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  • Business Process Modeling Explained and Defined
    by any enterprise is in developing efficient repeatable processes that can be applied to the business effectively example help desk software To aid in this development process process modeling software can offer a number of software tools to help visualize current business processes identify bottlenecks and possible improvements Process Modeling software tools from vendors such as ProcessModel Inc operate in a variety of ways depending on the package However despite cosmetic differences in methods of visualization and presentation all BPM tools have the same basic aims Description of Current Processes BPM software allows enterprises to visually map their current business processes allowing them a comprehensive overview of what actually happens This allows users to look at a process from an objective point of view and enables them to identify areas of concern and possible methods of improvement Definition of Desired Processes Perhaps most importantly BPM tools can be used to identify methods of optimizing processes By enabling an objective birds eye view of the process it becomes possible to develop methods of achieving greater process efficiency BPM tools can also offer guidance on methods by which a process could become more automated By identifying processes that could be entrusted to computers overall efficiency and process speed could be improved Benefits of BPM Software BPM software offers a wide range of benefits to enterprises implementing it including Process Improvement Clearly the primary benefit of any process modeling software will be the improvement in process efficiency that it allows By offering an objective view of any business process BPM software allows planners to effectively identify best practices and plan for their implementation Process Simplification BPM tools can help identify redundancies and excessive complexity in a business process Ideally any alteration to a business process will make that process less complex i e

    Original URL path: http://www.bestpricecomputers.co.uk/glossary/business-process-modelling.htm (2016-02-08)
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  • Business Technology Management Explained and Defined
    structures essentially establishing a structure in which every member understands the scope and responsibilities of his or her role and understands the structure of which they are a part Information This emphasises the value that the effective timely provision of information has in enabling effective decision making and puts into place a structure of data and metrics to allow their best use Technology Tying the other three dimensions together is the idea that technology plays a vital role in all processes The appropriate use of technology can enable timely information sharing improve co ordination between members of an organisation and makes processes easier to execute BTM Capabilities A capability is defined as a competency achieved as a result of combining each of the above dimensions and creating repeatable management processes Business Technology Management defines 17 such capabilities grouped into four functional areas Governance and Organisation These capabilities ensure that business technology decisions are effectively identified and executed essentially developing an organisational structure that meets the needs of the business gives consideration to regulation and manages risk appropriately Managing Technology Investments These capabilities ensure that the enterprise understands its current IT capabilities what is currently available and what it is working on for the future They also ensure that executives select the best technology initiatives to advance the objectives of the business Strategy Planning These capabilities ensure that Information Officers make the most appropriate moves to synchronise technology and business both reducing complexity and planning for future developments Strategic Enterprise Architecture These capabilities ensure that appropriate information exists that can describe current and future business environments and enable executives to make plans and implement strategies that will simplify the business technology environment within the enterprise BTM Maturity Model All of these measures and capabilities are useless without a method by which

    Original URL path: http://www.bestpricecomputers.co.uk/glossary/business-technology-management.htm (2016-02-08)
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  • Cloud Computing Explained
    the internet and used by PCs or other devices without having to specify specific servers or systems The term has evolved to encompass a mix of many technologies and methods that have existed for years even decades as well as more recent developments that enable computing to be hosted remotely from the user The main driver for cloud computing though is the increase in speed and reliability of the internet and one of the major characterising features is that services are usually paid for on a pay as you go basis Webmail A Simple Cloud Computing Example A simple example of cloud computing is webmail Anyone can access their webmail from anywhere in the world simply by knowing the web address of the webmail service there s no need to know the name of the server or an ip address or anything else The webmail provider takes on the job of making sure that there s enough disk space and processing power to allow all their customers to store and retrieve their mail on demand The user doesn t have to worry about maintaining web clients on their PC or in the case of companies local email servers More Complex Software as a Service Applications Take this example a little further and you can see how different services can be provided to individuals and small companies at a fraction of the cost of setting up and IT infrastructure servers and applications Salesforce com is a well known example of a customer relationship management CRM system that uses cloud computing to provide a fully fledged software application that can be used by one user or hundreds By paying an amount per user per month although there are volume discounts very small companies can get access to professional CRM functions for a very low initial cost compared to buying installing and maintaining their own CRM software Of course the offering form the application provider is Different Cloud Computing Variations This is an example of a cloud computing variant known as software as a Service SaaS where an application and your data are hosted in the cloud There are two other major variants infrastructure as a service IaaS and platform as a service PaaS As the names suggest these variants offer infrastructure or platforms on the web that companies pay to use as and when they need them Companies can buy time on servers as disk space IaaS and deploy their own software and applications on that rented infrastructure This was initially know as hardware as a service HaaS but IaaS appears to have displaced that term PaaS describes buying something more than IaaS in that software is included in the offering A typical PaaS deployment would be workflow or development platforms which teams use over the internet or a private network to collaborate on projects There is often little or no dividing line between PaaS and SaaS Supporting Technology for Cloud Computing The idea of cloud computing has been around for a

