Resources

Glossary

Our glossary is your guide to exploring technology terms and definitions.

Adaptive Invoicing

Adaptive invoicing is a set of capabilities that, when combined, enables organizations to quickly customize invoices for different sales use cases. For example, when a company sells a product through a digital marketplace, the invoice branding should reflect the merchant of record. If the company also decides to sell a product through a reseller network, the invoices need to be adapted to reflect the branding of each reseller.

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App Ecosystem

An app ecosystem is a collection of applications centered around a core digital platform that enhance the platform, drive revenue for application developers, and deliver a range of benefits for platform providers, such as lower customer churn, higher revenue, and more.

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Application Management Services

Application management services encompass a wide range of services and processes for maintaining and managing custom or third-party software applications. These services can include designing and building applications; migrating and managing data; content management; analytics and reporting; testing; general maintenance and enhancements; and much more.

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Application Marketplace

An application marketplace is an online store where customers can go to find and purchase applications.

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B2B SaaS

B2B SaaS stands for business-to-business Software-as-a-Service. It encompasses cloud-based software used by businesses for various tasks, such as accounting, office productivity, customer relationship management (CRM), and other work-related activities. Companies often subscribe to B2B SaaS solutions and pay on a recurring basis, usually monthly or yearly.

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Billing Platform

A billing platform is a technology solution that allows organizations to manage invoicing, payments, reconciliation, and other activities related to billing. Billing platforms can offer a wide variety of features and functionality. However, to manage subscription commerce most effectively, a cloud billing that has the flexibility to accommodate numerous pricing models—one time, recurring, tiered, and usage-based, etc.—provides automation capabilities, and offers the ability to tailor invoices and other aspects of the customer experience is ideal.

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Cloud Billing Platform

A cloud billing platform is a type of billing platform that is hosted in the cloud. As a cloud-based solution, a cloud billing platform delivers many of the benefits associated with B2B SaaS, such as lower CAPEX costs. To be the most effective, a cloud billing platform should be able to accommodate multiple pricing models—including recurring, tiered, one-time, etc.—as well as offer the ability to quickly change pricing, customize invoices, automate reconciliation, and more. It is estimated that the worldwide cloud billing market will reach $48.4 billion by 2026.

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Cloud Billing Solutions

Cloud billing solutions are tools that are used to bill for cloud-based software and infrastructure. Cloud billing solutions can be deployed either on-premise or in the cloud themselves.

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Cloud Brokerage Platform

A cloud brokerage platform is a solution that serves as an intermediary between the vendors of cloud-based products—such as infrastructure and SaaS—and end users. To do this, a cloud brokerage platform aggregates cloud-based products, streamlines their deployment and integration, and can offer customization, such as bundles and pricing.

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Cloud Enablement

Cloud enablement consists of software and services that help companies, often small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs), begin to use cloud-based solutions. To do this, cloud enablement solutions help providers sell, onboard, and support a range of cloud-based technologies, such as office productivity suites, accounting software, or customer relationship management (CRM) tools, among many others.

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Cloud Marketplace

A cloud marketplace is a type of application marketplace. It is synonymous with SaaS marketplace. At a cloud marketplace, customers can go to an online storefront to find, purchase, and manage cloud-based applications.

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Cloud Service Commerce

Cloud service commerce is the selling of cloud-based software (also called cloud services, Software-as-a-Service applications, and SaaS apps).

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Cloud Services

A cloud service is any resource that is provided, managed, and used via the cloud (Internet), with the most common cloud services being Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), as well as Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS), and Infrastructure-as-a- Service (IaaS).

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Communication Service Providers

Communication service providers (CSPs) are companies that offer telecommunications, media, entertainment, applications, and other information-related services, often over a physical network. CSPs can include Internet service providers (ISPs), cable companies, mobile carriers, television broadcasting operators, and others.

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Connected Devices

Connected devices are hardware products that are embedded with sensors and / or chips that allow them to connect to wireless networks and communicate with a central management systems and / or other hardware devices. These products are also often called smart devices or Internet of Things (IoT) devices.

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Connected Devices Platform

A connected devices platform is a software solution that unifies and simplifies the management of connected devices and software. A connected devices platform can have a wide variety of features and functionalities, but overall they manage data transmitted by devices, the backend systems that process the data, the provisioning of software updates to devices, and general device lifecycle administration, as well as provide analytics that detail device and application usage.

