November 2013: An update of current activities in the UPU's DPG
“.post”, the UPU’s generic Top Level Domain, sponsored by 192 governments and governed by a special organization of the United Nations, has already laid the foundations for the next generation postal network.
DOT POST combines the trust, privacy and global reach of the postal network and extends the postal service provision into our digital world.
Fig.1: The UPU’s DOT POST Logo, presented at the last
Council of Administrations session in Oct. / Nov. 2013, source: UPU
Many believe the Universal Postal Union has the vision and strength needed to foster growth and development for the benefit of all its members, especially when it comes to re-inventing the postal network, preparing it to face the challenges of migrating the current, item-based network (letters, packets, parcels, postal financial services, newspapers, magazines, direct marketing) to a data-driven network.
The UPU plans to achieve this by creating standards and offering access to technology, building an open platform governed by its members, based on international treaties and a neutral network approach, to create the next generation postal platform which benefits all its members.
However, others in the postal world do not believe that the UPU is in the position to achieve this goal; some organizations have already developed their own digital strategies and business models, fiercely competing against the UPU and taking disputes to the courts.
Some of these “renegades” are themselves prominent designated operators, already capitalizing on their global reach and digital strategies. Dominant in their home markets, they aim to build closed platforms, limiting technology and access to chosen customers, and to their own, exclusive, benefit.
The coming years will see which approach wins through.
30 countries have already joined the Dot Post Group (DPG) from all the global regions in terms of economic power and level of development.
Fig 2.: Dot Post Group member countries & associate members, source: UPU
3 non-postal members are also involved, offering advice and expertize on technologies, market-driven solutions and business requirements.
The DPG aims to lay the foundations for a sustainable business model, following the UPU’s own principles of governance and safeguarding the .post values of trust and security by defining digital services that can be deployed on the platform.
To ensure the highest possible level of trust, .post is making DNSSEC infrastructure available to all DPG members for:
DNSSEC domain security guarantees that the site shown is not that of a third party with criminal intent.
The UPU and its DPG are currently evaluating the needs and expectations of members who responded to a questionnaire, in order to identify business priorities and the next steps in development and implementation.
When it comes to extending postal service provision into the digital sphere, unsurprisingly 92% of UPU members believe that the main users will be ecommerce platforms and merchants.
Posts themselves believe that services including ecommerce (100%), PReM (97%), International Track & Trace (92%), Postal eID (96%), Customs (84%), fully transparent and accessible landing costs (56%) should all be available on the .post platform.
Members who have already launched their .post domain are: www.posteitaliane.post; www.postnl.post; www.seps.correios.mo.post; www.saudipost.post; www.postakenya.post; www.southafricanpostoffice.post; www.postemaroc.post; www.ems.post; www.wnsstamps.post.
Walter Trezek, November 2013