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IT & Telecom Distribution Glossary


ICT (Information Communications Technology) - encompasses all technologies used for the communication of information. This includes mediums for recording information, broadcasting information, and communicating through voice, sound, or images.
The communication of information is currently facilitated through the use of personal computers or any networked device, whether mobile or not, that can access the internet. Information can be transferred using satellite systems or intercontinental cables.
Information technology has become a central hub for communicating information, and is most often associated with the use of computers directly or via internet.

ICT Manufacturers - companies whose business is focused on manufacturing or exclusive representation of a manufacturer.

IT (Information Technology) - represents the study, design, development, implementation, support or management of computer-based information systems, particularly software applications and computer hardware. IT deals with the use of electronic computers and computer software to convert, store, protect, process, transmit, and securely retrieve information.


PC Assembler - System Builders– A PC assembler is a person or a company that assembles or builds personal computers (PCs) from individual computer components, such as processors, motherboards, memory, storage devices, power supplies, and peripherals.
The PC assembler typically purchases these components from various manufacturers and suppliers and puts them together to create a fully functional computer system. The assembler may also install the operating system, software applications, and drivers as per the customer's requirements.
PC assemblers can be individuals or small businesses who build custom PCs for customers who have specific requirements for their computer systems. They may also offer technical support and maintenance services for their assembled PCs.
Systems builders tend to assemble larger systems such as server, NAS etc..

Broadliner – is a big-size distributor owning a wide variety of accounts and selling a wide variety of products.

Consulting – services companies that design and advise companies about the deployment and processes related to IT or Telecom issues.

Distributor – is a seller of products to retailers, to industrial, commercial, institutional, or other professional business users, or to other wholesalers and related subordinated services. The distributor frequently physically assembles, sorts and grades goods in large lots, break bulks, repacks and redistributes in smaller lots.

Integrators – link together different complex computing systems and software applications physically or functionally. They value-add to the system by bringing together discrete systems using a variety of techniques such as computer networking, enterprise application integration, business process management or manual programming.

ISV (Independent Software Vendors) – are companies specialised in developing or selling software, usually for niche markets, such as real estate brokers, scheduling for healthcare personnel, barcode scanning and stock maintenance. Specialised products generally offer higher productivity to organisations than more generalised software such as basic spreadsheet or database packages. ISVs make and sell software to be added to platforms.

ISV dedicated to a company process – software publishers that develop in house software addressing generic corporate needs (i.e. accounting software, networking software, CRM software, etc.).

ISV dedicated to a a specific business – software publishers that develop in house software addressing a specific industry or activity (i.e. Catia for CAO industry).

Master VARs – specialize in taking products from wholesalers, combining them with their own intellectual property, and selling them to fellow solution providers and end-user customers.
Major assemblers – companies whose business is focused on assembling and that do not sell directly to companies or end users.
OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturers) – refer to containment-based re-branding, where a company uses a component of another company in its product, or sells the product of another company under its own brand. OEM refers to the company that originally manufactured the product. They usually use hardware platform components to build larger products.

Resale to companies (assemblers, hardware, software, services, etc.) – companies that purchase and resell ICT products to end user companies.

Resale to home users – companies that purchase and resell ICT products to end users.
Software publisher – Software companies that develop in house software meant for general use by companies (i.e. linguistic tools, word-processing, antivirus).

Telecom & Network systems integrators – Services companies that handle all or part of the integration of hardware and software dedicated to telecom usage.

Telecom services– services companies to which Telecom needs can be either subcontracted or outsourced.
VARs (Value Added Resellers) – companies adding some features to existing products, then reselling them (usually to end-users) as integrated products or complete "turn-key" solutions. This practice is common in the electronics industry, where, for example, a software application might be added to an existing hardware. This value can come from professional services such as integrating, customizing, consulting, training and implementation or can be added by developing a specific application for the product designed for the customer's needs which is then resold as a new package. VARs incorporate platform software into their own software product packages. The definition of VARs tends to disappear, most of them becoming MSPs


First Tier – are companies in the business of distribution who perform as selling locations for certain brands. They represent the first level of their indirect distribution chain.

Second Tier – companies who have selected First Tier resellers as one of their suppliers of a certain brand and who generally sell to the end-user. They represent the second level of the distribution chain.


MDF (Market Development Funds) – are monetary funds given by a manufacturer's sales or marketing department to help a partner/reseller/distributor sell its products or to market the manufacturer's brand. The percentages or amounts vary according business or products. Typical amounts are 1 - 1.5% of product sales.

POS (Point of Sale or Point of Service) – can mean any type of retail establishment: a retail shop, a checkout counter in a shop, or the location where a transaction occurs. More specifically, it often refers to the hardware and software used for checkouts, the equivalent of an electronic cash register.

PAM- Portfolio Addressable Market. A sub part of TAM, restricted on products or services that a vendor or a distributor has available into its catalogue.

TAM- Total Addressable Market: s the overall revenue opportunity available or foreseen for a specific range of product or service.

Sales In – represent the number of products sold by a manufacturer to the first tier resellers. This is an illusory estimation as these products might or might not be sold to the end-users.

Sales Out – represent the manufacturer's effort to sell its products at the second tier level.

SOW (Share of Wallet) – is a survey method used in the performance management that helps managers understand the amount of business a company gets from specific customers. It represents the percentage of a customer's expenses for a product that goes to the company selling the product.

TCO (Total Cost of Ownership) - is a financial estimate designed to help consumers and enterprise managers assess direct and indirect costs commonly related to software or hardware. It is a form of full cost accounting and reflects not only the cost of purchase but all aspects regarding the further use and maintenance of the equipment, device, or system considered. 


