Technological advances have been encountered by managers continually over the years. electronic data interchange system (EDI), extensible markup language (XML), e-mail, the Internet, and e-commerce are just a few that have contributed to the proliferation of new business applications in companies. This article focuses on customer relationship management (CRM) e-commerce applications. Customer relations are an important aspect of the success of any business. By strengthening relationships with customers, a company ultimately can gain a more loyal customer base, further strengthen its brand recognition, and help customers distinguish a company’s product from those of the competition.
Key Terms in this Chapter
BUSINESS-TO-CONSUMER (B2C): B2C describes activities of commercial organizations serving the end consumer with products and/or services.
Customer Relationship Management (CRM): CRM includes the methodologies, strategies, software, and Web-based capabilities that help an enterprise organize and manage customer relationships. It is the collection and distribution of all data to all areas of the business. The general purpose of CRM is to enable organizations to better manage their customers through the introduction of reliable systems, processes and procedures for interacting with those customers.
Flash: Macromedia Flash or simply Flash, refers to both the Macromedia Flash Player and to a multimedia authoring program used to create content for it as well as games or movies created using the program. The Flash Player, developed and distributed by Adobe Systems (who bought Macromedia), is a client application available in most dominant web browsers. Strictly speaking, Macromedia Flash is the integrated development environment (IDE) and Flash Player is the virtual machine used to run the Flash files, but in colloquial language these have become mixed: “Flash” can mean either the authoring environment, the player, or the application files.
Electronic Data Interchange System (EDI): EDI is the computer-to-computer exchange of structured information, by agreed message standards, from one computer application to another by electronic means and with a minimum of human intervention. In common usage, EDI is understood to mean specific interchange methods agreed upon by national or international standards bodies for the transfer of business transaction data, with one typical application being the automated purchase of goods and services. Despite being relatively unheralded, in this era of technologies such as XMLservices, the Internet and the World Wide Web, EDI is still the data format used by the vast majority of electronic commerce transactions in the world.
E-Commerce: E-commerce or ecommerce consists primarily of the distributing, buying, selling, marketing, and servicing of products or services over electronic systems such as the Internet and other computer networks. It can involve electronic funds transfer, supply chain management, e-marketing, online marketing, online transaction processing, electronic data interchange, automated inventory management systems, and automated data-collection systems. It typically uses electronic communications technology such as the Internet, extranets, e-mail, e-books, databases, and mobile phones.
Business-to-Business (B2B): B2B describes relations of commercial partners, without serving the end consumer. B2B stands for relations between (minimum of two) enterprises, contrary to relations between enterprises and other groups (consumers, thus private people than customer, coworkers or public administration) particularly in marketing business relations is generally described. While in former times one spoke primarily of industrial goods or capital goods marketing, today one speaks of B2B-Marketing, in order to distinguish itself from consumer goods marketing or B2C-Marketing
Extensible Markup Language (XML): A markup language combines text and extra information about the text. The extra information, for example about the text’s structure or presentation, is expressed using markup, which is intermingled with the primary text. The best-known markup language in modern use is HTML (hypertext markup language), one of the foundations of the World Wide Web. Another, newer, markup language that has gained great importance is XML (extensible markup language). XML was developed by the World Wide Web Consortium. The main purpose of XML was to simplify SGML (Scribe General Markup Language) by focusing on a particular problem — documents on the Internet. XML remains a meta-language like SGML, allowing users to create any tags needed (hence “extensible”) and then describe those tags and their permitted uses.