Domainz working quietly

After years of controversial press coverage Domainz, the company that runs the .nz name space, has been quite quiet since the interim CEO Donna Hiser has taken over.

After years of controversial press coverage Domainz, the company that runs the .nz name space, has been quite quiet since the interim CEO Donna Hiser has taken over.

It’s not been avoiding the media, however; rather the company has been hard at work on redeveloping itself to cope with being a shared registry system, something that was decided by Domainz’s owner, the Internet Society (ISOCNZ).

“That was passed through ISOCNZ after much debate,” says Domainz chairman Robert Gray. He says the company is currently hard at work on two main fronts.

“There’s the SRS implementation of course and the other side of the coin is improving the service Domainz is giving to its customers.” On top of those two daunting tasks is a third - finding a replacement for Hiser when her contract expires in June.

“We’re in the middle of the process now. We have a number of candidates and are interviewing them and have developed a short list,” says Gray. Hiser, who was hired to replace Patrick O’Brien, is not on the short list, although Gray would love to have seen her apply.

“She says if she wanted a full-time job she would apply but that she’s happy doing other things instead.” Hiser has piloted the company away from its position as both registry and registrar following the decision by ISOCNZ members that they would rather Domainz concentrate on simply managing the database and not compete with registrars as well. After a bitterly-contested debate, which included defining and re-defining just what was meant by registrar and registrant, the society passed the motion and Domainz has been implementing that ever since.

“We hired Rose Percival as implementation manager and she has experience in establishing registries in the past. She is working from the point of view of ‘this is what we want now how do we get there’ rather than ‘this is what we’ve got, what can we do?’” says Gray. He has been working with Percival towards that end and the pair have visited a number of businesses that have expressed an interest in the process.

“We’ve been giving [Percival] an overview as to the variety of views there are in the community.” Gray says this has been an interesting exercise because no two members have the same point of view.

“She’s doing a report to council which is a plan to work through.” Taking a two-pronged approach, Percival has to work through the regulatory ramifications of the implementation as well as the technical. For the latter part she has the enviable job of having customers who are highly technical.

“We will pull together a team that includes some registrars to comment on the whole thing because these people have good ideas and some of them are registrars for the likes of ICANN or are agents already and it’s silly to go doing something quite different.”

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