Bell Atlantic Explores Enrichment of Small Business Web Site with Help from West Coast Start-up

Bell Atlantic Explores Enrichment of Small Business Web Site with Help from West Coast Start-up

BiztroTM Would Customize Web Exchange Point For Variety of Business Support Services

February 14, 2000


Jim Smith,

NEW YORK -- Bell Atlantic's General Business Group has signed a letter of intent with Biztro, Inc., a Santa Clara, California, Internet startup, to design and launch a Web-based small business operations center.

"For the average small business, the World Wide Web can be a tremendous resource and at the same time it can be a drain on its resources," said Regina Novotny, president of Bell Atlantic's General Business Group. "We've been looking for ways to support our small business customers with dynamic links to remote services-for-hire, simplifying their prospects for tapping resources of all kinds. Biztro's intranet-based exchange architecture appears to hold promise for providing the kind of interaction that will work for our small businesses customers."

The combination of provider services and easy access would dramatically improve a small business' buying power and back-office productivity, she said.

Bell Atlantic and Biztro are engaged in advanced discussions to create an alliance which could offer employee benefits, health insurance, financial services, payroll processing, communications services, office supplies and equipment procurement, and other software-based business functions.

"Bell Atlantic is one of the most aggressive telcos developing rich bundles of services for the small business customer," said Navin Chaddha, Chairman and CEO of Biztro. "We believe that together Bell Atlantic and Biztro can revolutionize the way small businesses procure products and services and manage their back-office operations".

Novotny's group continues to enrich the Bell Atlantic small business Web site, ww.bellatlantic.com/smallbiz, making it a key destination for small businesses to find resources to help manage various business challenges. Two strategic relationships have been established so far which bring valuable resources and services to small business customers. Services offered by Biztro would further enhance the small business support functions available at the site.

Another tool added recently to Bell Atlantic's site is an "automated solution recommender." Customers click on an issue they want to address and the tool delivers service options for the visitor to review and explore. Additional e-business functions are under review, including direct order entry processes and other e-commerce features.

Bell Atlantic is at the forefront of the new communications and information industry. With nearly 44 million telephone access lines and 12 million wireless customers worldwide, Bell Atlantic companies are premier providers of advanced wireline voice and data services, market leaders in wireless services and the world's largest publishers of directory information. Bell Atlantic companies are also among the world's largest investors in high-growth global communications markets, with operations and investments in 23 countries.

About Biztro, Inc.

Biztro, Inc., headquarted in Santa Clara, Calif., was founded in March 1999 to address the fastest-growing segment of the B2B e-commerce and e-services marketplace: small business. Biztro is transforming the way small businesses run their operations by integrating leading service providers into its powerful Business Operations Platform, which dramatically increases small business buying power and improves back-office administration. Biztro distributes its Business Operations Platform through a network of channel partners. Biztro's supplier partners, key to Biztro's business model, include best-of-breed companies in various industries that service the small business market. Biztro is funded by leading venture capital organizations, including SOFTBANK Venture Capital, Marsh & McLennan Capital. For more information, contact Biztro Public Relations at pr@biztro.com.


INTERNET USERS: Bell Atlantic news releases, executive speeches, news media contacts and other useful information are available at Bell Atlantic's News Center on the World Wide Web (http://newscenter2.verizon.com). To receive news releases by email, visit the News Center and register for personalized automatic delivery of Bell Atlantic news releases.