Enterprise Software Solutions: Know the tools that drive success in medium and large companies
When we talk about technology, it is sometimes overwhelming to keep up with new terminology and trends. Enterprise software is a term that we often hear, though it isn’t always easily defined.
In today’s business world, where the amount of companies grows by the day, enterprise software is one of the key factors that sets the business operational functions on and going, let’s dive into it.
Enterprise software is an overarching term for any software used in medium or large organizations (whether business or government). It is considered to be an essential part of a computer-based information system, and it provides business-oriented tools such as online payment processing, customer management, projects management, accounting, and automated billing systems.
Also, enterprise software improves productivity and efficiency through business logic support functionality.
Types of Enterprise Software
1. Payment Processing
The term used to describe the process and service that automates payment transactions between the customer and merchant. It is usually a third-party service that is a set of computer systems that process, verify, and accept or decline credit card transactions on behalf of the merchant through secure Internet connections.
Before being able to accept credit card transactions and other forms of online payments, the merchant will have to set up a merchant account with a bank. A merchant account is the industry term for a business banking relationship whereby you and a bank have arranged to accept credit card payments (usually, a local bank can suffice for this kind of contact). Setting up a merchant account usually involves the bank understanding your business and working with a third-party processor to arrange a mechanism for accepting payments.
When a merchant submits a payment transaction to the payment gateway (on behalf of the customer), it is sent through a secure connection from the Web site. The customer will submit his order, and will then see some type of notification that the order has been provided on the next screen. Behind the scenes, however, there is a lot more going on. The transaction information is routed from the Web site to the merchant’s bank processor, which submits the data to a Credit Card Interchange. The Credit Card Interchange is the organization responsible for managing processing, clearing, and settlement of credit card transactions.
The Credit Card Interchange then routes the transaction to the customer’s credit card issuer, where it is either approved or declined based on the balance available on the card. If the transaction has been approved, the funds are rerouted back to the Credit Card Interchange, who provides the merchant’s bank processor with the transaction results. The transaction again goes to the payment gateway, which is responsible for saving the information and sends the results of the transaction to both the customer and merchant. In the final step, the Credit Card Interchange sends the funds to the merchant’s bank for deposit. While this payment processing routine may seem lengthy, the whole process would normally be completed in a few seconds.
2. Email Marketing Systems
Email marketing is the act of sending a commercial message, typically to a group of people, via email. In its broadest sense, every email sent to a potential or current customer could be considered email marketing. It usually involves using email to send advertisements, request business, or solicit sales or donations, and is meant to build loyalty, trust, or brand awareness. Marketing emails can be sent to a purchased lead list or a current customer database.
The term usually refers to sending email messages with the purpose of enhancing a merchant’s relationship with current or previous customers, encouraging customer loyalty and repeat business, acquiring new customers or convincing current customers to purchase something immediately, and sharing third-party ads.
3. Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
Customer relationship management (CRM) describes all aspects of sales, marketing, and service-related interactions that a company has with its customers or potential customers. Both business-to-consumer (B2C) and business-to-business (B2B) companies often use CRM systems to track and manage communications through the web, email, telephone, mobile apps, chat, social media, and corporate marketing materials.
CRM systems are used to automate many marketing, sales, and support processes, help companies provide a consistent experience to customers and prospects, while also lowering their costs. The typical ‘customer relationship management’ business strategy enables companies to improve in the following areas:
- Understanding existing customers’ needs
- Obtaining a 360° view of customers and prospects
- Retaining customers through better customer experience and loyalty programs
- Attracting new customers
- Gaining new clients and contracts
- Increasing profitability
- Decreasing customer management costs
The most significant benefit most businesses realize when moving to a CRM system comes directly from having all their business data stored and accessed from a single location. Before CRM systems became commonplace in the 1990s and 2000s, customer data was spread out over office productivity suite documents, email systems, mobile phone data, and even paper note cards and Rolodex entries.
Storing all the data from all departments (e.g., sales, marketing, customer service, and HR) in a central location gives management and employees immediate access to the most recent data when they need it. Departments can collaborate with ease, and CRM systems help organizations to develop efficient automated processes to improve business processes.
4. Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)
Enterprise resource planning (ERP) is a business process management software that allows an organization to use a system of integrated applications to manage the business and automate many back-office functions related to technology, services, and human resources. ERP software typically integrates all facets of an operation — including product planning, development, manufacturing, sales, and marketing — in a single database, application, and user interface.
The ERP field can be slow to change, but the last couple of years have unleashed new technology trends, which are fundamentally shifting the entire area. The following new and continuing computing trends have an impact on the growth of enterprise ERP software:
- Mobile ERP : Executives and employees want real-time access to information, regardless of where they are. It is expected that businesses will embrace mobile ERP for the reports, dashboards, and to conduct key business processes.
