by Christa Carone, Xerox CMO

At Xerox, we’re proud of our ability to “see around corners” – predicting trends and knowing how our clients’ business needs might change several cycles down the road.  That’s one reason why Jan. 9, 1986, is an important date in our history.

That day, we registered the Internet domain “xerox.com” – a nod to the vision of our colleagues who saw early on the value of the Internet and how, among many other benefits, it could be a real game-changer for how companies engage and interact with stakeholders.

Xerox.com was the seventh domain registered on the Internet.  The entire Internet.  Seventh.

I’ll let that sink in for a moment.

Now, fast forward 26 years, five months and four days, and we’re again taking a peek around corners to take full advantage of the unwieldy power of the Internet.  Xerox is among the first of many global organizations to soon deploy a new top-level domain, the part of an Internet address where you normally see “.com,” “.org” and others.

We’ve applied for the “.xerox” global top-level domain (gTLD) from the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, or ICANN—the news was made public today.  The entire GTLD process has been at times controversial, puzzling and complex.  And, it’s given many marketers pause on how best to prioritize the necessary costs and the related opportunities in this domain shift.  I’m quite fortunate to have super smart people on my team who have educated me on the nuances of ICANN and gTLD.  So much so that, as my husband has duly noted, I’ve been known to damper cocktail party discussion by debating the merits of GTLD.  Nothing like Web domain chatter to get the party rolling!

For us, .xerox makes managing our LOTS (as in a real LOT!) of Web addresses shorter, simpler, and easier to remember and navigate (that last point is especially important with the explosion of mobile devices).  For example, the address http://www.xerox.com/businessservices  could become http://www.businessservices.xerox; or http://www.xerox.com/colorqube could be http://www.colorqube.xerox.  The application to use “.xerox” could be approved by ICANN as early as next year.

The address of our home page, http://www.xerox.com/, will stay the same, but by also using the “.xerox” domain, we’ll have more flexibility in how we present our partners, products, people, services, countries’ presence, corporate initiatives – you name it – online.

.xerox is just around the corner.  We see it coming.  Cheers to that.