IT and Business Insights for SMB Solution Providers

Pia Introduces Cognitive Digital Employee to the U.S.

The Australian startup aims to improve service desk operational efficiency through AI-based process optimization. By Colleen Frye

Australian-based startup Pia, which developed what it calls a “cognitive digital employee” designed to automate help desk processes, made its U.S. channel debut at the ChannelPro SMB Forum on September 8. Officially launched on July 27, Pia is a predictive intelligent agent developed by an MSP for MSPs.

The globally patented, AI-based automation-as-a-service solution was created by Virtual IT Group (VITG) for internal use and spun out as a separate company, explains Tim Coach (pictured center, speaking with attendees), Pia’s newly appointed channel chief, who is charged with building out the U.S. market.

Pia not only improves operational efficiency, but frees up resources, says Coach, who was formerly with Gradient MSP. “We've been promised artificial intelligence for years. We've been promised easier workloads on help desk. We've been promised that technology and optimization is coming and we just don't see it on the help desk. It's still our largest source of labor.”

Now with Pia, MSPs have a help desk product that is “completely vetted. It works, it's functioning, and you have automation. You have less labor costs on your help desk. This should 100% lead to higher profitability per percentage of contract.”

A lightweight agent with ISO 27001 accreditation, Pia is currently running on 130,000 endpoints and is now generally available in the U.S.

Pia aiDesk automates triage, Level 1, and Level 2 tasks. Level 1 tasks include add/remove users from groups, grant mailbox permission, manage user licenses, and more. Level 2 tasks include VPN setup, troubleshoot VPN configuration, remote desktop setup, and others. It is integrated with four PSA platforms: ConnectWise Manage, Datto’s Autotask PSA, BMS by Kaseya, and ServiceNow.

Based on data from endpoints under management, Pia has enabled “eight times faster ticket resolution; 50% workload absorption, meaning it's doing 50% of the help desk work once it's fully automated; and 400 to 500% improvement on ticket closure rates, meaning the tickets are not boomerang tickets. Once they're closed, they're closed,” Coach says.

Phase 2 of the roadmap for Pia includes Level 3 escalation, NOC/SOC, and firewall, while Phase 3 will include infrastructure support and app monitoring and evaluation, according to Coach.

Pia is being sold 100% through the channel and priced at $3.50 per endpoint per month for a 12-month subscription.

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