Aspen: The Story Behind the Name

Aspen: The Story Behind the Name

Nicole Bruns

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Given that Aspen is the launch that changes everything, we at Guidewire took the opportunity to rethink our overall go-to-market approach—including how we name our launches. We were inspired by other software companies, like ServiceNow, which uses major cities and locations, as well as macOS, which uses big cats and locations in California. Names are meaningful. They give things identity. If you think we’re overthinking it, you can read the 244-page e-book that explains the origins of the names of all NASA launch vehicles, satellites, and manned space flights.

So why ski resorts? It’s pretty simple. Diego Devalle, our Global Head of Product and Engineering, loves to ski. In addition, ski resorts exist all over the world, so they address that fact that our customer base is global.

Ski resorts also make me think of speed—racing down a mountain with powder flying everywhere—which is fitting, considering that Aspen is a huge step forward in terms of business and IT agility.

While ski resort names are fun, we also wanted an easy way for our customers (and us) to be able to track releases, so we decided to use ski resort names in alphabetical order: Aspen, Banff, Cortina, Deer Valley, and so on.

But Aspen has meaning beyond the ski resort in Colorado. Aspen trees, for which the city of Aspen, Colorado, is named, have a unique quality. They share a single root system; therefore, Aspens are considered a single organism, not individual trees. In fact, Aspens are the largest organism in the world based on mass. The largest colony of Aspens is Pando located in Utah.1 This shared-structure behavior is not unlike what’s happening at Guidewire with our Aspen product release. With Guidewire Cloud, we have a common infrastructure that enables our customers to spin up systems and processes for their unique needs, but on a “single root system.” Over time, we will offer more and more cloud-native services, like rating and rules, that help keep our customers current forever. Leave Guidewire to water and nurture the roots, so the trees can grow and flourish.

For more information about the Aspen 2020.1H launch, check out on-demand content from our virtual event here.