New Venture ‘Rewst’ Aims to Make Automation More Accessible for MSPsNew Venture ‘Rewst’ Aims to Make Automation More Accessible for MSPs
The startup promises to change workloads for the better.
November 22, 2021
Aharon Chernin is no newbie to the world of managed service providers. Last year, Perch Security, the entrepreneur’s successful five-year-old, 24/7 cybersecurity operation, was acquired by Tampa-based ConnectWise. Now, Chernin is in the startup cycle again, this time with $3.5 million in backing to create Rewst. The new venture – which will launch the first quarter of 2022 – streamlines robotic process automation, or RPA.
Rewst (pronounced Roost) is a SaaS company that focuses entirely on MSPs.
Chernin, who is CEO, spoke to us about what makes Rewst unique, what drives his work ethic, and why it’s important to simplify RPA technology to make it more accessible to all.
Channel Futures: What’s it like creating a startup and one specifically for MSPs?
Rewst’s Aharon Chernin
Aharon Chernin: Starting a startup is not fun. You’re basically willing a company into existence. And you must have some greater goal in mind and that goal can’t be money. It has to be a bigger goal, and for me it’s the MSPs, who are like my people. I worked in a ton of different industries and the MSPs are the most down-to-earth, real folks out there. So, whenever they’re happy, it makes me happy. I’ve got this desire to make sure folks are happy. It’s like my operating system.
CF: How did you establish the idea for Rewst?
AC: When I started Perch, we didn’t have a 24/7 security operations center (SOC), at least not for the first year. There weren’t a lot of 24/7 SOCs with security information and event management (SIEM) out there already. So the entire industry was learning at the same time. However, one of the things that we learned is that while MSPs were reselling 24/7 SOC, they didn’t have a 24/7 SOC on their end for us to escalate to.
For example, if there was an incident, they may not have had a security person working at 3 a.m. to receive that information. I started to notice a pattern of what we were escalating, and I realized a lot of it could be automated. And those were the early thoughts about what Rewst might be. There are already SOCs and SIEMs out there. However, no one has ever built an automation platform like Rewst before. It was really enticing.
CF: Why hasn’t robotic process automation been adopted to a greater degree?
AC: I don’t feel RPA has been figured out yet. You can tell that by the adoption. I would say every fortune 500 company has RPA in some way. If you look at the count of companies that exist in the U.S. or North America, it’s way greater than 500. And the adoption of RPA in those companies is very limited. Most of these companies are taken care of by MSPs, and only somewhere between 2% and 5% of MSPs use RPAs. It’s not the MSPs’ fault. It’s the RPA industry’s fault. They think they’ve simplified automation; however, they haven’t simplified it enough because it hasn’t moved down market. Just because you’re simplifying something doesn’t mean you’re trying to dumb it down.
CF: Will Rewst make it financially feasible for MSPs to adopt greater automation?
AC: It goes back to the money thing. Money is such an easy thing to point the finger at. They’re not buying it because it’s too expensive. In my experience cost is a factor, but it’s not the primary factor. For example, if it costs $10,000 for a product but you need to hire an employee at $150,000 to use the product, then the cost might be prohibitive. Yes, we want to keep the price low, but price isn’t …
… the reason why people aren’t adopting.
CF: How does this automation change the workload for a typical MSP?
AC: MSPs will be able to delay new hires. That sounds bad for the employment market. But it keeps MSPs in business so they can pay the people who already work there. They may have some extra money so they may be able to pay people more. If you work at a place where there’s more automation, you may be happier. We’re only going to ever automate the mundane. No one wants a job where they are doing the same thing every single day, all day long. Let’s automate that stuff and give you the hard stuff to do — those things that we can’t automate. Every day you come to work, you do something new.
CF: How would Rewst fit into the channel?
AC: This isn’t something MSPs will be reselling initially. This is a product to help automate the channel business, not necessarily the customer of the channel’s business.
CF: There’s a waiting list on the Rewst website. Why is that?
AC: We’re doing a waiting list on Rewst.io. It’s such a radical rethought on RPA that we kind of want to hold clients’ hands and call it concierge onboarding. They’re going to be on the phone with one of our engineers the very first time they sign up. We’re not going to do this for everyone forever, maybe for the first six months. It’s to get feedback on the product, to watch how clients log in, to make sure they know how to use it. We want to make sure we’ve made it intuitive enough. We need to be there listening.
CF: Rewst secured $3.5 million in funding. Do you see that increasing in the next few months?
AC: Raising money can take its toll on startups. It takes up a lot of our time during the day to the point where it’s difficult to focus on business. It also gives CEOs a false sense of success. I’m not going to raise any more money in the near term at all! It’s important that I focus on the business. I have to focus on the customer; therefore, I can’t afford anymore distractions. Also, I have enough money. I just need to hire and execute. I could spend another three to six months raising money and not build the product. Someone has to lead, and I don’t feel like I’m leading when I’m fundraising. We’re an MSP happiness company first. Whatever else we do is second.
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