your time so that you can do more planning and strategic decision making; In short, use your brain for the big stuff. The trick is to harmonize the manual work and the IT automation, knowing when and how to balance them for maximum potency and business effective decisions.
Ensure Smooth IT Automation on a Routine Basis
Atera provides you with the flexibility and depth to create your own IT Automation Profile and apply it either at customer level or at Agent level – to ensure smooth automated actions on a routine basis. In addition, Atera enables you to create and implement powerful IT Automation rules to make your life easier and ensure controlled maintenance of your interactions with your clients and clients’ workstations. In this blog we will look at some of the predefined settings Atera offers for defining an IT Automation Profile and some of the top IT Automation Rules that our MSPs find most helpful.
What can you automate?
Let’s start off by taking a look at Atera’s Automation Profile. In establishing the tasks that are predefined in the IT Automation Profile, we used various statistical tools and calculations to figure out the most beneficial tasks that our customers would need to have automated. We focused on areas which reduced large amounts of manual labor, improved quality, reduced defects, and simplified complex tasks.
As such, the IT Automation Profile offers the option to Run Operation System Updates (Critical, Security, Service Pack or all of them, Install Java/Adobe/Driver Updates, Create System Restore Point, Delete Temp files/Internet History, Perform Reboot/Shutdown, Perform Disk Management tasks and Run Scripts.
Mix and match your scheduled tasks
Using the IT Automation profile, you can create and schedule daily, weekly and monthly periodic maintenance tasks as detailed above for servers and workstations. Profiles can be applied to all workstations and servers within a company or at a specific server level. You can also choose within the Profile to exclude certain patches that might cause damage if automatically installed without careful inspection. Emails can be setup so that you can arrange to have emails sent to both technicians or clients who will get a summary of the IT Automation tasks that have been executed.
Atera offers you predefined Automation rules
Now let’s take a quick look at Automation Rules. Atera provides three predefined Automation Rules for our customers. The first one, entitled Ticket Created Email, sends an email to a client when a new ticket is created which contains all the ticket information. The next rule, entitled Auto Assignment, assigns technicians automatically to a new ticket when it’s created. The third predefined IT Automation rule is entitled Turn Critical Alert into Ticket and it basically identifies a critical alert and immediately creates a ticket for it. Automating these and other actions enables smoothing running and performance.
You can add other IT Automation rules according to your needs. We have a nice Support Article on the Top Automation Rules that our customers find very useful which talks you through creating rules for other useful scenarios such as sending a survey to the client after closing a ticket and sending an email to a technician upon ticket creation.
Scripts are a powerful tool when used wisely
The IT Automation feature also allows you to use powerful scripts within your IT Automation Profile or within your IT Automation rules. Scripts are a wonderful tool for further automating and enhancing your work tasks. Not only can you create your own scripts, but you can also benefit from others experience by utilizing other customers’ scripts that they have shared in our Community page and by looking at this incredible collection of Powershell scripts that Atera has put together for its customers. You can also return the favor and share scripts of your own for other members of the Atera community to use and benefit from.
We all still need the human touch!
For those worried that your job will soon be redundant and you will be replaced by IT Automation software completely, that is probably not going to happen anytime soon for several reasons. Firstly, don’t underestimate the importance of the “human touch”. When your clients phone you, they want to speak to a real human being and not just be fobbed off with computerized voices. Second of all, not everything should be automated, even if it can be. Sometimes, processes or tasks need to be performed manually by a person who has made the specific decision to carry out the task at a specific time, based on a wide range of criteria. Finally, different clients have different needs. There needs to be an active collaboration between you and your clients to determine what will be automated and what will be carried out on an as needed basis.
To sum up, IT Automation Software is a valuable tool and can improve your working life tremendously, provided it’s used wisely.