My Quora answer to What is an enterprise software? http://qr.ae/NcqRa
Enterprise software is software (on-premise or cloud) that is commissioned or tailor-made internally to be used towards a company’s business processes. However, there is a difference when it comes to the reach of such software within a company. That difference can most easily be thought of as the difference between Enterprise software (big ‘E’) and enterprise software (little ‘e’).
Big E vs. Little e
Not all enterprise software is created equal. When looking at the space of enterprise software, it’s easiest to look at usage and utility from the viewpoint of the buyer, company data and functionality.
Great enterprise software has to be amazing for both admins and end users. However, admins are the buyers because they are responsible for making the company secure and productive. Admins are expected to solve problems and make the company successful.
Unlike (E)nterprise software, (e)nterprise software lets every user within an organization become a potential buyer – their usage of the software determines success – so bottom-up adoption of technology displaces top-down deployments.
Enterprise software covers a broad set of applications and software to help businesses manage customer data and customer interaction, access business information, automate sales, marketing and customer support and also manage employee, vendor and partner relationships.
Unlike (e)nterprise software, (E)nterprise software helps by deeply integrating with other software within a company. Trying to run a business with seven different cloud providers will create problems with data consistency and synchronization. Think about having seven copies of your customer database or vendor list. (E)nterprise software lets you integrate seemingly disparate parts of the company’s data with its partner ecosystems.
Mission Critical Business Functions are Enhanced/Replaced
Enterprise software solutions are meant to enhance/replace business process. The method with which the software achieves this is another distinction between (E&e)nterprise software.
Unlike (e)nterprise software, (E)nterprise software brings about large scale change to a company’s business process in that the pain that it solves is felt company-wide. The question of context must be answered when distinguishing the two types of software. Some software is used company-wide and some are used by a group or department.
There is a major technological shift happening within companies. Lots of companies are solving big problems which means that there are big reqards for doing so. However, all software is not created equal nor do they address the same problem (obviously). It’s good to create context when thinking about (E&e)nterprise software.