Office Live, a three-tiered set of internet services aimed at small and very small businesses, will offer not only simple website and email services, but an impressive set of more sophisticated business applications, collaboration services, and management tools. To review quickly, the first of the three tiers is Office Live Basics, which includes a 30mb website (with an online website designer and web analytics), 5 email accounts, and a domain name, all free to the customer and advertiser supported. Next is Office Live Essentials, which provides more website space, 50 email accounts, a choice of either the online designer or the use of FrontPage, and "a range of hosted small business applications" in customer, product, and document management. The third tier is called Office Live Collaboration. This is the Sharepoint like private website for "collaborating with employees as well as externally with customers, suppliers, and contractors", and will also include the business applications and online services provided in the lower tiers.
What is surprising is the depth and breadth of the business applications and services such as the web analytics, offering traffic reporting, site reports, page statistics, and reporting on which search engine was used. While no pricing structure has been announced (other than the fact that Basics will be free), the Office Live Business Applications (about 30 of them) look to be valuable tools for a small business on the web. These will include a Dashboard Manager offering a centralized view of key information, Sales and Marketing Campaign, News and Intelligence, Product information management, and Human Resources management, including managing candidates, employees, expenses, job openings, and training, LiveSide has learned.