packaged software med

Packaged Software 101

Maybe software should be packaged like this?  Photo: Tetra Pak Package Portfolio, by Tetra Pak, CC license A “packaged application” is software already built, coded, tested, used by other enterprises in your industry, and hopefully a solution that will meet most of your needs.  In general I recommend using packaged applications (why re-invent something?) But […]

finance 101

Business Software for Finance 101

Image by reynermedia, CC license Finance and accounting functions were among the first to be automated through software. The sheer volume of numbers and calculations, reporting requirements, tax filings and payroll mechanics, plus the fact that nearly every business has to engage in these activities, made the area perfect for software. When just these basic […]

software logos

A Confusing Market for Enterprise Software

Image by lofrev.net It’s getting harder to determine which software vendors have what capabilities. This is because: The number of technology startups has increased; Big software companies have been acquiring other firms to increase the breadth of their capabilities; Established firms are rapidly making changes to their suite of applications – adding capabilities so quickly […]

why do software projects cost so much

Why Do Software Projects Cost So Much?

The short answer to why corporate software costs so much is that implementing it takes so long, even if everything goes perfectly, which happens exactly as often as Haley’s Comet passing through our skies. It’s expensive for one reason: specialized, and therefore expensive, skills. It takes expensive skills to: write the software in the first […]

purchase order

Automate Your Paper Workflow

Image by Digital Strategy, CC license Although EDI has been around for 20 years, lots of companies still process orders and invoices manually; that is, they receive a written, faxed, or e-mailed purchase order or invoice, then  type it into whatever software they have for tracking and fulfilling orders and paying suppliers. If you  can’t […]

opensource.com

What is the Value of Adaptive Software?

Image: opensource.com The term ‘adaptive software’ has at least two meanings: 1) software that is created with built-in capabilities to change its logic in the future; 2)  software that enhances an existing software application without significantly changing the underlying code of that application. I have not seen real-world examples of 1) above, so I will focus […]

Hong Kong Shopping

Demand Signal Applications: the Basics

The Landmark Shopping Mall in Hong Kong.  Photo by See-ming Lee, CC license. It’s now possible to string together data points collected from the shelf (POS) and upstream from there (your supply chain) to optimize your sourcing, production and distribution decisions.  Application vendors are calling this Demand Signal Management (DSM).  It’s not new; the same […]

FUD

FUD Still Here 35 Years Later

Photo by Jimmy Brown, CC license   FUD stands for fear, uncertainty, and doubt, and was a phrase used in the early 1980s to describe the unsettling and confusing atmosphere companies faced as they began investing heavily in software applications. In 1979 Gideon Gartner, formerly a top technology analyst at Oppenheimer & Co., capitalized on […]

post office

Process Automation Hard to Achieve With Software Changes

There’s the human factor to consider.  Photo: Workers at the Jamaica Plain Post Office, 71 Green Street, Boston, 1920.  Boston Public Library, CC license Have you ever spent, say, half a million dollars and nine months of effort with new software or changes to existing systems for purposes of automating processes, only to discover that afterwards […]

Elliott Computer

Are Your Apps Too Hard to Use?

Photo: control panel of a British-made Elliott computer, circa 1960, Creative Commons license. You’ve heard the complaints: systems are too clunky, slow, have too many steps, take too long to execute transactions. The dialogue plays out probably hundreds of times a day in offices throughout the world: users complain about to-hard-to-use systems and their IT […]