Pia Channel Chief On Getting To A ‘New Level Of Using AI As A Tool’

‘To make us more efficient and make us more profitable ... we have to evolve to the next level. And how do we do that? How do we use our tools to evolve to the next level? ... You do that through standardization, consistency through projects,’ Tim Coach, Pia’s global channel chief, tells an audience of MSPs at the XChange NexGen conference.


While there are many ways to use AI and to grow an MSP’s business, Pia is merging the two.

Tim Coach (pictured), global channel chief for Pia, an Australia-based developer of AI-based automation for IT service desks, said to become a $100 million MSP, business owners must seek out acquisitions.

The problem, however, with rapid acquisitions is the help desk, he said, and the best way to solve that problem is through AI.

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Coach spoke at the XChange NexGen conference hosted by CRN parent The Channel Company in Houston this week.

Some MSPs are using an enterprise-level AI engine to get back, on average, six hours a day when using AI to on-board new users, according to Coach.

“Our AI engines are not current, they’re not live. They’re not actively feeding off of data. So what we have to do is put them through engines. We create engines and that’s how we get into our new level of using AI as a tool in our industry,” he said.

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“To make us more efficient and make us more profitable ... we have to evolve to the next level,” he added. “And how do we do that? How do we use our tools to evolve to the next level? This is how you’ve got to increase your profits. You do that through standardization, consistency through projects. You should be standardizing as much as possible.”

Another way for MSPs to grow their profits is to look at their profitability per contract. But the the No. 1 aspect hurting those contracts is labor, Coach said.

“The problem right now is we have no talent for the most part coming into to our technology pool. It’s extremely low,” he said. “So we have to fix that with tools.”

Pia has implemented AI and machine learning into its tools to help MSPs automate more of their work.

With its global AI-led automation platform that integrates with existing IT service management tools, Pia works with major vendors such as Kaseya, ConnectWise and ServiceNow and will soon be integrating with HaloPSA.

Coach explained that when a help desk ticket is submitted, Pia’s AI tool reads the description of the ticket. From there, a small box appears with the PowerShell scripts and AI engine running the scripts on behalf of the technical staff.

“We’re actually resolving the tickets for you,” he said.

Kyle Malais, vice president at Washington, D.C.-based Reliant Management, said Coach boils down the complexities in machine learning and AI properly “whereas a lot of people just put fluff on what AI is.”

“Tim and the Pia team really get down to it,” he told CRN. “What I love about Pia is that they’re honest in their performance of their AI. They’re focused not on the buzz of AI, but on the actual performance of their product. AI is just the way that they get stuff done. That’s what’s important about them and why they’re, in my opinion, one of the leading AI vendors in the MSP space.”