53. product names 1(1)

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53. product names 1(1)

  1. 1. “H.I.S.-tory” by Vince CiottiEpisode # 53: Product Names Part 1 © 2011 H.I.S. Professionals, LLC
  2. 2. Recap Time• We have now finished 52 episodes of H.I.S.-tory, which for you math mavens out there, just about uses up the year that Mr. HIS-talk kindly gave me to expand on my HIMSS presentation in these weekly slide shows.• So in these final few episodes, we’re going to recap some themes that cross over all 4 epochs (main, shared, mini & micro), starting this week with:• The many names vendors gave their HIS products: – What vendor had (and still has) the best product names, and the few times even they screwed up! – What vendor had the worst names in HIS-tory – What a name can (not) tell you about a product – Some amazing product re-naming “games”
  3. 3. The Best Product Names• Hands-down, my alma mater, Shared Medical Systems (SMS), had (and sold to Siemens) the best product names in HIS : – Hot, positive, up-beat, ear-catching, techie, punny…• Starting back in the 70s when they relied on VP of Marketing John Marshall for names, whose product managers came up with: • What else do you call a single data base system, released in an era of VSAM files? • When UniFile didn’t respond too well (imagine system response times on 1200 baud lines!), it was re-morphed into: • Focus – with more canned reports and less “indexed” fields clients could sort on, then • Command – what a powerful, take-charge ADT/Census system that must have been!
  4. 4. More SMS Winning Names• And who can forget “ACTIon” – SMS’ name for HBO’s “MedPro” – Now honestly, which name turns on your buying juices more?• And in the 80’s, SMS really hit high gear, with hot product names that amazingly defied the reality of the product they represented: – UNITY – now that’s a name for a product that is the synthesis of two disparate platforms: a DEC mini-based front end for clinicals, front-ending a shared IBM mainframe for financials! – EXACT – the name for a re-packaging of SMS’s convoluted pricing formula that competitors knocked for “nickel-diming” clients with optional units and per-page report pricing… – INDEPENDENCE – hot new name for re- packaging of the same basic software it had been selling for years, but offered now on either an inhouse or shared basis. Appropriate name for a company from Philly, home of:
  5. 5. Some Not-So-Hot SMS Names• But even the marketing mavens in King of Prussia were not immune to an occasional slip-of-the-tongue, to whit: – In the mid-80s, SMS responded to the growing turnkey-mini explosion by acquiring a red-hot San Fran-based firm: Computer Synergy – not a bad name in its own right, agreed? – However, SMS had been building it’s own ACTIon mini-system, and it first combined the two to create a poor product & name: - The Spirit Choice – not sure who dreamed that one up, but it was a bad a name as the mixed product was an HIS! Typically, SMS listened to the market and cleaned up both the name/system: - Allegra – a much better, simpler name, and a better simpler system that sold well for over a decade until sunset just before Y2K.
  6. 6. An SMS “Classic”• As it winds down its life (now that Soarian is finally programmed in something more than PowerPoint), we just must pay tribute to one of the best product names in H.I.S.-tory, also from SMS: – Invision! Launched in 1989, Invision clinicals were as enormous an advance technically, as the name was leading edge from a marketing and psychological perspective: • Invading the market, • A vision into clinical data, • New, unheard of before, • A radical & exciting concept…• How angry those Malvern-ians must have been when a common household product manufacturer stole most of its letters for their eponymous product:
  7. 7. Worst HIS Product Names!?• So who won the other prize for the worst HIS product names? My other alma mater: McAuto.• I guess the airplane parent gave them the predilection for acronyms, but look at this array: • HFC = Hospital Financial Control • HDC = Hospital Data Collection • HPC = Hospital Patient Care (shared) • PCS = Patient Care System (Tandem) • MHS = Mini-Based Hospital System • MRII = Medical Records (2nd version)• When the mini revolution hit, Mac acquired & renamed several: – LabCom (Dr. Hick’s excellent, high-end LIS system) – RadCom& PharmCom – can’t remember where McAuto bought these two systems, but the “Com” suffix sure was
  8. 8. Stay Tuned…• Next week we’ll cover some more great/ horrid product names and some weird twists in how we talk about our HIS-es: – Does size (in a name) really matter? – What’s the longest name in HIS-tory? – Modern/weird app/module names. – The “re-name” game (if you can’t afford to re-write it – re-name it!)• So what’s your most & least favorite HIS product names? Send me yours and I’ll blame you: vciotti@hispros.com

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