ConnectWise Automate for MSP Management is an Excellent tool
July 29, 2022

ConnectWise Automate for MSP Management is an Excellent tool

Ben Smith | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User

Overall Satisfaction with ConnectWise Automate

I am the RMM Manager for ConnectWise Automate. We use ConnectWise Automate for: Patch Management, Process Automation, Software Version Control, Monitoring, Remote Remediation, PC inventory/specification checks, Warranty Management, and Security Features.

Every computer that we manage gets ConnectWise Automate installed on it, and it handles installing the rest of our tools stack and gets those machines assigned to the proper client with the proper settings for that client
  • Alerting / Monitoring
  • Process Automation
  • Software Version Control
  • Selective Targeting of Automations
  • Patch Management - kind of clunky, but works well
  • Reporting
  • Endpoint user management
  • Scripting / Automation
  • Monitoring / Alerting
  • Automatic Remediation
  • Software Version Control
  • Security Features
  • Positive - ConnectWise Automate allows us to provide eyes on critical machines 24x7, allowing us to sell ourselves as a 24x7 shop
  • Automatic deployment of software allows for fast response to Client requests, earning us high marks every month/quarter in customer service from our clients and generating good references/word of mouth advertising
  • The ability to deploy vulnerability scans at the click of a button allows us to sell additional security services and generate good data on vulnerabilities that can be repaired
I have evaluated NinjaRMM, but it was after I was already familiar with ConnectWise Automate. While it seems like a good product, I found that ConnectWise Automate was more flexible in allowing me to make custom configurations to meet various business needs across different clients.

I have also evaluated Addigy. While I think Addigy does a better job of managing apple devices, it is clunkier, and customization is harder in Addigy than in ConnectWise Automate.

Do you think ConnectWise Automate delivers good value for the price?


Are you happy with ConnectWise Automate's feature set?


Did ConnectWise Automate live up to sales and marketing promises?

I wasn't involved with the selection/purchase process

Did implementation of ConnectWise Automate go as expected?


Would you buy ConnectWise Automate again?


I use Connectwise Automate for most of my normal Job functions. We use ESET endpoint protection, and ConnectWise Automate handles the version updates for us. When a new version comes out, I just have to modify my custom settings to include the current version number, and it updates the entire fleet of machines. Additionally, I have used ConnectWise Automate for: Setting up Security evaluations, Setting unique local administrator accounts for 2,000 machines, removing unwanted software from all machines in the fleet, and others.

Patch Management works well, but the interface and deployment are clunky and have a steep learning curve. Once mastered, it handles patching very well, but navigation is not the easiest. Further, it comes with some decent canned reports, but generating custom reports is not well documented and very difficult. It used to be done using Crystal reports, and if you knew the database, you could generate very nice reports, but it has since moved to a custom report builder, and the nesting/grouping does not work well

ConnectWise Automate Feature Ratings

Remote monitoring
Network device monitoring
Patch Management
Policy-based automation

Using ConnectWise Automate

Our Sales team uses ConnectWise Automate for some of the canned reporting
Our Engineers and Service Desk use ConnectWise Automate for Computer Management, Computer Access, and detailed information
Our Development development team uses ConnectWise Automate for the Deployment of software, Monitoring, Alerting, and Process Automation.

All of our users have access to ConnectWise Automate and use most of the functions it has to offer
1 - Supporting ConnectWise Automate on an ongoing basis requires at least a basic understanding of SQL Databases (built on MySQL, not MSSQL), and an understanding of command line/Powershell is extremely helpful. Additionally, being able to assess the business needs of both internal and external clients will help with the proper development of custom settings.

The wider the knowledge of IT roles, the more you will be able to use Automate to make processes easier to ConnectWise Automate and Manage (E.G., a solid understanding of Active Directory will allow you to use ConnectWise Automate to manage Client Active Directory environments, a solid understanding of Office 365, especially Powershell access, will allow you use ConnectWise Automate to manage Office 365 environments)
  • Process Automation
  • Monitoring / Alerting
  • Software Deployment
  • Patch Management
  • We were able to configure ConnectWise Automate to deploy tools for a third-party security vendor to run penetration tests with a few clicks of the mouse via ConnectWise Automate. That vendor could then generate reports for actionable items that we can then remediate for HIPAA or NIST compliance, allowing us to be a one-stop shop for compliancy
  • We were able to develop a Powershell script that sets a unique complex local admin account for all the machines we manage and store it in easily accessible tools that can be used for easy local admin access
  • We were able to use ConnectWise Automate to pull all user e-mail addresses from Office 365 and insert them into Active directory if they did not already exist, and then run a sync tool between active directory and our CRM (ConnectWise Manage) that creates or updates contacts for each user in Active Directory (which now has valid E-mail addresses)
  • We are currently investigating a way to ConnectWise Automate responses to security incidents (E.G., registry key removal for malicious software) based on reports from Huntress
  • We are looking at using ConnectWise Automate for more direct Active Directory management so that changes can be made without needing to log into client servers for those changes
The primary reason for this rating is that ConnectWise Automate is currently so integral to our operations that moving away would involve more man hours than we would realistically have to invest.

