Enterprise software is quite different from the everyday software most people interact with on a daily basis. It is designed with corporate needs in mind and intended for use in a business environment. While not much use outside of the workspace, it can completely transform the entire workflow of an organization.
As a result, in most cases, it is not free and may require additional funds to integrate. However, it can bring profits just as well. For example, business process automation solutions convert the menial and repetitive tasks to something that is done in the background allowing staff to focus on other pressing matters.
Types of Enterprise Software Solutions
There exist a variety of types of enterprise software depending on the core function. It may range anywhere from control over the whole specter of an organization’s resources to customer databases. Here are some of the different tasks you can enhance with the use of enterprise software solutions:
1. Human Resources
Don’t let the “human” part of human resources deceive you, it’s not just people who can do this work. This area can be improved by introducing automation and other kinds of digitization. For example:
- HR planning - sometimes called a human resources information system (HRIS), it provides the staff in the HR department with a dashboard where they are able to schedule meetings, manage payroll and perform other tasks from one interface. Such applications often include the following points as a package.
- Performance management - this includes tools that track working time, assess performance indicators, and provide reports based on this information.
- Hiring and recruiting - streamlines such processes as screening, selecting and interviewing applicants for a job. It goes through the submitted resumes, provides analytics and sometimes even gives orientation to new employees.
- Learning management system (LMS) - while originally made for education markets, it’s currently predominantly used on a corporate level. It covers all aspects of training, educational courses, and development programs.
Financial operations involve a large amount of data and calculations. Since originally computers have been invented for this purpose, it makes sense to digitize this aspect of the business.
- Asset management - the more assets an enterprise has the harder it is to keep track of them. That’s when these applications can help. They track a company’s assets and optimize their benefits.
- Accounting - Managing the finances of an organization is a complex job. Therefore, it encompasses a large number of tools in and of itself.
- Profitability and cost management - the job of these tools is to analyze what elements of your enterprise bring you the most revenue.
- Investment management - keeps track of all investments and the portfolio while also aiding in setting short- and long-term strategies.
- Payroll - ensures that employees receive their salary without any issues. This includes bonuses and deductions while also keeping records for taxation and other purposes.
- Budgeting - handles all aspects of the budgeting process including defining spend plans and monitoring allocated funds.
- Risk management - such tools process large amounts of data and projections in order to help make the most beneficial business decisions. They also provide a means to avoid potential risks.
- Receivables - the most common type of receivable processes are invoices but this type of software handles all types of claims for payment owed to an enterprise.
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The value of logistics software is fairly obvious for companies whose business involves the shipping of goods. Admittedly, it’s not as obvious for every organization. However, if you rely on any type of logistics to keep yours running, the process can be made easier with the right software.
- Supply-chain management (SCM) - the main function of SCM systems is control over the entire process of delivering goods and services. This includes all stages from the supply of raw materials, to distribution, to point of sale or consumption.
- Warehouse and stock management - provides information on how many items are left in stock and keeps a record of all item transportation in and out of the warehouse.
- Distribution - these applications can include SCM and inventory control software functionality along with other logistical aspects, such as order processing and CRM systems.
4. Manufacturing operations management (MOM)
The MOM software focuses on optimizing the efficiency of the manufacturing and operations. This is made possible with a large number of solutions in this area.
- Planning and scheduling - at first glance one might think that a simple organizer is enough for this task. This is rarely the case. These applications make sure that the schedule is optimized and that tasks are completed.
- Inventory and material management - controls the company’s inventory, to ensure that everything needed is on hand. It can manage everything from ordering raw materials down to transportation and availability checks.
- Quality management - the process of ensuring the quality of products or services that is available. It includes four major components: planning, assurance, control, and improvement.
- Project management - tools that allow project managers to control the execution of the project through all stages of its life cycle. Beyond task distribution and team organization, it includes these types of software such as the next two points.
- Resource management - allow to allocate and distribute resources in accordance with budget, requirements, and relative needs. By resources, we mean workforce, inventory, technology, natural resources and more.
- Time tracking - such apps monitor the time an employee spends working on each separate project and provide comprehensive reports on their productivity and areas where it can be improved.
- Product data management (PDM) - provides publication and oversight over technical specifications and other data related to the product. The software solution often comes in the form of version control systems.
