Technologies and Productivity of the Future: A Conversation with Atera, an ITEXPO Platinum Sponsor

By Alex Passett February 08, 2024

Readers, our awesome annual event is nearly upon us!

Ahead of it, we’d like to share a ton of great information about Atera. Atera is a Platinum sponsor of this event: ITEXPO (News - Alert), part of the #TECHSUPERSHOW experience taking place from February 13-15 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Atera is coming in hot with its vision of reinventing IT as professionals’ needs and work environments evolve.

Sharing this wealth of information is Atera’s CEO and co-founder, Gil Pekelman:

What recent news or innovations in your products or services would you like to share?

We’ve developed the first AI-powered IT management (AIT) platform. Thanks to our strategic partnership with Microsoft (News - Alert) Azure Open AI, our AIT platform empowers IT teams to reach 10x operational efficiency, reduce time-to-resolution, and deliver better outcomes faster.

With our all-in-one AIT platform, end users can troubleshoot and auto-resolve about 50% of IT tickets without the need for technician involvement. With this, IT professionals can focus on critical tasks, reducing the first response time to zero and enhancing IT teams' capacities exponentially.

Atera's smart ticketing features (powered by Azure OpenAI) are here to revolutionize ticket management experience by efficiently summarizing tickets, providing tailored reply suggestions, proposing optimal solutions, and generating scripts for rapid resolution. By leveraging these advanced features, you can expect significant improvements in agent productivity, reduced SLA times, and the elimination of mundane tasks, allowing your team to focus on providing excellent IT support.

What are the 2-3 most significant trends impacting business communications today and what opportunities do they present to businesses?

Hybrid Work Environments: With the widespread adoption of remote and hybrid work models, businesses are increasingly relying on digital communication tools to facilitate collaboration among distributed teams. Solutions that enable seamless communication across various channels (such as video conferencing, instant messaging, and project management platforms) will continue to be essential for fostering teamwork and productivity in this evolving work landscape.

AI-Powered Communication Tools: AI is transforming business communications by automating routine tasks, analyzing data to provide insights, and personalizing interactions with customers and colleagues. AI-powered chatbots, virtual assistants, and language translation tools are becoming increasingly sophisticated, enhancing efficiency, accuracy, and accessibility in workplace communication.

Emphasis on Security and Privacy: With the growing concerns surrounding data privacy and cybersecurity (both regarding and separate from AI itself), businesses are prioritizing secure communication channels to protect sensitive information and maintain regulatory compliance. End-to-end encryption, multi-factor authentication (MFA (News - Alert)), and secure file sharing are just a few examples of measures being implemented to safeguard communication channels and mitigate the risk of data breaches.

How are those trends impacting your business and/or product roadmap?

Our product roadmap for 2024 is a direct continuation of the technological advancement achieved by the Atera team in 2023, integrating with Azure Open AI and infusing AI at every layer of our platform. That said, we are closely monitoring customer feedback for newly released features and are moving with agility and speed, growing AI-powered IT awareness and adoption within our customers base and the industry at large.

Opportunities are often accompanied by challenges. What challenges are businesses facing in today’s tech climate?

There are quite a few challenges businesses face in today’s climate.

A major one is talent – in 2023, 78% of global employers reported trouble hiring for IT roles, making it no. 1 on the list of technical skills most in demand.

Another one is that the pace of innovation and technological advancement is accelerating, and that has an impact on employees – upskilling and reskilling are going to be more and more crucial - but also, maybe even more so, on hardware and software. Tech debt and legacy systems are a problem that’s estimated to cost IT departments 60-80% of their budget just for maintenance.

Next, strategic spending. While it seems 2024 is going to end up being a soft landing for the economy, gone are the days of unchecked growth. Any investment now is going to need to show ROI (and quickly) or get relegated to a lower priority.

Also, supply chains. These have been a problem each year since 2020 (admittedly, for different reasons), and so far it seems like the trend is going to continue into 2024.

If “efficiency” was the buzzword for 2023, for 2024 it’s going to be “productivity.” So decision-makers are really going to be looking into and investing in technologies and processes that can give that edge, like AI and if they hadn’t leveraged it before, automation.

