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We’ve all had discussions where a SME  decides to to throw acronyms to speed up discussions: “My PMO says that the BRD for the CRM will be delivered by EOW”. Not wanting to look stupid, many will not ask for clarification on some of those acronyms. (See last paragraph for definition of those cited above).

As it relates to Business systems and Cloud computing, I decided to help some of you who may not be aware of all this terminology.

ERP: Enterprise Resource Planning– accounting, HR, Procurement/Billing, Inventory or Project Tracking, etc. NetSuite is the best one.

CRM: Customer Relationship management– This is the system of record for your customers and prospects ( sure beats Outlook!). Tracks all interactions with customers/prospects.

SFA: Sales Force Automation – Often an extension of a CRM. It manages opportunities, pipelines and forecasts. A sound SFA will also push sales orders to an accounting system.

MRP: Manufacturing Requirements Planning– System of records for manufacturing goods. Encompasses floor planning, demand planning, supply chain, manufacturing processes, quality processes,

WMS: Warehouse management System– System of records for warehouse to tract inventory, stock location, bare coding, shipping/receiving, etc.

PSA: Professional Services Automation– Tracking of projects, tasks, resources used to deliver project along with the capacity to enter time and expenses. A true PSA will execute billing and push invoices to the ERP.

When it comes to Cloud computing you need to know the following (and the list will grow every year as more niched products appear).

SaaS: Software as a Service– Application delivered over a browser (gmail, internet bill payment, etc).

PaaS: Platform as a Service- Development platform delivered over the internet. They allow developers to create software in multiple test environments without having to install various environments. PaaS typically have Operating Systems (Windows, Linux, MaCOS, Google Code) and various data centers (SQL servers, etc).

IaaS: Infrastructure as a Service- Hardware and square footage available to you over the internet. This is made up of disk space, servers, networking, etc.

NetSuite Launched Commerce as a Service in 2012: Data as a Service is becoming more and more popular, Talent as a Service made its way on the net a year or so ago and this list will continue to grow.

Finally, here are the ones I mentioned in the opening paragraph.

SME: Subject Matter Expert– no more comments required

BRD: Business Requirements Document – Typically the outcome of an analysis of a business issue needing to be resolved. From a BRD, a business solution is proposed. If you are involved in a business system project, the more requirement documentation you do, the less it will cost you to implement.

PMO: Project Management Office– Organizations that deliver Professional Services through consulting often centralize best practices, methodology, criteria for success  through a department.

EOW: End of Week; variation include EOD, End of day


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