BT glossary - O

This glossary is here to help you understand some of the acronyms you may encounter in this site. Select a letter below that your word begins with.

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Abbreviation Term Definition



Connected to the internet.


Online shopping

Buying goods and services direct from web sites is set for colossal growth and is expected to account for at least six per cent of the world's consumer sales by the year 2005. Books, video tapes and CDs dominate online shopping by consumers, but business-to-business trading is growing too.


Open system

An approach to building information processing systems (take that in its broadest sense) using hardware, software and networking components that are not proprietary (specific to a single supplier) but instead comply with industry accepted standards such as Open Systems Interconnection (OSI) or POSIX. This approach gives users the ability to build systems flexibly using components from a number of vendors. They can also move applications between systems without hindrance. Finally open systems allows users to incorporate the latest advances in information processing into their organisation's information architecture without being tied into one supplier's range.

OSI Model


Open Systems Interconnect model

Used for networking that defines separate functions for each of seven layers.



Operating System

The 'soul' of a computer.



Optical Character Recognition

The technique of recognising printed text and turning it into computer input, so avoiding the need for keyboard entry. Widely used now for avoiding the retyping of documents.



Original Equipment Manufacturer

A firm which makes parts that other firms incorporate into their own gear or complete equipment that these other firms sell under their own brand name.



Other License Operator

A business licensed to offer telecommunication services, for example in competition to the principal operator in a country.



The time when a computer system, telecoms facilities, mains electricity supplies, etc. are unavailable for use due to some failure. Also known as downtime. Planned outages are scheduled in advance. outRages are what happens when they are not.



The handing over of functional management of an organisation's private telecommunications or computing needs to an outside party. This may include transferring capital and leased assets as well as personnel and supplier and vendor contracts. A typical outsourcing customer is a multinational organisation with significant operations dispersed internationally.