Next Wave Ideas – Using Disruptive Technologies to Achieve the “Impossible”

STEADfast IT, a managed service provider based out of Saratoga Springs recently added to its talent roster in an unusual way; employing an artificial intelligence (AI) bot named MAX. 

“It’s not what we do, it’s how we do it” has become our company’s mantra. STEADfast IT offers IT services and solutions for small to medium-sized businesses. While lots of other companies can deal with technology and IT challenges like us, none of them are rocking the boat of innovation quite like we are.

The IT industry average time to first response is about 5 ½ hours. The standard way of providing IT support was falling behind the pace of business today and we noticed some glaring inefficiencies. That realization began our quest to accomplish something extraordinary: decrease the time to first response from 5 ½ hours to 10 minutes. We accomplished this by re-engineering our internal processes and developing our own systems. While it was an improvement, we wanted to achieve better than 10 minutes.

In order to break through that barrier and become more responsive, we had to do something disruptive.

We introduced MAX, our first ‘virtual engineer’ to the team in July of 2018. MAX logs into the system like any other engineer on our team. He’s assigned tickets based on the skills he has acquired, documents his actions, and will interact with other engineers as needed. As is true with any of our other “human” engineers, if MAX can’t handle it, he can transfer it to another engineer with a different set of skills and vice versa. MAX is now an integral member of our support team.

We began conceptualizing MAX by studying the actions taken by our support engineers. Based on this data, MAX now has programmable skills that can be applied to ticket resolution.

MAX has been resolving his assigned tasks in about 20 seconds with a 97% success rate. Our time to first response is now under 10 minutes, but we’re not done yet. We plan to grow and expand MAX’s capabilities by adding more skills all in an effort to continually improve responsiveness. 

We will continue to develop and launch disruptive technologies in a smart and strategic way with a goal to be able to serve our customers better, faster, and more effectively.

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Dr. Craig Skevington, a serial entrepreneur, has created multiple high growth companies across different industries: Manufacturing, Healthcare and Information Technology.  His first company, FACT, was the 236th fastest growing company in 1994 and ultimately became a publicly traded company. His second company, Flow Management Technologies, was the 79th fastest growing company in 2002 and currently serves over 1,100 physicians.

Borrowing from workflow concepts learned from other industries, his current company, STEADfast IT, is growing rapidly as it evolves from a local market to a national footprint. The business model is built on a proprietary ticketing process which enables STEADfast to provide industry-leading response times and a new standard for IT service delivery.

Last year, Craig won the Center for Economic Growth’s Jeffrey A. Lawrence Lifetime Achievement Award. Beyond his startups, Craig enjoys challenges such as scaling Mount Kilimanjaro, completing an IRONMAN triathlon and flying seaplanes.