INWW Signs New Deals, Opens U.S. Operations
By Maura Ginty
Internet Names WorldWide this week formed partnerships with Intuit Inc., Verio Inc. and Digital Envoy as part of its push for secure domain name management for businesses, as well as formally launching its operations in the United States.
Under the agreement with Intuit, the financial services software firm will incorporate INWW's registration services in its QuickBooks Site Builder within QuickBooks 2000. Verio also gave INWW the nod for its customer base, while Digital Envoy will work with INWW to provide localized services such as weather, entertainment and personalization.
INWW has opened its U.S. operations in McLean, Va. and plans to add a West Coast office in the next several weeks. London operations will follow within the next three to four months, with offices to be opened in Hong Kong in the next six months.
At Spring Internet World 2000, INWW also introduced NameBuddy, a service which suggest domain name possibilities from a database of unclaimed URLs.
The registrar expects to add country level domain registration to 40 countries, a service platform which is expected to become available in its service package within the next three months. INWW General Manager Clive Flory says that the company is not concerned about entering this sector behind its registrar competitors because the multinational registration will be "differentiated by its simplicity."
INWW is currently working to form broader policy and technology standards for country code top-level domains.
The company is also focusing on security and domain technology packages for businesses as a compliment to its wholesale name registry, encouraging companies to see domain names as a valuable trademark asset which requires a greater degree of security technology. Flory pointed to current conditions which allow customers to lose domain names, erroneously redelegate URLs, and allow outsiders to easily claim ownership of a domain name, and says that INWW is working to increase the security of domain name management.
"Domain names can now be sold for millions of dollars. If you had a $10 million house, the first thing you would do is install a security system," said Flory. Domain name services are an aspect of online brand management which also require a high level of security, he added.
Still, INWW is now eyeing what it sees as the next big thing in the domain registration market -- multilingual domain names. While such domain names have already been developed within Asian markets, Flory says that INWW hopes to establish itself as an international partners for such URLs, with registry operations on a global level.
INWW has also undergone an audit for an initial public offering. Flory said that investors have the right to ask questions about the process and deserve to receive the right answer, but did not comment further on the investigation.