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  • Management Information Systems Explained
    aims and objectives on an organisation The development and management of information technology tools assists executives and the general workforce in performing any tasks related to the processing of information MIS and business systems are especially useful in the collation of business data and the production of reports to be used as tools for decision making Applications of MIS With computers being as ubiquitous as they are today there s hardly any large business that does not rely extensively on their IT systems However there are several specific fields in which MIS has become invaluable Strategy Support While computers cannot create business strategies by themselves they can assist management in understanding the effects of their strategies and help enable effective decision making MIS systems can be used to transform data into information useful for decision making Computers can provide financial statements and performance reports to assist in the planning monitoring and implementation of strategy MIS systems provide a valuable function in that they can collate into coherent reports unmanageable volumes of data that would otherwise be broadly useless to decision makers By studying these reports decision makers can identify patterns and trends that would have remained unseen if the raw data were consulted manually MIS systems can also use these raw data to run simulations hypothetical scenarios that answer a range of what if questions regarding alterations in strategy For instance MIS systems can provide predictions about the effect on sales that an alteration in price would have on a product These Decision Support Systems DSS enable more informed decision making within an enterprise than would be possible without MIS systems Data Processing Not only do MIS systems allow for the collation of vast amounts of business data but they also provide a valuable time saving benefit to the workforce Where in the past business information had to be manually processed for filing and analysis it can now be entered quickly and easily onto a computer by a data processor allowing for faster decision making and quicker reflexes for the enterprise as a whole Management by Objectives While MIS systems are extremely useful in generating statistical reports and data analysis they can also be of use as a Management by Objectives MBO tool MBO is a management process by which managers and subordinates agree upon a series of objectives for the subordinate to attempt to achieve within a set time frame Objectives are set using the SMART ratio that is objectives should be Specific Measurable Agreed Realistic and Time Specific The aim of these objectives is to provide a set of key performance indicators by which an enterprise can judge the performance of an employee or project The success of any MBO objective depends upon the continuous tracking of progress In tracking this performance it can be extremely useful to make use of an MIS system Since all SMART objectives are by definition measurable they can be tracked through the generation of management reports to be analysed by decision makers

    Original URL path: http://www.bestpricecomputers.co.uk/glossary/management-information-system.htm (2016-02-08)
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  • Media Convertor, Network Media Converter, Fiber Media Convertor, Media Access Units
    and receive sides then it isn t performing a media conversion role it is simply a transceiver and is being used to amplify the signal In these cases transcievers that are purely amplifying the signal were also known as repeaters MUA is simply a different term for a transceiver It was used in the original Ethernet documentation and was therefore adopted by many manufacturers Background to Media Convertors When networks first became commercially available in the early 1980s there were many different networking standards both hardware and software At the hardware layer there were different cable forms such coaxial and twisted pair cables and different versions of each of those In addition there were various different connectors used so even if you have the same cable you couldn t guarantee being able to make a connection Even within one company s network offerings there were often different cable forms to be negotiated DEC s DECnet for example was an Ethernet implementation that used thick hard to manoeuvre cables to provide a major route through an installation There were then thinner more malleable drop cables to go from the thick cable usually in a ceiling or false floor sometimes in conduit around the walls to a computer or other node on the network Where these drop cables joined the main cable there would need to be a media convertor to take the signal between the two cable forms although DEC stuck to the term MUA As LANs matured de facto standards eventually settled down to TCP IP over twisted pair UTP cables Media convertors continued to be used to convert from older cabling to more recently installed kit Eventually this died away as older cable installations were replaced but with fibre optic cabling still common for high speed links as it

