The solution, Octavia, is in the early stages of beta, and will eventually launch with both a full featured enterprise version and a free version which will not have all of the enterprise features.
Tampa-based startup Nine Minds, a collaboration between former ConnectWise Chief Software Architect Robert Isaacs and former ConnectWise CEO Arnie Bellini, has announced the beta of Octavia, their first product offering, designed to bring Generative AI to MSP customer service capabilities.
“I left ConnectWise in 2016 with Arnie’s blessing to be on the entrepreneurship side, and we have been working together since then,” said Isaacs, who is both Founder and CEO of Nine Minds. The Bellini Capital private investment firm funds Nine Minds. The name Nine Minds itself is a reference to an Octopus, which has a brain in its main body, but also an additional brain in each of its eight tentacles.
Isaacs said the inspiration for Octavia came from GitHub Copilot, a 2021 collaboration between GitHub and Open API to assist developers with natural language prompts.
“This was pre-chat GPT, and led to the concept which I took to Arnie,” Isaacs indicated. “That was the beginning of the story.”
Octavia is designed to significantly improve customer service capabilities for the IT support function.
“It is a generative API product that uses Large Language Models to take the burden of tech support off the MSPs,” Isaacs said.
The idea is to provide MSPs with direct support they need through the AI, so they don’t have to look things up, which gives them more time for more profitable tasks.
“We don’t want to tell them where to go to find a solution,” Isaacs said. “We want to give them the solution, so as to take all the burden off them. These AI models have superhuman IT models built in, and we give the models additional skills and let them do their job.
“A large part of what we do is based on the fact that we live in tools they already have,” Isaacs added. “We integrate right on top. We summarize, categorize and provide a title. Other tools just direct you.”
The functionality provided includes identifying the nature of a request and its urgency, creating an accurate summary of the issue, and then generating intelligent, tailored advice for how to address an issue. During this process, it recognizes sentiment and generates natural sounding responses, enabling service providers to provide quick customer communications.
“The AI can also give proper grammar, which is of value considering that many tech support people’s first language is not English,” Isaacs indicated.
Finally, Octavia helps providers demonstrate their service levels by generating client-ready reports that include response times, and number and categorization of issues resolved.
The beta is underway now. MSPs interested in participating should go to the website www.nineminds.com to sign up. It’s simple to install.
“The goal is to open up the beta to as many customers as possible,” Isaacs said. “We hope to get it in front of as many people as possible by IT Nation, by which time we want to have all of the full initial enterprise capabilities in the product.”
The plan is to add more going forward.
“Over the following weeks and months we plan to add at least one additional ticketing program, but we haven’t decided on a full roadmap at this stage,” Isaacs noted.
“We also want to provide a free tier, which we plan to roll out at the same time as the fully featured one,” he said. “The enterprise version is the one that can read the MSP’s data. It’s a question of features, and which will be in the free version. Our inclination is to provide more. Thee free version won’t be limited by time or by the number of users.”
When the beta is finished, the initial launch will just be for ConnectWise, but the plan is to extend it to others as well.
“We are working on a timeframe for other platforms,” Isaacs said.
Long-term, Nine Lives would like to use Octavia as a foundational element in a broader platform.
“We have big dreams,” Isaacs stated. “This is the first step to a larger vision. Going ahead, people aren’t going to be using traditional software, so the first step is to add smarts to existing software and work from there.”