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Radish pops into support

Start-up Radish Communications Systems is adapting a version of its VoiceView technology directly to support personnel within corporations for use as a troubleshooting tool for mobile users.

Start-up Radish Communications Systems is taking an adapted version of its VoiceView technology directly to support personnel within corporations for use as a troubleshooting tool for mobile users.

Previously, the company was focused on specific commercial implementations of its technology. The company also licensed VoiceView as a feature within a variety of PCs. "Now, we're opening it up," said Bob Lang, director of product management at Radish.

The technology includes VoiceView Client and Agent software that, when used with a voice/data fax-modem that supports VoiceView, lets a support professional take over a mobile PC and diagnose and fix problems while speaking to the user. The same phone line that the support technician uses to gain access to the machine is used to speak with the user.

The client is essentially a problem ticket that a user submits to the agent, which offers the typical features of a help desk application including Desktop Management Interface (DMI) browsing, file transfer, and remote control, among others.

TDK is one of many vendors coming out with modems that can take advantage of the technology. Radish has set prices for the software based on volume, with the client portion coming in under $100 per user and the agent portion that rests on an administrative console costing $2,000 to $2,500 per seat.

The software runs on Microsoft Windows 3.1 and 95. Support for 32-bit Windows NT is due in 60 to 90 days, according to Lang.

The company is hoping the front-end client trouble ticket can eventually be integrated with various help desk applications, performing a generalized notification function. On the back end, the company hopes they can get rid of their graphical user interface and embed the technology in applications that automatically go out and troubleshoot over a phone line using VoiceView at the click of a button.

The key to the company's success, according to Lang, is to offer the same level of functionality over a phone line that users and help desk personnel enjoy in a LAN (local area network) environment.

Radish's VoiceView technology has already been implemented by PC makers Hewlett-Packard, Sony, AST Computer, NEC Technologies, Packard Bell, and Canon.