    Original URL path: http://www.bestpricecomputers.co.uk/glossary/media-convertor.htm (2016-02-08)
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  • Meta Computing Explained
    Metacomputing is also useful for collecting manipulating and analyzing data from remote databases and instruments like microscopes telescopes and satellite downlinks Large scale data intensive applications require high performance computing high speed networking data storage facilities and interactive software In addition to science and engineering high performance computing is now required for creating new films weather forecasting designing new drugs etc and system simulation is used by engineering companies for rapid prototyping and to reduce the time to market for new products Metacomputing provides users with the power of a supercomputer without the high cost Small companies need high performance computing for developing new products but their limited requirement may not justify the high installation and maintenance costs of such systems Metacomputing offers an economical solution and allows small companies to access high performance computing capabilities as and when they are required Users can pay for their actual usage and avoid the burden of high ownership costs Metacomputing allows users to gain access to desktop supercomputing with powerful graphics capabilities and to use distributed supercomputing to solve complex problems People can interact and collaborate with other users in different geographical locations When high performance computing facilities are centralized there may

    Original URL path: http://www.bestpricecomputers.co.uk/glossary/metacomputing.htm (2016-02-08)
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  • Mind Mapping Explained
    box Decision making methods such as mind maps it seems can encourage the sort of creativity necessary to see beyond the deeply ingrained methods of thought that have led to such things as the linear production line They allow enterprises to discover new ways to refine business practices and solve problems that previously seemed unsolvable Business Applications of Mind Mapping Software While the concept of mind mapping can be applied to any situation that requires problem solving and organisational skills there are several areas in which the technique can be an invaluable tool in business Mission Statement Values From day one a mind map can help lay out the initial strategy of an enterprise While a successful enterprise must be based on a good idea it will only achieve success if the management have a clear strategy for capitalising on that idea A mind map can be an excellent tool for developing the business plan of the enterprise and understanding the values upon which it will be based Starting with a central vision i e a best case image of the enterprise three or more years down the line a mind map can be used to outline the methods by which that vision can be realised i e strategies programs and objectives New Product Development Mind maps can also be invaluable in making sense of the hundreds of functions and processes necessary to successfully develop a new product and bring it to market Every product begins with a central idea Even before the physical product is envisioned there is a basic concept the product should do this or make that easier Using that idea as the centre of a mind map an enterprise can unlock the creativity of its designers and allow them to work through the problem of achieving

    Original URL path: http://www.bestpricecomputers.co.uk/glossary/mind-mapping-software.htm (2016-02-08)
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  • What is NAS? Network Attached Storage explained
    NAS can be included as part of a more comprehensive solution like SAN As these devices have an IP address they can be accessed directly rather than through an intermediary In a NAS because the storage resides separate to the server applications files are served faster as they aren t competing for the same resources Another advantage with Network Attached Storage is that even in environments where you have different

    Original URL path: http://www.bestpricecomputers.co.uk/reviews/advice/network-attached-storage.htm (2016-02-08)
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  • The Open Document Management Application (ODMA) Program Interface Explained
    understand each other s data formats and successfully access their documents The Open Document Management API is such an interface History of ODMA Before ODMA was accepted as an industry standard there were enormous difficulties associated with the integration of applications and document management systems Without a standard API DMS vendors were required to write separate integration code for each of the client applications they supported Conversely applications that were not supported by DMS systems had to write their own integration code for each DMS This mass of integration codes each came with their own bugs and reliability issues limiting the flow of information within enterprises and causing a massive headache for software developers To solve these problems a group of vendors formed the ODMA Consortium in an effort to create a high level industry wide standard that provided vendor independent integration between the majority of desktop applications and DMS systems The objectives of the ODMA were as follows To integrate DMS systems and desktop applications seamlessly so that DMS services appeared to users as if they were part of the application To reduce the burden on application vendors to provide support for multiple DMS systems To reduce the burden on DMS vendors to provide support for applications To the reduce the complexity and effort required to install and manage DMS systems Applications of ODMA Use of ODMA in DMS systems and desktop applications has led to an ease of use in document management the never before existed Application Integration The largest benefit of ODMA is the increased flexibility of enterprise document management Before a common standard existed applications were required to be hard coded into the DMS system making system set up a time consuming and costly process The ODMA standard allowed enterprises to quickly connect many different applications

