Need office help? VKW company makes private assistants available via smart phone
|January 17, 2012||Posted by Anharris under Communications, Cool Companies|
I don’t know how many times I’ve been put on hold by some invisible person in a call center…or wondered how I could find someone on short order to help with some office tasks. But recently at the Cambridge Innovation Center, I met Leo von Wendorff –founder and CEO of Virtual Knowledge Workers Inc.–who has a new way of solving both problems.
VKW is an international call-in center that offers both corporate and personal services from live individuals you can contact using video chat on your cell phone. During a networking event, when I asked how it worked, von Wendorff punched some buttons on his smartphone. One of his employees in the Philippines came to the screen in the Philippines. We could see her, she could see us and, via online video chat, she told us that the weather there was fine. www.vkwinc.com.
Von Wendorff told New business Innovation in Hawaii, where the company was based until recently, that he got the idea for VKW while travelling and needed people to take care of various tasks in his own office. Some businesses might need part time help with setting appointments or managing their office correspondence, he said, while larger businesses might need full-time help with HR or to follow up with customers. Private assistants are also available to carry out personal tasks, such as managing social calendars or household administrative duties.
According to the VKW Web site, all virtual private assistants have college degrees and may be hired starting at $500 a month. Unlike many other outsourced call centers, von Wendorff said, the goal is not to offer cheap workers, but rather to “create economies of scale by carefully matching each worker’s passion and skill set to a specific business function.”
A worker may be dedicated to just one business or shared on a part-time basis among three or four organizations. Business need not add office space, and VKW takes care of employee benefits and taxes.
I was intrigued…and emailed him with more questions.
Von Wendorff also recently founded another company–called Personal Nurse Educators (PNE)–which places nurses in a call center to help coach patients with various medical conditions into new lifestyles–which I’ll describe at a later date.
In the meantime, more information about Leo von Wendorff and VKW are available at http://www.VKWInc.com or 1-800-939-5746.
–Anita M. Harris
Anita Harris is president of the Harris Communications Group--a Cambridge, MA strategic communications firm specializing in public relations, marketing communications, thought leadership and social media for companies in health, science, technology and energy fields, worldwide.
Anita M. Harris