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Rivio to Deliver bCentral Apps

Microsoft Corp. and Rivio Inc. today (Jan 22) announced an alliance to deliver Microsoft's bCentral managed applications services to Rivio's channel partners in an ASP model as components of the Rivio Business Services platform.

As a result of the alliance, co-branded versions of the Microsoft bCentral online business services will be integrated into the Rivio Business Services platform. The applications will be delivered to small-business customers of Rivio's Integrated Business Services Network (iBSN) best-of-breed channel partners in the banking, telecommunications and technology industries.

"The blend of bCentral services and Rivio Business Services will greatly enhance our ability to provide small businesses with a vital solution to streamline the flow of work and ideas throughout their organizations," said Navin Chaddha, chairman and CEO of Rivio. "In addition, we believe that Rivio's delivery of new services based on Microsoft products and technologies will firmly position us to lead this category - offering a comprehensive solution for small businesses that leverages advanced Web technology."

The bCentral integrated suite of small-business services offered through this relationship includes:

  • bCentral Business Web Services, a suite of web-based offerings including website creation and hosting, marketing tools, e-mail and domain name registration;
  • bCentral Commerce Manager, which enables small businesses to submit products to multiple e-marketplaces;
  • bCentral Customer Manager, a contact-management service to help businesses manage their customers and boost sales; and
  • bCentral Finance Manager, a web-based business finance and accounting solution that integrates with e-commerce and customer management functions.

Rivio Business Services currently includes productivity and workflow tools, human resource management tools, online payroll processing, purchase requisitions, expense reports, insurance procurement and personal benefits services. The integration of these services, using Microsoft technologies, will provide small businesses with a comprehensive set of tools and resources that spans the full spectrum of front- and back-office business processes. In addition, the two companies will spearhead an aggressive joint marketing campaign for the combined applications suite, leveraging the Microsoft bCentral website and Rivio's iBSN.

Current iBSN customers include Bank of America, BellSouth, FleetBoston Financial, Metavante Corp., Verizon Communications and VerticalNet. The combined applications suite will be available on the Rivio platform in the first quarter of 2001. In addition, Rivio Business Services will be available through the bCentral website.

"We are pleased to join Rivio's Integrated Business Services Network. Its established distribution channels are a welcome asset to our efforts and will instantly broaden our ability to deliver bCentral services to small businesses," said Satya Nadella, vice president of bCentral at Microsoft. "Through the combination of bCentral's integrated suite of business services designed to automate everyday business processes and Rivio's Business Services and its successful distribution channels, small businesses will receive tremendous value-added benefits to help run their businesses successfully."

As part of the alliance, Microsoft and Rivio will collaborate to develop new Rivio Business Services based on the Windows 2000 and Microsoft .NET platforms, building on Rivio's existing commitment to Microsoft products and technologies. Rivio has agreed to make Microsoft's technology platform the primary platform for all its Rivio Business Services, and Microsoft has agreed to provide Rivio with substantial engineering and technical support to launch new marketing offerings.

Starting in the first quarter of 2001, future Rivio Business Services will make extensi