America Online Inc launched AOL for Small Business, a version of its service customized for small US companies, in an effort to capture part of a market that would ordinarily use other, less consumer-oriented services.
The services will offer content oriented to workers, discounts from small business suppliers, priority customer service and the ability to have up to seven employees connect simultaneously on the same account. Editorial from business-focused content providers will feature prominently.
Other than what AOL itself brings to the table, VeriSign Inc has been brought in to provide domain registration, email and web site creation tools. Subscribers will be able to buy services they need to create simple web presences at a discount to regular pricing.
AOL said the service is available at no additional cost to its existing services. The firm estimates that millions of its current users are already using the service as their workplace online service. Providing them with what these users want will perhaps prevent them migrating to other services.