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E-Business Software Overview - ERP, CRM SCM and SFA


What is E-Business

E-business is the combination of strategies, technologies and processes to electronically coordinate both internal and external business processes, and manage enterprise-wide resources. E-business software systems generally fall into four categories: Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Supply Chain Management (SCM) and Sales Force Automation (SFA).

Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)

Enterprise Resource Planning or ERP is a broad set of activities for improving the performance of internal business processes. ERP is supported by multi-module application software that integrates activities across functional departments, from product planning, parts purchasing, inventory control, product distribution, to order tracking. ERP can also include application modules for the finance and human resources aspects of a business.

Customer Relationship Management (CRM)

Customer Relationship Management or CRM is a strategy and processes used to learn more about customers' needs and behaviors in order to develop stronger relationships with them. CRM software systems automate many customer-related business tasks. CRM applications are traditionally developed as client-server software which incurs higher initial cost of ownership. The proliferation of the Internet and the Web has fueled the rapid growth of Web-based CRM or online CRM applications. Web CRM systems are widely deployed for web based call center, contact management, trouble ticket, personal information manager and scheduling.

Supply Chain Management (SCM)

Supply chain management is the combination of the processes and information technologies that integrates the suppliers of raw materials or components, the manufacturers or assemblers of the finished products, and distributors of the products or services into one cohesive process to include demand forecasting, materials requisition, order processing, order fulfillment, transportation services, receiving, invoicing, and payment processing.

While ERP and CRM systems are intended to re-engineer internal business processes to achieve better resource planning and coordination across departments, both SCM and FSA are utilized to facilitate the coordination with outside business entities, or in the scope of extended enterprise. SCM usually refers to the redesign of supply chain processes in order to achieve streamlining. It is generally performed only by large corporations with large suppliers. B2B exchanges can extend Supply Chain Management to all trading partners regardless of size by providing a central location to integrate information from all supply chain participants.

Sales Force Automation (SFA)

Sales Force Automation are information systems that automate business processes of sales and marketing functions such as sales campaign management, lead assignment, contact management, information sharing, quick proposal and presentation generation, product configurations, calendars, to-do lists and opportunity reporting. Sales Force Automation electronically manages all sales activities within an organization.

Comparison of e-business Software - ERP, CRM, SCM and SFA ERP, CRM, SCM and SFA differ in terms of goals, functionality, users and boundary of the systems.

World-Wide E-Business Software Revenues - Forecast Summary Despite many stories of ERP failures covered in media, ERP generates far more revenues than other e-business software.


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