Excite Makes Big Plans For Small Businesses

Now, seemingly everybody wants to help the little guy online.Excite@Home today said it plans to launch a channel on its navigation hub aimed at providing tools and services designed specifically for small businesses.

Now, seemingly everybody wants to help the little guy online.

Excite@Home today said it plans to launch a channel on its navigation hub aimed at providing tools and services designed specifically for small businesses.

The new Excite service, dubbed Work.com, debuts one day before Microsoft is scheduled to take the wraps off its own small-business service, bCentral, which repackages the offerings of the company's LinkExchange service under a new umbrella brand name.

"Our focus here is helping an individual with a business need," said Don Hutchison, senior vice president and general manager of Excite@Home's business-oriented @Work division. "We think there is nothing more promising than business services."

Excite@Home will both develop its own business-oriented offerings and feature services from partner providers, such as E-Stamp, Hutchison said. The service will offer as many as 30 subcategories focusing on specific topics of interest, such as legal advice and accounting, he added.

Initially, the service will be featured as a channel on the company's narrowband portal at Excite.com. It also will be served up as a stand-alone service that can be accessed at www.work.com. Over time, the company plans to position the business-oriented service as a front door to its high-speed cable Internet access services offered to business customers, Hutchison noted.

"Over time, this becomes a stand-alone Web environment," Hutchison said of the Work.com service.

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