United States, Ne... "Learning Innovations is using its proprietary software(patent pending)technology (VirtualTutor) and its partnerships with large brokerage industry companies (PaineWebber, Reuters, Chase, Philadelphia Stock Exchange, Merrill Lynch) to compete in the 14 billion dollar e-service and e-care market. This market is addressing the need of software and Internet service providers to cut the cost of customer care while building and maintaining customer loyalty. VirtualTutor reduces the number and duration of customer calls to the Help Desk by automatically fixing software problems and eliminating the user in the problem resolution process. VirtualTutor precisely describes the problem for the user. VirtualTutor is superior to our competitor's solution (Support.com, Motive) in that VirtualTutor is extrinsic: it does not require any changes to the software that it supports thus greatly reducing integration and testing costs as well as minimizing risk. Learning Innovations is seeking $1,000,000 to support cash flow needs during the partnership development process. Vision: Learning Innovations fills the gap between what people really need their computer software to do and what it actually does by providing software programs that add intelligent, proactive, automated support to a user's existing software investment. This automated support automatically fixes software problems, adapts the software to the user's needs and gives the users just the information that they need, just when they need it and just in the form that they want it. Realization: Edmund Acker, President and CEO of Learning Innovations, provides the vision and guides its realization through his unique training as an experimental psychologist, specializing in human information processing, and his 15 years of experience in computer information processing, leading Fortune 100 companies into Internet-based support. Mr. Acker set the direction of support for AT&T's highly valued 800 Service customers and helped Bill Gates formulate his vision of software support in the future. Business Proposition: Learning Innovations will lead the 14 billion dollar eSupport market, the automated delivery of user support over the Internet, using its proprietary VirtualAgent software and its Friendly Partners business program. VirtualAgent will reduce the cost of support from 8 percent (median) of total revenue to 6 percent at a yearly Friendly Partners subscription cost of 1 percent of revenue per year. History: The Internet is becoming a critical channel for companies to sell their products and services, manage relationships with partners, establish and improve customer relationships and increase employee productivity. These e-business activities are supported by Internet, intranet and extranet technology solutions that automate and facilitate the interaction between the enterprise and its employees and customers, as well as the members of an extended enterprise of suppliers, distributors and business partners. The success of these Internet enabled businesses depends on the quality of their support and service. The underlying technology solutions must remain healthy and operating efficiently and effectively to improve employee productivity and increase customer acquisition, retention and satisfaction. The ubiquitous nature of the Internet makes it a powerful platform for bringing together all the resources necessary to provide the type of support required. Therefore, deploying a comprehensive Internet-based support infrastructure is becoming a competitive asset that enables a company to differentiate its products and services and improve the efficiency of its operations. The Growing Difficulty in Delivering User Support The technical support function is the most critical form of user support, as the underlying technology becomes more complex and as the number of users increases and become more diverse. IDC estimates that 59% of businesses either lose business, or are no longer able to conduct business, if their system or network is not available. Delivering technical support is increasingly complex and difficult as systems become more sophisticated, different electronic devices proliferate and the number of users and their demands grow. Millions of Individuals Are Using the Web According to IDC, the number of people using the web will grow from 196 million in 1999 to 502 million in 2003. These users have a broad range of support requirements and levels of sophistication. Supporting this growing demographic is further complicated by each user's dependence on different applications and devices. These users also face a proliferation of new web-based services that require real-time training and electronic support. Computing Environments Are Becoming More Complicated A typical business uses a broad range of operating systems, networking technologies, e-commerce software, security solutions, server applications, packaged and internally developed applications and productivity tools. In many cases, these applications are integrated within the corporation and with the systems and applications of the extended enterprise, through a variety of networks and protocols. Electronic Devices Are Proliferating. Businesses and consumers use many different electronic devices to conduct business, access the Internet and purchase products and services, such as personal computers, personal digital assistants and other mobile devices. Each device bears an individual profile-a different configuration of applications, operating system components, network access protocols and personal settings. To illustrate this proliferation, according to IDC, the number of shipped personal computers alone will grow from approximately 112 million in 1999 to 190 million in 2003. Applications Are Multiplying Meta Group estimates that the number of programs on the average personal computer has risen from approximately 200 in 1997 to over 600 in 1999. These applications are frequently upgraded, and combinations will increase exponentially. Also, we believe that the variability of device configurations will increase as customers download, install and use thousands of programs from the Internet or access hosted applications. Current Support Approaches Today's methods are extremely expensive and unreliable Support is highly labor intensive relying on time consuming phone interaction, e-mail or on-site visits with support staff that is inexperienced, under-trained and poorly informed. Support professionals are provided with limited knowledge of users, their systems and business needs and therefore cannot properly and rapidly diagnose and resolve users' problems. Also, user self-help options such as manuals and software help features have been of limited effectiveness, as they are static and require intensive user effort. Efforts to improve the cost and quality of support have focused on making incremental improvements to existing call center and help desk solutions and/or opening portals into the back office systems and knowledge base. However, the need for assisted support remains and the current solutions are not addressing this need. For example, work-flow solutions, such as automated call-tracking, and web-based applications, such as email response management systems, have increased the efficiency of support delivery but they do not go as far as today's technologies can take us. They do not provide web-based technologies for personalized automatic problem diagnosis and resolution. The Growth of Web-Based Support According to the Gartner Group, the volume