English Vocabulary for E Business
Companies that sell other manufacturers' or retailers'
(sponsoring merchants) products on their Web sites. Users select a product at the affiliate Web site,
but the sale is actually transacted at the sponsoring merchant's Web site. Affiliates are similar
in concept to industry-based manufacturer representatives that sell multiple manufacturers' product lines.
Software that acts as an intermediary for a person by performing
some activity. Agents can "learn" an individual's preferences and act in the person's best interest
and may even negotiate and complete transactions. A purchasing manager's agent may learn corporate
specifications, determine when inventory is low and search the Internet for the lowest-cost supplier.
Enables buyers within a market to select among various competitors by
aggregating information about the market and its suppliers and providing this information via a Web site.
Aggregators may provide decision-support applications that integrate supplier information with third-party
information and with user requirements or preferences to allow users to differentiate services and
features of the various competitors. Content aggregators
aggregate information and match it to user preferences. These preferences may be declared
actively (user explicitly specifies) or passively (software discerns preferences from user
behavior or interest) and are used to filter aggregated content and deliver only what matches
Application Service Provider (ASP)
ASPs aggregate, facilitate and broker IT services to
deliver IT-enabled business solutions across a network via subscription-based pricing.
Available to Promise (ATP)
The uncommitted portion of a company's inventory or planned
production. ATP is maintained as a tool for promising orders to buyers.
An electronic market, which can exist in both a business-to-business and
business-to-consumer context. Sellers offer products or services to buyers through a Web site with a structured
process for price-setting and fulfillment. Web auctions may follow English, Dutch,
reverse-bid or sealed-bid processes.
An advertisement that appears on a Web site. The ad format is a "banner," a
combination of graphic and textual content entreating the Web site user to "click through" for
further information on the advertised product or service.
"Brick and Mortar"
Describes a traditional company with no Web channels as a sales outlet
for its products or services.
A software program used to locate and display information on an intranet, extranet or
the Internet. Browsers are most often used to access Web pages. Most browsers can display
graphics, photographs and text; multimedia information such as sound and video may require
additional software called "plug-ins."
Business-to-Business Commerce (B2B)
Using electronic interactions to conduct business
among enterprises, typically as a result of formal, contractual arrangements. B2B functions
include sophisticated Web authorization and control (WAC) for delivery of sensitive price,
contract and content information for each partner; catalogs that provide custom views based on
access control and parametric search for serious business buyers; and order entry functions such
as standardized "ship to" locations, dynamic order recalculation and payment options.
Business-to-Consumer Commerce (B2C)
Using electronic interactions to conduct business
with consumers. B2C may include formal relationships (e.g., customers with assets under care
or with subscription services or content) and ad hoc relationships (formed in real time to enable
a new user to buy, sell or access information).
Business Intelligence (BI)
An interactive process of analyzing and exploring structured,
domain-specific information (often stored in a data warehouse) to discern trends or patterns,
thereby deriving insights and drawing conclusions. The BI process includes communicating
findings and effecting change. BI domains include customers, products, services or competitors.
Business Process Re-Engineering (BPR)
Fundamental analysis and radical redesign of
business processes and management systems to achieve dramatic change or performance
improvement. BPR uses objective, quantitative methods and tools to analyze, redesign and
transform business processes including their supporting organization structures, information
systems, job responsibilities and performance standards.
Processes for companies to purchase products. Includes requisitioning, product
catalogs, approvals, user identification, purchase order creation, payment processing and integration to other
systems. Processes occurring upstream from the company with trading
partners, suppliers, etc.
"Click and Mortar"
Describes a company with physical outlets as well as an on-line presence
for the sale of its products or services.
A clickthru occurs when a web site visitor responds to a banner or other
advertisement by clicking on the advert. Advertisers pay websites additional fees based on the
number of clickthru's per unit time.
Collaborative Commerce (C-Commerce)
The collaborative, electronically enabled business
interactions among an enterprise's internal personnel, business partners and customers throughout a trading
community. The trading community could be an industry, industry segment, supply chain or supply chain segment.
an Internet only entity. .coms can be created by traditional brick and mortar entities or
by independent entities. Examples: amazon.com, barnesandnoble.com (barnesandnoble.com is
a separate legal entity from the physical book retailer.)