- Compliance management - these tools automatically check whether or not systems are compliant with standards the company has in place. This preserves the integrity and maintain the security of the organization.
- Document management - tracks all the necessary documentation. It provides an alternative to suboptimal paper documents simplifying storage and providing instant access to any required file.
- Computer-aided facilities management (CAFM) - is predominantly focused on reducing the preventative maintenance of the company’s facilities and streamlining their work.
- Service management - is understandably more crucial for businesses producing services rather than goods. However, the latter can also benefit from services such as maintenance, repair, and customer support. As a result solutions of that ilk are hugely beneficial for providing good customer experience.
- Knowledge management (KM) - this type of enterprise software is designed for working with information. It specializes in gathering and sharing knowledge among team members. Ranging from easily navigable repositories of content to brainstorming software, it is aimed at improving awareness and information sharing among employees.
If there is one linchpin of business as a whole, it is marketing. It truly makes the world go round. To reap the most benefits and structure it in a way that will bring in profits, you need to be smart about it. That means software:
- Social media marketing (SMM) - utilizes various social media platforms for marketing purposes. Such software may include analytics, management of interactions, country filters, advertising, and overall monitoring of social media platforms.
- Content marketing - it’s the foundation of all digital marketing. More basic tools offer features such as calendaring and means for collaboration in the creation process. At the same time, more advanced ones are able to automatically distribute content on relevant platforms and compose detailed analytic reports on performance.
- Email marketing - automated email chains, newsletters and messages of a similar nature. It allows you to engage with your customers both existing and potential. Often works in tandem with CRMs where clients’ addresses are stored.
- Text message marketing (SMS marketing) - works in a similar way to email marketing software. Instead of email addresses it uses the phone numbers of clients in order to engage with them.
- Search engine optimization (SEO) - these services make sure your enterprise performs better in search rankings. They help you find keywords you should use in your content and how you should optimize your website to get as much traffic as you can.
- Market analysis - platforms that provide marketers with all manner of in-depth analytics. They compare metrics in order to illustrate areas where you can maximize your competitive advantage.
Technically, people have been using tools to make sales deal ever since the abacus. Needless to say, the technology has improved since then. Nowadays businesses have plenty of options regarding tools for finalizing the deal. Here are some of them:
- Customer relations management (CRM) - A solution that helps companies keep track of their clients, both current and potential ones. It’s more than just a contact list. It’s an entire database with detailed information about each person and interactions with them.
- eCommerce - it is the practice of doing business via online stores and marketplaces. It offers various platforms and hostings where organizations can market their goods and services.
- Retail - in most cases comes as a point of sale (POS) software. This includes apps that are used at the physical location unlike the web-based solutions of eCommerce. In that sense, these two are ones of the few types of software clients can interact with.
7. Business Intelligence
Business Intelligence (BI) deserves an entry of its own. It’s often perceived as the most important part of enterprise software and it’s not hard to understand why. The goal of BI’s integration is making the decision-making processes of executives, managers, and other staff easier with the help of technology. Its main features consist of various types of analytics, data sharing, performance metrics, data visualization, and much more. While other enterprise software systems may or may not be included in ERPs, BI is always a part of it.
Other Enterprise Software Systems
Another valuable branch of enterprise software is business process automation (BPA) tools. They are geared toward optimizing repetitive operations. Such tasks often are the most taxing on your staff. As a result, you not only save time when compared to doing them manually and ease the workload of your employees, you are also providing them with an ability to focus on other tasks while other work is being done simultaneously. If you are interested in learning more you can read a number of articles on our blog. For example, here’s a comparison of BPA with business process management (BPM).
We mentioned enterprise resource planning (ERP) earlier in the article. It is probably the most all-encompassing type of corporate software that includes all of the other previously mentioned elements available in either on-premises or cloud-based solution. This way, one tool can encompass the functionality of all of them. Due to its highly customizable nature, the main choice with ERPs is whether you should buy or build your own. Whatever you choose, every business can benefit from one.
Rounding Things Up
Enterprise software solutions come in all manner of shapes and sizes. No matter the industry or the size of the company there is enterprise software for you out there. In fact, sometimes developing your own or getting someone to help is the better choice. We even wrote an article to help people decide which option suits them better. Check it out.