of non-financial goods and services sold through business-to-business e-commerce is expected to reach over $7 trillion worldwide in 2004. However, most organizations lack an adequate support infrastructure to meet the demands imposed by this increasing volume of Internet commerce. The inadequacy of existing support infrastructure impedes the growth and rapid acceptance of eBusiness. Therefore, businesses are seeking more effective and efficient ways to deliver user support. Support solutions must deliver highly personalized services that are able to automatically and intelligently identify and resolve user problems and questions. Organizations need to transform eBusiness support operations from inefficient cost centers to highly productive and scalable competitive assets that increase customer loyalty, improve operational efficiencies and generate incremental revenue. Businesses must fully build out their web-based support infrastructure. The market for eSupport, the automated delivery of user support over the Internet, is estimated by IDC to grow to over $14 billion in 2003. The Learning Innovations Solution We provide eBusiness infrastructure software that automates, personalizes and facilitates user support over the Internet. The core of our solution is an Internet support infrastructure that automates information collection about the user and the user's system, enhances communication between support personnel, users, and partners and enables self-healing and automated problem resolution. Our web-based offerings are available in a variety of configurations, including web-based, client-based and hardware appliances that serve as the nexus of an eBusiness support infrastructure. VirtualTutor Differentiators Personalized Support Our software automatically discovers and tracks the unique characteristics of each user and each user's system to personalize and increase the efficiency of the support process. Self-Healing Our software recognizes, diagnoses and resolves potential problems before they cause users to experience problems, without the need for the user to request assistance. Self-Service Our software helps users to resolve their own problems through a personalized, guided, focused and intuitive interface that provides adaptive, context-sensitive resolution of problems and queries. Assisted Service Our solution is designed to ensure that a problem or query is escalated to the appropriate service level based on problem and customer characteristics, i.e. Gold Level customer is immediately connected to a live agent. The analyst will have detailed information about the user and the user's system and access to sets of support actions to accelerate problem resolution. Web Support Content Authoring Our solution enables support personnel to develop support actions that automatically implement problem diagnosis and repair, user training and just-in-time help through the web. These actions are made available to other support personnel and users to further automate the support process. Point and Click Knowledge Base Integration Our solution enables support personnel to attach any electronic media to the automated care actions. Agents can attach any audio, video or document file to the exact point in the application flow where the agent thinks it will be most effective. Internet-Based Architecture Our products are primarily web-based, meaning that they can be delivered and updated through the Internet, are secure, scalable and extendable. By structuring our software this way, we are able to offer solutions to users, corporate information technology departments and other support providers that are geographically unconstrained and easy to use and deploy. By designing a new eSupport process that uses the Internet, we are able to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of support with automated and detailed information exchange. The Current Environment: Today's support is extremely costly, non-scalable and inconsistent. Trends to self-service augmented by manuals and software help are proving to be inadequate in the fight for customer share. They are of limited effectiveness, as they are static and require intensive user effort. However, the need for assisted support remains and the current solutions are not addressing this need. The Future: Generic search-based self-help and ""on-hold"" care are no longer an option in today's e-business climate. As the Internet drives e-business towards commoditization, the customers will demand personalized and effective care. Learning Innovations' proprietary technology, VirtualTutor, gives companies the ability to treat each customer like a special customer while cutting the cost of customer care. In the global e-service environment, thinking of growing the care solution by incrementally adding more agents, more portals and more documents, will not work. The only way to achieve economies of scale is (1) to have agents solve more than one problem at a time; (2) provide just the information that the customer needs and just when they need it. The e-service infrastructure market will be captured by a company that facilitates the optimal use of care resources. Significant Market Opportunity In the rapidly changing customer care world, there is still one constant: Customer-facing People don't talk to IT People and IT People don't talk to Customer-facing People; and if they doůthey speak different languages. The entire customer care industry has devoted millions of dollars to researching more cost-effective customer care solutions. The focus of these solutions has been technocentric. Finding ways to give customers secure access to back-office databases; embedded interfaces to middleware software that provides integration across various customer data sources and touch points; and enterprise solutions that require the retooling of expensive and burned-in production systems. The solution to the customer care problem is not giving the customers more ways to help themselves and more poorly informed agents to answer their calls. The solution that customers want is the personal attention of the very best customer service agent. Learning Innovations allows companies to do this by delivering chunks of expert care one piece at a time and this fails then the live expert agent is engaged. The future of customer care is not in providing traditional call center, document search, self-help and portal services. It is in supplying reasonably priced, extrinsic, non-technical authoring tools that capture and automate the delivery of expert care. These tools should allow customer care specialists to quickly and efficiently deliver their highest quality care to as many customers as possible without any programming. Learning Innovations has all the advantages: Learning Innovations has a significant positioning advantage Learning Innovations has worked closely with and has the endorsement of the largest and most successful providers of Internet and data hardware and software products (Lucent, AT&T) to provide best of breed solutions. Learning Innovations has worked closely with multiple care & service providers (AT&T, Cisco, NetSpeak, Mail.com) to design cooperative inter-company care solutions that insure users receive the highest Quality of Service. Learning Innovations has a significant competitive advantage Through its VirtualTutor product, Learning Innovations offers customers the ability to add proactive and intelligent e-care and e-service to their products and services without making any changes to their existing ...
Chief Executive Officer