Tag Archives: Architelos

Architelos Expands Internationally In Year Two, Launches NameSentry As Revenue And Profits Jump

Architelos, Inc. celebrated its second year of business expanding internationally, launching its NameSentry domain abuse detection and mitigation service and having a profitable year with revenue increasing 70 percent while sales increased 100 percent.

In 2012 the company earned over $1.7 million in revenue and booked sales of over $2 million dollars in consulting and software service fees. Architelos also expanded its footprint internationally by opening up a Canadian office in Toronto, which houses its software development efforts.

In August, Architelos launched the patent-pending NameSentry domain abuse detection and mitigation service. Within two months, deals were inked with major portfolio companies Donuts and TLDH whose TLDs represent 22% of the new gTLD applications.

In its first year of operations Architelos’ revenue exceeded $1 million. Results for year two represent a 70 percent increase in revenues and a 100 percent increase in sales.

“Our financial performance and revenue growth is significant, given the fact that the company is self-funded, carries no debt, and was still able to make substantial investments in software development,” said CEO, Alexa Raad. The company ended the year on a high note with Success Magazine recognizing the company in its December 2012 issue.

Architelos now has clients in ten countries ranging from Europe to Australia and China to the US and Canada. The company added 15 new clients in 2012, including current gTLDs and ccTLDs, as well as new gTLD applicants. As well as the establishment of the office in Toronto, Architelos set-up two data centres in Los Angeles and Toronto to support its SaaS-based product suite called TLD Managed Services (TMS).

Anticipating industry need for greater domain name abuse protection and reputation management, Architelos introduced NameSentry in August of 2012. NameSentry is designed to allow registries to comply with ICANN requirement for new gTLDs to mitigate domain abuse, and will work with any back-end registry system.  It is the first product in TLD Managed Services (TMS) suite of services to be released.  Architelos is currently developing its second TMS product, which is a solution for the complex requirements of new gTLD finance systems. TMS distills the 30 years experience of the Architelos leadership in building, launching and managing TLDs. With TMS, registries can outsource the management of the critical business and front-office functions thus reduce the costs of procuring, customizing and integrating software.

Donuts Selects Architelos’ NameSentry For Anti-Abuse Tool

Donuts logo[news release] Architelos, Inc., a domain name industry consulting and managed services provider, and Donuts Inc., a registry for new generic top-level domain names (gTLDs), said today Donuts will adopt NameSentry, Architelos’ software-as-a-service platform for detecting and mitigating domain name abuse.

The patent-pending NameSentry application protects new gTLDs from phishing, malware, spam, botnets and other types of abuse. Already operational, it’s the first independent, third-party resource of its kind for the domain name industry.

“In our gTLD applications, we detailed eight new stringent mechanisms for protecting rights holders and combating potential abuse, protections that intentionally exceed those required by ICANN,” said Donuts co-founder and CEO Paul Stahura. “NameSentry gives us another set of tools to gather data and quickly mitigate any problems.”

Stahura said the system is impressive thanks to its range of capability and ease of implementation. “NameSentry gives us the additional benefit of Architelos’ experience in abuse prevention, ready to be put to use.

“We are thrilled to be selected by Donuts,” said Architelos founder and CEO Alexa Raad. “By adding NameSentry to their extensive set of protection mechanisms, Paul and his team are very clear that Donuts won’t tolerate abuse. As the largest applicant by number of applied-for gTLDs, working with Donuts is a significant opportunity for Architelos to help ensure new namespace is safe for all users.”

About Donuts Inc.
Donuts is a domain name registry that is widening competition and choice in Internet identities through hundreds of new top-level domain name choices, securely operated in multiple languages and character sets. Donuts is headquartered in Bellevue, Wash., with offices in Los Angeles, Calif. and Washington, D.C. For more information, please visit www.donuts.co or follow Donuts on Twitter @DonutsInc.

About Architelos, Inc.
Architelos, Inc. provides strategic consulting and managed services for clients in the Domain Name System (DNS). The Architelos team of executives is unique in having over 30 years of experience, and a track record in building, launching and managing multi-million name gTLDs. Clients include new as well as existing generic Top Level Domain (gTLD) and Country Code (ccTLD) registries. Architelos has locations in Leesburg, VA, Los Angeles (LA), Toronto and Dublin, as well as data centers in Toronto and LA. For more info follow Architelos on Twitter and Facebook.

