Aruba, which defeated Google and Amazon to win the .cloud top level domain name, discusses why it applied for the domain name and what it plans to do with it.
.Cloud was one of the most applied-for top level domain names, with big names like Amazon.com and Google throwing their hats in the ring.
Which is why many were surprised to see that the winner of the private auction for the domain name was a company they might not have heard of: Aruba S.p.A.
Although nowhere near the size of some of its competitors for .cloud, the Italian company isn’t small, either. Today I had a chance to talk with Eric Sansonny, General Manager at Aruba, about the company and its plans for the domain name.
Sansonny explained that Aruba was founded in 1994, and is the market leader in domain names and hosting in Italy. It has also expanded through Europe, focusing primarily on central and eastern European countries such as Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland.
Aruba manages two million domain names and 1.2 million websites for its customers.
It aggressively moved into marketing cloud services four years ago. When the new top level domain name application period opened, the company thought the opportunity was a no-brainer.
“When the new gTLD process was initiated, it was really natural for us to invest in .cloud because we believe it’s the future,” said Sansonny. “If there was one new gTLD to apply for, it was the .cloud.”
On reveal day, Aruba found out six other companies had the same idea. They were formidable competitors, too.
“The first feeling was that ‘we’re never going to get it’, but we were ready to fight for it,” he said. “Our conviction is really strong and the cloud is the basis of all of our strategies.”
The company plans to have an open registration policy for the domain name. Sansonny said it doesn’t yet have pricing figured out, but that it will be designed to go mass-market.
“Most of our customers are small businesses,” Sansonny said. “You don’t break through in any market by having high pricing.”
This thinking is echoed in the company’s .cloud application:
The mission for this business specifically is to operate as many second level domains under .cloud as possible and the business will be geared towards providing pricing and policies that underpin this objective to make it achievable and affordable for .cloud registrants to register within the space.
Aruba will offer the domain names through the traditional registrar channel, and will organize the business in a way to avoid conflicts of interest with its existing domain and hosting business.
The final price of the .cloud domain name auction is private, but you can bet Aruba spent a considerable sum for the domain name. It’s a big bet, and the company is going to need all of its conviction to make it a success.