Aprecomm, founded in 2016, claims it has the right tools to make internet downtime a thing of the past. The company’s proprietary AI tool — dubbed Virtual Wireless Expert (VWE) — according to Aprecomm, is capable of diagnosing what the problem is when an internet line is down, saving time and money for both the ISP and customer.
For those of you out there that have wired broadband internet connections, you must be familiar with the feeling of helpless frustration when your line is down, and the service provider takes its own sweet time in fixing it, or sending someone to check the apparatus in your house.
Well, if this Bengaluru-based company has any say in this matter, such problems will become passé.
Aprecomm, co-founded in 2016 by Guharajan Sivakumar and Pramod Gummaraju, claims it has the right tools to make this problem go away. The company’s proprietary AI tool — dubbed Virtual Wireless Expert (VWE) — according to Aprecomm, is capable of diagnosing what the problem is when a line is down and suggests a solution, thus the Internet Service Provider (ISP) and the customer precious man hours.
“Of course, this has limitations as, if there is a cable cut, it can only be solved by human intervention,” Gummaraju, the company’s CEO said.
The company aims to ensure that the different components inside a network evolve to a stage where the end-user has the best experience possible. “All we do is for the best experience for the end-use,” he added.
The AI tool, which Gummaraju says was developed and perfected over years, has been used by some big players in the home broadband space, including GTPL Hathway, among the top ISPs in India.
“We have already started deploying Aprecomm VWE in our network. We could see the ease with which we are able to manage, measure the customer experience and take actions to improve it. Network and Customer Management with VWE could see a transformation, from reactive to proactive,” Guruprasad V, CTO of GTPL Hathway, said.
“There is a considerable amount of support call reduction, which is visible. We are looking to drastically avoid truck rolls with Aprecomm solution in place,” he added.
According to Gummaraju, the VWE started out as a one-time payment service and has since evolved into a subscription model. While Gummaraju says the cost per subscriber to the consumer is nominal — Rs 50 in some cases, Rs 1,000 in most scenarios.
While major players have the wherewithal to absorb this extra cost, what about mini or micro players who have maybe a 10th of the subscriber base of larger ISPs?
“Every ISP must spend money to maintain your connection — there are there is always some capex and opex, and capex can be invested through several layers,” Gummaraju said, adding, “If a customer feels that the service is not up to the mark, they will move to another ISP. This means that this company must spend extra resources — time and money — to find a new subscriber. When you look at it in those terms, then the cost of subscribing to the VWE is a smart decision.”
Gummaraju concedes that there will be ISPs who will have no choice but to pass on the cost to their consumers, for whom, the benefit is not tangible — their monthly tariff has gone up without an increase in speed or data cap.
“But in the long term, they will actually save money by not having to deploy their technicians for each and every connectivity issue,” he reasoned, “A sizable amount for each business model is what we focus on.”
A stable internet connection is now more important than ever as people continue to work from home, and some students still attend classes online.
Gummaraju says they working on onboarding more partners this year, as well as working on more product launches — he is understandably hesitant to share details before an official announcement is out.
The VWE launched in 2019 and the company broke even in 2021. Given that the current trend is to go public, is Aprecomm planning an IPO?
“For that, we need increase our visibility, as we are a B2B player. Also, there is always a risk as to how the market will react. As of right now, no plans on going for an IPO right now,” Gummaraju said.
(Edited by : Abhishek Jha)
First Published: IST