What’s the next step in MSP automation — particularly as it pertains to IT service desks, artificial intelligence and chatbots? Perhaps the answer is emerging at Triafy, a startup backed by ConnectWise veteran Gerwai Todd.
Within the MSP community, Todd is well-known for playing a key role in ConnectWise investments and M&A deals over the past decade or so. But by December 2018, he was ready to step out and build something on his own.
Fast forward to April 2019. Todd emerged as founder and president of Triafy. The Tampa, Florida-based startup has built a ticket triage knowledge base for non-technical help desk dispatchers.
So, how exactly will that help established and emerging MSPs, and other types of service professionals? We reached out to Todd for some perspective. Here’s the ChannelE2E interview.
ChannelE2E: You previously spent a decade at ConnectWise, and nearly a decade at Fidelity. How did those journeys prepare you to build your own company?
Todd: I’ve been fortunate to have worked with great leaders and teams in my career. Over the last 20 years, I’ve been directly involved in every aspect of software businesses and have gained invaluable experience from the breadth of roles. That experience has lead me to this point in my life where taking the entrepreneurial step is a natural progression.
ChannelE2E: You launched Triafy in April 2019 to help MSPs further automate their businesses. Where, exactly, are you focusing your automation efforts?
We have built a ticket triage knowledge base for non-technical help desk dispatchers to use when they open new service tickets. We are using AI chatbot technology to guide dispatchers through the appropriate triage questions for the given client issue. Dispatchers field a broad range of IT issues daily. It is impossible for them to know the triage information their tech team needs on every possible tech issue. Our chatbot removes the technical complexity so that dispatchers can focus on the customer service experience and consistently collect the triage information tech teams need to resolve issues when they first touch a service ticket.
Here’s a video to explain it a bit more:
ChannelE2E: Does Triafy work with existing MSP service desk technology – or is this a rip-and-replace strategy?
Todd: Service ticket management has been solved in our industry. I believe opportunity exists when you can streamline interactions with existing service desk applications. Our solution is using service desk integration points to create service tickets. We’ve started with ConnectWise and will be integrating with others in 2020.
ChannelE2E: In your R&D journey, what feedback did you hear from MSPs – and did that feedback influence your market focus or product development?
Todd: The feedback we have received from our initial clients has been invaluable and has significantly shaped our product roadmap. The one theme that applies to all of our clients is the never ending goal to be more operationally efficient. Improving help desk operations for them is critical to growing their margins and performing at best in class.
ChannelE2E: Artificial intelligence, chat and self-service seem to be everywhere in the enterprise. How soon do you expect those waves to arrive in the MSP market and SMB channel?
Todd: I see a lot of AI companies chasing large market opportunities to satisfy their investors and business plans. Business focused AI solutions are beginning to emerge for the SMB, but only a few companies are dedicated to MSPs. I think adoption will quickly accelerate after MSP business owners see how AI can solve their real world business challenges.
ChannelE2E: What are your core company goals near-term, and where do you want to take the business in 2020?
Todd: We are focused on developing the broadest triage knowledge base for MSPs. That has been our singular focus since launch, and will continue as our primary goal in 2020.
Disclosures: Todd and I speak weekly about potential angel investments in technology-focused startups. I am not an investor in Triafy. — Joe Panettieri.