The introduction of ChatGPT last November isn’t why ConnectWise created its recently announced automated scripting tool. Work on the new enhancement to the company’s ConnectWise Automate and ConnectWise RMM products was already underway when OpenAI’s conversational large language model made its electrifying debut.
“ChatGPT just accelerated it,” says Ameer Karim, general manager and executive vice president of ConnectWise’s unified monitoring and management group.
In doing so, it also let the world in a little sooner on an emerging strategic initiative at ConnectWise aimed at helping channel pros get more done faster with help from artificial intelligence.
“Scripting just happens to be our first announcement around this area,” Karim says. “There’s a lot more that we can do to further assist the next generation of MSPs out there.”
Coding scripts was a good place to begin though, Karim notes, because it’s a productivity-boosting task that those younger MSPs often struggle with.
“Some of them don’t have that highly qualified skill to go develop a sophisticated PowerShell-based script,” he says. “What this tool can provide now is that extra layer of assistance and guidance.”
ConnectWise had been experimenting with a variety of homegrown and third-party AI engines when ChatGPT first became available. The OpenAI system outperformed all of them, however.
“We saw that the accuracy of this model was much higher than other models we were looking at in the past,” recalls ConnectWise CTO Raghu Ram Bongula.
The company used Microsoft’s Azure OpenAI Service, which shipped last month, to create the new feature, and then layered in “prompt engineering” functionality of its own design.
“We focus the prompt to get the most accurate and most focused response,” Bongula explains.
ConnectWise also supplemented ChatGPT’s built-in content moderation feature, which is designed to filter out hateful, malicious prompts, to enhance security.
The end result, which is slated to be available for testing through an early access program next week, streamlines an otherwise time-consuming chore without altogether eliminating it.
“We are providing assistance here, but we are not replacing a human,” says Bongula, noting that while the new tool typically completes 80 to 95 percent of the scripting process, technicians must still round out, test, and refine the code before putting it into production. Most users will end up completing development work that can take half a day or more much faster just the same, he predicts.
“It saves those many hours of me trying to complete something manually,” Bongula says.
ConnectWise has collected hundreds of signups for the new feature so far. Only partners who specifically request the tool will ultimately get it, Karim notes. “This is opt-in, meaning it doesn’t by default turn on,” he says. “We’re going to be turning it on partner by partner.”
ConnectWise plans to arm its RMM and PSA products with further AI-enhanced capabilities—for owners, service dispatchers, salespeople, and others in addition to technicians—in the next few months. Not all of them will run on ChatGPT.
“OpenAI is one of the tools in the toolkit right now,” Bongula says, but it’s not the only one.
Asio, the platform introduced in 2021 that will eventually host all of ConnectWise’s solutions, will make plugging AI-based features into multiple applications significantly easier, Karim adds.
“In Asio, once develop it and have it integrated into the platform, every other product can now start taking advantage of it,” he says.