Welcome to the Cortex Intelligent Automation Glossary, your source of essential automation terms and phrases from our terminology guides.

Automation

The use of control systems and information technologies to reduce the need for human work in the production of goods and services, providing the following kinds of business benefits: The move towards a digital business, Increased speed and agility, Improved operational efficiencies and accuracy, Decreases risk, Increased compliance and Scalability.

Process

A business process is a collection of related, structured tasks completed by people or equipment which, in a specific sequence, produce a service or product. Business processes occur at all organisational levels and may or may not be visible to the customers.

Workflow

A workflow is a graphical representation of a Use Case or process which describes the different steps, actions, systems and people.

Robotic Process Automation or RPA

Desktop task automation using indirect integration through Human interface devices such as Windows, Icons, Mouse, Keyboard.

Artificial Intelligence or AI

Machines emulating human intelligence. This doesn’t exist in any real-world implementation. Intelligent systems with 3rd and 4th level automations can exhibit characteristics that are often confused with Artificial intelligence. This is not an emulation of how the human brain works.

Machine Learning

A machine being able to modify its own programming to improve or optimise outcomes.

Analysis Matrix

A table with key aspects to determine the automation feasibility of a Use Case. It is a tool that helps to decide the implementation order and roadmap of automation.

Business Process Experts

Experts on the day to day existing business processes, activities and workflows, and in the associated laws, regulations and industry best practices relating to them.

Chief Automation Officer

Responsible for deciding where the organisation automation could have the biggest effect on employee productivity and oversee the implementation and ongoing management of automation.

Cortex Flow

A Cortex Flow is an object that contains all the logic and other entities that define a process

Cortex Technical Lead

An expert Cortex automation engineer responsible for leading and delivering automation solutions using the Cortex platform.

Decider

This is the nominated representative of the Project Sponsor and is the final arbiter and decision-maker during the Design Sprint.

Design Sprint

A formal structured process with the objectives of evaluating automation in a target business focus area identifying a number of associated Use Cases, analysing these to produce a defined and detailed target set of process automation to deliver maximum business benefit in the shortest period of time.

Design Sprint Team

Participants of the design sprint covering roles including the facilitator, project sponsor, decider, user champion, experts.

Domain – Single Domain – Multiple Domain

A business process domain is a logical grouping of business systems dedicated to a common purpose.

Facilitator

The Facilitator will run the Design Sprint ensuring that it stays on schedule. The Facilitator has extensive experience with implementing automation solutions and provides Automation expertise.

Map

A Map is a high-level visual representation of a Use Case which includes process, systems and people.

Objectives

List of clearly defined goals to achieve that drive the automation implementations. The goals must follow the OKR and/or SMART frameworks.

OKR

Objective Key Results. Goal setting framework for defining measurable objectives. The objective must be clear and trackable.

Process

A business process is a collection of related, structured tasks completed by people or equipment which, in a specific sequence, produce a service or product. Business processes occur at all organisational levels and may or may not be visible to the customers.

Process Diagram

A Process Diagram is a visual representation of a process as a flow, which includes tasks, systems and people involved.

Product Backlog

A product backlog is a list of the new features, changes to existing features, bug fixes, infrastructure changes or other activities that a team may deliver in order to achieve a specific outcome. The product backlog is the single authoritative source for things that a team works on.

Project Sponsor

A senior manager who approves and supports the automation programme.

RAG Report

The Red Amber Green report contains the Analysis Matrix of the target Use Cases. From the RAG report, the Design Sprint Team will decide the implementation order of the Use Cases.

Roadmap

The roadmap is an automation plan for the following 3 to 6 months.

SMART

Goal management framework to set S – specific, M – measurable, A – achievable, R – Relevant and T – time-based goals.

Solution

A Solution is the automation implementation of a Use Case.

SoW

Statement of Work is a list of work items that define the work to carry out to implement a solution. SoW in the design sprint is a tool for estimating the work and time to create an automation solution.

Stakeholders

A Stakeholder is a party that has an interest in an organisation and can either affect or be affected by the automation.

Subject Matter Experts (SME)

Individuals with deep knowledge of specific processes, systems or technologies required to identify the needs and requirements to achieve automation and assess the feasibility and benefits associated with specific Use Case automation.

System

Software systems or applications required as part of the automation to perform tasks such as manage data or interact with the users.

Target Areas

Business areas of which the activities are potential targets for the automation programme. Business areas are linked to the company organisation and may differ between companies. Examples of business areas: IT, finance, HR.

Technology Experts

Experts on all IT environment issues (network, security, credentials etc) and experts on all software systems involved in the business processes (E.g. 3rd party applications, databases etc.)

Use Case

A Use Case is a description of how an organisation carries out an activity. A Use Case may include one or more processes, systems and people. Use Cases are specific to each organisation and their complexity can range from very simple to extremely complex. When a Use Case is complex or large, it is recommended to split it into smaller Use Cases.

Example Use Case:

Onboarding a new employee: this will include all the activities to be completed when a new employee is contracted; e.g., provide and create an email, create a domain account, assign a laptop and a workspace, set up the user in the ERP, accounting system, etc. In this case, if the onboarding actions are very different depending on the assigned department, it may be recommended to create different Onboarding Use Cases for each department.

User Champion

The User Champion is the link between the Design Sprint participants and the beneficiaries and/or end-users.

User Interface – UI

User Interface is where the automation interacts with the user. In Cortex automation, a user interface is commonly achieved using the Cortex LivePortal but custom user interfaces can also be used and created.

Vision

A Vision statement describes where the organisation aspires to be upon achieving its mission, indicating what the organisation wants to become by setting a defined direction for growth.

Workaround

A workaround is a bypass of a recognised problem or system limitation. A workaround is typically a temporary fix that implies a genuine solution to the problem is needed.

Workshop

A session which the Design Sprint Team carries out design sprint activities.

3G/4G/5G – Third-, fourth- and fifth-generation mobile phone technology

API – Application Programming Interface

BSS – Business Support System(s)

CFS – Customer Facing Service

CLI – Command Line Interface

CM – Configuration Management

CRM – Customer Relationship Management

CSP – Communications Service Provider

EMS – Element Management System

FTP – File Transfer Protocol

GUI – Graphical User Interface

HTTP – HyperText Transport Protocol

HTTPS HyperText Transport Protocol with Security

IoT – Internet of Things

IP-VPN – Internet Protocol Virtual Private Network

IT – Information Technology

MPLS – MultiProtocol Label Switching

NaaS – Network-as-a-Service

NE  –Network Equipment

NFV – Network Function Virtualisation

NMS – Network Management System

NOC – Network Operations Centre

ODA – Open Digital Architecture

ODBC – Open DataBase Connectivity

OLEDB – Object Linking and Embedding, DataBase

OM – Order Management

OpEx – Operating Expenditure

OSS – Operational Support System(s)

PM – Performance Management

REST – Representational State Transfer

RFS – Resource Facing Service

SDN – Software Defined network

SFTP – Secure File Transfer Protocol

SM – Service Management

SOAP – Simple Object Access Protocol

SOC – Service Operations Centre

SQL – Structured Query Language

SSH – Secure Shell

SMS – Service Management System

VNF – Virtual Network Function