HotOffice.com, SmallBusinessDepot Join Bell Atlantic To Support Small Business Customers Via Web Site

HotOffice.com, SmallBusinessDepot Join Bell Atlantic To Support Small Business Customers Via Web Site

First Remote Access Resources On-Line

June 27, 2000


Jim Smith, Bell Atlantic,

Stephanie Dammert, HotOffice.com,

Don Mazzella, Small Business Depot,

NEW YORK - With as many as 18,000 visitors to its small business Web site each a day, Bell Atlantic has begun building in features to help support small business success and prosperity.

The HotOffice® Web-based Intranet Service and SmallBusinessDepot are resources that small business owners can now reach via links on the Bell Atlantic site, www.bellatlantic.com/small biz.

HotOffice.com provides a comprehensive, Web-based suite of collaboration and communications tools for the small business market, giving small businesses and teams access to "big business" intranet applications in one simple, easy-to-use interface. Small Business Depot is a contract resource site that gives clients access to lists of government and private contracts and allows small businesses to bid on them.

"The fundamentals of small business management are changing, and we're changing with them," said Lee Self, vice president of general business marketing for Bell Atlantic. "To be a meaningful partner with our customers, it's not enough to demonstrate how telecommunications services can support their success. Through links on our site, we are helping guide customers to resources they might not find on their own in this exploding world of e-commerce."

HotOffice.com helps small businesses and work teams maximize the productivity potential of the Internet through a suite of Web-based teamware tools and services. There is nothing to download, no software to purchase, and no installation to worry about. The site provides access to a private virtual office, supporting managers and workers whether they're on the road or in the office.

HotOffice.com offers both a subscription and a free ad-supported option, both with identical features, accessible on any PC with Internet access. Features include document sharing and storage, contact manager, e-mail, group calendar, online conference rooms, bulletin boards, business research and more.

"We provide a valuable one-stop shop that enables small businesses and work teams to have their own secure intranet without needing IT resources," said Mike Franz, president and CEO of HotOffice.com.

Visitors to Bell Atlantic's small business Web site, also can access a link to www.smallbusinessdepot.com, a new site recently launched.

SmallBusinessDepot.com utilizes "natural-language" technology that enables users to quickly and easily search, identify and connect with new business contracts and opportunities that are custom-tailored for each business's capabilities.

The site offers as many as 23,000 new contracts per week from government and corporate sources, with an average value of $80,000 per contract. For $25 per month, members are sent e-mail messages as contract opportunities, matched to their capabilities, become available. Members also receive help in registering with the Small Business Administration, allowing them to become eligible for contract consideration and are provided assistance in completing government and corporate RFPs (requests for proposals).

According to the Small Business Administration, there are 6.6 million small businesses in the U.S. today that spend $25 billion annually to acquire new business. "We know from experience that finding new business is among the most difficult jobs small business owners face," said Self. "Services that help these efforts provide real added value to users of our site in finding new revenues."

HotOffice.com and SmallBusinessDepot pay Bell Atlantic a referral fee for subscriptions secured via the Bell Atlantic Web site. Bell Atlantic is developing other Web-based enhancements to its site, including a single point of contact for back office support, powered by Biztro, Inc., offering services from payroll management to employee health insurance. The General Business Group also will provide its customers with access to Web hosting services, provided by Interland, ranging from the simplest to most complex Internet and e-commerce services.

About HotOffice.com

HotOffice.com (http://www.hotoffice.com) aims to maximize the productivity potential of the Internet for small businesses and teams through smart and secure Web-based virtual office tools. To help small businesses thrive in the digital economy, HotOffice.com has partnered with Staples and other innovative companies to offer special packages of solutions and services specifically designed to meet the needs of small businesses and teams. HotOffice.com has received numerous awards, including the 2000 the PC World World Class Award for Best Group Application, PC Magazine Editors' Choice Award two years in a row, and a "Four Star Award" by PC Computing. Based in Boca Raton, Fla., HotOffice.com is funded in part by Intel Corporation, Staples Inc. and TBG Information Investors, a partnership of Blumenstein/Thorne Information Partners and GS Capital Partners II, an affiliate of Goldman Sachs Group.

HotOffice, the HotOffice logo, and the tagline "Anytime Anywhere Officing" are trademarks or registered trademarks of HotOffice.com.

About Small Business Depot

SmallBusinessDepot.com delivers corporate and government revenue opportunities to small firms through today's most advanced Internet search engine. This exclusive plain-language system reduces new business search time to just minutes a day. In addition, SmallBusinessDepot.com offers a free, online University to help companies improve their profits through proven techniques to identify, win and better manage new opportunities. In addition, its database of 225,000+ companies provides a gateway for corporations seeking new small business vendors. This service is free to all small businesses. Among SmallBusinessDepot.com's launch partners are American Express and IBM. SmallBusinessDepot.com, 1099 Wall Street West, Suite 354, Lyndhurst, NJ 07071, 877-DEPOT55, Fax: 201-635-9707; www.smallbusinessdepot.com

About Bell Atlantic

Bell Atlantic is at the forefront of the new communications and information industry. With more than 44 million telephone access lines and more than 20 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.