5 Acronyms and Terms I Love to Hate

If you are anything like me and my peers you have some favorite terms and acronyms that emerge that you really don't like and cringe when you hear them. Some are vendor tag lines some are analyst created market segmentation attempts some are journalist created and more recently blogger created. I attended VoiceCon in Orlando two weeks ago collecting topics and market research that I can blog about. Readers may be interested in your suggested most disliked or misunderstood acronyms but here are my 5 least favorite  terms. Note that just because any of us dislike these terms does not mean they are not very good and well accepted. Also, please correct my view if the origin may be different than my observations as I am sure there are different views!

1. UC

Unified Communications. This term originally was coined off of Unified Messaging which was popular more than 10 years ago as email and voice mail were merged together into single software products. UC today does not have a universal agreed upon definition and some companies claiming to offer UC products don't even offer basic functions such as presence. It is a much hyped, much maligned term. This is the grandaddy of them all!


Communications Enabled Business Process - I think this one came from Avaya as the first time I really heard it applied was a former product management director from Avaya who worked for me. His slides identified this term as basically all the apps above basic telephony. Sounds like UC doesn't it?

3. SIP

Session Initiation Protocol - this is a protocol used for IP communications and has been around for years. As a person who has been around this technology for years working for companies that have delivered powerful SIP-based solutions, I use this one because of how late comers to SIP such as Avaya and Shoretel make it sound like they created SIP! This is so funny as Avaya never had "genuine" SIP until their new Aura product was released and Shoretel phones are still mostly non-SIP. Now their entire story is more SIP than solving customer problems. 3Com tried that for years and it was not well received, however calling SIP "The new Dial Tone!" webinar was well received.

4. SaaS

Software as a Service - this term has bugged me for some time. It essentially means hosted services or most recently cloud based services. Google, Yahoo, Twitter, Facebook, Salesforce.com are all in the cloud - hosted services - and software as a service. So why an acronym when simple words describe what is is?

5. SBC

Session Border Controller - I would say many non-SIP savvy folks thought about a phone company. An SBC is an edge device that helps maintain secure and interoperable SIP connections between the SIP service provider and the enterprise. I wish the companies would call it a SIP Access Device or SAD.

I am sure we all have some terms like this that drive us crazy. Think about how successful very good acronyms have been successful. I could have used 100 others. Which are your favorites?

There are web sites dedicated to acronyms for government terms, urban dictionary, technology based and many others. Have fun thinking about your own pet peeve terms.

Next blog topic: A "First View" of Social Media in the Enterprise.
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This page contains a single entry by Bill Miller published on April 7, 2010 11:42 AM.

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