BUSINESS

Sabeer Bhatia inspires a virtual support tool

REMOTE DIAGNOSTICS: Internet mail pioneer Sabeer Bhatia (right) with InstaColl CEO Sumanth Raghavendra at the launch of the company's Net collaboration tool in Bangalore on Wednesday.

REMOTE DIAGNOSTICS: Internet mail pioneer Sabeer Bhatia (right) with InstaColl CEO Sumanth Raghavendra at the launch of the company's Net collaboration tool in Bangalore on Wednesday.  

InstaAssist offers remote correction of customer system faults

Anand Parthasarathy

BANGALORE: Imagine that your PC has developed a problem. You call a telephone help line provided by the manufacturer and an engineer at the other end, tries to understand the problem and guide you through the repair process. If you — like 90 per cent of lay `dummy' users — find the whole process difficult and intimidating — there's help at hand.

Sabeer Bhatia — the man who gave the world its first free e-mail service — Hotmail — has inspired the Bangalore -based `InstaColl' to create a web-based tool that will allow a service agent to not only `look' at the screen of your PC, but — if you allow access — he or she can burrow into your machine and set right the problem; may be even send down and install a `patch' to repair the software.

On Wednesday, InstaColl and Mr. Bhatia unveiled their latest product, InstaAssist, an application which exploits the basic peer-to-peer collaborative strength of their flagship product (named InstaColl, like the company) and adds new functional bells and whistles, to create what they claim is the world's most affordable remote, real time web-based customer service tool.

"It's a mouthful,'' Mr. Bhatia admitted, speaking to The Hindu shortly before demonstrating the product to over 20 leading Indian heads of call centre and business process companies. "But because we connect peer to peer and avoid the expense and cycle time of a dedicated server-based solution, InstaAssist costs a tenth of competing products.''

The key application areas are: remotely diagnosing and correcting customer system faults; `hand holding' customers of web-based commerce sites and helping users fill in forms online.

Sumanth Raghavendra, CEO of InstaColl, added that the original product launched three months ago had gained "tens of thousands of users worldwide.'' By extending its utility to create `virtual' on-site support solution, the company hoped it could help Indian and global e-biz players gain the added competitive edge.

Recommended for you