Netcenter Boosts Business Channels

In a move aimed at expanding its small business
offerings,
Netscape Communications
Corp.
today announced agreements with two content providers.


Virtran and Women.com, are to provide new content and
services for the Netscape Netcenter site. Financial terms were not provided.


Virtran, developer of industry-specific search and transaction engines,
said its agreement with Netscape includes a co-branded version of its free SmartShip service, to reside on
Netcenter’s Business and Small Business channels. SmartShip allows users to
track the
progress of express packages, as well as compare rates of various overnight
courier and express companies.


Netcenter is also adding “Her Business,” a new service from Women.com,
designed to deliver a range of content and tools targeted at women-owned
businesses.
Features will include legal, management and finance trends, first person
success
stories from women business leaders, and a weekly Q&A session with leading
management experts.


Netscape said it is augmenting its business tools to meet the increase in
the small business industry online. A recent report from International Data
Corp. cited by the company shows the number of small businesses using the
Internet grew
from 19.7% in 1996 to currently 41.2%.


“Netcenter’s Small Business channel is about providing people with the
tools and services they need to work more efficiently,” said Ken Rutsky,
director of business and news channels for Netscape Netcenter. “Our
partnerships with Virtran and Women.com contribute to the rapid momentum of
Netscape Netcenter, while enabling us to better serve our customers.


“By combining the specialized
expertise of Virtran and Women.com with the tools and services offered on
the Small Business channel, Netcenter strengthens its position as the
richest online resource for businesses,” said Rutsky.


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