The days of being put on hold while waiting for a solution to Windows 95 and Windows NT computer glitches will soon be over with the help of a new software program that claims to fix PC problems automatically.
The SystemWizard Client contains an artificial intelligence engine and a knowledge base of common problems. The client fixes problems by asking users simple yes, no, and don't know questions. Users then click on the AutoCorrect button, and the problem is automatically solved.
If the problem can't be found in the database, the program automatically contacts the remote SystemWizard Server located at technical support centers nationwide to take care of the problem, according to Sereiko. The Server contains a larger and more current database of problems.
The database is kept up to date with the SystemWizard Knowledge Builder, which will also be used to enter new problems into the database.
"The intent of this product is to dramatically reduce the number of calls end users have to make to their PC manufacturer," Sereiko said.
The company has sold 8 million units of the product to PC manufacturers and software developers including AST Research, Digital Equipment, Wang Laboratories, and Intel. DEC and Wang will integrate the program into their service packages and AST and Intel plan to ship PCs preloaded with the program by the end of the Fall, Sereiko said.
"I believe this is the direction that the whole industry will be moving in," said Mike Aymar, vice president of desktop products at Intel.
The program will also save technical support organizations more than $1 billion annually and will reduce the number of support calls by 30 percent, according to SystemSoft.
"We hope to dramatically reduce the technical support call burden and the expense that's being shouldered by PC manufacturers today, which has really impacted their profitability dramatically," said Sereiko.
More than 200 million calls will be received at technical support centers nationwide in 1996, up from 120 million four years ago, according to research firm Dataquest. The industry will spend about $4 billion on support with each call averaging about $20.
The beta version of SystemWizard was shipped today and will eventually be available for download to consumers.