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Software & technology support: More than a supporting cast?

May 7th, 2013
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Six years ago, when iYogi was founded, it saw a clear and open market in the consumer and SME segment for something as plain-vanilla sounding as ‘support'. But as its team highlights today, this is where it created a niche for itself by providing on-demand, comprehensive, vendor-independent support across multiple technologies, delivered on high customer satisfaction benchmarks.

All these years, the company claims to have witnessed rapid growth if figures like 20,000 service request generated every day across 10 countries, are anything to go by. It comfortably sits over a milestone of two million users, having managed over 10 million incidents since its inception. 

What is the next posture that these yogis are up to? Will they be able to retain enough agility ahead too? How nimble-footed are they with lots of opportunities and at the same time lots of thorny patches around? We quiz Vishal Dhar, Co-founder and President, Marketing, iYogi for some answers.

Tell us something about your platform and how it manages to be product agnostic?

As per a study conducted by iYogi Insights last year, a typical home today has an average of 11 devices. This includes Android phones, Apple devices and traditional Windows-based computing devices.

As one of the world's largest brand-independent providers of tech support, iYogi has developed a platform that would be deployable anywhere in the world and agnostic of end customers' device eco-system. Our platform is cloud-based and delivers support automation with superior customer engagement. This powerful solution for tech support has resulted from six years of experience, handing more than 10 million service requests, from two million customers with more than three million devices under management.

Has it evolved a lot?

The platform captures every incident and learns from a growing library of service requests and resolutions. It also captures usage behavior and interdependencies and conflicts across a growing ecosystem of devices and software applications. We use this intelligence to extend our training modules and also to automate resolutions.

How easy is to serve a market where great products like those from Apple's lineage are often criticized for being uncomfortably ‘closed'?

There are more tablets shipping in a Windows environment. Apple is not a very easy zone to handle surely. But if you have a Windows-based environment, an integration part pops up. It is not just about support then.

The reason that this business exists is a factor beyond the device. We think at a level that is way past cost-reduction mindset or about call-tab times or something which is hinged on service agreements or scope of work. Our platform has a built-in methodology. The scope of applications we cover is also vast. We are open yet flexible. It's all about the basic difference between being a technology company and being a service organisation. Our service delivery leverages technology and most of our funding has gone into platform-development. One cannot rely on an individual's capability to solve all problems and this was a major gap that we saw and thought of addressing. Our platform was created for precise resolution coupled with automation to some extent.

Does BYOD give you a headache or a caffeine-kick?

It's a major trend we cannot ignore. We want to ensure individual flexibility. Existing environment is based on standardization but one system can set policy guidelines for the user to offer flexibility too.

Does the enterprise segment not allure you now?

SMEs are billed as the engine for growth of the Indian economy. With an estimated 4.4 million companies, the market for IT services is expected to grow from Rs. 10,000 crores to 25,000 crores in 2016(as per AMI Partners). SMEs are increasing their dependency on technology, leading to rapid adoption. There is also a growing need due to the migration from in-premise to cloud, and growing numbers of mobile workers that are not supported by the traditional eco-system. iYogi plans to extend its business services brand, Business Nonstop to SMEs and large enterprises with flexible, on-demand solutions delivered through our proprietary platform. With a fast evolving technology ecosystem, we see future growth from geography expansion, mobility and new segments like SME.

Would you ever aspire to be the ‘Rimini Street' for Indian CIOs?

We cannot attempt to conquer the world. So we have broken the market into segments. Enterprise level offering requires a host of different applications with some constraints, some lock-down scenarios and diversity of functions. The usage flavor is also different here. So we do not want to play in this area now. But we do see a big opportunity in the BYOD market. We see SMEs as an emerging opportunity as opposed to large enterprises that have an established need. The challenges for both these segments are similar, given their technology sophistication and footprint.

How would you peg your Indian market appetite and readiness for the next one to three years? Any specific segments of interest?

India is by definition a big market for technology growth. India ranks fifth globally for the number of PCs in use, ranks amongst the top three countries in Internet growth and is the second largest telecom market in the world. With this rapid adoption, we anticipate capturing a significant market share in this underserved industry. We will make our services available to those in need of customized solutions the most: the small and medium enterprise, the self-employed entrepreneur and the digital home user. We expect 10 per cent of our global revenue to come from India and we believe that it will continue to be the fastest growing market for us in the future. 

Pratima H