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.brand TLD project: what internal and external organisation?

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Creating a .brand TLD – a unifying, cross-cutting and long-term project (part 2)

We saw in our first article that the team for setting up a .brand TLD was necessarily cross-cutting internally, having to rely, depending on the particular case, on specific external competences: that of a back-end registry operator if the business doesn’t wish to manage its TLD itself (as is most often the case), and that of advisors specialising in ICANN procedures and allowing much time to be saved in the formal preparation of the application, as well as improving the chances of success. Outside advisers can also support the business in reflecting on its digital strategy for the .brand TLD and in its detailed implementation once it has been obtained.

Internal organisation

The best organisation seems to be that of a task force bringing together representatives of the main divisions concerned. Since this composition can vary depending on the organisation of the business itself, we will refer instead to “functions”:

  • one representative of the team in charge of the day-to-day management and administration of the domain names dossier, irrespective of the division to which this team belongs. This representative will be responsible for coordinating the activities of the project task force, since he or she will have the domain name-specific expertise, as well as the ability to communicate with the external players
  • one communication/digital communication/marketing function
  • one legal function
  • one technical/internet infrastructure function
  • one technical/security function

In all, some four or five functions, to which the other “functions” mentioned in our first article can be added as needed:

  • General Management function
  • Strategy Division function, as the .brand TLD may present a wider field of opportunities than just digital communication issues
  • commercial function, particularly if the business intends to integrate its vendors, partners and/or dealers under its future .brand TLD
  • financial function
  • “business line” functions, which may profitably be associated with the definition of the future uses of the TLD and whose participation also serves to underline the fact that this is a genuinely business-wide project

Interactions with external partners

Several kinds of external competences have been referred to. They may be associated with the project task force depending on the phase the project is in and/or on the topics to be dealt with in the meetings. These external actors are not all necessarily “obligatory” and their participation in the project will depend largely on decisions made in advance by the business in identifying the points on which it considers it needs support. But assuming a relatively exhaustive approach, we can name the following:

  • the advisory function regarding the impact of the .brand TLD on the business’ general strategy and more particularly its digital strategy
  • the advisory function regarding the preparation of the ICANN application, which in general must adhere to very precise formal requirements
  • the advisory function regarding the implementation of the TLD once it has been obtained
  • the back-end registry operator function, assuming the business subcontracts to a specialist third party

These partners are guided by the project task force and contribute to it depending on the particular needs at each stage of the project, stages which we will discuss in a third article.