Commerce Service Provider (CSP)
Service providers that specialize in Web-enabled
e-commerce services, as well as those offering specific software or outsourcing support for these
A constantly changing group of people collaborating and sharing their ideas over
an electronic network (e.g., the Internet). Communities optimize their collective power by
affiliation around a common interest, by the compression of the time between member
interactions (i.e., communicating in real time), and by asynchronous "postings" which
potentially reach more participants and allow for more reflection time than real-time
Competitive Intelligence (CI)
Analysis of an enterprise's marketplace to understand what is
happening, what will happen and what it means to the firm. CI business goals may be offensive:
to confidently position the firm in the marketplace, to plot a course for future positioning and to
allocate short- and long-term resources; or defensive: to know what is happening, what may
happen and how to react.
A firm whose products are information-based (content), including services
to access and manage the content.
Small files that are automatically downloaded from a Web server to the computer of
someone browsing a Web site. Information stored in cookies can then be accessed any time that
computer returns to the site. Cookies allow Web sites to "personalize" their appearance by
identifying visitors, storing passwords, tracking preferences, and other possibilities.
(Common Object Request Broker Architecture): It can be tough
to get computers
and software to talk to each other, particularly if the products use different operating systems and
architectures. The OMG's (Object Management Group) CORBA standard, established in 1991,
provides a set of common interfaces through which object-oriented software can communicate,
regardless of computer platform.
a bricks and mortar AND Internet entity operating together/in parallel.
.corps are usually
created by traditional brick and mortar entities as a response to on-line retailers. Example: The
Gap and gap.com.
Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
A technology-enabled strategy to convert
data-driven decisions into business actions in response to, and in anticipation of, actual customer
behavior. From a technology perspective, CRM represents the systems and infrastructure
required to capture, analyze and share all facets of the customer's relationship with the
enterprise. From a strategy perspective, it represents a process to measure and allocate
organizational resources to those activities that have the greatest return and impact on profitable
A term used to describe operators who 'collect' demand from
consumers for a particular item. Priceline.com (airline tickets, hotel rooms, etc.) and
Adauction.com (advertising space) are examples. These companies allow consumers to obtain
discounts to market prices and allow sellers to sell what might otherwise go unsold and 'see'
the latent demand for their goods/services that exists below the established price points.
A system that allows a person to pay for goods or services by transmitting a
number from one computer to another. Like the serial numbers on real dollar bills, the digital
cash numbers are unique. Each one is issued by a bank and represents a specified sum of real
money. One of the key features of digital cash is that, like real cash, it is anonymous and
reusable. That is, when a digital cash amount is sent from a buyer to a vendor, there is no way to
obtain information about the buyer. This is one of the key differences between digital cash and
credit card systems. Another key difference is that a digital cash certificate can be reused.
A digital token downloaded and stored on a PC used by a consumer during
Internet shopping. Using the token during a buying process initiates a customer profile download
(credit card information, the shipping and billing addresses, etc) into the purchase form as well as
creating a record of information about the transaction. For consumers, the initial value
proposition behind the wallet is to make it ease of transaction by putting an end to filling out
forms. Advanced uses of the wallet include storing shopper preferences, alerting the consumer to
special offers, alerting the consumer to better pricing for an item at another site, alerting the
consumer his car is in need of an oil change, etc.
A percentage fee paid to the merchant account provider
or ISO (independent service organization) for handling an electronic transaction. Most Web merchants pay between
two and 10 percent of their revenue from online credit card or electronic check orders.
A unique identifier for an Internet site which consists of at least two (but
sometimes more) parts separated by periods (e.g., http://www.info-edge.com). Enterprises must
register top-level domains with the Web Internet Registry and pay a yearly fee to maintain the
Any Internet- or network- enabled business activity that transforms internal and
external relationships to create value and exploit market opportunities driven by new rules of the
Electronic Commerce (E-Commerce, EC)
The use of communication technologies to
transmit business information and transact business. Taking an order over the telephone is a
simple form of EC. Internet commerce is also EC, but is only one of several advanced forms of
EC that use technology, integrated applications and business processes to link enterprises.
Electronic Catalog (E-Catalog)
An aggregation mechanism that presents goods or services for
sale and enables users to buy goods or services in electronic marketplaces.
Electronic Data Interchange (EDI)
The electronic exchange of trading documents (e.g.,
invoices and orders) to enable e-commerce. Originally conducted only through value-added
networks, EDI is gradually moving to the Internet.
A Web site that maintains catalogs from multiple suppliers. Buyers enter the site, view
many suppliers at once and purchase products or services. E-malls often charge a fee for
tenancy or membership, may take title to the goods themselves, and are selling
based on traditional notions of print and broadcast advertising that entice visitors to buy.
Intermediaries that develop a B2B e-marketplace of buyers and sellers
within an industry, geographic region or affinity group. They enter supply chains introducing
new efficiencies and new ways of selling and purchasing products and services by providing
content, value-added services, and often e-commerce capabilities. They are generally managed
by a third party within a trading community.