However, ConnectWise Automate is also completely capable of meeting all of our business needs and customizable to the point where if something is not meeting those needs out of the box, it can be modified to do what we want. From only installing software on machines if a different software package exists, to push a new version of that software is available, to check if credentials for user/machine have been updated to our new standards and then updating them if they have not, ConnectWise Automate is capable of doing everything we ask of it.

Evaluating ConnectWise Automate and Competitors

  • Product Features
  • Product Usability
  • Product Reputation
The single most important factor in the decision to use ConnectWise Automate was that it delivered a good set of features out of the box. In addition, it was completely customizable, and we were able to expand the already impressive feature set to do anything that we would be able to do if we were sitting from of the machines we manage.
If I were evaluating again, I would look for longer trials and possibly see if the vendors were able to provide any legitimate test environments that could be used as a sandbox of changes/configurations of their products. The demos we had were relatively short, and we were not able to get into full customization of those products.

ConnectWise Automate Implementation

ConnectWise Automate was already implemented at all organizations I have used it at when I started at those MSPs. At my current MSP, we used professional services for a period after I took over management of it, and they assisted with changes that I saw needed to be made. While not specifically implemented, those services were well organized and well scheduled, and all things we discussed were tracked and recorded, allowing for good change management/tracking.

ConnectWise Automate Training

I went through all the free training materials in the Connectwise Unversity, which gives a solid understanding of the product. I also did the paid certifications offered by Connectwise and am now able to fully support and customize our ConnectWise Automate instance. The materials are accessible and easy to understand, and there are different suggested courses depending on the users' role.

Configuring ConnectWise Automate

At first glance, customizations in ConnectWise Automate seem daunting. But with a little training and a little practice, it is very easy to customize. Even though the back end is built on an SQL database, you do not need to be an SQL expert to get ConnectWise Automate to do what you need it to do. Through adding custom fields at multiple different levels, it is easy to limit your grouping, scripting, and automation to exactly which machines you want it to hit.
When designing custom Data fields (EDFs), make sure you give them easily understandable names and descriptions that tell what they are for. Also, take full advantage of Grouping/autojoin searches, as this will allow for very specific targeting for your automation, scripts, and monitors.

I also strongly recommend setting up an internal "testing" group when making custom scripts, monitors, and automation to that you can ensure there are no unexpected results when rolling these out to clients
Some - we have done small customizations to the interface - User interface customizations are fairly limited. Most of the customizations are more in functions and activities.

The customization is easy to perform, and each user can set their own custom tiles on the computer management screen, allowing each user to see the tiles that they are most likely to use. This is in addition to two static interfaces that have all the information available.
Yes - we have added extensive custom code - There was a significant learning curve for the scripting Syntax for customizations, but once over that, general windows knowledge was enough to get customizations in place. There are a lot of built-in things the scripts can do, and if there is not a built-in Automate command, the script feature can be used for running powershell/command line scripts, and those can be executed in the logged-in user context, as the system account, or as an admin account.
Most of the customization I have done has been building custom groups, which I then use to target custom scripts and/or monitors. Through the use of EDFs, I can have those groups include things like "any machine at that is in that does not have installed" or "Any machine that is a server, but does not have the Role of a Domain Controller."

Additional fields can be created to allow for targeting things outside of the standard database.

ConnectWise Automate Support

Support for the default configurations is excellent. I have never reached out to support on an issue of the default feature set that I was not able to get an accurate answer for.

It is not higher because they will not support more advanced custom configurations (like scripting or reporting) without an additional charge. I have found that going through the Certifications, I do not have much need for assistance with the unsupported items, and when I do, the questions I have can be phrased in a way that is supported because it is not a "How do I..." but a "this command in my script is not working as intended" type of question.
Quick Resolution
Good followup
Problems get solved
Kept well informed
No escalation required
Immediate help available
Support cares about my success
Quick Initial Response
We had premium support services for ~2 years while ConnectWise Automate was being managed by our previous RMM admin. Once I came on board and completed the ConnectWise Automate certifications, we continued service for another 6 months for a few questions about how things were set up prior, but then those services were no longer needed, and we discontinued them, and I was able to fully support the product.
I was having an issue with getting a command in a script to run with the proper administrator rights. Support was able to help me verify that the command would run from ConnectWise Automate on the machine using the built-in command line feature, and once that was verified, how to convert that command that was run into a working line in my script. I had been working on this for days, and when I contacted support, since it was a custom script issue, I was not expecting a true answer, but the agent was able to quickly understand what I was trying to accomplish and provide a solution to find the source of the problem and eliminate it.

Using ConnectWise Automate

Basic use of the product is fairly easy. Information about the machines you manage can be found in customizable dashboards, which can be unique for each user, and, therefore, properly suited to the users' needs/job function.

This is not a 10 because some of the interfaces are very clunky (Patch Management), and some features are not intuitive and not well documented (reporting). Scripting and Patch Management have a fairly steep learning curve (For structure in patch management and syntax in scripting), but once learned, they work well.
Like to use
Relatively simple
Easy to use
Well integrated
Quick to learn
Feel confident using
Requires technical support
  • Getting information about managed computers
  • Credential storage
  • Agent Configuration
  • Monitoring / Alerting
  • CANNED reporting
  • Patch Management
  • Custom Reporting