Essential Applications for Enterprises

Most application are used both in private and enterprise environment but there are applications designed specifically for enterprise environment. These applications are used by groups of people working simultaneously and facilitating joint work. In this chapter we will introduce the main and essential ones which should be present in any enterprise.

ERP – Enterprise Resource Planning CRM – Customer Relationship Management CM – Content Management
Web Conferencing
Web store


ERP stands for “Enterprise Resource Programming”. ERP is the most important application in an enterprise and the most difficult to deploy or change. ERP automates all enterprise procedures: Production, Logistic, Distribution, Inventory, Billing, Accounting, etc. ERP is the technology heart of the company. Additionally provide key information to enterprise top management essential for taking right decisions. One of the most important decision in an enterprise is to select and deploy ERP application properly.

As every enterprise is different every ERP application deployment is different as well. System Integration company selection is as important as ERP software selection. Usually there are System Integration companies certified by ERP software manufacturer company. After deployment System Integration company is in charge as well of providing training to enterprise employees for properly using ERP application.

ERP leader is the German company SAP. Microsoft Dynamics from Microsoft is cheaper than SAP but powerful as well. Microsoft Dynamics is offered in SaaS mode suitable for small and medium enterprises. There are ERP open-source applications as well. The most famous is  Odoo  previously called OpenERP and TinyERP. Open source applications have no license or software costs but deployment and maintenance have costs we cannot avoid. These costs are not cheap at all in an ERP application.

Gartner company provide in a regular base enterprise applications analysis showing a summary in the form of “magic” quadrant really useful to decide which enterprise application is the most suitable for us. We show below ERP applications “magic” quadrant.

Gartner magic quadrant ERP December 2015


CRM stands for “Customer Relationship Management”. CRM software supports enterprise employees for customer management. Sometimes it is included in ERP application but, due to the high importance of this functionality, most of the times customers are managed by a separate application. Application users are not only sales department but customer support, marketing and top management departments.

CRM leader is  Salesforce company offering CRM in  SaaS mode. If we are looking for a opensource solution we could choose SugarCRM. CRM gartner magic quadrant is shown below.

Gartner Magic Quadrant CRM May 2016

Web Conferencing, Videoconference

Different applications short time ago but Web conferencing ones have evolved to include Audio and Video conference functionality. Nowadays has to sense to select a different application but the same for all these purposes. Application objective is to support joint work of groups of people physically located in different places, cities or even countries.

Market leader is Webex application offered in SaaS mode by Cisco. These kind of functionalities are too complex to be offered by a open-source application. Fortunately Webex offers a free account valid up to three locations. Prices for additional functionality are really convenience.

Gartner magic quadrant conferencing December 2015


VPN stands for “Virtual Private Network”. This application is essential for remote working or home working. VPN allows to work from everywhere in the same way we work in the office connected to the enterprise private network. Protocols use to be standard and they supported by computers, tablets and mobile operating systems. In our device side it is only necessary the right configuration provided by our company. At enterprise side it is necessary to install a VPN server connected both to the private network and to internet. Communication between devices and VPN server is encrypted and protected avoiding to be monitored by a third party.

Web store, E-Commerce

Sales in physical shops and commercial centers continue having more volume but virtual channel or sales through internet are every time more important. There are companies with a spectacular virtual channel growth thanks to a really good management of internet sales channel. The main advantage is it is possible to sell worldwide with a lower investment. Of course a proper logistic channel is necessary to support the sales one.

There are two options to create a virtual sales channel in internet:

  • Joining an already well stablished web-store like eBay or Amazon. They offer millions of customers, confidence, good image, logistic agreements, geographical scope control, etc. We should pay around 10% of sales for this service and compete with other enterprises in these web-stores. For a competitive product is the faster and effective way to start selling in Internet.
  • Creating our own web-store. There are applications to easily create our own one. Most hosting providers offer web-store service usually based on PrestaShop application. PrestaShop is a opensource application but really powerful. For a really convenience price we will have a powerful web-store in  SaaS mode.

Content Management

Enterprise Web pages in internet are the image to the world. Currently all the people look for enterprise information in its web pages. Well designed web pages is the best way to provide a good and professional enterprise image. Key points are esthetic, design, functionality, content, etc. Of course a good content is the first step for success, content management software will facilitate the rest.

The first step using content management application is to select the schema or “template”. These applications use to be open-source and they have free templates but the most effective ones are not for free (but not too expensive). Once template is selected we could start creating web pages, menus or blog mode entries. Web pages could be organized in categories and tags. CM application supports users with different credentials: administrator, editor, only comments, etc. In the future we could change the template to a better one and all the content is adapted to the new one. We don’t have to create the content again at all.

Content Management leader is  WordPress which is a opensource application provided by Automattic company.25% of websites in the world are created using WordPress. Less used but powerful as well are Typo3, Joomla o Drupal, all of them open source.

Gartner magic quadrant content management July 2015