The term enterprise software, or enterprise application software (EAS), describes a collection of computer programs that aims to serve the needs of a large organization (such as a business, school, government, etc.) rather than an individual user. The software typically runs on servers and provides services to many users simultaneously over a computer network, rather than functioning as a single-user application that is executed on a personal computer and only capable of serving one user at a time. Such software aims to improve an enterprise's productivity and efficiency by supporting overall business performance.
Enterprise application software programs are often used as a means to help automate a business and make reporting and decision making easier. The programs assist in business functions such as order processing, online payment processing, automated billing systems, production scheduling, team management, customer information management, communication, and accounting.Enterprise software is an integral part of a computer-based business system; a collection of such software is called an enterprise system.
For example, Slack, a software that serves the singular main function of providing a more effective means of communication between coworkers, is an example of a business process management (BPM) enterprise software. On the other hand, Oracle is a company that offers a cloud-based program with numerous software capabilities, such as project manamgement, enterprise performance management, risk management and compliance, and more. In this case, Oracle is offering a product that would be defined as an enterprise system. Generally, both enterprise resource planning (ERP) softwares and customer relationship management (CRM) softwares are implemented as enterprise systems.
Furthermore, enterprise software programs typically have the ability to interface with other enterprise software, making the softwares more easily compatible.
Enterprise software is often categorized by business function. However, blurred lines between functions make delimitation difficult, and in many ways larger software companies define these somewhat arbitrary categories. As a result, categories of enterprise software often overlap in their definitions.
Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) is a broad category of enterprise software covering accounting, human resources, corporate performance and governance, customer services, sales, procurement, production, distribution, etc. This form of enterprise software sources every module of a business and digitizes them. ERP creates a unified database that ensures different enterprise software tools are running in sync.
Customer Relationships Management (CRM) is a category of enterprise software and refers to the softwares that ensure an organization is aware of every client. Such softwares provide a detailed overview of the relationships an organization has with each of its customers, and is capable of tracking leads, managing orders, communicating with clients.
Business Intelligence (BI) is a category of enterprise software and refers to the softwares that extract relevant data from different sources to allow an organization to run queries and generate actionable insights.
Supply Chain Management (SCM) is a category of enterprise software and refers to the softwares that ensure the steady flow of supplies necessary for continuous production and delivery. Such softwares gather, store, and manage information about sales, suppliers, procurement, manufacturing, order processing, warehousing, distribution, etc.
Human Resource Management (HRM) is a category of enterprise software and refers to the softwares that assist in automating tasks such as hiring, payroll management, workforce planning, performance management, reporting, employee training, and engagement. HRM is uniquely helpful when it comes to the hiring process. This form of enterprise software allows an organization to create a candidate database and set up filters, such as job responsibilities, skills, desired salary, region, etc. to sort through the candidates.
Marketing Automation Software is a category of enterprise software and refers to the softwares that automate an organization's daily marketing operations. Marketing Automation Software allows an organization to segment their audience and tailor automated communication through email, social media, digital advertisements, etc.
Business Process Management (BPM) is a category of enterprise software and refers to the softwares that help members of an organization communicate with colleagues to share information, set deadlines, etc. BPM softwares document, analyze, and automate an organization’s workflows in order to simplify decision-making, remove bottlenecks, enhance communication, and create visual representations of company processes.
Additional industry standard product categories are listed below:
- Software Configuration Management (SCM)
- Security Information Management (SIM)
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