Despite AI's Capabilities, A Help Desk is Needed

Despite AI's Capabilities, A Help Desk is Needed

By Greg Tavarez

AI is impacting nearly every industry. Companies are leveraging AI to generate efficiencies, improve service delivery, and create new opportunities.

Mostafa Razzak, CEO, JMR Connect, led a panel discussion at MSP Expo 2024 featuring Robert Isaacs, CEO, Nine Minds; and Oren Rosen, CEO, eProc Solutions.

One of the first questions asked by Razzak was about how AI has enhanced automation processes.

“Copilot is a great example. Same with ChatGPT,” said Isaacs. “Use those tools to help write scripts. A few steps in the future, AI will take the tasks over themselves, but we are a few ticks away from that because we need a human in the loop. Take the tools you already have and make them better.”

As businesses look to implement automation, there has to be a downside and pitfalls that come with it, despite AI being praised highly.

“Everyone says automation is the ultimate solution. With automation you don’t need support,” said Rosen. “Well, we need to acknowledge, no matter how advanced tech gets, AI can fail. If AI fails, so does the help desk. We cannot ignore human interaction.”

Is there an answer to that? For example, the C-suite is hyped about AI and is dead set on integrating AI. The panelists then talked about how to better balance no human intervention and too much intervention.

“You cannot avoid human intervention,” said Rosen. “Eventually, AI will step in and maybe we won’t need the help desk. Until then, we need to address the fact that someone is needed at the help desk.”

A common issue is that the help desk is being ignored. And when the help desk is used, they usually only have two tools: some type of ticketing system and some type of remote control.

“What if the end user is required to accept the remote control? It can take longer, up to four hours to resolve the issue,” said Rosen. “I think there is a solution to help the help desk resolve a solution without the remote control.”

At that point, Razzak mentioned that people hear AI and think LLMs, which leads into the next question. If speaking to an MSP executive and they ask where to start, what types of AI should be looked at?

“Today, I would encourage them and go have one of their engineers familiarize themselves with the technology and find the vendors that have the tools they need to make them better,” said Isaacs. “You will see benefits right away.”

A follow-up question: Which should be recommended? OpenAI, Meta’s Llama or Gemini?

“I would try to talk to the MSP to find the level of expertise they have,” said Isaacs. “Copilot is amazing, it opened my eyes. GPT-4 and Copilot are the vanguard. It is not surprising that Copilot has been an interesting topic at the show.”

Oren then followed up to end the discussion with this.

“Copilot gives you a lot of information and solutions. It can give you a real solution but it cannot resolve the problem,” said Oren. “That’s the problem. People try to use automation. But AI failed. Again, this goes back to human interaction. Guys, helpdesk is the front of the company.”

Edited by Greg Tavarez
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MSPToday Editor

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