A Web site that enables buyers to select from many suppliers. E-marketplaces
-- which focus on putting the buyer in control -- are buying that aggregate
supplier content and provide decision support tools that enable a buyer to make the most
Employee Self-Service (ESS)
Electronic services for employees to access or edit information
previously controlled by an internal support staff. Examples are procurement (ordering supplies)
or human resources (training registration or update of benefit choices).
A collaborative, Internet-based network to link an enterprise with its suppliers,
customers or other external business partners and to facilitate intercompany relationships.
Extranets use Internet-derived applications and technology to become the secured extensions of
internal business processes to external business partners.
Frictionless Commerce/Frictionless Economy
According to theory, the Internet is a
nearly perfect market because information is instantaneous and buyers can compare the offerings of
sellers worldwide. The result is fierce price competition, dwindling product differentiation, and
vanishing brand loyalty. Real world evidence casts doubts on the validity of this theory.
Positive Feedback Markets, Demand Side and Supply Side Economies of Scale, and Lock In and Switching
Costs are concepts that rebut the notion of Frictionless Commerce.
A B2B hub focusing on a specific business function or process across
industries. Functional hubs focus on MRO purchasing, employee benefits administration,
logistics, etc. and provide deep process or functional expertise for customers.
Hit A Website 'visit' from a site visitor. Different statistical packages count hits differently,
which creates confusion about how many users actually visit a given site. This can be a problem as Websites
determine fees for advertisers.
A portion of the revenue from a merchant's credit card transactions, held in
reserve by the merchant account provider to cover possible disputed charges, chargeback fees, and other expenses.
After a predetermined time, holdbacks are turned over to the merchant. Note: Merchant account providers almost
never pay interest on holdbacks.
An electronic marketplace facilitating e commerce by aggregating
buyers and sellers and
acting as the transaction intermediary.
A brick-and-mortar business that has responded to Internet threats by
creating a Web front end with links to back-end systems; or a dot.com
(virtual company) that is
creating traditional infrastructure, such as a warehouse and logistics system, to meet customer
A banner, pop-up, or other advertisement on a portal, or website. Advertisers pay
the website on an impressions per unit time basis. 1000 impressions per day. (this definition is
Intangible assets including employees' knowledge; data and information
about processes, experts, products, customers and competitors; brand names and image; and
intellectual property, such as patented, trademarked or copyrighted materials and regulatory
Interactive Relationship Managers (IRM)
Infomediaries that collect user data based on
surfing habits of ISP customers and tailor marketing/promotional programs according to what
those customers might like or need.
Internet Sales Outlet (ISO)
A third-party Web site that attracts visitors looking to buy goods
or services. ISOs make money by selling links or ads that lead directly to the merchant Web
sites, or by selling products or services on behalf of Web merchants.
Independent Service Organization (ISO)
A firm or organization that offers to process online
credit card transactions, usually in exchange for transaction fees or a percentage of sales.
Merchants must generally establish a merchant account before contracting for ISO
although some ISOs claim not to require separate merchant accounts.
The bank that maintains the consumer's credit card account and must pay out to
the merchant's account in a credit card purchase. The issuing bank then bills the customer for the
A programming language frequently used on Web sites. Some Java programs, or "applets"
are downloaded from the Web server to the visitor's own computer, which then runs them. This
distinguishes Java programs from other Web programming languages, such as PERL, that reside
and run on the Web server (only the results are downloaded to the visitor's computer).
JPEG (or JPG)
A file format used for storing graphic images, usually photographs. JPEG files
are larger than GIFs of the same image but offer better color control and clarity. See also GIF.
Knowledge Management (KM)
A business process that formalizes management and leverage of a
firm's intellectual assets. KM is an enterprise discipline that promotes a collaborative and integrative approach
to the creation, capture, organization, access and use of information assets, including the tacit, uncaptured
knowledge of people.
Link to education consulting services information
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Mail Order / Telephone Order Discount Rate (MOTO Discount Rate)
The discount rate charged
by the merchant account provider for credit card transaction in which the actual credit card was not available
to the merchant. MOTO discount rates are generally higher than swipe discount rates to account for the increased
chance of fraud or nonpayment.
Maintenance, Repair and Operations (MRO)
The activities and material purchased to support
activities associated with the operation and repair of any facility, equipment or asset. Companies enter into
contracts with functional hubs to outsource MRO procurement.
MAP (Merchant Account Provider)
A bank or other institution that hosts merchant accounts
and processes online credit card transactions. The term is also often used broadly to include any credit card
processing service, including ISOs.
