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CRM Software Glossary

Abandoned Calls

The number of calls abandoned before being answered through the controlled operation or routed according to
an automatic call distributor (ACD). An incoming ACD call is counted as abandoned when the caller hangs up
before the call is answered by an agent or before the call is routed. The sum includes calls that abandon while
waiting for an agent to answer the call at their telephone. Several SaaS CRM software systems provide computer
telephony integration (CTI) in order to merge telephone metrics with help desk or call center application metrics.

CRM relevance: Highly relevant. While measuring abandoned calls is a highly desirable benchmark, few web-
based CRM software solutions actually deliver this time of reporting or analysis as part of their customer support
software module, largely because of their limited computer telephone integration (CTI).

ACD (Automatic Call Distributor)

An Automatic Call Distributor (ACD) is a telephone switch that forwards incoming calls based on the number called and or other handling instructions. ACD's can queue and route incoming calls based on criteria such as round robin, next available operator, workload or particular skill set requirements.

CRM relevance: Highly relevant. ACD is not generally provided by or as part of online CRM software solutions. Nonetheless, integrating ACD systems with on-demand CRM software systems can deliver significant systems automation and labor productivity.

Analytical CRM

CRM (customer relationship management) analytics consolidate, aggregate, correlate and display information in order to support decision analysis. Sometimes referred to as Business Intelligence (BI), CRM analytics often employ data warehousing, online analytical processing (OLAP) and sometimes data mining. A few of the SaaS CRM solutions offer CRM analytics as part of their product suites. CRM relevance: Highly relevant. Understanding customer, sales, support and related business drivers, performance results, metrics and trends is a key success factor for most organizations. SaaS CRM solutions recognize this need and generally provide this capability.

CRM relevance: Highly relevant. While mobile work forces continue to grow, few online CRM vendors have really capitalized on providing integrated 3G wireless solutions as part of their product offerings.

API (Application Program Interface)

An Application Program Interface (API) is a document for programmers that provides the technical specifications for interfacing with an application from another program.

CRM relevance: Moderately relevant. The use of APIs and XML web services are routine when providing integration between a CRM software system and other legacy information systems.

ASP (Application Serice Provider)

An ASP is generally a third party hosting and/ or service firm which deploys, manages, and remotely hosts business application software over the Internet and using a subscription pricing agreement. No hardware or software reside at the customer's location. Other terms that may be used interchangeably with ASP include on-demand, online, software as a service (SaaS), hosted, and apps-on-tap. The original ASP boom on the late 1990's suffered with the fall of the dot com bubble. However, several web-based CRM software companies survived and later thrived with the second coming of the business model.

CRM relevance: Highly relevant. CRM relevance: Highly relevant. While the term "ASP" has largely vanished and been replaced with the more commonly used term of "SaaS", the concept of hosted application delivery continues to grow and take away market share from on-premise or licensed business application software products.

ASCII (American Standard Code for Information Interchange)

ASCII represents a set of common characters recognized in America, including letters, numbers, and symbols. Each ASCII character is represented by a 7 bit number, from 0 to 127. For example, the ASCII code for uppercase 'M' is 77. ASCII is normally the medium used for CRM software integration purposes.

CRM relevance: Somewhat relevant. The ASCII character set is routinely used for data conversion and system integration standards, however, is fairly low level and inherent with most software integration tools.