    Original URL path: http://www.bestpricecomputers.co.uk/glossary/cloud-computing.htm (2016-02-08)
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  • What is a computer cluster / cluster computing?
    can rustle up supercomputer sized IT budgets While there have been significant advances in mainframe computing in recent years investment in a single large source of processing power may be the most cost effective or flexible solution Instead many enterprises are now choosing to invest their IT budgets in computer clusters networks of high powered low cost desktop computers that provide an attractive alternative to mainframe computers Types of Computer Clusters There are several different varieties of computer clusters each offering different advantages to the user These varieties are High Availability Clusters HA Clusters are designed to ensure constant access to service applications The clusters are designed to maintain redundant nodes that can act as backup systems in the event of failure The minimum number of nodes in a HA cluster is two one active and one redundant though most HA clusters will use considerably more nodes HA clusters aim to solve the problems that arise from mainframe failure in an enterprise Rather than lose all access to IT systems HA clusters ensure 24 7 access to computational power This feature is especially important in business where data processing is usually time sensitive Load balancing Clusters Load balancing clusters operate by routing all work through one or more load balancing front end nodes which then distribute the workload efficiently between the remaining active nodes Load balancing clusters are extremely useful for those working with limited IT budgets Devoting a few nodes to managing the workflow of a cluster ensures that limited processing power can be optimised High performance Clusters HPC clusters are designed to exploit the parallel processing power of multiple nodes They are most commonly used to perform functions that require nodes to communicate as they perform their tasks for instance when calculation results from one node will affect

    Original URL path: http://www.bestpricecomputers.co.uk/glossary/cluster-computing.htm (2016-02-08)
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  • What is Collaborative Software (Groupware)?
    attainment of a single goal Features of Groupware While many different types of applications come under the umbrella term groupware each of these applications typically shares the same general characteristics Centralised Data Storage Since groupware requires multiple users to work simultaneously on the same set of data it is important that there be a centralised data storage facility to allow for the management of a master copy Users will typically be allowed access to the latest version of this data each time they connect to the application and they will be required to check in i e submit their latest modifications each time they sign off Using methods of centralised data storage and version control minimises the risk that multiple users will step on each other s toes and waste time making the same modifications as each other Centralised storage also maintains the integrity of a master copy of the information ensuring that if there is an error the data can be rolled back to its last known good configuration Communication Enablement Groupware improves collaboration and communication by making available a number of avenues of communication between multiple users At its most basic this communication could consist of a shared message board or an instant messaging service At its most complex the software could provide web conferencing capability group calendars for task scheduling and workflow management to automatically route information to the appropriate user Problem Solving Capabilities One of the greatest advantages of collaborative software is its provision of identical data to all members allowing enhanced problem solving capabilities to the group With appropriate version management controls users can gain access to only the most recent modifications to the shared data allowing them to quickly make decisions on the best way to move forward When paired with the capability to

    Original URL path: http://www.bestpricecomputers.co.uk/glossary/collaborative-software.htm (2016-02-08)
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  • What is CAD / CADD?
    are obvious In addition to a reduction in the cost of product development and the time required to run tests there is also the advantage that conceptual designs can be modified instantly as the tests progress Perhaps one of the best examples of this versatility can be seen in the design of the aeroplane wing The science of aerodynamics is complex and it is often the case that certain wing shapes can create unexpected turbulence under certain conditions When this occurs during physical testing it can be a challenge to discover the problem and make alterations When running virtual tests using CAD however alterations to the design can be made quickly and easily so new designs can be tested and retested until the problem is resolved New developments in CAD applications and technologies are regularly presented at such industry conferences as ICCAD and in peer reviewed journals such as Computer Aided Design and Applications An introduction to the subject is available at NIST and agency of the US Commerce Department Business Applications for CAD While Computer Aided Design can be an excellent tool for performing stress tests on conceptual products there are still more potential uses Idea Generation With the limiting factor of prototype manufacture removed CAD allows the process of idea generation to become much more flexible Enterprises can afford to be more open to new ideas and suggestions than in the past from both employees and potential customers Suggestions for new products can be quickly tested at a much lower cost than in the past Augmentation CAD opens up the possibility to make slight improvements on new product designs instantly While this can be of great benefit in the design of a new product it can also be extremely useful for investigating possible improvements to existing products or

