Winstar Communications, Inc., has announced the launch of Office.com, an online business service and product site for small and medium-sized companies.
CBS Corporation (NYSE: CBS) holds a one-third equity position in the Web site, which offers small business content, commerce, community and communications delivered by a group of partners and in-house staff.
With Office.com, New York-based Winstar and CBS are attempting to become the dominant player in the online small business market. The services and products offered by the site have all been available online for more than a year in fragments, but have not yet been gathered in one Web site.
Some small business sites offer links to other Web sites in order to emulate a one-stop destination, but Office.com attempts to offer a product and service mix under one umbrella. The site utilizes partnerships to integrate services and products, so business consumers can move from business news to office supplies without leaving the site.
An Array of Partnerships
Office.com offers news and information covering 140 industries and professions. For content, the site works with COMTEX, Data Broadcasting Corporation, Knight-Ridder/Tribune, MarketWatch, Stockpoint and others.
For products, Office.com partners with OfficeMax, barvnesandnoble.com, Stamps.com, Hello Direct Inc., and others.
The site also offers research from Dun & Bradstreet, Gale Group, Responsive Database Services (RDS) and the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).
“There’s no margin for error when it comes to customer loyalty on the Web, so each of our partners underwent a rigorous best-of-breed vetting process,” Office.com senior vice president and general manager Jeffrey Cutler told the E-Commerce Times.
Office.com also employs a team of in-house editors to produce original content. The information, news and research, divided into 140 trades and professions, comes from the company’s in-house editors.
Three Revenue Streams
Office.com drives sales in three areas: Advertising, product and service sales, and sales or premium information. Current advertising sponsors include 3Com, AT&T, ebank.com, eCal, MasterCard, NetEarnings and OfficeMax.
According to vice president of commerce Eric Feidner, Office.com expects to add small business financial services in the future. “Financial services are under development right now,” Feidner told the E-Commerce Times. “We plan to add banking, credit services, insurance and employee benefit packages.”
Office.com will begin its promotion effort on a limited basis beginning this year with online banner advertising and a print campaign. Next year, the site will embark upon a full advertising launch.
The details of next year’s promotions are still being developed.