DXC, Ivanti Turn To AI Assistants To Address IT Worker Shortage

‘We automate the tasks that humans do on a daily basis,’ says Pat Calhoun, CEO and founder of Espressive. ‘But the magic in what we do is connecting the human language to a lot of that automation behind the scenes, because that‘s where the complexity lies.”


Tech powerhouses DXC and Ivanti have both partnered separately with AI-powered software firm Espressive to deliver Barista, an automated virtual support agent that will “bridge the gap for companies with the IT worker shortage and also address an organization’s immediate IT needs,” Ivanti President Nayaki Nayyar said.

Espressive was selected by Tysons, Virginia-based solution provider DXC Technology–No. 4 on CRN’s 2021 Solution Provider 500 list– to embed Barista into its Modern Workplace offering which empowers employees and delivers a personalized experience to resolve IT issues quickly.

It has also partnered with Ivanti, the South Jordan, Utah-based automation platform provider, and its Ivanti Neurons automation platform that empowers organizations to discover, manage, secure and service from cloud to edge.

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“We automate the tasks that humans do on a daily basis,” Pat Calhoun, CEO and founder of Santa Clara, Calif.-based startup Espressive, told CRN. “But the magic in what we do is connecting the human language to a lot of that automation behind the scenes, because that‘s where the complexity lies.”

Barista recognizes 22 languages, with plans to recognize 200 in the future.

Along with deploying Barista for DXC customers, it will also be available to DXC’s remote workforce of more than 130,000 employees.

“DXC is focused on helping our customers put the employee experience first to achieve new levels of productivity, engagement and collaboration and help win the war for talent,” Mike McDaniel, president of Modern Workplace at DXC, told CRN. “Employees expect a consumer-like and frictionless technology experience. Embedding Barista helps us provide that consumer like self-help.”

Barista also understands more than 2.5 billion different employee topics and phrases, with seven million added on a monthly basis, said Calhoun, who has previously worked at ServiceNow, McAfee and Cisco.

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With Ivanti, Calhoun that they’re recognizing that the world of service management is moving towards AI and automation.

“Automating IT services enables organizations to address talent shortage two-fold, through addressing the IT talent shortage and by improving the digital employee experience – enabling employees to be productive no matter their location,” Nayyar told CRN. “It was a natural next step to partner with Espressive and provide Ivanti Neurons Digital Assistant to our customers to strengthen their digital employee experience. It’s important for employees to have the same experience at work that they have in their consumer lives and Ivanti Neurons provides 24/7 coverage for the everywhere workplace.”

Calhoun said there has been a 35 percent increase in help desk tickets due to the pandemic.

“We’ve seen 102 percent increase in absenteeism in the service desk as a result of the pandemic,” he said. “All of this has resulted in a 68 percent increase in ticket backlog.”

Barista is the only virtual agent based on an open platform that enables fast deployment, empowers subject matter experts to control their own destiny and delivers a zero-code interface for extensive customization without any effort, according to Calhoun.

“With a platform like Barista, we have now turned something that could have taken one or two hours to be immediate,” he said. “If you think about your own productivity as an employee, your ability to get back on your feet immediately has huge financial reward.”

“It’s not about taking what we used to do yesterday and finding a way to support them today, it’s about rethinking the way support actually works,” he added.