Demystifying ERP Software Acronyms and Buzzwords

As you begin analyzing the benefits of various enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems, you will be bombarded with jargon that may seem like a foreign language. We’ve asked our clients to share their biggest initial buzzword hurdles and compiled them into a cheat sheet. These are the building blocks that, once mastered, will improve the quality of your ERP discussions, helping you home in on the most efficient and practical system for your business.

ERP - Enterprise Resource Planning

Integrates disparate core business software applications (finances, inventory, sales, payment processing, shipping, etc.) into one business management system accessible throughout your company. This allows employees, consultants, customers, and vendors (as you direct) the targeted, real-time data access that they need to make positive business decisions. Implemented correctly, ERP solutions help streamline your core processes, making staff more efficient and your business more cost-effective.

CRM - Customer Relationship Management (Customer Retention Management)

If you want to create happy and repeat customers, CRM software can help. CRM tracks all company interactions with each customer—past, current and future—and helps you organize, monitor, manage, and automate processes for these customer contacts including sales & marketing campaigns, customer service, and technical support. Customers get the information they seek faster through automation, allowing customer service personnel time to focus on larger customer issues.

CRM software can be included in an ERP system or identified as an add-on, depending on the software system you review.

BI - Business Intelligence

A term for software processes that give you high-level, 360 degree contextual analysis of your data to help managers and other end users make strategic business decisions. BI includes predictive analytic processes and reports that mine your data for patterns, allowing you better insight and decision-making opportunities.

BI and ERP software processes and discussions often overlap, so general rule is:
BI  = High level strategic perspective
ERP = Operations perspective

ASP - Application Service Provider

Company providing computer-based services to customers over the Internet. For example, the company that hosts your website is an ASP. If you are using SaaS (see below) such as CRM, you are using an ASP to gain access over the Internet.

ASPs are able to provide small-to-medium sized businesses with access to specialized software in a budget-friendly manner. In addition, upgrade and maintenance costs are often minimized because they are automatically performed by the ASP.

ISP - Internet Service Provider

The company that provides you access to the Internet.

SaaS – Software as a Service

On demand software that allows small- to- medium-sized businesses access to ERP and other software solutions (through ASPs) in a cost-effective manner. Essentially, SaaS allows businesses purchase a software license subscription from companies like Microsoft or Acumatica, and have access to that software over the Internet.

Thin Client vs. Fat Client

Thin client: A desktop terminal that has no hard drive, CD player, etc. All applications, sensitive data, memory, etc., are stored and accessed via the data center.

Fat client: A computer that, for the most part, allows the user to function independently of a data center. Traditional computers that include a hard drive, disk drive, etc. are fat clients.

Cloud Computing

A term for accumulating and accessing programs and data over the Internet instead of on your local computer hard drive. Cloud computing services can be accessed any time with any online connection.

You may hear the term “On cloud or on premise.” This simply means you are storing your information on a server accessible only through the Internet “cloud” or on a dedicated server that is located at your business “premise”.

Suite vs. Module

Suite: a collection of related computer programs, often sharing a common user interface and the ability to exchange data with each other.

Module: a separate, independent component that performs one function and contains all code necessary to accomplish it.

SMB – Small- to- Medium-Sized Business vs. Server Message Block

Small- to- medium-sized businesses: >100 = small, 100-999 = medium.

Server Message Block: When using a SaaS or other program, this provides a protocol for client applications in a computer to read, create, and update files on a remote server.

About us

Advanced Solutions & Consulting, Co has been helping small-to-medium sized businesses find and improve their ERP systems for more than 15 years. With offices in San Diego, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Nevada, we specialize in California and west coast ERP services. Please contact us for more information, we would be happy to help talk you through the process.

by Advanced Solutions and Consulting

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