Supply Chains Have to Walk Before They Run

Data processing, 1959. Image by James Vaughan, CC license If you search “technologies for supply chain evolution” you will get 17.8 million results, many of which will mention IoT, robots, driverless vehicles, mobile technology, predictive analytics, network optimization software, and 3-D printing. The presumption is that industry will want these solutions because of the coming […]


Can Order Processing be “Touchless”?

Image: Loaded container ship in the Houston Ship Channel, by Louis Vest, CC license There’s a debate going on in B2B commerce about “touchless” sales order processing. Touchless just means you don’t need a human to watch, review, check, or do anything else to an order when it’s received from the customer, like making sure […]

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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 […]


Why Should I Care About Hyperscale Computing?

All your apps are in the cloud(s) now.  It’s OK.  Photo: Paul VanDerWerf, Potts Harbour, Hartswell, ME.  CC license.  Hyperscale computing (HC) may sound like something only NASA and Google need.  But any business doing any kind of commerce with web sites can potentially benefit, as can brick and mortar companies who are highly dependent […]

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Plant Maintenance Software 101

Image: Nash assembly line, 1951, by Alden Jewell, CC license Maintenance and maintenance parts are two other manufacturing sub-categories where the software market offers several competitive alternatives. This category is referred to as CMMS, or Computerized Maintenance Management Systems. These systems keep track of maintenance schedules for equipment, tell you when parts have to be […]

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Enterprise Information Management (EIM) 101

Photo: Ministry of Information, Singapore; William Cho The term “enterprise information management” seems to capture the whole world, right? But this term applies to the indexing, searching and compilation of information (not necessarily data) from all of the places in your enterprise where documents might reside. Gartner defines EIM as “an integrative discipline for structuring, […]


SaaS vs. Cloud Not Exactly Clear With Some Software Vendors

Photo by Meredith Cook at Breckenridge, CO on a “blue bird” day, a clear day following a fresh snowfall.  It’s unrelated to SaaS or Cloud (or is it?); just nice to look at. SaaS and cloud are starting to be used interchangeably (“we’re looking for a cloud solution”) but they really are not the same […]

Mfg apps 101

Manufacturing Software 101

Image: Coors Brewery, Golden Colorado, by David Fulmer, CC license The job of manufacturing software in the modern economy is to keep track of production formulas, in terms of quantities and cost, enable production scheduling, calculate and report on efficiency measurements like machine utilization and percentage of wasted materials, and in some cases measure cost of […]


An Intro to Analytics Vendors

Image by David Bleasdale, CC license Analytics is one of the top buzzwords in business software today. Analytics software is often marketed as a tool for business intelligence, data mining or insights. It’s the crystal ball software: tell me things I don’t already know, and show me ah-hahs or other exciting revelations that, if acted […]

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 […]