Saturday, October 06, 2007

Espresso anyone?

I was beginning to think that people in the Enterprise Identity Management industry responsible for product names weren't creative. Look at all the names of the products. Anything that does provisioning is called "Identity Manager". Anything that does web access control is called "Access Manager". Anything that does simplified sign on (aka single sign on) is called SSO. I know the rationale behind it all. It makes things clear. But it's boring.

I just came across Sentillion's new single sign on product called expreSSO. I'm not qualified to comment on how good it is functionally, but for once it's a name that catches your attention. It's smart, creative and conveys the right message. The name immediately implies that it does SSO, is lightweight and easy to deploy. And yes I'm fully aware it' s not spelled the same as that tiny cup of coffee. It just sounds the same.

Of course, if you are not a fan of a good cup of espresso coffee, you'll say it tastes awful, is unsatisfactory and leaves a bitter taste in your mouth (which perfectly describes many Identity Management deployments out there). I for one am a fan of a good cup of espresso. So I like it. The name that is.

Which makes me wonder why IBM Tivoli didn't come up with this for their SSO product? FYI, it's called "IBM Tivoli Access Manager for Enterprise Single Sign-On", or ESSO for short. Then their sales and technical sales people (I used to be one) could roll into customers and offer up TIM TAMs and a cup of expreSSO. In "IBM speak", TIM = Tivoli Identity Manager and TAM = Tivoli Access Manager.

For those that are staring at the screen with a bewildered look, Tim Tams are a popular chocolate biscuit (cookie for the Americans reading this) in Australia made by Arnotts and are a quintessential part of Aussie culture. I used to cart packets (I did a whole carton once) of Tim Tams to the US and hand them out to anyone in Tivoli-land that wanted one. I think some of the TIM development team (hi guys) still have the packets stuck to the side of their work cubicles.

So maybe only Australian customers would have understood the reference and appreciated this. But it would have been a nice ice breaker.

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