In today’s world of software there is an overabundance of acronyms, technical terminology and computer speak that can be totally baffling.
Wondering what ERP really means? And what CRM actually stands for? Read on for our jargon busting glossary. Know of any terms that we’ve missed out? Give us a tweet @MysoftX3 and we’ll add them on!
API- Application Programming Interface
You may hear our programmers and developers using this one. In its simplest form an API allows one application to talk to another and share information. It works by allowing programmes to access a limited amount of a program's internal functions without giving away all of the software’s code. This makes it possible for applications to share data and take actions on one another’s behalf. This also allows the development of whole new programmes by combining and building on the functionality of separate applications. For example, an API allows data from Sage X3 to be shared on any Microsoft Office application. The API has also enabled the development of a ‘Sage X3’ tab within the Microsoft Office applications which means that documents can be saved from Microsoft Office straight into the Sage X3 document store. The API allows Sage X3 and Microsoft office to talk to each other and share information and has also allowed programmers to develop the ‘Sage X3’ tab within Microsoft Office for extra functionality.
BI- Business Intelligence
Business intelligence software enables analysis of company data to provide reports on pre-defined company metrics. This could be the time taken to manufacture, sales performance per month or project budgets vs actual spend. Business intelligence tools allow a company to drill down into data and help identify where improvements can be made, based on historical data.
A business process maps out a pre-defined task from beginning to end. This could be the process of manufacturing from raw materials to finished product or the process from an online form sign up through to a prospect becoming a customer. Defined business processes aim to improve efficiencies and save a company time. Many software solutions focus on defining companywide business processes for more productive working.
CRM- Customer Relationship Management
This software is designed to manage all of your customer contact details in one database. It manages your sales funnel right from initial contact details through to closing a sale. Use this software to ensure consistent contact to your customer base, analyse where potential sales are being missed and manage your customers at every stage of their buying process.
Technically there are a few different definitions of ‘the cloud’. The main premise of ‘the cloud’ is managing and processing data in a centralised location that can be accessed remotely by using the internet. Documents and software can be hosted in ‘the cloud’, by installing them on a remote server. A cloud based software solution is most often a Saas based (see below), pay monthly model that is accessed through a web browser. This eliminates the need for buying hardware and expensive implementation processes. Cloud solutions may be preferred for software which is run across multiple sites and for where low maintenance is a priority. However, cloud hosted solutions may also be restrictive where bespoke solutions are required.
CRP- Conference Room Pilot
This is part of the software implementation process. The Conference Room Pilot is a session run near the end of the implementation to go through all the business processes and check that the customer is comfortable using the software before the official ‘go-live’. The session ensures all core functionality is in place and working effectively, as well as highlighting any potential issues that could arise during ‘go live’. It also highlights readiness of users for ‘go-live’.
A dashboard shows, often on a single page and in graphical format, the current status of a company's or department's performance. A dashboard aims to show a summary of information for quick and informed decision making at a glance. The summary information will normally be able to be drilled into for more detail. The information, and whether or not the business is on target, tends to be based on a company's or department's KPI’s, or Key Performance Indicators (see below).
EDI- Electronic Data Interchange
An Electronic Data Interchange allows computers to read documents between different systems without the need for human involvement. It replaces readable text with a set of common standards and code that makes the document ‘machine readable’.
ERP- Enterprise Resource Planning
Business management software that integrates business processing systems within a company into one solution. The software manages all the assets and resources of a company, such as general ledger, financials, accounts payable, accounts receivable, inventory management, order management, manufacturing and inventory. Having all data in one solution enables a company to make intelligent business analysis enabling them to grow and expand. Users will also benefit from the efficiency of learning a single piece of software.
E-commerce- Electronic Commerce
Commercial transactions that take place via the internet. E-commerce software allows a company to trade electronically, whether this be directly to the consumer, business to business, consumer to consumer or consumer to business. E-commerce can be conducted using a variety of applications such as online shopping carts and catalogues, Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) and email.
A project ‘go-live’ is when the implemented software becomes operational at a customer’s site.
KPI- Key Performance Indicator
A Key Performance Indicator is a type of performance measure in order to track progress. These will vary depending on department, e.g. sales could have quarterly numbers to achieve whereas project management would be more based on project deadlines. KPI’s are often used to highlight where potential improvements can be made.
POS- Point of Sale (or EPOS- Electronic Point of Sale)
The point at which a retail transaction is completed. Electronic Point of Sale refers to the technology used to process that transaction. This will normally involve hardware such as cash registers and touchscreens as well as EPOS software. EPOS software can be integrated with other business software, such as ERP, to provide a universal view of stock movements and finances.
PJC- Project and Job Costing
The project management module for Sage X3. Mysoft are currently the only business partner to offer this solution in the UK. The module combines project management and finance for more efficient project management, streamlined billing processes and increased financial visibility across the whole project lifecycle.
SaaS- Software as a Service
SaaS software is accessible through the web and is paid for using a monthly subscription model. As the software is web based it is accessible from mobile devices and tends to be more user intuitive than more traditional software options. As it is hosted by the software owner companies do not have to think about long implementation processes, software updates or hardware costs as these are all handled by the owner. Cloud solutions normally take the form of SaaS based solutions.
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