It is difficult to compare Business Management Software if you don’t know the difference between Vaporware and Shareware.
The functionality of management software varies greatly. Some software packages are only meant to handle a certain area of business management, for instance a business management finance package that will handle payroll and inventory control, but doesn’t provide any assistance with customer retention.
But there are software programs out there that will help you manage and control everything from the suppliers of raw goods, to a customer reward program, and everything in between. Once you understand what feature functionality you need, you just have to figure out the terminology so you can compare the different options.
Below you will find a partial list of some of the terms you may run into. You will also get a brief definition of those terms.
- Data Warehouse is a term used to signify a database that a company would use to store large amounts of historical business data. This might be used to keep customer buying records, inventory history, or for many other uses.
- eBusiness is used to describe the process of doing business on the Internet.
- eCommerce is a term used to describe the process of buying and selling products and services over the internet.
- End-to-End is a phrase that is used to describe the entire process in a business from the end user to the back office.
- Firewall is a specific type of software or combined software and hardware system that keeps outsiders from accessing a company’s computer network.
- Groupware is a type of computer software that will aid groups of people who work on a network to communicate with each other electronically and share data. This type of software could allow email sharing, meeting scheduling, and the ability to distribute files among the group with editing and white board applications.
- Infrastructure refers to the structure, systems, and subsystems that support a private network, equipment and software.
- Integration is the process that happens when you get separate software packages or computer systems to exchanged information or work together.
- Legacy is a term used to describe versions of software systems that are outdated or are no longer supported.
- Middleware software allows one software application to communicate with another one.
- Platform is the term used to describe the basic technology on which a software application is designed to run. Often this platform is one of the varieties of Microsoft Windows.
- Point of Sale simply means what is essentially an electronic cash register that allows a customer to check out. This is the POS terminal that generally includes hardware and software to manage taking the cash or credit, and often can be utilized to manage customer frequent buying programs and awards.
- Scalable means that a software program can be have other modules, new versions, or hardware added to it later.
- Shareware is copyrighted software programs that are available for no charge and are freely available to everyone for a limited time amount of time. After the specified time a fee is expected to be paid to continue utilizing the software.
- Turnkey is a term utilized to describe a system that can be installed and utilized almost immediately. It can be initialized with the proverbial turn of a key.
- Usability Testing is a practice that many software companies use to improve the look and feel of their software. They do this by offering users the opportunity to try beta copies of the software and then provide feedback on ease of use, task time, and more.
- Vaporware is software or hardware that isn’t currently available. This software has been announced publicly, sometimes to keep customers from buying a competitors’ product. But this software is either late for delivery.
- Web Server is a computer that will transfer web files from the publisher of those files to web users. There are two software products under the Microsoft Windows platform that will allow your computer to work as a Web Server. These products are Microsoft IIS and Microsoft Personal Web Server.
Business Management Software can come in all “shapes and sizes.” It can provide management for everything, or a concentrate on just a piece of what you need to manage. You can get systems that will run on a lap top, or systems that are managed by a hosting company and that will run on their servers.
There are multiple options and a range of feature functionality to fit any size business or any business specialty. Many Business Management Software systems are targeted toward specific fields. Retail Business Management Software would be a little different than the software utilized for a service industry or wholesaler.
Stanislav Krotov is a technical writer with a passion for writing on emerging technologies in the areas of mobile application development and IoT technology. ( Moscow State University of M.V. Lomonosov )