Enterprise software or enterprise application software (EAS) is an application software used by organizations to conduct their line-of-business operations, such as planning, human resources, inventory/materials management, business intelligence, purchasing, manufacturing, finance & accounting, customer relationship management, marketing, sales & services etc. Enterprise applications are usually designed to integrate or interface with other enterprise applications used within the organization and are deployed in on-premise data centers or across a variety of networks by a specialized IT development team, meeting strict requirements for security and administrative management. These enterprise applications are industry-specific solutions developed commonly as custom in-house applications which the information technology department integrates with other enterprise suites. The main objective of using an enterprise application software is to improve productivity and efficiency through business logic support functionality and gain a sustainable competitive advantage.
Some of the drawbacks are high licensing and support cost, flexibility and customization issues and difficulty in migration of existing data. Overlooking these issues, the benefits of using enterprise application software would actually aid an enterprise in information sharing, process automation, complete visibility of all important processes across various departments, reducing information technology complexity and increasing agility.
There is a growing need to capture, organize and exploit the use of big data which can give internal and external business processes a competitive edge. Enterprise mobility such as the Bring-Your–Own-Device (BYOD) trend to enhance employee flexibility in the organization across MEA has resulted in an increased uptake of enterprise platforms. Further, analytics and business intelligence have also become important factors driving enterprise planning, mainly when it comes to collecting and assessing unstructured data on enterprise networks, or business related information posted on social networking sites etc. Another driving factor in the enterprise software market is the shift towards cloud computing, where an enterprise moves some or its entire infrastructure to the cloud, reducing total cost ownership (TCO) infrastructure and provisioning time.These dominating factors are expected to drive the enterprise application software market in the MEA region, in the near future.
The enterprise application software market can be segmented based on: types, organizational size and verticals. Types of application software include digital content creation (DCC), web conferencing, enterprise resource planning (ERP), business intelligence (BI), enterprise content management (ECM), customer relationship management (CRM), supply chain management (SCM) and project & portfolio management (PPM) software. Categories by organizational size include small business, medium business, enterprises and large enterprises. Verticals include BFSI (banking, financial services and insurance), manufacturing, telecom, media & entertainment, transportation, healthcare, energy & utilities, retail, distribution and public sector.
Major players in the MEA enterprise software market are Microsoft Corporation, Oracle Corporation, IBM Corporation, SAP, Symantec, EMC Corporation, HP, VMware, CA Technologies and Salesforce. These players adopt strategies that involves partnership and acquisitions & mergers to create a wide range of their software solution product line. For example, in 2014, SAP partnered with Etihad Airways, the national airline of the UAE to deploy a range of enterprise application solutions across its vital business functions including finance, human resource, procurement & supply management and business intelligence. Besides these strategies, major players also focus on innovating their enterprise application software products to offer unique solutions for different industries. For instance, in 2014, SAP announced its availability of new manufacturing solutions suite which delivers data integration across enterprise operations and a broadened access to data through mobility.