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Exploring the Potential of Generative AI for MSP Service Providers

Summary

Generative Artificial Intelligence (AI) offers significant opportunities for MSP service providers to manage and develop new services for their end users. However, these possibilities have been limited until now. KanalE2E had a conversation with Vadim Vladimirsky, CEO and Co-founder of […]

Exploring the Potential of Generative AI for MSP Service Providers

Generative Artificial Intelligence (AI) offers significant opportunities for MSP service providers to manage and develop new services for their end users. However, these possibilities have been limited until now.

KanalE2E had a conversation with Vadim Vladimirsky, CEO and Co-founder of Nerdio, to gain insights into the potential opportunities for MSP service providers in the era of generative AI and artificial intelligent assistants. They discussed Microsoft Copilot, the recent million Microsoft 365 license purchase by Amazon, and much more.

But before we delve into the details, let’s start with some background information. Nerdio provides a platform for MSP service providers to manage virtual desktop environments in Microsoft Azure. In April, the company expanded its services to include additional automation and cost optimization, as well as support for Microsoft Intune – a tool that can challenge the standard RMM (Remote Monitoring and Management) tool used by MSP service providers. Nerdio also offers a free tool for MSP service providers to assist in estimating the costs of Microsoft Azure licenses and margins before implementation.

Here’s what Vladimirsky shared about the potential opportunities presented by Microsoft Copilot for MSP service providers:

Nerdio has observed interest from both corporate and MSP customers in Copilot, particularly for larger corporate clients. However, due to Microsoft’s current licensing conditions, only the largest companies can currently take advantage of Copilot’s capabilities. The licenses cost $30 per user with a minimum of 300 licenses, and there is also a time commitment requirement.

It is possible that Microsoft will release a more tailored offering for the lower end of the market by 2024. Nonetheless, according to Vladimirsky, there isn’t much to manage when you have an out-of-the-box Microsoft 365 Copilot that can interact with your Microsoft 365 data – Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, SharePoint. In this sense, the opportunity for MSP service providers may lie in educating the market and providing training on technological best practices.

Looking to the future, there is a greater opportunity for MSP service providers in terms of managing data-related projects and continuous management, which will be the “sweet spot” for them, according to Vladimirsky. This “sweet spot” will involve integrating all data from non-Microsoft applications into Copilot. End users are likely highly interested in asking Copilot questions about their data. For example, what if a CEO could ask Copilot the same questions usually directed to the CFO?

Vadim Vladimirsky, CEO of Nerdio, suggests that Copilot should be able to answer those questions if it has access to the data. This represents a significant opportunity for MSP service providers to leverage Copilot.

To help organizations integrate their data, Microsoft has introduced Microsoft Copilot Studio, allowing organizations to integrate their data into Copilot. While it may be too complicated for organizations to do this on their own, it can be a relatively simple service that MSP companies can offer to their end-user companies, according to Vladimirsky.

“They can use Microsoft’s software package, their SaaS mechanism, and their AI components, and then connect them with data using connectors provided to Microsoft by these service providers. After that, they can provide it to their clients as a managed solution,” explains Vladimirsky.

What are the AI possibilities for Nerdio in the MSP market?

Nerdio is not ready to disclose anything specific in this area at the moment. However, Vladimirsky hints at how Nerdio can assist MSP service providers in entering the realm of generative AI. For instance, the price of Copilot alone, $30 per user, may be prohibitively high for the SMB market, leaving little room for MSP resale. But what if Nerdio deconstructs the Copilot solution, built using OpenAI models and Microsoft Azure infrastructure powered by AI silicon chips?

Vladimirsky envisions a service that uses the same components but is sold based on consumption rather than a price per user per month.

“Imagine an MSP offering their clients an economical way to leverage AI based on usage and consumption, rather than a premium per user per month,” he suggests.

Is Nerdio planning to implement this? It’s not entirely clear yet.

“We’re exploring the possibilities,” says Vladimirsky. “Enabling MSP service providers to not only build successful cloud practices but also build successful cloud practices with AI capabilities within their MSP practices.”

What about Nerdio’s MSP business that is not related to AI?

Nerdio’s MSP business offers a wide range of tools to manage the entire Microsoft Cloud, including virtual desktop environments, Azure, and Microsoft 365. However, the company is increasingly focusing on security and collaboration with Microsoft Defender, Intune, and similar products.

What are your thoughts on Amazon’s purchase of one million Microsoft 365 licenses?

Reports suggest that Amazon is spending a billion dollars to purchase one million Microsoft 365 licenses. This is an interesting development considering the competition between these two companies in the market of major cloud service providers. Vladimirsky has faced numerous questions about this since it was first announced in October. People wondered if Microsoft and Amazon would collaborate on services offered to customers. However, it seems that Amazon, as an organization, requires the software for productivity and collaboration.

“Amazon is simply buying productivity software that most of the world already uses,” says Vladimirsky. “It doesn’t appear to be so much about collaboration at a service level that would impact customers, MSP service providers, or Amazon’s channel partners.”

What does Vladimirsky think about Microsoft’s AI efforts?

Vladimirsky recently attended the Microsoft Ignite conference, where “everything was about AI. AI was a pervasive central theme. Microsoft is encouraging its internal teams and focusing heavily on AI. They have announced some custom hardware components built specifically to scale, as they are needed for the power of AI and the type of hardware and chips they require. Microsoft is building custom silicon to power AI workloads, which is surprising” (Source: ChannelE2E).

FAQs:
What is generative artificial intelligence?
Generative AI refers to the ability of computers or algorithms to generate or create original and autonomous content, such as images, texts, or music. This technology utilizes deep learning and neural networks to create something new based on existing data.

What are the AI possibilities for MSP service providers related to Microsoft Copilot?
MSP service providers can leverage Microsoft Copilot to provide data management services and help optimize data-related projects. The integration of non-Microsoft application data into Copilot presents an opportunity for MSP providers to offer valuable insights and assistance to their end users.