- Cloud ERP: The cloud has been advancing steadily into the enterprise for some time, but many ERP users have been reluctant to place data in the cloud. Those reservations have gradually been evaporating, however, as the advantages of the cloud become apparent.
- Social ERP: There has been much hype around social media and how important —or not — it is to add to ERP systems. Certainly, vendors have been quick to seize the initiative, adding social media packages to their ERP systems with much fanfare. But some wonder if there is much gain to be had by integrating social media with ERP.
- Two-tier ERP: Enterprises once attempted to build an all-encompassing ERP system to take care of every aspect of organizational systems. But some expensive failures have gradually brought about a change in strategy – adopting two tiers of ERP.
5. Business intelligence (BI)
Business intelligence (BI) represents the tools and systems that play a crucial role in the strategic planning process within a corporation. These BI systems allow a company to gather, store, access, and analyze corporate data to aid in decision-making. Generally, these systems will illustrate business intelligence in the areas of customer profiling, customer support, market research, market segmentation, product profitability, statistical analysis, and inventory and distribution analysis, to name a few.
Business intelligence software is designed with the primary goal of extracting essential data from an organization’s raw data to reveal insights to help a business make faster and more accurate decisions. The software typically integrates data from across the enterprise and provides end-users with self-service reporting and analysis. BI software uses a number of analytics features including statistics, data and text mining and predictive analytics to reveal patterns and turn information into insights.
6. Business Continuity Planning
Business Continuity Planning, BCP a term that covers both disaster recovery planning (DRP) and business resumption planning. BCP is the preparation and testing of measures that protect business operations and also provide the means for the recovery of technologies in the event of any loss, damage, or failure of facilities.
7. Enterprise application integration (EAI)
It is the unrestricted sharing of data and business processes throughout networked applications or data sources in an organization. New software programs in areas such as inventory control, human resources, sales automation, and database management were designed to run independently, with no interaction between the systems. They were custom built in the technology of the day for a specific need being addressed and were often proprietary systems.
As enterprises grow and recognize the need for their information and applications to have the ability to be transferred across and shared between systems, companies are investing in EAI to streamline processes and keep all the elements of the enterprise interconnected.
8. Enterprise Content Management (ECM)
Enterprise Content Management (ECM) is the document management term that describes the technologies used by organizations to capture, manage, store, and control enterprise-wide content, including documents, images, email messages, instant messages, social media messages, video, and more. ECM software is used to assist in content control associated with the business process and can be used to assure compliance (Sarbanes-Oxley, HIPPA, etc.). ECM has emerged from the convergence of many related technologies such as document management, Web content management, and collaboration.
9. Enterprise Search
This is basically an extensive search system that provides the means to search both structured and unstructured data sources with a single query. It addresses the needs of businesses that need to store, retrieve, and track digital information of all kinds. Data sources in enterprise search systems include information stored in many different containers such as email servers, application databases, content management systems, file systems, intranet sites, and external Web sites. Enterprise search systems provide users with fast query times and search results that are often categorized in such a way that the information needed is easily accessible.
10. Enterprise Messaging System
This is an enterprise-grade system that enables “program-to-program” messaging between applications and systems throughout an enterprise. Enterprise messaging is widely used today for integrating various disparate enterprise applications. It is a software interface that allows a program to send freely coupled asynchronous data (messages) to be sent by one program and stored in a message queue until the receiving program is able to process it.
The utilization of Enterprise software allows companies to decrease the time it takes the company to get paid for its goods or services after the sale. Employing that system provides for increased cash flow. The utilization of the integrated system architecture removes the necessity for multiple, different systems to be used within the company and consolidates to the same system across various geographies. Enterprise software increases productivity by integrating data and processes across multiple departments and locations, which allows our company to move product faster, process orders quicker, invoice customers more aptly, and reconcile shipments sooner. Information flow is the lifeblood of any company. Utilizing that system allows access to a multitude of company information. The enterprise system will provide the company with various reporting tools and make generating time-sensitive and up-to-date information faster and more user-friendly.
11. Custom Software Development
Custom software development is the designing of software applications for a specific user or group of users within an organization. Such software is designed to address these users’ needs better than more traditional specially and widespread off-the-shelf software can. Custom software is typically created just for these specific users by a third-party or in-house group of developers and is not packaged for resale.
Every business, whether it is small or big, needs custom software to fulfill their specific business requirements. It would be best if you technically had technically advanced solutions to obtain a competitive advantage. Every business has its working conditions and functions. When it comes to small business, they need to be more adaptive & have to change business strategies as per market requirement.