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Data Analytics and Visualization

Data analytics and visualization is the process of analyzing data and presenting the numbers in graphical or pictorial format. Data visualization is a faster, easier way to present complex concepts. It can also make problem areas easier to identify, as well as showcase improvements and help companies pinpoint the reasons for change.

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Developer Ecosystem

A developer ecosystem is a community of developers, providers, and other stakeholders—as well as the software and services that they offer—that enhance the value of a digital platform. Developer ecosystem is synonymous with digital ecosystem. Ecosystems are powered by APIs and should provide seamless interoperability between the platform, software, and end-user device.

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Digital Commerce Platform

A digital commerce platform is a solution used to sell, distribute, and manage cloud-based software and services. A SaaS platform is a type of digital commerce platform.

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Digital Economy

We define the Digital Economy as the wealth and resources generated through the exchange of digital services and assets. The world is experiencing its impact at a rate and scale like never before. Staying competitive in any industry requires companies to remove the friction in the process of creating, distributing, and monetizing products. From technology companies, retailers, financial institutions and healthcare providers, only the organizations that undergo complete digital transformation will succeed in the Digital Economy.

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Digital Ecosystem

A digital ecosystem is a community of developers, providers, and other stakeholders—as well as the software and services that they offer—that enhance the value of a digital platform. Ecosystems are powered by APIs and should provide seamless interoperability between the platform, software, and end-user device.

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Digital Marketplace

A digital marketplace is an online store where customers can go to find and purchase digital products, such as SaaS applications. Digital marketplace is synonymous with application marketplace.

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Digital Platforms

Digital platforms are technologies that aggregate solutions and users around particular use cases. For example, Airbnb brings property owners and people who are looking to rent a room together with technology that offers an easy way to market, search for, reserve, and pay for rooms.

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Digital Supply Chain

A digital supply chain connects every component of your digital offerings, from product development, to pricing, to launch, to marketing and sales, to sales, provisioning, management, and customer support.

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Digital Transformation

Digital transformation is the process by which companies adapt to or create new digital business strategies, products, and services to drive innovation, revenue growth, customer satisfaction, and other benefits.

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Encrypted Search

Encrypted search is a method of protecting searches from being intercepted or observed during the search process. To add an additional layer of security, search terms are encrypted using SSL (secure sockets layer).

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Enterprise Identity Management

Enterprise identity management encompasses the processes and tools involved in authenticating and authorizing the identities of employees at large organizations, including the access, roles, and privileges they are granted within enterprise systems.

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Enterprise Search

Enterprise search is enabled by technology that allows employees to search content from multiple sources—such as intranets, databases, email systems, and others—across an enterprise company from one place.

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Enterprise Single Sign On

Enterprise single sign on is a process used to authorize an employee to access multiple applications across her or his organization with one username and password. For example, an employee could use one set of credentials to log into email, calendar, project management, and other applications provisioned by the IT department.

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Identity Management Platform

An identity management platform is a tool that an enterprise company uses to manage employee identities and access to corporate IT systems. To be most effective, an identity management platform should work seamlessly across all of the applications within the enterprise.

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Indirect Sales

Indirect sales occur when a third-party sells a product or service instead of the provider itself. There are a variety of indirect sales channels, including affiliates, where a third-party receives a commission on sales; reseller programs, including value-added resellers, which bundle their own value, such as integration expertise, with a product; and systems integrators, which act as consultants for whole solution recommendations and deployments.

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Integrated Search

Integrated search is a type of search that draws from multiple sources to serve results to users. It is the approach that is most often used by enterprise search tools.

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Internet of Things

The Internet of Things (IoT) is the network of physical devices—from vehicles and home appliances, to industrial sensors and actuators—and the network connectivity that enables each device to exchange data.

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IoT Device Management Platform

An IoT device management platform is a software solution that unifies and simplifies the management of IoT devices and software. It is synonymous with a connected devices platform.

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IoT Ecosystem

An IoT ecosystem is a type of developer ecosystem that focuses on Internet of Things developers, applications, devices, and customers. In an IoT ecosystem, developers create applications for software solution and / or hardware providers to accelerate innovation and scale distribution, while at the same time generating revenue (for both developers and the solution providers) and delivering enhanced solutions to customers.

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IoT Marketplace

An Internet of Things (IoT) marketplace is a type of application marketplace. At an IoT marketplace, customers can go to an online storefront to find, purchase, and manage applications for their IoT devices. These devices span a wide range of sectors, from consumer—such as smart watches or automobiles—to industrial, which can include manufacturing equipment, to healthcare, and more.

