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Register.com Launches Web-Based Domain Name Tool

According to an age-old adage: "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure."

Register.com is giving its corporate customers a couple ounces worth with a web-based application launched Tuesday tailor-made to reserve, activate and manage the domain name process.

It's first customer, Proctor & Gamble, is just a few keystrokes from protecting its potentially valuable proctorandgamble.ws and proctorandgamble.il from nefarious cybersquatters.

Now, before you laugh, call America Online, Inc., and ask them how domain registration works in Brazil. The Internet service provider fought a long, and ultimately futile, battle with a local provider over rights to the aol.com.br domain.

If AOL had an application like register.com's CRP at its disposal, the whole situation might not have happened.

Shonna Keogan, register.com spokesperson, said the application is a free value-added service for corporate customers, providing central billing and easy access.

"Our CRP is very helpful for its users who are looking to set up domain registration in another country," Keogan said. "They can look at each country and find out the particular requirements for registration. Japan, for example, requires a company to maintain a business presence in the country.

"The application also provides central billing," Keogan added, "so our corporate customers get one invoice with all the applicable charges and re-registration dates, as opposed to an invoice for each separate domain, which can be confusing."

The service is provided free to gain more corporate customers to its fold. Network Solutions, for example, charges its corporate users the normal registration fee, plus a management fee, for each domain. In P&G's case, that would add up to thousands of dollars in management fees alone.

With more than 50,000 employees located worldwide, P&G officials needed a central database to keep track of the hundreds of domain names it owns.

Now the status of every domain is available for review. The 1,000 authorized users, made up of webmasters, brand managers (like Pringle, Tide and Oil of Olay), and the in-house legal counsel, have access to the database of domains.

One "super-user" is responsible for oversight of the application and pointing the DNS to the correct IP address. This prevents a disgruntled authorized user from wiping out the entire bank of information. The worst they could do, Keogan said, is add a bunch of domain names to P&G's bill.

Richard Forman, register.com president and chief executive officer, said the CRP gives its corporate customers an easily configurable and scalable domain registration and management tool.

"We created the CRP with corporate clients like Proctor and Gamble in mind," Forman said. "Global companies need to be responsive when it comes to protecting their brand online, and domain registration is the cornerstone of those efforts. With CRP, we can deliver state-of-the-art registration capability tailored to the needs of our corporate clients, empowering them to be as proactive as possible."

It's the first of many, register.com officials hope. With 400 corporate customers, the registrar is looking to get its existing customer base, which includes 3M, Dreamworks Studio, Xerox and IBM, into the fold.