Overview: What is enterprise software?

Enterprise resource planning (ERP) is a product domain-focused software solution that manages and integrates all facets of business.

Anne Shields - Author

Nov. 20 2020, Updated 12:50 p.m. ET

Enterprise software

Many of us vaguely know what Adobe, Norton, Symantec, or Nintendo do. How many of us understand the software for enterprise applications? Enterprise software are applications that are designed to address requirements of several users in an organization. Since many firms have similar procedures for accounting, finance, inventory management, and human resource functions. Instead of developing everything from scratch, companies usually buy a software package (enterprise resource planning package) to support and track these functions. It differs from desktop software because they are the applications installed on a personal or work computer (for example—Microsoft Office suite).

The previous chart shows the global Salesforce.com (CRM) software revenue in 2013. CRM is the largest player in customer relationship management market with 16.1% market share. It’s followed by SAP (SAP) and Oracle (ORCL), which hold 13% and 10%, respectively.

Categories of enterprise software

Enterprise resource planning (ERP) is a product domain-focused software solution that manages and integrates all facets of business. SAP AG (SAP), Salesforce.com (CRM), Oracle Corp. (ORCL), Workday (WDAY), and NetSuite (N) are the leading players in ERP space.

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Customer relationship management (CRM) is a customer domain focused software solution. It aids in better understanding of the customer, leading to customer retention and excellent customer service. CRM increases the organization’s profits. The CRM market is highly concentrated. The top five vendors accounted for 50% of CRM software revenue in 2013.

Supply chain management (SCM) enables a firm to manage various aspects of its value chain. It starts from the flow of raw materials into the firm to the delivery of finished products and services. Organizations use SCM to drive inventory optimization and enhance the speed of transactions. SCM leads to increased revenues by satisfying customer demands.

Business intelligence (BI) provides reporting and analysis for organizational decision making by referring to multiple sources of data across the organization. BI tools deal more with the strategic aspects rather than the operational decision-making aspects of the business. It has experienced strong growth lately as organizations aim for insights and business values from ERP, CRM and other enterprise applications. SAP AG (SAP) leads the BI space with 21.3% of market share in 2013.


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