Alexa Raad Talks: How New TLDs Can Better Engage Customers

In the second of our series of articles on new TLDs resulting from interviews with leading industry players, we talk to Alexa Raad, CEO of Architelos, a TLD consulting and managed registry services company.Goldstein Report: It is getting close to the time when all proposals for new TLDs will have to be submitted, so what is your prediction for the number of TLD applications? What proportion do you think will come from business? And has the number of registrations in the TAS surprised you?Alexa Raad: Given the number of applicants ICANN has announced, I suspect there will be in the neighborhood of 1,000 TLDs applied for, with a large number coming from brands.GR: For the clients you are dealing with, what trends are you seeing – what types of applicants, and what are their intentions for the use of their TLDs?AR: I’m unable to discuss specific clients until after all the names are revealed. However, we’re seeing localities, generic names, brands and non-profit organizations seeking TLDs. I believe you’re going to see applications that describe using the TLD as a platform to build stronger relationships (ex: among the members/customers/subscribers) and industry verticals. The domain name industry is changing with the entrance of new players with new ideas and uses. The number of domains one sells is not going to be the sole driver of success of new TLDs.GR: Do you think awareness of new TLDs among business has been adequate? And does it vary in different regions?AR: The industry has not done an adequate job of raising awareness or describing uses for new TLDs. Part of that is because the controversy sparked by advertisers took up the majority of media attention. Controversies make for interesting stories. But in fairness to journalists, TLD benefits and uses are hard to explain unless you have a good grasp of the technical and policy aspects of the DNS and the industry. When so many mistake domain names with TLDs, the learning curve is steep.GR: Have you seen any interesting ideas you are able to speak about for new gTLDs rather than just using the TLD as an alternative or instead of current domain names?AR: There are plenty. Many new brands and businesses that are applying can and will add their own unique services to offer the potential registrants.A registry sets the rules of engagement as well as the level of security. Those TLDs might also restrict who gets a domain name and improve the verification process for registrants. A .ebay or a .paypal can offer greater security for their subscribers as well as their customers. They can also provide retention and loyalty benefits. A .mac TLD could knot together the existing but dispersed online community of users, developers, enthusiasts, and not only derive better product intelligence but also offer benefits such as VIP access for new introductions.GR: When looking at new TLDs, how do you think business models will need to vary from existing TLDs for them to be successful, as it is likely that, not including brands, many of them will have quite small registration numbers? Also, obviously different registry models will have differing costs, but what numbers do you expect will be needed for TLDs to break even as a general rule?AR: (See answers above for new business models.) New TLDs will not be judged on the volume of domain names sold in many instances. They will be part of a marketing effort to build a stronger relationship with customers, community members, distributors, affiliates, suppliers and organizational members. It is the value of that relationship that would determine the success of a new TLD.GR: Again, not including brand TLDs, apart from registration numbers and profitability, do you think there are other ways the TLD can be considered a success?AR: There are at least three other metrics: greater control of the customer relationship, reduction of online fraud, and better intelligence.Right now, companies are ceding control of the customer to a variety social media outlets and sites such as Facebook. And the evidence is scant that “like” translates into sales. There is a much greater opportunity to bond a brand and a customer, a member and an association, an interest group and a cause or vertical, if you can engage them on your own terms.For businesses and brands concerned with online security and fraud, a TLD can offer them better intelligence but also much tighter security controls and mitigation than they have now.Lastly, as a website or group of websites, you only have a limited amount of information. To use the apartment analogy, a secondary domain name is an apartment in someone else’s building. You can only know who comes to your door. If you owned the building, you would know all the traffic between the tenants as well as the traffic on the perimeter. So if having better intelligence about the flow of traffic and resolution is key, then a TLD can be much more valuable than a domain name.GR: Do you think business and other potential applicant areas have an understanding of TLDs and how they can be used?AR: Many do not, but I suspect that once new TLDs are launched and some succeed and some fail, there will be valuable lessons for all. There already has been and will likely be a greater call to open up the application process again sooner rather than later. But that said, we have advised several clients not to apply because there was not a strategic imperative. A vanity name, or a “good” name, is