Meet the registrars - Namesbeyond

Names Beyond is a US-based ICANN-accredited registrar offering online identity protection and domain management services. The company has systems dispersed in India, South East Asia and Canada, as well as North America. We spoke to their founder, President and CEO Uma Murali.

Q: Your company became accredited in December 2005, making you one of the most recently contracted .aero registrars. What made you decide to offer .aero?

A: The short answer is that .aero is a great name for anyone in the aviation industry! There is no better online identity for the aviation industry than .aero - it is intuitive, specific and self-explanatory.

Second, we believe that our high-touch, high-value approach to domain name sales was a great match with the type of customers who buy and use .aero domain names - intelligent managers and leaders who understand the power of using the .aero name.

We partner with registries - SITA, the sponsor of the .aero registry, has a vision for a domain that is exclusive to the aviation industry. We like to partner with registries that have strategic goals rather than just "selling more names".

Q: You very quickly became the fastest growing .aero registrar, with an increasing share of the .aero market. How would you explain this success?

A: Simply put, we are successful because we are more than just an "order taker" for domain names. I am a non-technical person myself, and I started Names Beyond because I was frustrated with how few good, ethical and helpful registrars there were.

We work very hard, and we value each customer we get. No shortcuts for us - we earn our customers one at a time, and are very aware that it only takes one bad experience to lose a customer for a lifetime.

Q: Your website notes that the work of building your company "has been guided by our concern for the online safety and well-being of business people and individuals". Can you elaborate on that statement, particularly from the point of view of "safety"?

A: Everyone talks about "security". But what is the use of high security if your experience is not also SAFE? We protect each transaction through our secure site, but we also take extra measures - credit card information is encrypted, we work with antispam and anti-phishing groups, and we have coordinated with law enforcement when our customers' domain names are under attack. Safety consists of two components - really implementing security, and then working hard to ensure that each customer gets a reliable, predictable and amazingly good user experience.

Q: Despite the fact that .aero is restricted for registration, your company has shown a strong and continuous interest in gaining more customers. Have you come across any major difficulties in working for .aero domain and what are they?

A: We think .aero is a terrific domain name. Restricting .aero is a good policy - it adds to the credibility and reliability of the domain name.

The biggest issue we face in the marketplace is educating users about .aero. Once potential clients understand the reliability and the power of branding their company with a .aero identity, we find customers are happy with their experience.

We think recent improvements in .aero technology and support - as well as new functionality that allows us to provisionally create names pending the registry's approval - are steps in the right direction. A bit more education, a lot more branding and .aero will grow to its full potential.

Q: There is no doubt that you are seriously addressing the .aero market. What special campaigns have you undertaken and what are your future plans in this aspect?

A: Thank you for acknowledging our efforts! We have invested substantially in marketing the value of .aero, and convincing users to switch to the domain.We are ramping up our campaigns, and have committed significant resources to build a strong and sustained presence in the .aero marketplace.

Q: What are the most important issues concerning you future work with .aero and where do you see the role of Names Beyond in this respect?

A: We would like to be more involved in the policy and marketing concepts behind .aero. We would like to engage further with the .aero Council, which advises how to ensure policies are always in the best interests of the aviation community.

Names Beyond has a global presence - our offices and affiliates are in North America (USA & Canada), Europe (Germany & Greece) and Asia (India & Hong Kong). We work with customers who are fluent in English, French, German, Arabic, Chinese, Spanish or Hindi.We believe that .aero has a responsibility to offer itself in these important languages - we don't know what the sales numbers will be, but this is about being responsible Internet citizens. As a global registrar, we would strongly support offering IDNs both at the second level and at the top level for .aero.

We would also like to see .aero sign the zone (implement DNSSec) and become one of the most secure domains in the world. At Names Beyond, we have implemented strong technology, including support for IPv6 and DNSSec, and we hope that .aero will take the lead in becoming a safe destination for aviation businesses and individuals worldwide.

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