Cloud Software in Plain English

by | Jun 19, 2020 | Sales Tech, Technology

Computer software vendors use a lot of jargon. This makes it hard for people outside the IT department to understand what they’re actually talking about. Many large companies have teams of specialists who understand jargon but not medium sized business. Our mission today is to translate what the IT guy is saying into plain English.

What’s cloud computing?  

 FIrst, what is cloud computing anyway?Cloud computing means a lot of different things depending on the context, since there are three major kinds of cloud computing products. These services are Software, Platform, Infrastructure. When we add on the words as a service we get common acronyms like SaSS(Software as a Service). The problem is this doesn’t really tell you anything when everyone and their brother is a SaSS company. This phrase doesn’t help most buyers understand what they get.Let’s try translating with a metaphor that starts with your kitchen.    

We use the sink in our kitchen everyday to wash our hands. The sink is a tool for a specific task. It does a “service.”In order for it to do this it needs to be connected to pipes and the sewer. Things we don’t think about everyday, but need for the sink to work. For example, email is like a digital sink. It’s an essential service we need. But unlike our kitchen sink features for email can constantly change. Why does it change?  

Enter Moore’s Law  

If you’re into sci-fi, you might have heard of Moore’s Law named after Gordon Moore who observed that computing power doubles every two years. This means computers go out of date exponentially unlike your kitchen sink. Sinks are designed to handle a certain amount of “water pressure.” Too much pressure will break the sink and flood your house. Ideally, you want water pressure to remain constant so you don’t need to permanently upgrade the sink. Moore’s law means the pressure always increases forcing you to upgrade your digital sink. That sounds extremely expensive to do yourself. Cloud software solves this problem by doing it for you. 

Given Moore’s law you also need to constantly upgrade your pipes and sewers. The other types of cloud software do this for you.  

Applied Example: Salesforce 

Salesforce provides an example of how cloud computing works in practice. Salesforce offers two kinds of cloud software for customers. These solutions are Salesforce Clouds(SaSS) and Lightning Platform(PaSS). Platform used to be called but was rebranded several years ago with the launch of Salesforce Lightning. Most people are familiar with the Salesforce CRM but don’t understand the Platform. This makes it hard for buyers to understand the difference between Salesforce and the competition like Hubspot. 

Buying a Salesforce SaSS product is like buying a couch. It’s already built and ready to go out of the box. When you buy the platform, you’ve decided to go to Ikea and build it yourself. Actually, regular Salesforce is Ikea. Platform is Home Depot since you’re buying the wood. Most uses can be met by Ikea since we don’t all need a custom made couch. 

So to translate for your IT guy SaSS is like buying form Ikea and PaSS means you want to embrace your inner Ron Swanson. For those of you who don’t know who Ron Swanson is you’re missing the pyramid joke.   

Did we help you understand the IT guy? 


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