CRUSHBANK intends to “revolutionize the help desk” with an application based on Watson, IBM’s artificial intelligence platform, says Evan Leonard, the Syosset, N.Y.-based company’s co-founder and president. With the CrushBank application, a help desk or technology engineer can ask a natural language question and quickly get the right answer from Watson.
Leonard and his business partner and CrushBank co-founder David Tan have been MSPs for the past 20-plus years. When IBM opened up Watson to its partner ecosystem, Leonard and Tan applied. “We had the idea of teaching Watson how to be a help desk engineer,” Leonard recalls.
A supplement to a traditional help desk system, CrushBank provides a single pane of glass for querying all of the resources you use to find product and customer information, including knowledge bases, technical manuals, blogs, spec sheets, and more from Microsoft, Cisco, Citrix, and Apple; as well as service ticket and configuration data in PSA products from ConnectWise, Autotask, and ServiceNow, with additional integrations coming. Much of that information can be difficult to find with conventional search tools.
Moreover, the application gets smarter over time as you use it. “We've built the product in such a way that with every click of a mouse, with everything that you do, Watson is learning,” Leonard says.
In addition to increasing technician productivity, CrushBank enables an organization to document and retain intellectual property. “When [a] help desk technician leaves, you're losing part of what they're good at. Even your worst technician knows something about some client or some technology. Using the power of Watson and CrushBank, you're retaining all that information,” Leonard says.
And while transforming the help desk through faster time to resolution and improved customer satisfaction are CrushBank’s loftier goals, Leonard says the application also offers a practical solution to the skills shortage: “I truly believe that this is going to at least be a part of every help desk that's out there because it's just getting more and more difficult to keep people engaged in the help desk.”