Cloud Technology Provider Manufacturer or publisher that provides hardware or software solutions to build Cloud Datacenter e.g. Fujitsu, EMC, IBM

MSP - Managed Service Providers is a company that provides cloud based services use to covers sub activities such as Cloud Providers and Managed Services Resellers.
  • Managed Services Resellers - Managed services resellers sell cloud services through subscriptions or usage-based billing. These services can come from either their own development or from third-party vendors or a mix of the two.
  • Cloud Service Provider (CSP) - A Cloud Service Provider is a company that utilizes data centers to offer their clients unionized resources, which are usually charged for usage.
MSSP - Managed Security Service Providers is an MSP highly skilled in security and network monitoring.

DataCenter - Physical space designed to accommodate servers and manage priority to the energy problems of access to flow and high physical security networks, hosts Cloud Provider server, client server.e.g. Telecity

Cloud Builder - An integrator or reseller that sells and implements the infrastructure and solutions to create private or public clouds. e.g. Computacenter, Auranext, Aretel

Cloud Advisor/Cloud Evangelist- Consultant specialized in developments and the transition from an information system to the cloud . The consultant may be external to the IT field but must know how to integrate Cloud bricks into its offer.(Subsegment Consultant/Web agency/Other e.g.Solucom, Accenture,Sungardas...

Cloud Application Provider - ISV- Software vendor in "Software as a Service" (SaaS mode). Business model is based on licences, training and sometimes specific implementation services. e.g. Cegid, Sage, Salesforce, Intuit, ADP

Broker Cloud Platform - Aggregator of different SaaS or Cloud offerings in a catalogue, arbitrating their advantages and disadvantages in order to market to a target of partners. Their business model is based on advertising, lead generation and resale. e.g. Azlan, Arrowsphere
Cloud / SaaS Market Place - A platform that aggregates services and SaaS solutions from different vendors. These bouquets of solutions may be proprietary or marketed as white label platforms. Their business model is based on advertising, lead generation and resale. e.g. AppExchange (Salesforce),AppStore (Apple), GoogleApps, applicationmarketplace.com, AWS Market Place, GetAPP...

Cloud Comparaison sites - Company comparison (benchmark) different suppliers to measure "objectively" their respective performances. Their business model is based on advertising, benchmarking, lead generation and sometimes resale. e.g. CloudScreener, CloudColorado, Cloudwards.net


IaaS - Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) is the first layer of the cloud, where the provider maintains virtualization, server hardware, storage, networks. By extension, the IaaS provider works with providers PaaS and SaaS

PaaS - Platform as a Service (PaaS) is the second model of Cloud, the supplier maintains runtimes, SOA integration, databases, server software. By extension, the PaaS provider relies on other IaaS providers or is itself a PaaS provider and works with SaaS.

SIaaS & SaaS - SaaS is the ultimate cloud layer, where the provider maintains applications. By extension, the SaaS provider relies on offerings via other IaaS and PaaS providers. When this layer refers only to the management of the infrastructure it takes the name of SIaaS - Software Infrastructure as a Service-  which includes the concepts of infrastructure management and security, SaaS being only an additional application layer.

BPS - Basic Print Services or the provision of basic services related to printing such as the sale printing capability on a rental basis, on-site maintenance ...
MPS - Managed Print Services extends the notion of software services management,  print administration tools, and related monitoring services. It can be likened to a form of outsourcing printing.

MDS - (Management Document Services) extends the MPS notions of process management and management of software streams, it also touches on dematerialisation, and the management of documents authenticity.


 - Technology Artificial Intelligence sometimes called machine intelligence, is intelligence demonstrated by machine, increase their capacity thanks to Machine learning Algorithm Economy Technology The algorithm economy is a term for the evolution of microservices and the functionality of algorithms to drive sophisticated application designs. The term is based on the utility of the algorithm in machine learning, artificial intelligence and other processes where software evolves beyond the limits of its original programming through the use of smart algorithm design.

BI Technology - Business Intelligence comprises the strategies and technologies used by enterprises for the data analysis of business information

Blockchain Technology Blockchain is a technology used in cryptology preventing information to be altered thanks to a distributed system of control.
BIG DATA Technology Big Data is wider than pure BI and includes data with higher level of complexity in volume, variety, and velocity. 4th Platform Technology Fourth Platform – aggregate AI, IoT, Quantum Computing and massively distributed Grid computing approaches.

IoT Technology - The Internet of things (IoT) is the network of devices, vehicles, and home appliances that contain electronics, software, actuators, and connectivity which allows these things to connect, interact and exchange data

Quantum Computer Technology - A quantum computer is a device that performs quantum computing. Such a computer is completely different from binary digital electronic computers based on transistors and capacitors. Whereas common digital computing requires that the data be encoded into binary digits (bits), each of which is always in one of two definite states (0 or 1), quantum computation uses quantum bits or qubits, which can be in superpositions of states.

Machine Learning Technology - Machine Learning is the study of algorithms and mathematical models that computer systems use to progressively improve their performance on a specific task.

VR Technology - Virtual Reality is an interactive computer-generated experience taking place within a simulated environment. It incorporates mainly auditory and visual feedback, but may also allow other types of sensory feedback like haptic


 BPO - Business Process Outsourcing
 - contains the transmission of processes along with the associated operational activities and responsibilities, to a third party with at least a guaranteed equal service level and where the client contains a firm grip over the vendor for mutual long term success. BPO is positively related to the search of more efficient organizational designs: cost reduction, productivity growth and innovative capabilities.

ITO - IT Outsourcing  - Outsourcing of computer or Internet related work, such as programming, to other companies...

KPO - Knowledge Process Outsourcing Outsourcing of job that require knowledge, skill, expertise. The work in KPO involves process like market research, survey analysis, data mining etc. ). Information-related business activities which are competitively important or form an integral part of a company’s value chain.


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