Have you been in a situation where you dial a call-centre service for a certain query, and the reply you get is "Please hold..." which then leads to you having to wait for an inexpedient amount of time, listening to some musical tone that can get on your nerves.
Worry no more, just like your favourite superhero, the new innovative call-centre service, AskRobin, is here to save the day.
Based on Short Message Service (SMS), AskRobin is the brainchild of a 28-year-old, Fawzi Hj Zainal Abiddin, an entrepreneur with a determined mindset that has his hands on other previous business ventures, and is poised to totally revolutionise how business companies and organisations interact with their customers in a more efficacious and productive manner.
With his dedicated team of six, each with their own contribution to the project, Fawzi is the founder of Modasys Technology that focuses on developing innovative wireless applications for corporations and consumers. Furthermore, Modasys Technology is also an incubatee at the iCentre, where ICT entrepreneurs are nurtured to develop products and applications through a well-structured and effective incubation programmes.
Elaborating further to the Weekend Bulletin on his career, Fawzi commented that Modasys Technology was established in 2007, and his then smaller team began to conceive ideas on how to move towards a more technological scope of operations. Following that, the fledgling company then moved to iCentre in 2008, and there, they came up with a product called CoolTones, a ring back tone service for the B-Mobile customers.
It was at the iCentre, where they received assistance and support from the various courses and workshops presented to them, and they took the opportunity in their stride as they quickly learnt the fundamentals of business management and the finances that are prerequisites in a successful business.
Reminiscing the company's early years at the iCentre, Fawzi said that the Brunei Economic Development Board (BEDB) played a pivotal role in their success as a fully-fledged technological company, and also in the completion of the AskRobin product. The mentors were especially valuable to the team, as the experts at the iCentre approach the Modasys Technology team in a pragmatic and knowledgeable manner. The team was also given access to networking resources in pursuit of their dream.
As part of their invaluable learning process, BEBD also funded them a trip to the famous Silicon Valley, California - home to many of the world's largest technology corporations - where the incubates, including Fawzi, marvelled at how the big companies work their magic through hard work, dedication and strategy that mostly spawned from basic ideas before growing into a world-changing iconic name.
"Without BEDB's full support behind our project, AskRobin would never live to see the light of day," said Fawzi with conviction.
It did not take long for enterprising Fawzi to come up with his brainstorm - AskRobin. Initially, it was just an idea the team contemplated on, for serious funds were needed to turn the product into reality. Fawzi has also Keeran Janin of MeSixty that produced the iPad-only app called Chatworthy, to thank for, as he too gave strong encouragement to continue to press forward with the development of AskRobin in the earlier stages.
It was a fruitful endeavour on their part when they received the much-needed LEAP Program Fund worth B$150,000 from BEDB in the year 2011, after presenting their grant application a year before. The team was given a year to complete the project, and from there, it was full-steam ahead as they studiously concentrated on the AskRobin project.
The project is now completed, and is undergoing tests for stability before reaching the masses in the technologically niche market.
So how does AskRobin really work for you, as individuals and corporations?
For the individual customers, you can text the hotline "39993", where you can forward your queries that may come as product searches, movie schedules, restaurants and others. Each SMS will be charged B$0.20.
Primarily SMS-based, business entities can also utilise a web-based chat system that their own customer service staff can communicate directly with customers. Business companies can register and be listed in a designated directory where their products or services can be directed and promoted to the relevant customer.
As AskRobin is not computer-generated, you actually communicate with real people at the end of the line, manned 24/7 by highly-trained operators, known as 'Robins' as they access their full library of information on your respective query. These 'Robins' will be hard at work to help customers find the right product or service, whether is it on entertainment, shopping, business matters, dinner reservation or any others - all by simply pressing on a few buttons on your phone.
"Our well-trained team of operators will access the database of businesses that are connected to the system, and they'll instantly put the customers in touch with them," says Fawzi in a matter-of-fact tone.
Modasys Technology is focussed on introducing the product into the market within the next three months, and is in talk with local mobile telecommunication operators to fully operate the AskRobin service. Fawzi is also planning to call on telecommunication companies in neighbouring Singapore on the possible business cooperation between them in the near future.
Modasys Technology believes that any businesses, be it big or small, can benefit from this service as it will enable businesses to promote themselves and provide customers with quick and accurate information.
Businesses can choose from the different plans on offer to match their personal needs, and listing with the AskRobin Service plan can cost as low as B$6.50 per month. Other than the basic listing, there is also an option for a SMS Call-Centre designed for businesses that are already offering customer service or telephone support. It is also an inexpensive alternative for businesses that do not operate a call-centre.
Several businesses in the country have already signed up for the service, a firm testimony in their faith of the AskRobin service.
A revolutionary product? Probably. Useful? A definite 'yes' as Modasys Technology prepares to release AskRobin to the tech-savvy Brunei public.
Fawzi Hj Zainal Abiddin
Pg Saiful Khalid Pg Hj Yunos, Zalifah Aswana Talip, Rajneesh Srivastava, Kannan Murugan and Muhammad Hajmi
BRIEF COMPANY PROFILE:
A mobile media and content service provider company serving the Brunei Telecommunications industry with products ranging from consumer mobile content to carrier infrastructure systems and gateways
LEAP Program Fund worth B$150,000 from Brunei Economic Development Board (BEDB)