Nerdio builds Azure OpenAI into AssistPro for content-aware support in Nerdio Manager for MSP and Enterprise editions.

Dave Raffo, MSP News Editor

April 2, 2024

3 Min Read
Generative AI and Nerdio Manager

Nerdio has upgraded its Microsoft cloud management tools, adding generative AI capabilities to Nerdio Manager for MSP (NMM) 5.0 and Nerdio Manager for Enterprise (NME) 6.0.

New Features for NMM 5 include an AI-powered in-app assistant called AssistPro to deliver context-aware support. The company also launched general availability of its Unified App Management (UAM) with the goal of streamlining app deployment.

AssistPro, in public preview, uses the Azure OpenAI Large Language Model (LLM), enhanced with Nerdio-specific information. Users can ask questions related to Nerdio Manager in AssistPro, which will show the answer on its chat screen. Accounts assigned to the Azure Virtual Desktop (AVD) admin role can interact with AssistPro in the current version.

Nerdio CEO Vadim Vladimirskiy said Nerdio products usually become generally available six to 12 weeks after entering private preview.

Nerdio also addressed security with the addition of Defender for Business and Defender for Endpoint, aimed at making it easier for MSP partners to onboard customers to Microsoft Defender antivirus. Vladimirskiy said MSPs have had difficulty moving customers to Defender inside the M365 Business Premium suite because Defender was built for single-tenant enterprises rather than multitenant MSPs. The goal of Nerdio’s new Defender integration is to help MSPs manage policies, and centrally remediate compliance for all their customers’ clients.

Unified Application Management NMM lets MSPs centralize application storage through Microsoft Winget technology and deliver apps to targeted users, groups or devices. This new capability does not require third-party agents on user devices.

Other enhancements of NMM 5.0 include Boot Diagnostics Insights using Azure AI OCR and boot image validation, and Console Connect to enable technicians to remotely support end users by sharing their screens on virtual or physical endpoints. Console Connect is in private preview.

Nerdio's Vadim Vladimirskiy

Vladimirskiy said Nerdio’s top product strategy for 2024 is to infuse AI into all products. That’s a common strategy in IT this year, but Vladimirskiy identified specific areas to incorporate the technology.

”Nerdio is building gen AI into our products to help with contextual support, scripted action creation and report generation,” he said. “However, beyond gen AI, cloud environments are treasure troves of valuable data that can be used with machine learning to continuously optimize the infrastructure and detect anomalies.”

The AI-infusion is part of Nerdio’s shift from helping MSPs handle virtual desktops in Microsoft Azure to helping them provide desktop as a service using Azure Virtual Desktops (AVD) and Windows 365.

Gen AI Must Prove Valuable, Responsible

Mark Beccue, an independent AI research analyst, says just having gen AI in products is not enough. Nerdio, and all others, must prove their gen AI adds value and is used responsibly.

“Many companies are looking to gen AI to improve outcomes for both internal and external use cases,” Beccue said. “As it is early days, metrics for success or data points are scarce. There is a lot of potential upside, but also significant challenges for accurate, safe gen AI outcomes. Most companies productizing gen AI capabilities are able to talk about why gen AI makes this product better and how they are ensuring that their customers can use gen AI-infused products safely.”

Vladimirskiy agrees.

“It’s not about what AI can do, but what can AI do for you that’s valuable and not just cool,” he said. “We think of AI in two buckets,” he told Channel Futures. “There’s generative AI for chatbots and script generation, and machine learning for things like testing backups and restores.”

He said NMM uses computer vision to automate backup validation by analyzing virtual machine screens for error messages. It can also help MSPs avoid “nightmare scenarios” after updating virtual desktops by using AI to test and validate images before the roll out.

About the Author(s)

Dave Raffo

MSP News Editor, Channel Futures

Dave Raffo has written about IT for more than two decades, focusing mainly on data storage, data center infrastructure and public cloud. He was a news editor and editorial director at TechTarget’s storage group for 13 years, news editor for storage-centric Byte and Switch, and a research analyst for Evaluator Group. In addition to covering news and writing in-depth features and columns, Dave has moderated panels at tech conferences. While at TechTarget, Raffo Dave won several American Society of Business Publication Editors (ASBPE) awards for writing and editing, including for column writing.

Raffo covers the managed services industry for Channel Futures. His reporting beat includes the MSPs, key vendors and tech suppliers with managed services programs, platform providers, distributors and all key players in this sector of the market. Dave also works closely on the Channel Futures MSP 501 and our live events.

Raffo has also worked for United Press International, EdTech magazine, Windows Magazine and Data Center Intelligence Group (DCIG) in reporting, editing and research analyst roles.

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