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Enterprise Software for Business Applications

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  • 0:05 Enterprise Software
  • 2:58 Examples
  • 4:36 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Paul Zandbergen

Paul has a PhD from the University of British Columbia and has taught Geographic Information Systems, statistics and computer programming for 15 years.

Enterprise software gives multiple users in different locations access to the same functionality. This central system ensures that information is shared across all functional areas and levels of management within an organization.

Enterprise Software

An organization uses information to support routine, day-to-day activities in order to add value to its products and services. An enterprise is an organization with a large number of employees, typically distributed over a number of offices that are geographically separate. Individual employees may have a computer for their personal use to carry out their daily tasks. Many activities in an organization, however, require that a large number of people work on the same computer system.

For example, consider a chain of supermarkets. Each supermarket needs new products delivered on a regular basis to keep the shelves filled. It is not very efficient for each individual store to do this independently. Instead, a centralized purchasing and distribution unit within the organization will typically be responsible for this. Employees at this unit will work with their colleagues at each store to make sure the necessary products get ordered and delivered.

So what type of software application do you need to support purchasing and distribution? Could you install this software on a single computer and then have everybody use it? Imagine all the staff standing in a room around a single computer, each one taking their turn to check on their order. This wouldn't be very effective.

What you need is enterprise software, which gives multiple users in different locations access to the same functionality. Enterprise software is also referred to as an enterprise system. It is a central system that ensures information is shared across all functional areas and levels of management within an organization.

Enterprise software supports running and managing an entire organization. Enterprise software typically uses a database of key data that can be shared by all. Having access to the same information is critical to avoid miscommunication and inefficiency.

A key characteristic of enterprise software is that it addresses an issue of critical importance for the entire organization, not just an issue within a single unit or department. This means that many different people in different units of the organization need to be able to use the software simultaneously.

Consider the supermarket example again. At each store, a manager can enter the products that she needs, and at the central unit, a handful of employees process the orders. Each computer is connected to the company's server and has access to the same database. The data entered by different individuals is updated in real time so everyone can see how the database is changing. Different individuals have different roles, but everybody is using the same system.

Examples

There are many different types of enterprise software. The product orders for the supermarket chain are an example of software for supply chain management, or SCM. SCM handles all the interconnected businesses that take part in providing end products or services. This includes the acquisition of goods, conversion to final product, transportation, storage and supplying the product to the customers.

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