Computer Support

What’s VOIP? What does VPN actually stand for? What about SAN? Can’t keep up with IT lingo? You’re not the only one. To many people, the plethora of acronyms used by IT services professionals amounts to nothing more than a cyclopean bowl of alphabet soup. Too embarrassed to ask your company’s resident tech support specialist for a translation? Looking to impress? Here are seven common-but-confusing tech acronyms and why small businesses should take interest.

VOIP, or voice over internet protocol, is a technology that allows users to make voice calls using a high-speed internet connection instead of a traditional landline. Users can place calls from their computers, special VOIP phones or even regular phones that have been fitted with an adapter. VOIP features vary by provider. Generally, though, VOIP is cheaper, more convenient and offers more features (like voicemail delivery to email) than traditional phone service.

VPN, or virtual private network, is a network comprised of private users connected by a public network (usually the internet). It allows those users — often employees of a business or students at a college — to send and receive encrypted data securely from anywhere with an internet connection.

QR, or quick response, codes are those pixelated-looking squares — reminiscent of barcodes — that show up on TV, in your favorite magazine or on the box of your favorite cereal. (In Japan, they even appear on some tombstones.) They allow users who have a cellphone with a camera and scanning app to quickly retrieve more information about a product (or, in the case of the tombstones, a person), usually via a website that launches upon scan.

SAN, or storage area network, is a high-speed network that makes block-level storage devices (components of hefty storage networks often used by large businesses and organizations) available to multiple servers. SANs allow for the improved availability and performance of applications, upgraded storage capabilities and augmented data protection. SANs are often a part of business disaster recovery plans.

SAAS, or software as a service, is a nod to the newly popular notion of purchasing software run off of “the cloud.” Gone — or soon to be gone — are the days of purchasing physical software at a big-box retailer or even online. Users of programs and software suites like Microsoft Office and Salesforce can simply purchase a license online, download a cloud-based app and run it from desktop, mobile or tablet.

WYSIWYG, or what you see is what you get, is an acronym used to describe a program that allows developers to see what their product — often a website — will look like as they design, sparing them the tedious task of coding. Popular WYSIWYGs include Adobe Muse, WordPress and Squarespace.

vCIO, or virtual chief information officer, is a term used to reference an outside individual or company who serves as a business’ CIO. This provides small- to mid-sized businesses with CIO services like strategic IT and disaster recovery planning at a fraction of the cost of an executive-level full-time employee.

Bow Valley IT Services offers Calgary IT support services for residential computer users and commercial.  Our small business computer support services include disaster recovery, backup recovery plans and computer repair.  Our convenient online remote support system ensures our users get help right away without every having to leave their home or office.   To learn more about our IT Support terms or Bow Valley’s IT Services please call us at 403-863-9352, email at or fill in our online form.

source: 7 IT Acronyms you may not be familiar with
Company: The Gazette Telegraph
Author: Erin Prater

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