Some new or expanding Web-based services businesses may be interested in include:
- USWeb/CKS E-Services: From USWeb/CKS, Santa Clara, Calif. Offered on a subscription basis, the portfolio of services combines packaged applications with customized applications development for e-commerce, communications and knowledge management, customer-relationship management (call center, sales-force automation, and marketing management), and back-office functions including manufacturing, finance, human resources, and distribution management. The applications range from entry-level to enterprise-level, and can be integrated with a company's existing business systems to provide a seamlessly managed solution, according to Bob Wise, COO of electronic services.
- First Internet Bank of Indiana offers full service, real-time Internet banking, says the Indianapolis-based financial institution. Some online banking services are executed in "batch" fashion, where transactions are processed once a night, limiting the availability of up-to-the-minute financial and account information according to David Becker, Chairman of firstib.com. First Internet Bank says it differs by offering real-time service. The bank will offer a full product line of checking, money market savings, certificates of deposit, loans, credit cards, and ATM cash cards. Customers can make deposits through MAC ATMs, payroll direct deposit, mail, wire transfer, etc. Withdraws can be made from any PLUS or MAC ATM. All funds held at firstib.com are insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) up to $100,000 per depositor. No proprietary software is required to execute these services, allowing access at any Internet site.
- Centerstone Insurance and Financial Services:
Centerstone's Internet portal delivers comprehensive, competitive small group health and life quotes and proposals from multiple insurance firms to brokers, free of charge. It serves brokers in California, Colorado, and Texas. This month it will begin serving brokers in Illinois -- and will go national "absolutely this year," says James Lanius, vice president of business development.
Centerstone has been providing its services since November 1997 -- but with little publicity. Still, it's seen a 15-fold increase in the number of brokers using its service -- and the number of quotes delivered has grown 3,000%. This January quotes were up 189% over last January.
In the three states where Centerstone currently operates, it has 37 carriers online with 46 state-level carrier contracts, and almost 2,000 plans. In Illinois it will have five carriers and several hundred plans, says Lanius. For the national expansion, it's working with current carriers who offer plans in other states.
Dallas-based Centerstone is an employee benefits general agency specializing in small group insurance. A multi-state network of offices provides sales support service to brokers. Online and off-line, the firm provides small group medical, life, dental, and vision insurance benefits on behalf of a total of 107 state, regional, and national insurance companies.