    Original URL path: http://www.bestpricecomputers.co.uk/glossary/computer-aided-design.htm (2016-02-08)
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  • Facility Management Software - (CAFM) Computer Aided Facilities Management Explained
    located within a given area whether it be the buildings themselves important pieces of equipment such as computers or printers items of furniture and of course a register of all company employees who work within the facility More sophisticated Computer Aided Facility Management suites will contain 3D models of each of the items so that graphical representations of the building space can be created Some packages may even contained detailed inventory management and ordering facilities together with barcode reading capabilities so that even small consumable items such as printer cartridges or packets of envelopes will also be recorded in the software s database Computer Aided Facility Management software can help managers in using building space effectively The applications often have Computer Aided Design CAD features which permit users to represent the actual internal layout of the facility within the computer Rooms cubicles computers and all relevant items and objects can be depicted Using the software an administrator can play around with alternative layout possibilities experimenting with designs which would make more efficient use of the space available for example by fitting an extra cubicle or two into an office room Many Computer Aided Facility Management packages also include facilities for plotting and monitoring the less obvious parts of a building s infrastructure such as water pipelines electricity wires and telephone and computer network cabling When facilities are large or multiple locations are being managed it can be difficult for an administrator to stay abreast of important deadlines Computer Aided Facility Management Software can help in this task by keeping track of maintenance operations which need to be performed periodically on rooms or objects within the facility Cost tracking is an important part of any facility management software The application should allow an administrator to keep track of all resources and the costs associated with them which have been allocated to particular elements within the facility over a period of time In this way for example an administrator should be able to see at a glance how much the decades old generator in building 1 costs to maintain in one year compared to the brand spanking new generator in building 2 Although Computer Aided Facility Management Software itself can be expensive the software vendors argue that it quickly pays for itself by allowing facility operators to spot instances of resource under utilisation and therefore to exploit their own assets more fully ultimately lowering the company s operating costs A Computer Aided Facility Management package can also act as a central control point for receipt of fault reports and repair requests for either parts of the facility or items within it It can keep a record of these and how they were dealt with allowing reports to be generated showing statistically which items or elements within the building give rise to the most problems and what the costs of dealing with those problems were Over significant time periods this permits facility managers to gain greater insight into the total cost of ownership

    Original URL path: http://www.bestpricecomputers.co.uk/glossary/computer-aided-facility-management.htm (2016-02-08)
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  • Computer Aided Manufacturing Explained and Defined
    can be linked into a cell a collection of tools that each performs a specified task in the manufacture of a product The product is passed along the cell in the manner of a production line with each machine tool i e welding and milling machines drills lathes etc performing a single step of the process For the sake of convenience a single computer controller can drive all of the tools in a single cell G code instructions can be fed to this controller and then left to run the cell with minimal input from human supervisors Benefits of Computer Aided Manufacturing While undesirable for factory workers the ideal state of affairs for manufacturers is an entirely automated manufacturing process In conjunction with computer aided design computer aided manufacturing enables manufacturers to reduce the costs of producing goods by minimising the involvement of human operators In addition to lower running costs there are several additional benefits to using CAM software By removing the need to translate CAD models into manufacturing instructions through paper drafts it enables manufactures to make quick alterations to the product design feeding updated instructions to the machine tools and seeing instant results In addition many CAM software packages have the ability to manage simple tasks such as the re ordering of parts further minimising human involvement Though all numerical controlled machine tools have the ability to sense errors and automatically shut down many can actually send a message to their human operators via mobile phones or e mail informing them of the problem and awaiting further instructions All in all CAM software represents a continuation of the trend to make manufacturing entirely automated While CAD removed the need to retain a team of drafters to design new products CAM removes the need for skilled and unskilled

    Original URL path: http://www.bestpricecomputers.co.uk/glossary/computer-aided-manufacturing.htm (2016-02-08)
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web-archive-uk.com, 2016-10-24