not a compelling reason to run a TLD. There needs to be a solid business case.GR: How has Architelos been positioned? What makes it different?AR: We are a team that has actually done what our clients plan to do, namely launch a TLD and build or manage a registry. So more so that anyone else, we have lived the marketing, technical, operational and policy implications. We harnessed that knowledge into advising our clients and now into building software applications that we call TLD Managed Services.We were the first to announce and develop TLD managed services that enable companies to focus on their core business and not on the technical aspects of running a registry. Our SaaS-based software allows clients to set up their registries from day one, at a lower cost, minimal learning curve and no delay. We will help them run the registry as well if they should so choose.Last, but no less important, we have no conflict of interest and believe in an open source ethos. Therefore, from the start we have been entirely independent and self-funded. We have no exclusive arrangements with anyone, nor do we have any investors from inside or outside the industry. We did not apply for TLDs, nor are we vested in any companies that have applied. We do not partner with companies in any way that restricts our ability to provide solid, unbiased counsel or to choose the best of breed technology.GR: Do you have any views on allowing registries becoming registrars? And the policy development process for the Applicant Guidebook in general? Do you think ICANN’s consultation process was adequately consultative?AR: Many restricted or closed brands will also act as their own registrars, by choice or necessity. Right now, registries are reliant on registrars and the marketing is basically promotional. And with so many new TLDs being launched it is unlikely they will get any more — and probably a lot less — attention from registrars.The new gTLD program took six years to complete. Participation was open and the comments, position and research papers and blogs all transparent. Those who chose not to participate in this multi-stakeholder model did not have the right to change the outcome at the last minute to suit their point of view. I hope they will choose to participate from the start at the next go round.GR: It has been said by some registrars that it will be difficult to get them to give new TLDs shelf space given their limited resources. Do you see this as a problem? If so, how do you see new TLD operators can breach this problem?AR: That is true of the current model. However registries can become their own registrars. Also do not forget that the introduction of new types of gTLDs with new business models will also encourage new registrars to form. For example, .law might become available through new registrars who offer .law bundled with a variety of other services targeted to the legal community.GR: Architelos has been around for over a year now. Has the company met or exceeded its goals for its first year? And if so, what do you attribute the success too?AR: Our revenues for the first year were in excess of $1 million. And our 2012 first quarter revenues put us on track to double that this year. I think our success has been due to three factors: a terrific team, a nimble and low cost model, and our open source ethos. Our team consists of experts with hand-on experience and a proven track record in building, launching and managing registries. Norbert Grey has solid high-level financial and operational experience and was the architect of the Business Case Builder application. Michael Young, our CTO, has built registry back-end systems and has several patents under his belt. He has a keen sense of the market needs for technical products and services that solve the problems new TLDs will face. John Matson has more than 20 years of management consulting experience developing new business models. And I am the one in the industry so far who has successfully launched a TLD in the last round and managed a large registry.You won’t often find the best people within 20 miles of one another, so not surprisingly our team is dispersed. We have built an efficient virtual architecture that also reduces our cost structure.Lastly, our independence has meant we’ve earned each and every client not by referral but by reputation and client satisfaction. That is a harder but more financially and personally rewarding.GR: And what about the future?AR: There will be a shift in the balance of power with the entrance of brand new registries (incl. vertically integrated ones) and those who use their marketing dollars to entice the potential registrant, instead of the registrar. This is pull marketing versus the traditional way it has been done in our industry, which has been a “push” marketing effort through the registrars.You will also see new registrars emerge who are set up to serve specific vertical markets, as opposed to the current set of registrars that are either retail or reseller-oriented or focus broad swaths of consumers, SMEs or brands.For those registries that can cleverly use “pull” marketing, you will also see the balance of power shift from total reliance on registrars for marketing and branding toward the registries. This way they can regain control of the marketing messages, use the registrar channel to satisfy customer demand, and not be reliant on them to create the customer demand. This is one of the key features of our Velocity service.

