18.1 Mission and Purpose of .GUARDIAN The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America ("Guardian") is one of the leading mutual life insurance companies in the United States. Founded in 1860, Guardian and its subsidiaries sell life, long-term care, disability income, group medical and dental... Read more
18.1 Mission and Purpose of .GUARDIAN
The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America ("Guardian") is one of the leading mutual life insurance companies in the United States. Founded in 1860, Guardian and its subsidiaries sell life, long-term care, disability income, group medical and dental insurance products. Guardian and its subsidiaries also offer 401(k), annuities and other financial products. Guardian operates one of the largest dental networks in the United States, covering more than six million employees and their families at 120,000 companies.
Guardian has more than 5,400 employees in the United States and a network of over 3,000 financial representatives in more than 80 agencies nationwide. Guardian's principle products are organized into the following segments:
I. Insurance Products
II. Employee Benefits
Group Critical Illness
Small Group Sales
III. Investment and Retirement
401(k) Funding Vehicle Products
During more than 150 years of business, people and businesses have put their trust in Guardian through innovative technology, products, and services. Through this long history of innovation, Guardian has remained true to its founding principles: putting people first, continually building on financial strength, and maintaining the highest ethical standards. It is with these core principles and history in mind that, through a unified corporate approach, Guardian intends to submit two gTLD applications for the .GUARDIAN and .GUARDIANLIFE gTLDs.
The intended future mission and purpose of the .GUARDIAN gTLD is to serve as a trusted, hierarchical, and intuitive namespace provided by Guardian, as well as its qualified subsidiaries and affiliates to use for both their customer base as well as a mechanism to oversee their diverse field force of Guardian agents, brokers, and representatives. Guardian is the designated entity to file this application and bring the .GUARDIAN gTLD to market.
Guardian will be analyzing and evaluating other .BRAND gTLD applications, as well as general market adoption, to determine short- and long-term potential best-in-class use case options to more effectively serve and enhance Guardian's online strategy as a leading global mutual life insurance company.
Guardian intends to initially limit registration and use of domain names within the .GUARDIAN gTLD to Guardian and its qualified subsidiaries and affiliates. This initial limited use will allow Guardian to establish its operations and achieve full sustainability. This limited distribution coupled with the other requirements set forth in Specification 9 of the template Registry Agreement is intended to exempt Guardian from its annual Code of Conduct Compliance requirements.
After Stage 3 (see below), Guardian will evaluate whether opportunities exist to carry out the business strategy for the .GUARDIAN gTLD through expansion that continues the sustainable operations of the registry through fee-based registrations to Guardian agencies, brokers and consumer base.
Guardian currently plans a four-stage rollout for the .GUARDIAN gTLD:
1. Stage 1
The initial stage of implementation of the gTLD will involve Guardian registering a limited number of .GUARDIAN second-level domain names.
This initial use will provide Guardian's IT and security personnel the time to run a number of tests to ensure seamless and secure access using the .GUARDIAN gTLD domain names, interoperability with various software and Web-based applications, and unbroken and secure use of all names. This initial allocation will also allow the appropriate Guardian staff to coordinate with the internal and external staff responsible for the delegation, and setup phases of the .GUARDIAN gTLD to ensure a proper transition from delegation to full operation.
2. Stage 2
Once all testing has been successfully completed, Guardian will begin allocating domain names in the .GUARDIAN gTLD for more widespread internal corporate use. During this same period of time, Guardian will begin evaluating strategies to potentially migrate traffic away from its current patchwork network of second-level domain names, which are registered in a variety of gTLDs, to Guardian's new gTLDs.
It is in Stage 2 that Guardian will evaluate expanding the operations of the gTLD to permit registration by other registrants, such as licensees and strategic partners. Should an assessment of its expansion strategy lead to a decision to extend registration rights to other parties, this expansion is currently planned to take place during Stage 3. However, any expansion would be conditioned upon a review of Specification 9 (Registry Code of Conduct) set forth in the template Registry Agreement to ensure compliance with Guardian's business model.
3. Stage 3
Depending on the analysis of the evaluations undertaken in Stage 2, Guardian may begin to implement the permanent migration of Internet traffic away from the TLDs in which Guardian's domain names are currently registered, and toward the .GUARDIAN gTLD. It is in this stage that Guardian also may implement its decision to extend registration rights to licensees and strategic partners depending upon compliance with Specification 9 as noted above. The dates of such expansion are subject to change depending upon business, strategic, and industry factors at the time.
After consideration of the following factors: analysis of Guardian's existing domain name portfolio; internal analysis of marketing initiatives; and the fact that Guardian will have full control over the number of registrations in the .GUARDIAN gTLD namespace, Guardian is confident that the number of domain name registrations will be less than 10,000 in the first five years of operation.
4. Stage 4
Based on its experience in the initial three stages, and based on its experience with any expansion implemented in Stage 3, Guardian will assess whether its business plan and expansion strategy should be augmented by extending registration rights to a broader class of licensees, including customers of Guardian - specifically, individuals who use products or services provided by Guardian, its subsidiaries, agents, representatives, or the like. It is anticipated by Guardian that changes to the domain name industry, and particularly the impact of .BRAND gTLDs, will take at least five years to be realized and assessed. Any decision to expand the gTLDs beyond corporate, qualified subsidiary/affiliate, and licensee use will take into account this experience as well as the technical analysis of potential expansion.
The potential use of the .GUARDIAN gTLD by Guardian and its various business segments will also be driven by Guardian's future business strategies as identified in its annual report, see http://www.guardianlife.com/AboutGuardian/FinancialHighlights/AnnualReport/index.htm.
Utilizing current projections based upon Guardian's existing businesses, future business plans, current domain name portfolio, and other strategic factors, Guardian estimates that second-level domain name registrations will be in line with the projections set forth in the financial template provided in response to Question 46 of this application.×