Microsoft bCentral and Rivio to Deliver Comprehensive Web-Based Solution to Small Businesses

REDMOND, Wash., and SANTA CLARA, Calif., Jan. 22, 2001 — Microsoft Corp. and Rivio Inc. (formerly Biztro Inc.) today announced an alliance to deliver managed applications services built on the Microsoft® Windows® 2000 and .NET platforms. 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. 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 Web site.

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

  • bCentral Business Web Services, a suite of Web-based offerings including Web-site 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

  • 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 backoffice business processes. In addition, the two companies will spearhead an aggressive joint marketing campaign for the combined applications suite, leveraging the Microsoft bCentral Web site and Rivio’s iBSN.

“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.”

“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 extensive use of Microsoft .NET technologies, including SOAP and BizTalk™
Server 2000, for ease of upstream integration and broader reach. These Microsoft technologies enable improved access to richer third-party services that will enhance the Rivio Business Services.

About Rivio

Rivio Inc. (formerly Biztro Inc.), headquartered in Santa Clara, Calif., was founded in February 1999 to address the fastest-growing segment of the B2B eCommerce and eServices marketplace: small business. In association with industry-leading partners, Rivio is committed to effecting positive change by helping small businesses run more efficiently and produce better results. Rivio delivers integrated, Web-based business services that streamline the flow of work, ideas and information throughout small businesses. Leading organizations such as Bank of America Corp., SOFTBANK Venture Capital and Marsh & McLennan Capital fund Rivio’s efforts. For more information, visit http://www.rivio.com/ or contact Rivio public relations at pr@rivio.com.

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq
“MSFT”
) is the worldwide leader in software, services and Internet technologies for personal and business computing. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to empower people through great software — any time, any place and on any device.

Microsoft, Windows, bCentral and BizTalk are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

Rivio, Work Flows, the Rivio logo, the Rivio Work Flows logo, Integrated Business Services, iBSN and Biztro Insurance Services all are trademarks or registered trademarks of Rivio in the United States and/or other countries.

The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.

Note to editors: If you are interested in viewing additional information on Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft Web page at http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/ on Microsoft’s corporate information pages.

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