In the technology space it’s all too easy to get carried away with all the cool acronyms. If I had a nickel for every abbreviated technology snippet I’ve come across in eWeek, Information Week, Intelligent Enterprise, CIO and all the other trade rags over the years, I’d have a private island in the South Pacific! Some of the freaking articles never even provide the long form - thank goodness for Google, eh?
When the customer hears “SaaS” are they thinking “software as a service”, “storage as a service” or SAS, the largest private software company in the world? Does PAAS mean “platform archive analysis system” or “platform as a service”? We’ve created so many three letter acronyms (TLA) that Jakob Vlietstra has published a Dictionary with 692 pages detailing over 32,000 "acronyms, abbreviations, symobolic names...being used throughout IT and Engineering". GMAB!
What timing! This morning I got a call from a Microsoft marketing rep pitching me on channel development marketing services. He must of known I was writing this entry! The first 20 seconds of his pitch had thee acronyms – ISV, GSI and IW. I got the 1st two, but “IW” escaped me so I asked him. He advised “Information Worker” (how silly of me!;) and promptly blamed Microsoft for the acro-speak!
The irony is the more experienced a salesperson is, the more comfortable they become with acronym soup. If you’re selling to IT to IWs and other non-executive contacts (NEC;), that’s “OK”, but as you move up in the organization to Manager and above, you'll get better results if you kill the TLAs and focus on the content!
Do you Grok it?
PS. Next time your customer mentions an acronym you don't know - ASK! Here is a resource just in case: http://www.techterms.com/acryonyms.php