Saturday, October 29, 2011

Domain Dialing in Dakar!

I attended the ICANN meeting in Senegal and had a first hand look at the concept of Domain Dialing, a new app and concept that first gained prominence during the ICANN meeting in Singapore. During the ICANN Dakar meeting, which Siter was also sponsoring, the Brazilian tech start-up was assigning domain dialing app to smartphones(iPhones, Blackberry and Android) at no extra cost and the company's Chief Operating Officer Mr. Ricardo Vaz Monteiro was also busy demonstrating the concept to visitors to the booth.



Siter Domain Dialing is a Brazilian innovation that is already shaking up the domain name industry. Simply put, it's the first and only application that makes phone calls without using any phone numbers. All you need is a domain name to dial; it's based on the fact that customers always intuitively remember the domain name of a company but remembering the phone numbers might another issue altogether. Site therefore makes it easier for customers to easily access relevant phone numbers armed only with the company's domain name.

Assigning a single domain name is free but there are various packages for assigning multiple phone numbers to a domain name. The app is also very useful in locating global contacts for companies both big and small. Suppose I need Emirates Airlines' global contact details, all i need to do is enter emirates.com and the app will show me the most relevant phone contact details, based on my location, for Emirates for me to "domain dial". It makes life much easier for users interested in contacting companies especially airlines, hotels, banks, car dealerships, franchises, restaurants with multiple phone contacts and where the location of the person making the phone call is important.

For big business, this can be particularly advantageous.Businesses can assign unlimited phone numbers for various branches and global offices per URL for just $500 per year making themselves easily visible to customers globally. Users can also assign upto 100 phone numbers per url for just $100 per year plus other smaller packages. The advantage is that customers do not have to waste time on websites and search engines digging through pages looking for phone numbers. All they have to do is dial businessname.com and voila! There they have all your local phone details! Based on the premise that business rarely change their domain names, Siter ensures that your customers will always find you, no matter how many times you change your phone numbers.

Opportunity for Registrars to make more money!
Siter COO Ricardo Vaz Monteiro with NIRA COO Ope Odusan
 Siter also offers registrars an opportunity to make lots of additional revenue by introducing an additional frill during the domain registration process that registrants can buy into. All the registrar has to do is integrate the Siter API into the domain registration process and split the revenue 50/50 with Siter for every customer who buys the offer. The app works for both ccTLD and gTLD domains. In Africa, Siter has already signed a deal with the Nigerian Internet Registration Association that will see Domain Dialing being introduced into the Nigerian Domain market and amongst Nigerian businesses. Nigeria has therefore become the first African country to adopt the domain dialing concept. 

 I need to elaborate on the fact that the service is very location based meaning that only the phone numbers closest to the current position of the caller will be listed. So if you are in Kenya and need contact details for Kenya Airways for example, dialing kenya-airways.com will show you KQ phone numbers for HQs, Barclays Plaza, Kisumu, Mombasa, Eldoret, Malindi etc. Very interesting concept indeed and I hope more African businesses will adopt this for the convenience of the clients and also to increase their brand awareness in this increasingly mobile web!


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