    Original URL path: http://www.bestpricecomputers.co.uk/glossary/open-document-management-api.htm (2016-02-08)
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  • Platform As a Service Explained
    rent pure servers with operating systems pre loaded storage network access and very little else Organisations then load and configure their own applications and data SaaS is the polar opposite Organisations rent an application and the third party providing it takes care of everything required to support that application configuring hardware and software providing database engines file systems and everything else required All the customer needs to provide are internet capable PCs and local printing services Identifying PaaS PaaS sits in the middle of these two models Essentially a company rents the hardware operating systems storage and network capacity that IaaS provides but also software servers and applications environments This gives customers a platform on which they can load their data and start the developing applications they need But being between IaaS and SaaS means that there is a great deal of overlap at both ends of the PaaS spectrum There is no real agreement on what PaaS is and where these three forms start and stop so perhaps an example is the best way to get the idea across A Working PaaS Example Salesforce com represents perhaps one of the most successful and clearest examples of SaaS Companies rent space on their customer relationship management system CRM and log onto the website without having to download or install any software Everything is provided by the company and the only thing the customer organisation has to do is load their data and configure their preferences But Salesforce com also sells a PaaS offering Force com By stripping away the top layer of their CRM application and adding configuration tools Salesforce com offers customers the ability to build their own business applications These applications can access databases use workflow concepts have user interfaces and be built and deployed rapidly Business Drivers for PaaS As with most cloud computing applications cost is the major driver for customers signing up to a PaaS offering rather than building or continuing to develop their own business applications Instead of maintaining an IT infrastructure that covers the whole stack of the computing environment from hardware up to applications organisations can offload the cost and administration hassle of looking after the bottom half of that stack renting is from a PaaS provider The IT department therefore doesn t have to bother themselves looking after hardware storage networks operating systems and software servers they can spend their time building business applications This makes sense for a lot of companies as this is where IT can deliver value to the business Portability of Assets and PaaS It s not all plain sailing with PaaS though Organisations considering using PaaS as a strategic tool for developing applications need to consider the stability of the company providing the service A number of PaaS providers have gone to the wall as the market matures and the economic environment makes startup survival more difficult Organisations need to pay particular attention to the portability of the applications they develop If a provider does go

    Original URL path: http://www.bestpricecomputers.co.uk/glossary/platform-as-a-service.htm (2016-02-08)
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  • Podcasting Explained
    a message to communicate to current and potential customers both to create interest in a particular product or service and build brand awareness for the enterprise As a marketing tool podcasts are in a league of their own These are just some of the benefits to be gained from adopting the podcast as a part of an overall marketing strategy Brand Building Podcasts increase visibility of products services and brands in general to the target market They complement alternative methods of advertising in print and other multimedia formats to increase brand awareness and product buzz with thought leaders and opinion shapers Industry News Podcasts offer the opportunity for enterprises to update customers on developments within their niche Interviews with industry experts and similar unique content can offer incentives to customers to tune in Customer Loyalty Podcasts develop and maintain customer satisfaction by keeping the customer base informed and updated They encourage brand loyalty Public Relations Podcasts present a human face to the enterprise that has proven difficult to achieve through other marketing methods Personal communication between representatives of the enterprise and customers increases brand loyalty and customer satisfaction Popular PR podcasters include NASA and California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger Increased Reach Podcasts reach markets and audiences unreachable through other marketing methods The Internet is used by a broad cross section of demographics and podcasts can offer increased visibility to demographics not usually exposed to the industry of the podcasting enterprise Cost Effective Compared to many other marketing methods podcasting is relatively inexpensive It offers a much higher cost benefit ratio than traditional advertising methods Within the Business In addition to its uses as an advertising medium podcasts can also be of great value within a business Leadership Message Ensuring that all members understand the strategy of an enterpris e is a

    Original URL path: http://www.bestpricecomputers.co.uk/glossary/podcasting.htm (2016-02-08)
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web-archive-uk.com, 2016-10-28