Market of One
Continuous customization of the content, services and interactions with a
customer to deliver exactly what he or she needs and to create the sense that he or she is a market of one.
Market Spoilers or Market Killers
Web-based businesses that aggregate information about a
market and its suppliers, present the aggregated information to consumers via a Web site, and increasingly offer
decision support to allow customers to differentiate based on independent validation of competitors'
services and features. These businesses diminish the advantage of suppliers that compete through brand identity
Web sites that refer a buyer to a Web merchant willing to sell a good or
service at the price specified by the buyer.
A bank account established by a merchant to receive the proceeds of
credit card purchases. By establishing a merchant account, the merchant bank agrees to pay the
merchant for valid credit card purchases in exchange for the right to collect on the debt owed by
A bank that holds a merchant account . After a consumer buys a
a credit card, the merchant bank places funds into a merchant account in exchange for the right to
collect on the debt owed by a consumer. See also merchant account provider .
Merchant Services Provider
A bank, ISO , or other firm that provides services
financial transactions, usually credit card sales. Many MSPs provide merchant accounts , while
others require their clients to establish merchant accounts on their own. Some MSPs claim that
they do not require merchant accounts; this may indicate factoring, which is illegal in many
areas. See also holdback .
A narrowly focused market that aggregates multiple vendor
offerings, content and value-added services (such as comparison of features) to enable buyers
within a particular industry, geographic region or affinity group to make informed purchasing
Very small charges, perhaps even less than a penny, processed through
e-commerce systems. Until this time, e-commerce has been largely limited to purchases of $10
(U.S.) or more. With micropayments, however, e-commerce merchants can sell products for far
lower prices, such as charging small fees for downloading documents or charging per click for
online advertising. Micropayment systems are still largely experimental and not widely available.
Using continually adjusted user profiles to
match content or services to
individuals. Personalization includes determining a user's interest based on his or her
preferences or behavior, constructing business rules to select relevant content based on those
preferences or behaviors, and presenting the content to the user in an integrated, cohesive
A high-traffic, broadly appealing Web site with a wide range of content, services and
vendor links. It acts as a value-added middleman by selecting the content sources and
assembling them together in a simple-to-navigate (and customize) interface for presentation to
the end user. Portals typically include services such as e-mail, community and chat.
Public Key Encryption
A method of encrypting electronic data. Developed to account for
weaknesses in symmetric encryption, public key encryption does not require the transmission of
decoding keys themselves.
A definition of customer preferences, behaviors or demographics.
Processes for companies to sell their products, including catalogs, transaction
processors, payment processors, and supply chain management methods and tools. Processes
occurring downstream from the company with trading partners, distributors, end consumers, etc.
SET (Secure Electronic Transaction)
A system for encrypting e-commerce transactions, such
as online credit card purchases. Developed by Visa, MasterCard, Microsoft, and several major
banks, SET combines 1,024-bit encryption with digital certificates to ensure security. SET is still
SSL (Secure Socket Layer)
A system for encrypting data sent over the Internet, including
e-commerce transactions and passwords. With SSL, client and server computers exchange public
keys, allowing them to encode and decode their communication.
A website quality referring to the amount of time a visitor stays at the site.
A sticky site
is one with longer than average visit times. An average web page visit is five minutes.
Technology that allows the user to play audio or video as the audio/video data is
Supply Chain Management (SCM)
The process of optimizing delivery of goods, services and
information from supplier to customer. SCM is a set of business processes that encompasses a
trading-partner community engaged in a common goal of satisfying the end customer.
Uniform Resource Locator (URL)
The character string or Web address
that identifies an
Internet document's exact name and location.
A B2B hub focusing on a vertical market or industry. Vertical hubs focus on
energy, steel, telecommunications, paper, plastics, etc and provide deep domain-specific content
and domain-specific relationships for customers.
A company integrating several ideals: outsourced noncore competencies; a
focus on core strength/business; little or no physical presence or infrastructure; a network of
business alliances; the exploitation of intellectual capital; and a heavy reliance on
telecommunications. Virtual companies have outsourced the physical processes and
administrative attributes of traditional business, and expanded and combined intellectual
activities (e.g., problem solving) with standard business processes such as marketing.
A collection of files accessed through a Web address, covering a particular theme or
subject, and managed by a particular person or organization. Its opening page is called a home
page. A Web site resides on servers connected to the Web network and is able to format and
send information requested by worldwide users 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Web sites
typically use the Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) to format and present information and to
provide navigational facilities that make it easy for the user to move within the site and around
Extensible Mark-up Language.
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