IT Nation Connect: MSPs See Challenges Ahead with AI, Hyperautomation

One MSP said AI should help his company secure more business.

Edward Gately, Senior News Editor

November 9, 2023

5 Min Read
AI hyperautomation at IT Nation Connect
The IT Nation Connect Solutions Pavilion, Nov. 9, 2023.

CONNECTWISE IT NATION CONNECT — IT Nation Connect, ConnectWise CEO Jason Magee challenged MSPs to embrace innovations such as hyperautomation and artificial intelligence (AI).

In his keynote, Magee said ConnectWise is counting on the MSPs of the future to embrace the movement and the opportunities that come with rapidly changing innovation.

We spoke with a number of MSPs in the IT Nation Connect Solutions Pavilion to get their thoughts on Magee’s vision for the MSP of the future.

Tony Anthony, network technician II with Nex-Tech, a Kansas-based MSP, said automation is “where everything seems to be leading into, automatically setting up accounts and just filling out the basics to make sure people get the correct permissions.”

Nex-Tech's Tony Anthony

“Hyperautomation, I don't know if I'd classify it as maybe more of a marketing term on things,” he said. “AI … it has the potential to forecast some things and potentially put some things together, and help you build the scripts. I'm still waiting to see how that ties into everything, and I’m also interested in the security part of it, which is a little bit more outside of what this conference is focused on, private versus public APIs. So that's going to be really interesting to see where everything goes. Definitely a lot of advanced development and cross integration is really the big thing, and that's where the new wave of automation is getting pushed through now that the technology is finally catching up with all these different systems.”

New Tools Will Be Helpful

ConnectWise will release new tools later this month that Nex-Tech will consider to help with automation, “save us tech time and misconfigurations, and just make it a smoother and better experience for everyone," Anthony said.

Anthony said he’s interested in ConnectWise providing more help with PC builds and deployments.

“That's actually what I'm really looking for this round,” he said. “We found some companies, some of them don't work so great, some of them have issues with their legal contracts and liability. So we're trying to find something that's the right fit for us to take 30 minutes to two hours depending on the customer for a PC deployment, and try to get that down to like 10-20 minutes. Just a huge savings for both of us, and less missed files and things like that, too.”

AI Should Help Attract More Business

Tim Morder, senior vice president of sales at Link Computer Corp., a Pennsylvania-based MSP, said the integration of AI into his MSP business is going to be “very interesting and at the same time challenging for us because we’ll need to change processes, and opportunities will also change because of AI.”

Link Computer Corp.'s Tim Morder

“But in general, I think it's going to help us secure more business and do it more efficiently, I really do,” he said. “We're just new with ConnectWise, so we're just in that journey of integrating ConnectWise itself. But as far as AI, we've not yet begun to integrate any of those automated tools, but we hope to.”

ConnectWise’s Asio platform is going to “make a huge difference because we use three different products from ConnectWise, and having them all integrated into one platform is going to be very nice,” Morder said.

“We are looking for additional ConnectWise solutions; that's why we're here at the conference,” he said.

Jose Noriega, president and CEO of Gradient Data Solutions, a Florida-based MSP, said his company is starting to make use of AI.

“I'm starting to a little bit, so some of our content ideas and some of it with our ticketing, we're trying to clean up our technicians' wording with AI,” he said. “We're just dipping our toes in it so far.”

Noriega said he’s looking to get more automation from AI, “trying to automate all of the repetitive tasks.”

Interesting and Uncomfortable

Jean-Frederic Jean, co-owner and CEO of Umbrella Technologies, a Canada-based MSP, said Magee’s vision of the MSP of the future is “very interesting; it makes us a little uncomfortable with what we are right now.”

“I think what they are trying to do with ConnectWise Sidekick and robotic process automation (RPA) is a good way to address the future and how our work will need to be in the future,” he said. “So I think they are going in the right direction based on what we will see in the future.”

Umbrella Technologies had discussions about how to integrate AI inside of its solutions, Jean said.

“So it's very interesting for us since we'll not have to do the work alone,” he said. “[ConnectWise] did the work already, and I think that the progress is still there.

The key is efficiency, Jean said.

“The more efficient you are, the more your customer will be happy,” he said. “And I think that the progression that we are seeing right now is that way.” 

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About the Author(s)

Edward Gately

Senior News Editor, Channel Futures

As news editor, Edward Gately covers cybersecurity, new channel programs and program changes, M&A and other IT channel trends. Prior to Informa, he spent 26 years as a newspaper journalist in Texas, Louisiana and Arizona.

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