RealTime IT News

Exit: SmartAge.com. Enter: B2SB Technologies

In a significant retrenchment, small business destination site Smartage.com has changed its name and game plan. Instead of continuing as a destination site of services for small businesses, the newly christened B2SB Technologies will provide ISPs and larger businesses with an ecommerce software platform for resale to small businesses.

"We've gone from 1.3 million customers to a hundred customers," says Smartage.com founder Bill Lohse, who has relinquished his CEO title to Scott Garell. For now, B2SB officially says it has only twenty customers, but those include such heavy hitters as AT&T, Bank of America, and American Express which plan to market custom versions of B2SB's software. As previously reported Lohse remains Chairman of the San Francisco-based firm, though he intends to take a six month break to travel. "This is the birth of a new company," says Garell.

The mission of B2SB Technologies is to provide a next-generation infrastructure platform it says will transform the way Small Business Service Providers (SBSPs) deliver solutions to their small business customers. Details of the company's infrastructure platform and its flagship Internet application "eBusiness Builder" were unveiled during a press conference in San Francisco today. However, eBusiness Builder is not slated for availability until March 31. The transition has actually been in the works for some time. Smartage.com raised an additional $24 million in funding last October based on its plans to become an Internet ecommerce software provider.

"The Web has failed small business," says Garell, citing a recent Dun & Bradstreet survey that over fifty percent of small business owners with a Web site felt "no impact" from its online presence. Where today small businesses often go online struggling to make different elements of ecommerce work together, eBusiness Builder is designed as an integrated, infrastructure that includes: Web site and store design, online advertising, email marketing, and channel sales. "All four of these elements are linked in eBusiness Builder so the small business doesn't have to enter the same information twice and they can see their return on investment, what's working and what isn't," says Garell.

The eBusiness Builder is based on scalable technology such as Java, Oracle database and BEA Weblogic and uses the well-known Windows and Office-like interface. The software is designed for either startups or companies who already have a Web presence.

SmartAge.com will continue to operate until at least June offering such services as its popular banner exchange to small businesses. No staff cuts are expected at the 50-person company as most of its positions are in engineering where eBusiness Builder was developed and will continue to be refined.