Today, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) organization issued a request for information (RFI) seeking to evaluate vendors interested in supporting the implementation of a new enterprise system to aid ICANN staff in the collection and processing of applications for new generic top-level domains (gTLDs).
On 18 February 2021, the Generic Name Support Organization (GNSO) Council voted to approve the New gTLD Subsequent Procedures Policy Development Process Final Report (the "Final Report"). The Final Report contains Affirmations, Recommendations, and Implementation Guidance (collectively referred to as "Outputs"). On 24 March 2021, following the approval of the Final Recommendations, the GNSO Council transmitted its Recommendations Report to the ICANN Board.
On 12 September 2021, the ICANN Board directed the ICANN President and CEO to conduct an Operational Design Phase (ODP) to facilitate the Board's determination of the Final Report Outputs. The ICANN organization (org) delivered the resulting Operational Design Assessment on 12 December 2022.
The ODP process led the ICANN org to consider resurrecting the "gTLD Application Processing" infrastructure in support of future rounds of new gTLD applications. This infrastructure is a combination of people and processes, many of which rely on computerized information systems. This RFI focuses on the "systems" component of the people-process-systems triad.
A "system" to support future rounds of gTLDs does not exist within ICANN org.
ICANN org's preparations to support future rounds of new gTLDs requires an upfront commitment to design and build the operational infrastructure (people, processes, and systems) without the precise knowledge of and insight into the demand or the number of applications in the next and subsequent rounds. Therefore, to proceed, ICANN must develop a cost-effective and timely solution to stand up and operate the next round.
This RFI is an important step in our analysis to evaluate potential platforms and vendors that can assist us in the future software engineering effort. This RFI is the first part of a two-stage sourcing process used to fully evaluate proposals for this initiative. The RFI is public, meaning anyone may provide a response. The goal of the RFI is to identify prospective candidates that may be short-selected to progress to the second stage of the evaluation, the request for proposal (RFP) stage. The RFP will be a closed or invitation-only process. Evaluation of proposals received during the RFP will ideally result in the selection of a provider for the initiative outlined.
Note that participation in this RFI does not automatically ensure selection to the RFP stage. Providers that qualify for the RFP will be notified separately and invited to join the RFP before it is published.
Visit this page for a complete overview of this RFI, including the timeline.
Indications of interest should be emailed to GTLD-App-Lifecycle-System-RFI@icann.org and include the following information:
- Company name
- Contact person name
- Contact person e-mail address
Responses should be electronically submitted using ICANN's sourcing tool by 23:59 UTC on 24 February 2023 at the latest. Access to this tool may be requested via the same email.