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IT Helpdesk Solutions

IT helpdesk solutions are software tools that allow organizations to respond to and manage customer support issues. IT helpdesk solutions can be used to support a wide variety of IT devices and software, from laptops, mobile devices, tablets, and peripherals to online backup and data recovery, to connectivity and network troubleshooting, and more.

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KPI Dashboard Software

KPI dashboard software is a solution that enables companies to measure, monitor, and visualize the key performance indicators that drive their businesses. Dashboards can make it easier and faster for companies to share data across teams or departments and give everyone a central place to find the information they need.

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M2M Platform

An M2M platform—or machine-to-machine platform—is a software solution that unifies and simplifies the management of M2M devices and applications. An M2M platform can have a wide range of features and functionalities, but overall they manage data transmitted by devices, the backend systems that process the data, the provisioning of software updates to devices, and general device lifecycle administration.

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Manufacturing 4.0

Manufacturing 4.0 is a term that describes the proliferation of digital technologies across the manufacturing industry. Some manufacturing 4.0 applications include sensor-enabled hardware that can send status updates over the air to centralized digital platforms that can analyze the data. In another example, manufacturers can deploy new software and services to hardware in the field.

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Marketplace Platform

A marketplace platform is the underlying technology that can be used to launch, support, and scale an application marketplace. Marketplace platforms can offer a wide range of features and functionality, but to be most effective, they should provide tools that enable users to both monetize and manage their cloud marketplaces. Monetization features include capabilities to drive revenue, such as billing, distribution, reseller management, and other functionality, while management features encompass customer support, analytics, identity and access management, and enterprise search tools to find information across the platform.

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Marketplace Software

Marketplace software is a technology solution needed to launch and manage an application marketplace. Marketplace software can offer a range of features. These include frontend capabilities—such as customizable branding, search tools, and a recommendation engine—and backend functionality including billing, identity and access management, product provisioning and management tools, and more.

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Microsoft CSP

A Microsoft CSP is a participant in the Microsoft Cloud Solution Provider program. Launched in July 2014, the Microsoft CSP program enables partners to directly manage their entire Microsoft cloud customer lifecycle. Microsoft CSPs utilize dedicated in-product tools to directly provision, manage, and support customer subscriptions.

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MSP Solutions

MSP solutions are the applications, hardware, and services sold by managed service providers. Often, MSPs will bundle solutions together to create unique offerings to differentiate their businesses and provide greater value to customers.

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Multi-Dimensional Commerce

Multi-dimensional commerce is an approach to selling in the digital economy that ensures seamless integration and interoperability across every facet of the digital supply chain.

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Office 365 Billing

Office 365 billing is a solution that enables resellers to bill for Microsoft Office licenses. Office 365 billing is an important component of the Microsoft Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) program. CSPs can opt to be direct or indirect. Indirect CSPs outsource Office 365 billing to a third-party, while direct CSPs will handle billing directly.

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Office 365 Reseller

An Office 365 reseller is a business that resells Microsoft’s popular productivity suite Office 365. To be an Office 365 reseller, businesses must join the Microsoft CSP program.

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Partner Management

Partner management encompasses all of the technology tools and business processes that an organization needs to manage its indirect sales through third parties. It is synonymous with reseller management. These processes include reseller sales enablement—such as training on different solutions—software provisioning, billing, as well as ongoing license management, customer onboarding, and customer support.

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Partner Network

A partner network is the group of resellers that a SaaS vendor or other type of digital provider recruits to sell its products. A provider will usually offer resources—such as marketing materials, training, certifications, and other incentives—to its partner network to enable them to sell products more effectively.

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Partner Relationship Management Software

Partner relationship management software helps sales organizations manage indirect sales made through the channel. Partner relationship management software often includes a variety of tools to automate partner management, such as deal registration, training and certification, analytics, and content libraries. Automated billing and provisioning are also key elements of partner relationship management software.

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Procurement

Procurement refers to the process of purchasing goods or services, most often in reference to business spending. For many organizations, procurement often includes vendor selection and approval, contracting, bidding, cost negotiation, and payment processing.

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Real Time Data Visualization

Real time data visualization presents data in a graphical or pictorial format as it occurs. Without real time data visualization, data is collected (often manually) and presented in visual format periodically, often weekly, monthly, or quarterly.

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Real Time Reporting

Real time reporting is the process of recording and reporting data when it occurs. Without real time reporting, data is collected (often manually) and reported periodically, often weekly, monthly, or quarterly.

