‘Low-code and no-code is a attempt to make RPA easier to move down-market. But low-code and no-code is still complex and MSPs need to hire talent to use it. The point of RPA is not to hire people. We use low-code and no-code to develop it and advanced users have access to it, but that’s not the primary method to use Rewst,’ says Rewst CEO Aharon Chernin.
Rewst, a startup developer of robotic process automation technology aimed specifically at smaller MSPs, Monday unveiled a seed funding round of $2.5 million.
With that funding, led by venture capital firm Florida Funders, plus the $1 million invested by the company’s founders, a total of $3.5 million has been invested in the company.
Rewst was founded by two people with long ties to the MSP community: CEO Aharon Chernin, the founder of Perch, an IT security company that was acquired in 2020 by ConnectWise; and Gary Pica, a long-time fixture in the MSP industry who in May sold his TruMethods MSP coaching and mentoring firm to Kaseya.
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Rewst is looking to bring robotic process automation down-market to the general MSP community just like Perch did with high-end security tools, Chernin told CRN.
“We took security tools like SIEM (security information and event management) and SOC (security operations center), and brought them down-market,” he said. ”Most people think the price of such tools is too high. But the real problem is the lack of manpower to run them in the MSP community. Even if an MSP could afford it, they weren‘t happy because they didn’t have the people to run it.”
After Perch was acquired by ConnectWise, Chernin said he was looking at what else could be brought down-market MSPs, and saw the answer in robotic process automation.
“Low-code and no-code is a attempt to make RPA easier to move down-market,” he said. ”But low-code and no-code is still complex and MSPs need to hire talent to use it. The point of RPA is not to hire people. We use low-code and no-code to develop it and advanced users have access to it, but that‘s not the primary method to use Rewst.”
Rewst is targeting MSPs with RPA technology initially as a way to help them automate their businesses, Chernin said.
“Take technical things, like managing PSA [professional services automation] ticketing,” he said. ”Most products today focus on opening new tickets to work on. We focus on closing them. We look to decrease ticket workloads, not increase them. Now, if you purchase a new security tool, you open a ticket. Instead, we open the ticket, take action based on what the MSP specifies, and then close it.”
MSPs using low-code and no-code platforms need to use no-code tools to change automation, Chernin said.
“Our RPA does it automatically,” he said. ”MSPs will be able to change their automation just enough to match their business needs.”
Rewst has an awesome value proposition, said Dustin Bourlander, owner of Clear Guidance Partners, an Austin, Texas-based MSP, which has been beta testing the vendor‘s RPA technology in its own operations.
“A lot of existing tools are like Lego sets,” Bourlander told CRN. ”They can do all these cool things, and everything can be controlled with scripts. But I don‘t have the time to do it all.”
Clear Guidance Partners is focusing Rewst‘s RPA technology on new user setup, Bourlander said.
“Clients hire new people, and then on-board them,” he said. ”I can have one of my people do this for 20 hours a week, or I can get Rewst to do it right out of the box. Doing this on my own would also require a lot of maintenance. Rewst automatically pushes the changes out. A lot of MSPs custom-build software, but need maintenance and to do updates. Every time Microsoft does a maintenance update, we have to update our applications. Rewst take care of that.”
Rewst is working exclusively with MSPs, Chernin said.
“When you think about business-to-business for SMBs, MSPs are the only way to go,” he said. ”Not only are they awesome to work with, they are the only way to cost-effectively work with them.”
Rewst is planning to take its time bringing its RPA technology to MSPs using what Chernin called a “concierge” method.
“Instead of opening the flood gates on something MSPs really haven‘t done before, we are going to bring the first MSP on, get them set up, then bring in the next, and so on,” he said
That “concierge” approach makes sense, Bourlander said.
“A lot of MSPs don‘t have automation,” he said. ”If you bring it on too fast, go from 100-percent manual to 80-percent automated, that’s a big mind shift.”
This is important to small, fast-growing MSPs like Clear Guidance Partners which went from zero revenue in 2019 to about $3.5 million annual revenue now, Bourlander said.
“We know we need to transform, but we know we can‘t do it overnight,” he said. ”We’re growing super-quick, but we need tools like Rewst. We can’t build our own team of developers. I can hire two people, or I can buy Rewst.”