The NinjaOne cloud-based management tool for MSPs and IT departments just got the largest update in its history in the version 5.4 Summer 2023 release. Peter Bretton (pictured), senior director of customer and product marketing, spoke with ChannelPro to outline many of the improvements. “We have 30 major features rolling out,” says Bretton, “including many in our core RMM product.”
The Software Package Repository received the most attention in the upgrade. Bretton admitted it was a pain point before, and over 1,000 customers requested improvements, especially to the MSI install package process. “You can now build a custom install package and reuse it for multiple rollouts.” These packages can be stored in the Automation Library for convenience and run anywhere and anytime the MSP or IT manager needs to install software.
“We really listen and engage with customers,” says Bretton, “not just through support requests, but directly as well.”
Another major upgrade improved the patching dashboard, previously released in beta. “Over 3,000 beta users went out of their way to get this from their account managers,” Bretton adds.
The dashboard, designed to give operational clarity, was a core deliverable for MSPs, who didn’t have a single pane view of patching status. It now includes an aging report and OS build report, among other new details. End user roles and single-sign-on details can now be provisioned and managed by groups rather than just individually.
Automation through scripting languages greatly improves RMM efficiency, says Bretton, and 80% of their customers use it. But not every IT group includes a senior script person to make automation run properly, so NinjaOne created Dynamic Script Forms. “No one asked for this,” says Bretton. “We saw the pain in customers without high-level script techs and created this.”
Using a prebuilt form, techs can now insert parameters into a form that creates a custom script without any hand coding. The form includes support for check boxes, buttons, enable dates, radio buttons, and more. Level 1 techs, unable to write automated scripts before, can now use the form with minimal training. Scripting errors are reduced, leading to smoother implementations.
Besides the Patch Management Dashboard, other visibility features include a device search grid that allows you to pull rich device information and filter the output to provide a customized display. Results can be extremely granular, and the filters create targeted lists of endpoints that can be addressed with some action or included in a report.
Another new feature adds additional control by enabling how endpoints follow policies based on their location. Group policies can be modified with a policy override based on location on an individual endpoint basis.
The goals of this major release, says Bretton, are to improve visibility into all processes, add more effective ways to automate operations, and reduce customer pain.
Bretton adds, “Our channel program is a top priority for improvements and continues to grow. The channel is critical to our future growth.”