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Recurring Billing

Recurring billing is a periodic payment made on an ongoing basis for a product or service. Also known as subscription billing, recurring billing has emerged to be the preferred billing method for cloud-based software and services.

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Remote IT Support

Remote IT support is a set of tools that allow customer support representatives to connect to a customer’s computer remotely from their consoles through the Internet and troubleshoot issues directly on the remote system. Remote IT support often results in faster resolution times and higher customer satisfaction rates. It can also lower costs by eliminating the need for large call centers or onsite support.

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Reseller Management

Reseller management encompasses all of the technology tools and business processes that an organization needs to manage its indirect sales through third parties. These processes include sales enablement—such as training on different solutions—software provisioning, billing, as well as ongoing license management, customer onboarding, and customer support.

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Reseller Platform

A reseller platform is a solution that enables businesses to streamline the management of their resellers. It is synonymous with partner relationship management software.

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SaaS Distribution

SaaS distribution encompasses the processes and tools used to distribute cloud-based software to end users. There two main types of SaaS distribution: direct and indirect. In a direct SaaS distribution model, a software vendor sells products directly to customers, through its website for example. In an indirect SaaS distribution model, a software vendor distributes its products through third-party resellers who then sell them to customers.

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SaaS Marketplace

A SaaS marketplace is a type of application marketplace. At a SaaS marketplace, customers can go to an online storefront to find, purchase, and manage cloud-based SaaS applications.

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SaaS Platform

A SaaS platform is a solution used to sell, distribute, and manage cloud-based software and services. A SaaS platform is a type of digital platform.

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Software Distribution Platform

A software distribution platform is a solution that enables software vendors and resellers to distribute SaaS to customers. It is synonymous with reseller platform.

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Software Ecosystem

A software ecosystem is the community of stakeholders that companies create to support platforms. Software ecosystems can be made up of developers, resellers, customers, software, services, and more.

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Software Vendor

A software vendor is a company that develops and sells software. Most commonly, the term software vendors refers specifically to independent software vendors (ISVs), organizations that create solutions for use by the larger market. In contrast, in-house software, for example, is developed by an organization that uses it for its own purposes and does not make it commercially available.

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Subscription Billing

Subscription billing is a periodic, automated charge made on an ongoing basis for a product or service. Also called recurring billing, subscription billing is the preferred billing method for SaaS software and services.

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Subscription Billing Platform

A subscription billing platform is a type of cloud billing solution that is deployed to manage recurring billing for software solutions. There are a wide range of subscription billing platforms that provide a variety of features.

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Subscription Billing Software

Subscription billing software is the technology that companies use to manage payments for their subscription products. Subscription billing software can offer a range of features and functionalities, such as the ability to change pricing, add different payment options, create custom invoices, and more.

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Subscription Commerce

Subscription commerce for B2B SaaS encompasses all of the technology and processes that power the sale of digital products on a recurring basis, from sales operations to marketing, to product delivery and deployment, to vendor management, to customer support and lifecycle management, and much more.

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System Integrator

A system integrator (SI) researches, recommends, plans, and deploys complex technology solutions for large enterprise organizations. Many system integrators focus on trends and emerging technology. Companies engage with SIs when they need this deep expertise to evaluate IT strategies and integrate new solutions into their existing systems most effectively. For example, SIs often advise companies on the Internet of Things (IoT), artificial intelligence (AI), blockchain, digital transformation, subscription commerce, and other critical business objectives.

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Tail Spend

Tail spend refers to purchases that are made outside of an organization’s regular procurement process. Often, these purchases are too small to be accounted for by a company's procurement department, or they are one-off purchases that fall outside of regular, planned buying cycles.

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Team Collaboration Software

Team collaboration software enables multiple users to review, edit, and approve tasks to streamline and accelerate project completion. With cloud-based team collaboration software, users can collaborate regardless of physical location.

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Value-Added Reseller

A value-added reseller (VAR) is a business that resells products and bundles its own additional products or services to create a unique offer. Value-added resellers are common in the IT industry where VARs can add value by bundling implementation or onboarding services with third-party software, bundling hardware devices with software, or a combination of software, services, and hardware.

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White Label Marketplace Software

White label marketplace software is software that can be easily customized and used to launch and manage a branded SaaS marketplace. This type of software can offer a wide range of tools to customize the look and feel of a marketplace. The most flexible white label marketplace software will offer a range of self-service tools, such as drag-and-drop tools to move front-end design elements, the ability to change colors, add logos, as well as complete other sophisticated customizations.

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