Architelos Tops $1m In First Year TLD Consulting & Service Revenue

Architelos, Inc. celebrated its first year in business by announcing it had surpassed $1 million in revenue for consulting and software service fees relating to new generic Top Level Domains.

Marking both milestones, CEO Alexa Raad said the deregulation she predicted a year ago has begun to re-shape how online business is conducted, with more to come when new TLDs begin implementing innovative business models that will change online marketing, advertising and search, and will enable both for-profit and non-profit entities to organize more powerful online communities.

“With our vision of how these changes will unfold, Architelos is in a great position to grow in 2012,” Raad said. “New registries will need reliable, cost-effective TLD services at the outset to ensure a successful launch. Existing registries will need to understand how they can compete effectively in the deregulated environment. Our experience launching and running registries and our innovative software solutions will serve them both well.”

Architelos is made up of a number of domain name industry veterans apart from Raad including co-founder and COO John Matson.

“Our corporate structure and client approach contributes to our success,” Matson said. “We are not applying for any TLDs, so we won’t have any conflicts with our clients who are applying for new TLDs. We are also a solely self-funded company with no interests other than to provide independent and trusted guidance to our clients.”

It has built up an impressive international client base including new TLD applicants for both generic words and worldwide brands, investment and management consulting firms, and established generic and country code registries. Clients include Verisign, the British registry Nominet, the .music applicant Far Further and the Canadian Internet Registry Authority, among others.

RIGHT OF THE DOT And Architelos Join Forces To Offer Comprehensive Marketing, Valuation And Management Services For New TLD Applications

[news release] RIGHT OF THE DOT, a domain name strategy consulting group for new generic top-level domain (gTLD) applicants and existing TLDs, announced today that it has entered into a cooperative arrangement with Architelos, a consulting and managed services company serving the same market. Under the arrangement, Architelos will refer gTLD applicants seeking premium domain name consulting services to RIGHT OF THE DOT, and RIGHT OF THE DOT will refer to Architelos clients looking for new TLD feasibility, financial modeling and TLD application services, as well as a managed solution for running the front office functions of a TLD registry.

The internet name space is expected to expand into potentially hundreds of new TLDs, as companies are permitted to apply for generic names and even their own brand name in the form of a TLD, to generate greater brand awareness and control. However, achieving the benefits requires a comprehensive set of strategic services leveraging the best of several providers. The cooperative agreement between the two companies provides a complementary set of services targeted at generics and brand applicants.

RIGHT OF THE DOT specializes in new and existing gTLD strategy, board advisement, premium domain strategy, market positioning and sales. The company is offering its expertise to assist new gTLD applicants in developing and executing premium domain name strategies including financial planning.

Architelos’ executives have run registries and launched new TLDs. They provide the rigorous analysis and creative ideas for helping brands and businesses intelligently identify opportunities within the TLD industry. The company has also pioneered tools such as the Business Case Builder, which enables an applicant to easily create the cost and revenue projections for its TLD, as well as the customized report required by ICANN as part of the TLD application.

“The Right of the Dot team is a great complement to the Architelos team in terms of industry experience and track record,” said Alexa Raad, CEO of Architelos.

“Architelos is unique in what it offers our clients—a hands-on team of executives with a successful track record of building registries and launching TLDs and its Business Case Builder that helps brands and generic TLDs create a strong and defensible application for their desired TLD,” said Michael H. Berkens, Managing Director for RIGHT OF THE DOT.

“Interest in new gTLDs continues to increase among entrepreneurs, investors and corporations. And rightly so,” said Monte Cahn, President of RIGHT OF THE DOT. “We are on the verge of a true paradigm shift in the domain industry, and forward-thinking businesses are aggressively planning around new gTLDs. With Architelos and RIGHT OF THE DOT in your court, you’ll have the business intelligence, valuation and sales support you need to ensure your next move is a success.”

About Right Of the Dot LLC
RIGHT OF THE DOT is an Internet consulting and advisement firm specializing in new and existing TLD strategy, board advisement, premium domain and market positioning, sales and services. The venture is the brainchild of two successful domain and Internet industry veterans, Monte Cahn and Michael H. Berkens, Esq., who possess a unique combination of vision, leadership and domain expertise. Cahn was the original founder of Moniker.com, a top 7 ICANN Accredited Registrar, who went on to head the Aftermarket and Sales Division of Oversee.net. Among other pioneering services, Cahn introduced the concept of Live Domain Auctions to the industry. Berkens, a domain investor with more than 75,000 domains, owns WorldwideMedia Inc., including the retail site MostWantedDomains.com. He founded and contributes to the widely read blog, TheDomains.com. Both principals of RIGHT OF THE DOT are members of the prestigious Domain Hall Of Fame, and are two of only 10 members. This highly qualified consulting group gives you access to the most experienced domain sales and marketing strategists in the industry. They are the only domain industry firm specializing in the many of the critical service offerings required to be successful in the ever-expanding domain industry.

