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Enterprise Software Lingo – what does it really mean?

 

October 19, 2011

As a service to enterprise software users, our crack team of investigators (or instigators) has uncovered this super secret translation glossary. Be warned: you may never look at enterprise software the same! Please add to the humour (or humor, for that matter) by tweeting @freebalance and using #enswlingo hash tag. We’ll curate the best we receive.

Disclaimer: FreeBalance provides Government Resource Planning software. Exclusively government. But we love enterprise software speak and TLAs (Three Letter Acronyms).

We won’t be publishing funny definitions for enterprise software vendors. Corporations are people too.

Best practice

  • What you think it means: the best way to accomplish a process in your industry
  • What it means to enterprise software vendors: sorry, that’s how the software works, you’ll need to change to suit the software

Business Process Management

  • What you think it means: method for articulating the business flow within a software application
  • What it means to enterprise software vendors: how you change your processes to suit enterprise software

Business Process Re-engineering:

  • [see best practice, BPM]

Certification

  • What you think it means: method whereby consultants can prove they are competent at installing, using and managing enterprise software
  • What it means to enterprise software vendors: system integrator full employment plan

Client-Server

  • What you think it means: legacy method of deploying enterprise software, only in use by laggard organizations who have not upgraded to the latest web-based version
  • What it means to enterprise software vendors: what actually under the covers, software that’s 20 to 40 years young. (40 is the new “innovation”)

Cloud

  • What you think it means: a method to deploy software without any need for on-premises server equipment to reduce costs
  • What it means to enterprise software vendors: new way to lock customers into long-term contracts

Consolidation

  • What you think it means: inevitable consolidation of a growing market
  • What it means to enterprise software vendors: buying more customers [see Software Stack]

Customer-Centric

  • What you think it means: an approach used by enterprise software vendors to gather your requirements
  • What it means to enterprise software vendors: Business model used by specialists based on the fundamental myth that software customers prefer doing business with companies who understand their business and care about them

Customization

  • What you think it means: method to get the enterprise software to meet your needs that includes workflow customization, scripts, call-outs and software development
  • What it means to enterprise software vendors: how system integrators make money [see Extensibility]

End-user license agreement

  • What you think it means: software license agreement showing vendor and customer commitments
  • What it means to enterprise software vendors: enterprise software vendor protection plan

Enterprise Architecture

  • What you think it means: the underlying structure needed to meet company fault tolerance, integration, performance and scalability requirements
  • What it means to enterprise software vendors: how you have to change your infrastructure to suit  enterprise software

ERP

  • What you think it means: enterprise resource planning
  • What it means to enterprise software vendors: enterprise rollout: pray

ERP failure

  • What you think it means: problem with implementation project that resulted in not meeting time, cost or expected benefit targets
  • What it means to enterprise software vendors: blame the victim: it was the customer’s fault

Extensibility

  • What you think it means: ability for enterprise software to be used for other functions within the enterprise
  • What it means to enterprise software vendors: the software doesn’t do what you want [see Customization]

In-memory database

  • What you think it means: a method to speed up business intelligence with real-time analytics and dashboards handling “big data”
  • What it means to enterprise software vendors: a way for enterprise software vendors to sell hardware too

Innovation

  • What you think it means: enterprise software company R+D labs find disruptive compelling software ideas
  • What it means to enterprise software vendors: what  enterprise software vendors acquire when buying smaller companies

Integration middleware

  • What you think it means: special software that enables integration among applications developed on different software platforms
  • What it means to enterprise software vendors: it’s been a struggle, but enterprise software vendors  finally have software acquisitions sort of working together, otherwise known as the “generally available beta”

Interoperability

  • What you think it means: software from many different vendors tightly or seamlessly integrate
  • What it means to enterprise software vendors: how enterprise software vendors   make it difficult to integrate with other systems

Legacy

  • What you think it means: old software that is rapidly being replaced by new
  • What it means to enterprise software vendors: an annuity [see Client/Server]

Master data management

  • What you think it means: way to coordinate metadata and definitions across many modules in a single place
  • What it means to enterprise software vendors: enterprise software modules don’t really talk to each other, so you’ll have to manage all the definitions

OOW

  • What you think it means: a big enterprise software event
  • What it means to enterprise software vendors :what marketers say when there is a bad keynote address by the CEO

Open system

  • What you think it means: system designed to operate on many platforms and integrate with many applications
  • What it means to enterprise software vendors: you’re open to buying all the enterprise software vendor’s software [see Software Stack]

Portfolio management

  • What you think it means: in software, the activity of reducing the number of vendors and products to reduce maintenance and training costs
  • What it means to enterprise software vendors: how enterprise software  vendors sell more software by convincing customers to buy from product portfolio

Return on Investment

  • What you think it means: method whereby you can calculate the return from your enterprise software investment
  • What it means to enterprise software vendors: enterprise software vendor  return on your investment

Roadmap

  • What you think it means: enterprise software vendors long-term plans for new products and upgrades
  • What it means to enterprise software vendors: what you’ll get when vendor decides to give it to you

Shared Service

  • What you think it means: a method used by governments and large companies with a central data centre to gain economies of scale and reduce costs
  • What it means to enterprise software vendors: share the risk, get no service

Shelfware

  • What you think it means: software that is purchased but not used
  • What it means to enterprise software vendors: a beauty to behold

Slice and dice

  • What you think it means: use of multidimensional databases and OLAP to find important patterns and insight into data
  • What it means to enterprise software vendors: what software maintenance contracts do to you [see Software Maintenance]

Software maintenance

  • What you think it means: paying to get vendor support and upgrades for the next version
  • What it means to enterprise software vendors: the enterprise software vendor cash-for-life program

Software stack

  • What you think it means: the infrastructure, middleware and application software used in an enterprise
  • What it means to enterprise software vendors: how enterprise software vendors lock you in, cha ching!

Sustainability

  • What you think it means: ways to reduce your costs and improve your environmental footprint
  • What it means to enterprise software vendors: something enterprise software vendors trying to make money from. Pay no attention to the software bloat that’s using all that energy.

Third party maintenance

  • What you think it means: specialists that provide software support at a lower cost than the original vendor
  • What it means to enterprise software vendors: terrible people trying to put an end to a good thing

Total Cost of Ownership

  • What you think it means: calculating the true long-term costs to implementing enterprise software
  • What it means to enterprise software vendors: very difficult concept, you shouldn’t really waste your time thinking about it

Two-tier ERP

  • What you think it means: using a less expensive “tier 2″ ERP for some parts of the organization where “tier 1″ is not needed
  • What it means to enterprise software vendors: using software that works, is less complicated and clearly doesn’t use best practices [see best practices]

User group

  • What you think it means: an organization of enterprise software customers who share good practices, learn the latest, and collect feature requests for vendors
  • What it means to enterprise software vendors: customer group therapy

Vertical market

  • What you think it means: different industries that the enterprise software vendor serves well
  • What it means to enterprise software vendors: what enterprise software vendors call something they don’t know much about

xaaS

  • What you think it means: something as a service (PaaS, IaaS, SaaS) deployed on the cloud
  • What it means to enterprise software vendors: long-term, more revenue with less service

Web-based

  • What you think it means: modern software deployed via the web using the latest in software architectural practices
  • What it means to enterprise software vendors:client server software with web front-end [see Client Server]
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Doug Hadden

Doug Hadden

Executive Vice President, Innovation at FreeBalance
Doug is responsible for identifying new global markets, new technologies and trends, and new and enhanced internal processes. Doug leads a cross-functional international team that is responsible for developing product prototypes and innovative go-to-market strategies.

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