Friday, August 13, 2010

You are what you speak.

Dear Indies,

I think you all know that I don't applaud tax pros who speak a specialized tax jargon that leaves the indie puzzled and frustrated. Or as a Russian friend used to say: "Lost in a dark forest."

Well, it's not just tax pros who are guilty of using goobledygook that is meaningless and incomprehensible to the layman. What follows is my response to an email I received from Rackspace. Rackspace is what I use to get my email smoothly moving in and out. It's my host but what else it does exactly I am not sure.

It is obvious from Rackspace's emailed announcement that it wants to tell the world about its new accomplishment. The problem is that I, and my guess most other non-IT indies, don't even know what that accomplishment is or what it means to me.

Here's what I wrote to Rackspace. The original email from Rackspace is below my response. Please let me know if you'd like to see Rackspace's reply.

Hello Rackspace,
I am a layman. Well, a layman re web-tech stuff, however I am a tax expert. Am I, as a layman, supposed to understand the meaning of the announcement emailed to me from the Rackspace CEO?

Here are some examples:
-- open source cloud platform
-- cloud interoperability
-- drive a deployable totally open cloud solution through this project
-- proprietary or closed platforms that create lock-in and make migration difficult

You posit: What does this mean for our customers?

"Customer" that would be me, a Rackspace user, right? Well, I don't have a clue what the following bullet points mean.
** No fear of lock-in.
** Flexibility in deployment for a highly elastic commodity cloud.
** A bigger, more robust ecosystem for more tools, better capabilities and a stronger platform.
** Freedom to decide how you want your cloud. (Freedom. Oh, wow! I can't wait.)

I write about taxes. My job is to make complex tax regulation understandable to self-employed IT people, for example.

Did any of you guys ever write for the general public? I use different jargon when speaking with fellow tax pros than I do when talking taxes with my clients. Careful I'll throw some tax terminology at you and you won't have a clue. Then you'll understand what I'm talking about.

I am copying this to some tech people who work for me. One of whom recommended Rackspace. Pass the word that it's important to be able to speak the language of your customers.

Best regards,
June Walker

Dear June,
Today is a big day for Rackspace® Hosting. We announced a new project that we believe will change the way the cloud is developed and it's called OpenStack™ – an open source cloud platform designed to foster the emergence of technology standards and cloud interoperability. In short, we will be opening code on our cloud infrastructure for public use.

The initial components being released through this project include the code that powers our Cloud Files (available today) and Cloud Servers (expected available late 2010). This project will also incorporate technology provided by other open-source projects. We expect to be joined by leaders in the technology industry and others to drive a deployable totally open cloud solution through this project.

Why are we doing this? Historically, most cloud offerings have been built on proprietary or closed platforms that create lock-in and make migration difficult. With OpenStack, any interested party – including our peers, Solution Partners and customers – will be able to collaborate with us to author, improve and expand OpenStack technologies.
What does this mean for our customers and Solution Partners?

No fear of lock-in
Flexibility in deployment for a highly elastic commodity cloud
A bigger, more robust ecosystem for more tools, better capabilities and a stronger platform
Freedom to decide how you want your cloud

OpenStack is an innovative, open-source cloud computing solution for creating, managing and deploying scalable elastic cloud services. Through the ongoing development of this project, we will be able to drive greater industry standards and help increase the speed of cloud innovation. As the leading specialist in the hosting industry, it is simply our responsibility.

In addition, we look forward to bringing enhancements made to the OpenStack project to our own product offerings in the future.

We are excited about this new chapter in Rackspace history and even more thrilled that you are able to share it with us. If you have any questions, please contact us


Rick said...

"You are what you speak." -- Matthew 15.18 But the things that come out of the mouth come from the heart,

Patricia Kathleen said...

yes, I would like to know how they responded. It was probably some automatic email. Thanks for the blog & I am ordering your book.

June Walker said...

Patricia Kathleen --

Below is the reply from the Rackspace marketing analyst.

And now we know exactly how Rackspace will make my business life easier and more efficient. Right?

From: Michael Ferranti
Sent: Monday, July 19, 2010 12:51 PM
To: June Walker
Subject: RE: To June's tech folks RE: Important Announcement from Rackspace CEO

Hi June,

Thank you for providing this valuable feedback. I apologize for using so much jargon in this communication and that we caused you to take so much time out of your day, pointing out things that we should have recognized ourselves.

For Rackspace Email & Apps customers, this announcement means that Rackspace is increasing its commitment to helping customers run their business more efficiently. Many of the most promising business technologies are developed on what is called "the cloud", or a scalable computing environment that allows the applications we all need to run faster and store more. By partnering with NASA and other technology companies, Rackspace will lead the way in developing an open and widely available "cloud" platform that will benefit everyone.

This is exciting news for the future of computing but you won't notice any changes to your services today.

Please let me know if you have any questions, I'd be happy talk to you more about OpenStack.

Michael Ferranti
Rackspace Marketing Analyst
540-443-2030- office