AI/ML, Data Security, Managed Services, MSP

MSP Blue Mantis Partners to Offer AI Services

Generative AI

Many MSPs are using AI today because managed services tools vendors have embedded them. These tools incorporate automations and natural language queries that can make MSPs more efficient in ticket operations and other functions.

But what about MSPs offering AI services and AI managed services to their end customers?

Channel market analyst firm Canalys has said that it doesn’t see managed service providers playing any kind of big role in customer AI deployments for at least 18 to 24 months. And yet, some MSPs are really interested in jumping in with both feet now.

One of these is Blue Mantis. The Portsmouth, New Hampshire-based provider of managed services, cybersecurity and cloud solutions is announcing a strategic partnership with AI Technology Partners (AITP) to help senior IT and security executives transform their organizations and enhance productivity through the secure deployment of generative AI tools, including Copilot for Microsoft 365. AITP is a consulting firm that helps organizations implement AI.

The Blue Mantis, AITP Partnership Details

This Blue Mantis/AITP partnership combines Blue Mantis’ services expertise with AITP’s consulting, data, analytics and AI capabilities.

As the managed services and managed security markets heat up, a faster way to market is through partnership, and this one is a perfect example of how an MSP can bring AI managed services to market today instead of waiting 18 to 24 months. Just as MSPs partner with MSSPs or vendors to offer advanced cybersecurity solutions, such as MDR and EDR, MSPs can also partner with consulting firms that are experts in AI to offer those services to end customers.

Blue Mantis and AITP have developed a joint go-to-market strategy and service offering for mid-market enterprise clients called Managed AI Copilot Solutions, Powered by Microsoft. The goal is to deploy, integrate and optimize Copilot at scale for Blue Mantis’ end customers.

Tackling Data Privacy Concerns about AI

“We were in search of an innovative partner to help our customers and ourselves internally with what’s going on in the space with generative AI,” Jeff Cratty, senior director of advanced technologies at Blue Mantis, told ChannelE2E. “A lot of folks are worried about how their data will be exfiltrated into the ether. Protecting against that is among the core competencies of Blue Mantis. But we needed a partner to help with bringing generative AI strategy to organizations, to help customers with transformations.”

Meanwhile, AITP was looking for go-to-market opportunities in the channel and saw a great one with Blue Mantis’ strong channel partnership with the "big gorilla" that is Microsoft, John Treadway, CEO of AI Technology Partners, told ChannelE2E.

Blue Mantis and AITP decided to focus on the Microsoft ecosystem and toolset because most customers already stored their data there in emails or Sharepoint. That eliminates the need to move data. It also leverages the existing security Microsoft has built into its tools and technology.

AITP brings talent and experience to the relationship that would have taken Blue Mantis months or years to develop internally, Cratty said. Blue Mantis brings infrastructure expertise and customer relationships.

What the Blue Mantis - AITP Offering Looks Like

The partnership will look to provide Copilot implementations, transformation consulting (because not all employees are going to understand what's possible with AI), and organizational transformation.

Additionally, Copilot can be extended, so there’s an opportunity for custom engagements on enhanced custom copilots that are purpose built for individual customers.

Cratty said that the partnership has seen three different types of engagements so far:

  • Someone at a customer buys the Copilot licenses, hoping for the best, and then calls Blue Mantis for help
  • Executives at a company are interested in AI and the potential but need to be educated about the potential use cases and how they can act upon them
  • An organization is all-in and wants custom Copilot work

The first step is about the data estate and data management, Cratty said. It includes identifying the data landscape, assessing what the customer owns, what the access rights are and what classifications exist. Cratty said the company has 15 opportunities in this area right now. There are also several signed engagements for the executive education-type engagement where the partnership is acting as a strategic advisor.

“It’s been fast and furious,” Cratty said. “I haven’t seen anything this quick since the Linux operating system.”

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.