Managed Services

ConnectWise Targets Efficiency with AI, Automation

MSP platform company ConnectWise leaned into artificial intelligence (AI) and automation as it rolled out a host of new features across its product lines at its annual user event, IT Nation Connect, in Orlando, Florida this month.

The annual event attracted 4,000 in-person attendees and a total of 6,500 in-person and virtual.

ConnectWise’s New AI Assistant for MSPs

ConnectWise Sidekick was one of the centerpiece technologies introduced at the event. ConnectWise called Sidekick the first purpose-built AI companion for technology providers and said that the enhancement would be available immediately across Business Management and Unified Monitoring and Management Solution Portfolios.

ConnectWise Sidekick for PSA is currently live and the company has over 70-plus use cases.

Sidekick leverages ConnectWise’s own proprietary generative AI models as well as the tech industry’s large language models to enable MSPs to use natural language prompts for automation and saving time. Among its capabilities are automating tasks such as the following:

  • Generating PowerShell scripts
  • Ticket categorization
  • Summarization
  • Providing Resolutions
  • Automated responses to end users

ConnectWise that Sidekick can increase team productivity and optimize operations by prioritizing daily tasks so that MSPs can address critical problems first.

“Imagine a world where manual tasks fade and customer issues are met with seamless responses and without the need to add more resources. This is the power of ConnectWise Sidekick,” said Raghu Bongula, chief technology officer at ConnectWise. “We are enabling more intelligent and more innovative ways for TSPs (technology service providers) to support and drive greater satisfaction to SMBs.”

In demos during the event, ConnectWise executives took Sidekick through some of its move helpful capabilities, including using a voice prompt to ask the platform for a look at the schedule for the day.

Why should MSPs care about AI?

The short answer is that it can make everyone’s jobs easier, cut costs, and therefore raise EBITDA and valuations.

In a session covering MSP M&A at IT Nation Connect, Service Leadership’s Peter Kujawa shared some conclusions of recent research from his organization about the impact of leveraging AI and automation to gain efficiencies inside MSP organizations. His team found that MSPs who maintained their pricing and also leveraged AI throughout their businesses would see a 25% to 30% increase in EBITDA over 18 months through gained efficiencies and increased productivity. That number increased even more to 40% to 50% over 36 months.

ConnectWise Unveils Robotic Process Automation (RPA)

In addition to Sidekick, ConnectWise unveiled a new RPA service that delivers “hyperautomation” now available in ConnectWise’s central Platform-as-a-Service, Asio. Hyperautomation is a term coined by Gartner and defined as "a business-driven, disciplined approach that organizations use to rapidly identify, vet and automate as many business and IT processes as possible."

In his opening keynote address, ConnectWise CEO Jason Magee talked about the efficiency gains that are possible with RPA.

“As organizations are tasked with doing more with less in today’s economic environment, bringing RPA to our Asio platform is a logical step in providing greater operational and cost efficiency to our partners and end-users,” Magee said. “We’ve been listening to the needs of our partners and are excited to deliver this groundbreaking technology. Partners no longer need to buy standalone RPA products when using ConnectWise. It is built into our foundational technology so that partners can truly maximize our services at a fraction of the cost.”

There are two components to the offering – ConnectWise RPA and Asio workflow orchestration. The RPA lets teams use pre-built bots to eliminate manual steps.

Meanwhile, the visual workflow orchestration feature lets users automate workflows across multiple ConnectWise products and third-party solutions. This lets them integrate their frequently used tools. It offers drag-and-drop no-code functionality making it easy for users to create workflows.

Jessica C. Davis

Jessica C. Davis is editorial director of CyberRisk Alliance’s channel brands, MSSP Alert, MSSP Alert Live, and ChannelE2E. She has spent a career as a journalist and editor covering the intersection of business and technology including chips, software, the cloud, AI, and cybersecurity. She previously served as editor in chief of Channel Insider and later of MSP Mentor where she was one of the original editors running the MSP 501.