VMware Trademark Guide

May 19th, 2014 by jason Leave a reply »

Are you a technical writer? Blogger? Presenter? If so, this could be a handy resource for you.  It’s the VMware Trademark Guide.  Probably more important for VMware employees and their partners, with varying or less importance to bloggers.

…intended to provide guidance regarding the VMware brand names that tend to draw the greatest interest

I’ve seen a lot of citations with much justified debate around the spelling, capitalization, and acronymization of VMware products.  I believe this document to be the official source that should clear up any confusion.

The information is laid out in two columns: Brand Name and Approved Short Name/Acronym.

For example, VMware vSphere® Distributed Resource Scheduler™ has an approved short name/acronym of vSphere DRS.  To most people who have been around the products for a while, this may seem obvious.  However, with historical origins of DRS, HA (remember DAS?), FT, and vEverything, it has become commonplace to use and abuse the VMware brand with VMware-unofficial acronyms.  For instance, the guide goes on to say:

Use only approved short names. Most importantly, do not use abbreviations such as VCOPS, VCHS, VCNS, VSOM, ITBM and SRM to signify VMware products or services. Some of the abbreviations are being used informally, but should not be used in public-facing communications.

Wait… no VCOPS? No SRM?  Apparently it’s true (at least for public-facing communications and perhaps that’s the line that has been grossly forgotten and crossed) and I’m just as guilty as the next person for perpetuating wrongness in the vCommunity (Can I say that? To my knowledge, VMware doesn’t own that term on paper and has no jurisdiction).

Anyway, I don’t think the point is that people are going to get hauled off to jail for showing decks reflecting SRM and I’m quite sure this shorthand is still acceptable in social circles (with the added benefit of not being able to verbally screw up camel case).  The idea behind the document first and formost is to recognize each of the VMware registered trademarks and their proper use.  If nothing else, please identify the proper case and spelling of VMware.  If you’re a technical writer with a professional affiliation with VMware, it’s equally important to understand VMware’s requested use of short names and acronyms presumably so that we can maintain some consistency throughout the industry, minimize the confusion, and hopefully not slaughter VMware’s brand.

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2 comments

  1. I guess these sort of docs are intended for advertisers, PR folks and vendors who must use VMware terms in their docs and legal frameworks. Personally, I find the whole obsession with getting the V in lower or upper-case somewhat pedantic.

    Over in France they have a commitee that decide which words are allowed and not allowed. Of course, it fails miserably – because any language is dynamic, organic and living thing. So I can’t help thinking that guidelines like this for bloggers and authors is kind irrelavant.

    As ancedote. Back in 2004 I was told off for calling VirtualCenter – vCenter or VC. Of course, not the official name is vCenter. I hope my refusal to follow the party line had something to do with the rebrand albeit in a microscopic way! :-F

  2. Dee Abson says:

    Amazingly (or amusingly), only 5 brands out of 237 have pure VMware approved acronyms. Meaning acronyms that stand alone without a “parent” brand like vSphere in front of them, as well as acronyms with associated expanded name (sorry ESX, NSX, ACE).

    I don’t know why VMware isn’t accepting and owning most of the acronyms in use. This would help with consistent use of the acronyms at a minimum. Condoning or accepting approved acronyms isn’t the same as encouraging the use of them, if that’s the concern. Official VMware policy could still be to use specific words and phrases for the brands in order to minimize confusion and bolster brand strength.

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