Tech support company iYogi plans to support Android phones

The company plans to use a new $US30 million venture funding for this purpose

Consumer PC tech support company iYogi is planning to extend its services to users of mobile phones, with an initial focus on devices running the Android operating system.

The Indian company, which currently services PC users running the Windows environment and related consumer devices, is also planning to offer support around other devices, including desktop and mobile products from Apple, mobile phones running the Symbian operating system, and BlackBerry devices from Research In Motion, said Uday Challu, co-founder and CEO of iYogi.

The rapid improvements in mobile phones and tablets running the Android operating system will mean that the replacement cycle for these devices will be very fast, thus creating opportunities for support in areas such as configuration and migration of data between devices, Challu said. iYogi will also offer security services such as tracking and locking down lost phones and erasing data from them, he added.

iYogi said on Monday that it had closed $US30 million in a new round of financing to aid its diversification into the new markets.

The company currently has 350,000 subscribers, in addition to some customers who approach iYogi for incident-based support. A number of its subscribers already have both Windows and Apple computers in their homes, so the company will first focus on selling its Apple services to these customers, Challu said.

The company also plans to tie up with vendors of mobile phones and other devices to package iYogi services with their products. It already has similar deals with vendors such as McAfee, Challu said. With these deals, the company gets access to customers to whom it can sell its long-term services packages.

It is currently in negotiations, for example, for a support deal with an unnamed router company. iYogi uses its own brand in these service deals, Challu said.

iYogi delivers most of the services from India, and has plans to set up by March next year a facility in the Philippines. The new facility will help the company disperse its risk by not depending entirely on India for delivery of services. The Philippines also has a base of people experienced in tech support service, Challu said. India will however continue to be the main service location, he added.

For break-fix support, the company has staff in the U.S.. Less than two per cent of support tickets, however, involve break-fix, as consumers prefer to buy a new device rather than pay the costs of buying components for a faulty device and getting it fixed, Challu said.

John Ribeiro covers outsourcing and general technology breaking news from India for The IDG News Service. Follow John on Twitter at @Johnribeiro. John's e-mail address is john_ribeiro@idg.com

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