Lastly, cybersecurity. The threat landscape is ever-evolving, and the impact is growing as well – experts estimate that by 2025, the cost of cybercrime will reach an annual $10.5 trillion.

How are you helping them overcome those challenges?

Atera is an all-in-one platform, meaning we consolidate all the tools an IT professional needs in one dashboard. Everything is streamlined and integrated; all your data, real-time and historical is part of the same workflow. And you can automate around 99% of your actions.

Furthermore, AI is integrated into every aspect of the Atera platform. This enables self-troubleshooting for end-users, as well as various one-click actions and skill augmentation for experienced technicians, including scripting and generated solutions.

So the result is a platform that is incredibly intuitive, easy to onboard and use—but more than that, it just enables IT teams to be super efficient and effective. End users can get their issues seen to immediately, while technicians can really focus on strategic projects over the mundane routine tasks that usually take up most of an IT team’s time.

When it comes to cybersecurity, IT teams can leverage automation to ensure software, hardware, and OS are up to date, keep on top of patches and critical updates. Our advanced analytics and reporting capabilities provide a 360-degree view of system health. And we have a very extensive software marketplace that enables users to customize their environments according to their needs with security, backup and recovery, network monitoring, and more.

What strategies and technologies do you think are most effective for businesses looking to enhance their operational efficiency and customer experience simultaneously?

In many cases, like in the IT industry, AI can improve the lives of most employees. However, it's important to note that AI is not a substitute for human intelligence, creativity, or critical thinking. While AI excels at tasks that are rule-based, predictable, and data-driven, it lacks the nuanced understanding, intuition, and emotional intelligence that humans possess.

Ultimately, the key lies in leveraging the strengths of AI to augment human capabilities to focus on higher-value activities that require human creativity, adaptability, and the ability to navigate ambiguous situations. AI should be seen as a partner in the workplace – not a competitor.

For example, IT teams often spend more than 20 hours per week on repetitive tasks, such as patching and granting myriad permissions. Moreover, 60% of teams spend over 10 hours per week creating and maintaining scripts, which is a quarter of their working hours!

These issues are all excellent use cases that IT teams can solve using generative AI.

Integrating AI into your workflows and processes can offload repetitive tasks, enhance productivity, and unlock new possibilities. By striking the right balance between AI and human collaboration, your IT team can achieve remarkable results that create a more prosperous future for all.

Begin with pilot projects to test the feasibility and effectiveness of AI implementations. Learn from these initial projects and gradually scale up successful initiatives across the organization.

Please share a success story or two about how your strategies/solutions have helped customers navigate challenges, turning them into opportunities.

Think of a world where routine IT tasks are automated, tickets are resolved at lightning-fast speeds, and AI and human IT professionals work harmoniously together to create a supercharged IT experience. Fast-forward to today, and this vision is legitimately becoming a reality.

AI-powered IT can supercharge every aspect of an IT professional's daily operations, including automated ticket summaries, auto-generated responses to users, AI-driven solution suggestions, intelligent insights, and AI-generated scripts.

With our AIT, about 50% of user tickets are resolved before reaching a technician is a great example of how end users are also benefiting from this AI-driven revolution. Providing end users with tools for resetting passwords, troubleshooting blue screen errors, and other routine problems reduces IT interruptions and speeds up solutions for everyone.

But don’t just take our word for it! Hear directly from one of our customer themselves about how AIT has been a game-changer for them.

“Atera’s Open AI-powered script generator has been a game changer for my team,” said John Merrick, Information Technology Technical Lead at SWNS Media Group. “Instead of referring to a search engine and wasting time finding the right script to run, we just describe the problem and receive a script in seconds to review and run on devices remotely. It has dramatically improved resolution time.”

Whether you see Microsoft as a competitor or an ally, there’s no denying Microsoft has a massive presence in the business communications landscape. What does that presence mean to you, and how are you leveraging technology to either compete with or leverage Microsoft’s presence in the tech landscape?

Our partnership with Microsoft is what enabled us to be the first (and to date the only) AI-powered IT management solution on the market, a breakthrough achieved by introducing a deep, patented end-to-end AI fusion into our platform.

