It may surprise some people, but most companies that have more than a few employees have purchased what would be defined as enterprise software in the past. In most cases, the reason is that enterprise software solutions tend to add more security, more features, and greater interconnectivity than traditional versions of the same software. It is also likely that the software has been pre-tested to meet your needs from a performance standpoint when the number of users in your company grows.
Common features of enterprise-level software
One of the most important features for any company is the ability to seamlessly port their applications to any device anywhere without a degradation in performance. This is something that enterprise software companies spend a lot of time building into whatever solution they will provide.
Another key feature is typically an API, or software library that allows developers that are inside your company to create customization that extends the original software package and makes it fit your needs completely. Typical reasons to use an API include: integrating your existing applications with the new software package, tying services from inside or outside your company to the package, or creating custom user interfaces that are unique to your company, but will use the software package as a data store.
Types of enterprise software
There are a wide variety of business-related categories that contain companies that offer a consumer version and an enterprise version of the same type of software. When it comes to defining an application as an enterprise solution, it does not matter whether that application is installed locally or if it is a cloud service, it is still considered an enterprise solution.
If you’re looking to evaluate enterprise software solutions, check out our free enterprise software selection template and tool.
There used to be a wall between accounting applications for small businesses and large companies. With the advent of cloud solutions, some of that wall disappeared as software vendors found it easier to create one application and merely activate features when the customer had purchased an enterprise level license. If your company is small, therefore, and you do not want to have to port your data to a new application when you grow, you might consider looking for a solution that does allow you to grow without changing software packages. It is a good idea, however, to keep in mind that any package that you choose should be a winner at both levels in order for you to choose it.
If you are looking for an accounting solution, download this free requirements template:
Customer Relationship Management
Customer relationship management software or CRM, has been a mainstay for many companies over the past 15 years. It started out as a way to allow everyone to see customer interactions with the company using a shared database and grew to encompass several other types of transaction. For any company, having software that provides a window into a CRM from sales, marketing, and customer support is an important part of providing a better customer experience for clients.
Enterprise Resource Planning
Once the province of very large companies, the past 10 years have seen the release of quite a few enterprise solutions in the ERP space that have made it attractive for small companies to purchase it. Enterprise ERP systems allow manufacturers, wholesalers, and retailers to enter, track, and stay on top of their business from the factory to the showroom. Most importantly, the data that is pulled from the system as it is in use allows management to make better decisions about how to keep costs in line and revenue growing.
Content Management System
Content management systems allow for document control when working on projects and can be used to build websites that can be for internal and external use. If you have teams at work on a project, in the past, even large firms would just use a folder on the network to organize all the documentation surrounding the work being done. Today, using a content management system, workers can share information rapidly and use dashboards to track project progress in a visual fashion that aids productivity.
Enterprise Asset Management
For those companies new to enterprise software, asset management at the enterprise level also used to be a type of software that only large companies could afford. For the past few years, however, it has become cost-competitive enough for smaller companies to look at adding it in order to track the assets that their company owns and leases. Asset management packages are useful to not only keep track of assets for insurance purposes, they also allow you to schedule maintenance and keep track of depreciation as well.
Enterprise software solutions used to be something that companies would only consider purchasing once they reached a certain size. Today, with blended applications in the cloud offering scalability and traditional packages coming down in price, it makes sense for smaller firms to plan ahead and consider using enterprise grade software while they are still small.