About Architelos
Architelos, Inc. provides consulting and managed services for clients in the internet and domain name industry. The TMS service provides outsourced professional services and SaaS-based registry “front-office” solutions for both new TLD contract winners and existing small registries. TMS services range from new TLD application support to launch and turnkey management of a new TLD. The consulting practice focuses on innovative growth strategies and boasts both industry leaders as well as new entrants as clients. Architelos operates as an independent and trusted third party with no financial interest in or plans to apply for any new TLDs. Architelos has an “open source” ethos, thus ensuring integration with all back-end processors. With an executive team comprised of leading industry veterans who have successfully launched, built and managed new and existing TLDs, Architelos is uniquely positioned to offer a turnkey solution for registry launch and management. Founded by Alexa Raad, former CEO of PIR, the .ORG registry, and John Matson, a veteran management consultant to Fortune 500 companies, Architelos brings wisdom and experience to turn rapid market change into innovation and success for its clients.

Alexa Raad Launches Consultancy For New Domain Name Landscape

When Alexa Raad resigned as the CEO of Public Interest Registry, the .ORG registry, a few months ago there were many who wondered where she was going next. Now we have the answer.

Raad has announced the formation of a consultancy called Architelos to take advantage of the new domain name landscape, offering her services to advise on new gTLD applications and in particular “vertical niches,” for example banking, where there are specific service, technology and security requirements. Architelos will also assist companies in the application process for new TLDs once ICANN finalises the application procedures.

More information is available in the Architelos news release below:

Former CEO Of .ORG Registry Predicts Deregulation Will Shake Up Domain Name Market [news release]
Launches Architelos to Advise the DNS Marketplace
RESTON, VA, March 10, 2011-Alexa Raad, who today announced the formation of a new company-Architelos, Inc., predicts deregulation of the domain name market will require current players to re-assess and likely re-position their businesses as the walls between wholesalers (registries) and retailers (registrars) crumble and the domain name system (DNS) expands with the expected introduction of many new top-level domain names (TLDs).

“The future landscape of the DNS market will be not only challenging but also promising,” Raad says. “Navigating the complexity of these strategic decisions is Architelos’ core strength.”

Raad, who will be attending the ICANN meeting in San Francisco the week of March 13, is unique in the industry, having both launched the most successful TLD in the last round (.MOBI) and led .ORG to record growth as CEO of Public Interest Registry (PIR).

Architelos, a strategy and market development consultancy focused on the domain name industry, will leverage her experience and that of co-founder John Matson to provide competitive analysis, strategy development, benchmarking, organizational assessments, portfolio diversification analysis and business development support. Architelos has unique financial planning and decision support tools designed specifically for the industry.

The company will also advise organizations applying for generic TLDs for vertical niches, for example banking, where there are specific service, technology and security requirements. Architelos will also assist companies in the application process for new TLDs, once the program is finalized. That process, overseen by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), is expected to begin this year.

Nominet, the .UK registry, engaged Architelos for a horizon scanning review of the market and the potential impacts of the ICANN decision on vertical integration. Nominet’s CEO, Lesley Cowley, OBE said, “We were impressed by the quality and comprehensiveness of the work that Architelos produced for us and we look forward to continuing our relationship with them as we further develop our strategic thinking.”

Deregulation, Competition Limit Second Chances

John Matson has advised Fortune 500 companies on new business models for more than 20 years. His financial benchmarking studies of the Internet registry industry and prior generic TLD (gTLD) launches found that most missed their business plan target by 25-40 percent in the first year and by more than 80 percent in the fourth year. The first year is critical, he said, when 40 percent of all new TLD registrations occur.

“New entrants will get no second chances,” Matson says, “and the incumbents have immature business models that have not yet been tested by competition that deregulation will unleash.” Matson is a former partner with Ernst & Young and KMPG management consulting firms.

New TLDs May Help Deflect Social Sites’ Inroads

With the potential expansion of the DNS, companies with well-known brands must decide whether to apply for a gTLD (e.g., .BUY) for defensive or strategic reasons, or to simply fend off competitors from applying. Others must consider if having their own brand-specific TLD will help reverse the loss of traffic, advertising and transaction revenue to third-party social media sites such as Facebook. Raad says adoption costs are high, and an ineffective launch will be difficult to mitigate. In addition, all players are subject to a changing technology, political and legal landscape and shifting Internet user behavior and needs.

Architelos, Inc. is a strategy and market development consultancy that focuses on growth, brand, positioning and business development for clients within the Internet and DNS sector. Founded in 2011 by Alexa Raad, former CEO of PIR, the .ORG top-level domain registry, and John Matson, a veteran management consultant to Fortune 500 companies, Architelos brings wisdom and experience to turn rapid market change into innovation and success for its clients.