BlueTie: taking on Exchange online

BlueTie, a hosted e-mail and calendaring company, is letting resellers customize its services.

BlueTie's hosted calendaring application

Headquartered in Rochester, N.Y., since 1999, online e-mail and calendaring company doesn't benefit from the Web 2.0 buzz. But its offerings have a familiar ring to people who have explored hosted alternatives to Microsoft's Exchange.

Like , BlueTie uses AJAX Web development to make an interactive Web front end. It targets small and medium-size businesses, selling through Internet Service Providers, resellers and its own direct sales force. Last month, it introduced a free version of its e-mail and calendaring service to complement a high-end $4.99 per user per month service, which has more storage and additional features.

To monetize the

There are similar service tie-ins to buy flowers, and talks with office supply partners and other services are in the works, says CEO David Koretz. BlueTie gets a cut of the revenue from transactions.

"We don't want to have obvious advertising," he said. "It's a major bet on our side that we can be relevant to users and they're going to want to use our services."

On Monday, the company will start a program to give outsiders the ability to write mashups with its applications. The first step in that process is letting resellers have a single console for managing user accounts, said Koretz. Over time, the company will give developers the ability to access and import data in BlueTie applications, he said.

About the author

Martin LaMonica is a senior writer covering green tech and cutting-edge technologies. He joined CNET in 2002 to cover enterprise IT and Web development and was previously executive editor of IT publication InfoWorld.


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