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MSPs Encouraged to Embrace AI

Cyber Security Updates

This comes from a recent post “Why I Strongly Believe MSPs Need to Embrace AI — From the Guy Who Has Literally Seen It All”

The other day, I posted on LinkedIn and in MSP Facebook groups about why I think MSPs should be building an AI practice. I compared this to how MSPs have built cybersecurity practices.

I thought it was a logical argument. I see the need so clearly that I wanted to share my thoughts and get feedback. It’s hard to argue that AI isn’t going to change the world—or so I thought.

MSPs pushed back. They laughed at me (emoji laughs but laughs nonetheless). I was called “bleeding edge” (I have been called worse). Some pointed to failed chatbot support implementations, and others accused me of trying to sell high-margin services that weren’t needed (I made it clear that I had nothing to sell). The majority of the feedback was negative.

I actually took a step back and doubted myself. Why am I so convinced, yet many MSPs didn’t share my enthusiasm?

“Do you really know what you are talking about, Art?”

After a lot of thought, self-doubt, and a couple of glasses of wine, I realized I do know what I am talking about (no, I didn’t look in the mirror and tell myself, “And doggone it, people like me.”).

I am literally the guy who has seen it all when it comes to modern-day personal computing. Let me give you some background on what I have seen and why I am so convinced AI is the next huge opportunity for MSPs.

The Dawn of Microcomputing

I was an intern for three summers at Merck & Co., Inc., starting in 1983. IBM had just released the first “microcomputer / personal computer,” and I was one of two original desktop support employees working in the “Microcomputer Center.”

If you wanted to buy a PC, you had to come to us, and we configured the computer using a Lotus 123 spreadsheet that I created. You also came to us when you needed support for various programs including WordPerfect, Lotus 123, and others. Notice there was no Microsoft Office at the time.

Once hired as a full-time employee, I was involved in several projects that implemented the first Token Ring network at Merck. Now, these PCs could start talking to each other.

I was then involved with the pilot of Network Courier, which was the program that Microsoft acquired from Consumers Software. It was one of the first email server and mail program. This later became Exchange and Outlook. Now we could email, and the days of handwritten memos were over.

I was part of the team that launched Merck.com, Merck’s first website on the Internet. I was heavily involved in building intranets and being an advocate of this new thing called the Internet. I even visited the Netscape offices in CA to hear about their roadmap. There was no Explorer, Firefox, or Chrome yet. And Yahoo was the “search engine” of the time.

I was one of the first employees to have DSL installed in my home. I got to experience “blazing fast” remote access for the first time.

When I left Merck, I started an IT company that supported small businesses. We used to send techs to our clients to update antivirus definitions manually (that’s how long ago have been in the IT business). We were an MSP before IT companies were called MSPs and focused on proactive services.

I had Blackberry’s when they had a single-line display but had a physical keyboard. I was one of the first to experience the benefits of mobility. I also owned the first generation Blackberry and Android phones. I had the first generation Apple iOS devices as well.

My MSP was built to be fully remote from its start in 2000. I was 20 years ahead of Covid and the push to Work from Home.

I embraced Amazon AWS services and moved some of our client’s infrastructure to the “cloud” years before Microsoft launched Office 365 and Azure.

In 2009, I saw that newly passed regulations would force healthcare providers to implement electronic health records (EHRs) and be required to be HIPAA compliant. I built a “cloud-based portal” (note SaaS was not a term yet) and launched HIPAA Secure Now! in 2010.

I then saw that lack of HIPAA enforcement and the ending of the Meaningful Use incentives would hurt the demand for HIPAA compliance. At the same time, I saw the increasing cybersecurity risks and launched Breach Secure Now in 2015.

BSN focused on the part of cybersecurity that most MSPs and businesses ignored—the human element.

My company has grown to over 100 employees, all using SaaS-based services with no servers or local infrastructure besides laptops. We have 3,000 MSP partners, 30,000 SMB clients, and 1,000,000 users on the platform.

I have seen that SMBs spend a lot of money on ensuring their employees are productive and can do their jobs. I have seen the push towards Microsoft 365 and Google Workspace. In 2024, Breach Secure Now has expanded into Productivity training with the launch of our M365 productivity and cybersecurity training.

The Dawn of Artificial Intelligence (AI)

For the past year, I have embraced AI and signed up for ChatGPT as soon as it was publicly available. I played around with various AI/LLM tools, both commercial and open-sourced. I have used various text-to-image and video platforms.

I have adopted an AI-first mentality because the power of AI is something I have never seen before.

So, I sit here wide-eyed and in awe of the power of AI. Everything I have seen and done up until this point has built the foundation for a massive AI Productivity Revolution. I am convinced, based on watching past technology advances, seeing how it can help businesses with a variety of tasks, and knowing that the AI we see/use today is nothing like we will see in the future.

So, from a guy who has seen it all, I am convinced AI will change the world. As an MSP and MSP SaaS vendor, I want to shout from the rooftops the need for MSPs to be early adopters of this technology. To build the skills required to lead your clients through the productivity revolution. If you don’t, some other company will.

So laugh at me 😀

Call me bleeding edge 🩸

Question my insight ❓

Or accuse me of trying to sell you something 🤑

But start building the skills that your clients will need to navigate the unknown world where AI changes everything we have seen before.

Contact Breach Secure Now today to learn more.

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