Domain registration company Internet Names Australia (INA) is looking to the channel to help expand its com.au operations as part of a bid to secure 20 per cent of the .com market within a year.
"With the com.au names we have built up our reseller channel to 380. The proven success of this model has encouraged us to adopt the same strategy to sell .com," Clive Flory, general manager of INA, said.
INA is undertaking a recruitment drive, particularly throughout the Asia- Pacific, in search of resellers experienced at selling domain names, ISPs, Web developers, Web designers and even large legal firms. "Basically all we need from potential partners is commitment," he said.
In return, INA has developed what it is anticipating will be a "fast, cheap and easy" service and support program that Flory describes as two-pronged. "On the one hand, we offer resellers an accumulated-volume discount model and on the other a Web site that provides not just information but support in the form of process abilities so they can access reports related directly to how much they sell."
Specifically, INA will rely on its recently developed software to increase the automation of domain registration, consequently reducing the time it takes to register from a day to an hour. "It used to take a couple of days before you even got a response to your application. INA can give you one instantly," Flory said.
INA has also increased its channel support infrastructure and "extended the help desk hours and given our partners PINs so they can have direct and priority access to our support services", he added.
INA will also patronise the .com domain name and the resellers selling them. "There will be joint promotional activities to help drive traffic to a reseller's site," Flory said.
Relying on its status as only one of five domain registration companies under the banner of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), INA will move to create a global presence. "Our share of the .com space is minuscule at the moment but with the right partners we are well on track for 20 per cent of the market."
However, in the meantime, controversy has erupted over ICANN's intended policy to impose a $US1 tax on the registration of new Internet addresses. The latest criticism came from Tom Bliley, chairman of the US House Committee on Commerce, who suggested that "rather than promote the Internet's evolution, ICANN's policies may actually jeopardise consumers' abilities to use, enjoy and transact business on the Internet".