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Rivio Wants ISPs To Go With The Flow

Say it with me now: Rivio. It just rolls off the tongue, doesn't it? The company formerly known as Biztro is betting that the new name will conjure up feelings of movement, suggesting the effortless flow of work that Rivio Inc. will help small businesses achieve with its back office infrastructure offerings.

"Biztro sounded too much like a destination rather than an infrastructure company like ours," Maury Domengeaux, Rivio's SVP marketing, told ASP News. "And so many companies are using the 'biz' prefix that we were getting drowned out."

Rivio's fundamental product is Rivio Business Services (RBS), a suite of back office tools to increase workflow. "It encompasses all the applications you'd need to run your business more smoothly," Domengeaux said. Integrated business services applications include productivity and workflow tools, human resource management tools, online payroll processing, purchase requisitions, expense reports, insurance procurement and personnel benefits services.

All of the applications are connected via the Rivio Work Flow Manager message relay and knowledge sharing technology, a key feature that serves as the integrating agent for all of the services offered.

Rivio does not sell directly to the small businesses it serves, but rather sells though a channel model. Rivio is a business services infrastructure company and licenses access to its Integrated Business Services Network (iBSN) to licensees in the banking, telecommunications and technology industries. Current licensees include Bank of America, BellSouth, FleetBoston Financial, Metavante, Northpoint Communications, Verizon and VerticalNet.

"The success of our recent partnerships with Bank of America, BellSouth and Metavante Corporation has proven that the Rivio Business Services have the depth and scalability necessary to serve as the premier web-based small business services delivered by Fortune 500 companies," said Navin Chaddha, Rivio chairman and CEO. "Through partnerships like these over the past eight months, the Rivio Business Services have successfully gained access to more than 15 million small business and SOHO customers in the US."

"The small business market is difficult to aggregate, which is why many dot-coms who sell direct to the customer have been failing," Domengeaux said. "We'd rather invest in building the best infrastructure, empowering our licensees to deliver the best products and services to their existing customers, who already trust the brand they know."

Rivio is also testing out its theory that the model will work equally well for ISPs wishing to get into the ASP game through the Rivio Solutions Provider Program. "It's just an extension of their existing bundle of services, allowing a deeper relationship with their customers," he said.

The ISP program is based on a revenue-sharing model, with no setup or hosting fees for the ISP. It is not exactly co-branded, since most of the weight of the brand lies on the ISP side. The service is branded as "Run by Rivio," which brings with it the value of the endorsing licensees, Domengeaux said.

"ISPs are increasingly finding themselves in a commodity business; competing on price. Those that will survive realize that they need a stronger, deeper relationship with their customers than mere connectivity," Chaddha said.

Chaddha founded Biztro in February 1999. Prior to founding Biztro, Chaddha founded Vxtreme, an Internet media streaming software company which was acquired by Microsoft in 1997, and also founded and currently sits on the Technical Advisory Board of iBEAM Broadcasting Corp. (NASDAQ: IBEM), a global streaming media network.

See related ASPnews.com story, ISPs get ASP shortcuts, Feb 17th 2000.



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