Atera’s vision is to reinvent how IT is done. We have large pipeline of things we want to achieve—and our partnership with Microsoft is and will continue to be a big part of that vision.

Businesses continue to invest in AI-driven solutions. What do you see as the value of AI to your business and/or your customers?

The value of AI in the world of IT is absolutely limitless. Improved accuracy, enhanced task management, big data capabilities, more informed decision-making, and systems that evolve and optimize with time are just some of the benefits. We believe in AI so much so that we’ve developed the world’s first AI-powered IT (AIT) platform.

So what is AI-powered IT, and why do we think it’s going to revolutionize the IT industry?

Imagine turning your computer on in the morning with the ability to immediately focus on tasks that will boost profits and growth. You have no tickets waiting in your queue, because whatever tickets that came overnight resolved themselves. No sudden emergencies happening, because predictive and proactive capabilities ensure that you are aware of any problem long before it becomes an issue. Finding and deploying a solution to complex issues now takes less than a few minutes.

Sounds imaginary? Well, that’s the reality enabled by AI-powered IT.

Is there a bigger challenge than cyber security facing businesses today? How is the ongoing evolution and growth of cyber threats impacting your product(s) and your customers?

The cybersecurity threat landscape is ever-evolving, and the impact is growing as well - experts estimate that by 2025, the cost of cybercrime will reach an annual $10.5 trillion. When it comes to cybersecurity, IT teams and MSPs working with Atera can leverage automation to ensure software, hardware, and OS are up to date, keep on top of patches and critical updates. Our advanced analytics and reporting capabilities provide a 360-degree view of system health. Moreover, we have a very extensive software marketplace that enables users to customize their environments according to their needs with security, backup and recovery, network monitoring, and more.

What changes do you see in the business technology/communications landscape in the coming year? What impact will those changes have?

The biggest change will no doubt be AI. We’re already seeing the results enabled by Microsoft’s GitHub co-pilot or our own AI offerings, for example, and these are products that have been out for only a few months. Everyone is going to be using AI simply because they can’t afford not to take advantage of the capabilities it unlocks.

AI adoption will have a diverse range of impacts - it’s going to change the way we work and what we focus on during most of our work hours; it’s going to require upskilling and reskilling on both a personal and an organizational level; and it’s going to open up a lot of new opportunities and specialties for professionals, not to mention the economic impact. Conversely, it will also give a new emphasis and value to those skills and tasks that can only be performed by humans and human intelligence.

To a lesser extent, we’re going to be seeing a continued doubling-down on automation and cloud, aligned and integrated with AI innovation.

What are you most looking forward to at ITEXPO 2024?

ITEXPO 2024 represents a valuable opportunity for us to connect, learn, and showcase our most recent product advancements. We’re excited to connect with IT pros from different industries and sectors to get their feedback on Atera’s AI-powered IT management platform and share how our technology is already serving thousands of customers and revolutionizing their everyday IT operations.

What is your session and why is it a must-attend at ITEXPO 2024?

Imagine a future where AI takes care of all the repetitive tasks that consume most of your day-to-day, such as password resets and maintenance updates. One where you can access the communal knowledge of thousands of experts at the click of a button if you run into an issue you’re not sure how to resolve.

That future is here, now. These are capabilities that are already available and easily accessible. If you’re not sure how to start with AI, or just what kind of value it could offer to your business specifically—that’s exactly what we’re going to be covering.

Why are you participating at ITEXPO 2024 and what are you highlighting at your booth?

We are participating in ITEXPO 2024 because it is one of the leading events in the IT and telecom industry, bringing together professionals, thought leaders, and innovators from around the world. This event provides an invaluable opportunity for us to showcase our latest advancements in IT management, connect with potential clients, and stay at the forefront of emerging trends and technologies.

At our booth, we will be highlighting the transformative power of our AI-powered IT management platform. We’ll showcase our comprehensive platform that helps streamline operations, enhance productivity, and drive business growth for IT professionals. From remote monitoring and management to ticketing, billing, and reporting, we’ll share how our all-in-one solution empowers MSPs and IT teams to deliver exceptional service across the board.

Edited by Alex Passett
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