Infrastructure Management and Strategic Design: Part 1

by admin on June 05, 2006 03:51pm

Infrastructure Management and Strategic Design
Part 1: Domains Portfolio Management

Thank you all and especially everyone who has been giving us very productive feedback on what you'd be interested in seeing us write about. Your input helps us tune our content to what’s important to YOU, our viewers. On that note I am kicking off a series of blogs towards Infrastructure Management encompassing suggestions, situations and pointers towards managing and maintaining a large-scale heterogeneous infrastructure. I’d like to start today’s blog on an “unsung” hero of the Infrastructure Service but yet one of the most important– Domains Portfolio Management.

Why is this important: Well, think about this for a minute - EVERYTIME someone types a url in their browser, it translates to someone having secured that url at some point and working with a registrar to purchase and lock it. I can literally write a book on how painful it has been for so many companies to sometimes purchase, acquire or secure something as small as a url and YET, the entire web presence of a company depends on registration of a simple url, a central place which everyone goes to.

Domains Portfolio Management as I understand it, encompasses managing all gTLD’s (Global top level domains such as .com, .net etc) and ccTLD’s (Country Code Top Level Domains such as .au, .in etc.) across the board. This involves managing, securing and expanding your Domain Portfolio credentials to give us a business advantage and to understand and leverage this often overlooked strategy.  Let’s say you’re working for an organization that is geographically dispersed in major regions around the world. If you want to maintain, develop and build a strong Internet Presence portfolio, the dynamics of that space are changing very rapidly with the introduction of several new top level domains e.g. .mobi etc. I have spent a significant amount of time in my past life overseeing the several aspects of Domain Management and here’s the top three suggestions I would like to share with you:

1.  Manage your Domain Portfolio: If you have more than 100 domains in your Domains Portfolio, it is worth every penny to build a database around these domains and enter essential information like expiration date, registrar details etc in it. This in itself will add years to your life as a Domain Portfolio Administrator. Other helpful suggestions are choosing more than one registrar for your portfolio. The phrase “don’t put all your eggs in one basket” has never been more relevant than at this point. Why you ask, well, think in terms of ‘TDRP – or Technical Disaster Recovery Planning”. You want to put measures in place such that you always have a backup Registrar/Registry that you have been working with and knows your portfolio intimately

2.  Secure your Domain Portfolio: Sometimes, we “over-prepare” and I have seen Domain Portfolio Managers registering every single url in every single country in the world, even if they’re not known and/or are not selling a product or service in that region. So what does a good Domain Strategy look like. Well, start by maximizing your gTLD assets, make sure you have fully locked and secured your Domain Assets. Work w/ your Registrar and have them do a comprehensive Domain Audit and review for you. You are more than likely to get a visualization of where most of your Domain investment lies. Sit down w/ your Business and Marketing Team after that to review the findings and align your Domain presence with your core business goals. e.g. if your org is heavily centric in a specific continent or country, make sure your domain assets are maximized for that region.

3.  Build a strategy around your portfolio: Once you have a solid strategy around what areas, regions and assets you need to invest in, you are more than likely to get your share of squatters (those who buy popular domain names and then sell them to the highest bidder), type-squatters (those who make their money by buying domains resembling popular / heavy-hitter names ) and some clear violations of your company trademark name. While you’re combing through these issues, “PICK YOUR BATTLES”. If a specific ccTLD is not that important to your company’s business expansion plans, just let it go. But make sure you invest heavily in keeping and securing the Domain Assets that your business model takes for granted.

In conclusion, I would like to say that there’s much more riding on your domain portfolio than most would ever imagine. Building an asset database, building a close professional relationship with your Registrar and always staying on top of the Domains namespace are hard suggestions I would like to make after having lived through managing this service. Have a great week ahead and THANK YOU for tuning in!!

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