Baseline Technologies   «Prev  Next»

Lesson 8 Packaged applications and turnkey solutions
ObjectiveDescribe the role and vendors of packaged applications and turnkey solutions in e-Commerce.

Packaged Applications and Turnkey Solutions with Examples

In the realm of e-business technology, the terms "packaged applications" and "turnkey solutions" are often encountered, each serving specific roles within the industry. "Packaged applications" could be tentatively described as software products that are developed to cater to a broad range of requirements within an industry or for specific business processes. These applications are typically ready-made and are designed to be implemented with minimal customization. They might include solutions like Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems, Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software, and Supply Chain Management (SCM) systems. The primary advantage of packaged applications is their ability to provide robust functionality out-of-the-box, which can potentially reduce the time and cost associated with custom software development. However, it's important to note that the one-size-fits-all nature of these applications might not perfectly align with the unique needs of every business.
On the other hand, "turnkey solutions" in e-business could be generally understood as comprehensive, ready-to-use solutions that are designed to fulfill specific business needs or projects from the onset. These solutions are not just software products; they often include a combination of hardware, software, and services that are fully integrated and ready to operate immediately after installation. Turnkey solutions are especially beneficial for businesses seeking a complete package that addresses a particular requirement without the need for extensive setup or configuration. For instance, an e-commerce website with integrated payment processing, inventory management, and customer support could be considered a turnkey solution for online retail. However, it's worth considering that while turnkey solutions offer convenience and immediacy, they may also limit flexibility and scalability compared to more tailored or modular approaches.
In conclusion, while packaged applications offer a broad range of generic functionalities suitable for various businesses, turnkey solutions provide a more specific, ready-to-operate package tailored to particular business needs. The choice between the two largely depends on the unique requirements, resources, and strategic objectives of a business in the e-business domain.
Turnkey Solutions are packaged applications that come pre-installed on vendor supplied hardware/network configurations. They effectively pre-integrate the Hardware, network, and software applications into a seamless whole.

Classification of Packaged Applications and Turnkeys

Packaged applications and turnkeys can be further broken down into three subgroups:
Packaged applications and turnkey solutions represent pre-built software solutions designed to address specific needs without the necessity for further development. These ready-made solutions can be deployed in various environments with minimal setup, ensuring quick utilization and return on investment. For clarity, we can further segment these applications and turnkeys into three distinct subgroups: Productivity Applications, Enterprise Applications, and Vertical Applications. Each category serves unique purposes, aligning with varied organizational goals and industry demands.
  1. Productivity Applications: Productivity applications are software tools designed to help individuals and teams perform tasks more efficiently and effectively. These applications are primarily concerned with enhancing day-to-day operations, facilitating improved performance, and enabling better time management.
    • Characteristics:
      1. User-Centric: Typically designed for end-users, emphasizing user-friendly interfaces and experience.
      2. Task-Oriented: Each application targets specific tasks such as word processing, spreadsheet calculations, or presentations.
      3. Cross-Industry Utility: Their usability isn't restricted to a particular industry.
    • Examples:
      1. Word Processors (e.g., Microsoft Word)
      2. Spreadsheet Software (e.g., Microsoft Excel)
      3. Presentation Software (e.g., Microsoft PowerPoint)
  2. Enterprise Applications: Enterprise applications are expansive software platforms designed to integrate and manage an organization's various processes across the board. These solutions often serve large businesses or entire industries, aiming to centralize operations, data, and workflows.
    • Characteristics:
      1. Integration Capabilities: Built to synchronize and consolidate data from various sources within an organization.
      2. Modularity: Many enterprise solutions are modular, allowing organizations to implement components that best align with their needs.
      3. High Scalability: Designed to accommodate growth, handling an increase in data, users, or both.
    • Examples:
      1. Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems like SAP or Oracle ERP Cloud.
      2. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software like Salesforce or Microsoft Dynamics.
      3. Supply Chain Management (SCM) solutions.
  3. Vertical Applications: Vertical applications are specialized software solutions crafted for specific industries or sectors. These applications are tailored to meet the unique demands and regulatory requirements of particular fields, ensuring a precision fit that general applications might not provide.
    • Characteristics:
      1. Industry-Specific: Designed with a particular industry's workflow, jargon, and nuances in mind.
      2. Regulatory Adherence: Often built to ensure compliance with industry-specific regulations and standards.
      3. Niche Solutions: Focuses on providing solutions to unique challenges faced by specific sectors.
    • Examples:
      1. Healthcare Management Systems for hospitals and clinics.
      2. Point-of-Sale (POS) systems for retail businesses.
      3. Learning Management Systems (LMS) tailored for educational institutions.

In dissecting the landscape of packaged applications and turnkeys, this tripartite classification - Productivity, Enterprise, and Vertical - provides a structured lens to understand the spectrum of software solutions available. Recognizing the unique attributes and applications of each category is paramount for businesses and organizations to align software investments with specific operational, industry, and strategic needs.

SEMrush Software

Vendors Management Tools

A packaged application is a fully functional application that you can view, use, and customize. Packaged applications can also include a de-installation script which can be used to remove all the application's supporting objects. This tutorial walks you through the OEHR Sample Objects packaged application. Normally it is used as a way of referring to vendors who sell ERP or CRM application suites that are organized to be used to integrate all of a company's main software applications. By installing a number of packaged applications a company can assure that major business process applications in finance, accounting, human resources, and manufacturing all communicate smoothly and store data in a common database. The dominant packaged application vendor is SAP[1]. Other well-known ERP vendors are Baan, J.D. Edwards, Oracle and PeopleSoft.

Vendor Product Name(s) (if applicable) Subcategory
Baan BaanERP,BaanE-Enterprise,CODA-Financials Enterprise
Great Plains * Enterprise
J.D. Edwards ActivEra Enterprise
Oracle Oracle Applications R11 Enterprise
PeopleSoft PeopleSoft Accounting and Control, HR Enterprise
SAP R/3, SAP Financials Enterprise
Taxware * Enterprise/Tax
IBM (Lotus) Notes/Domino, SmartSuite Productivity
Microsoft Office, Exchange Productivity

Packaged Applications and Turnkey Standards

Package applications usually bundle so much technology together that there are no specific standards common to packaged applications. Due to the market leadership of SAP and Oracle, there are two leading standards. Oracle 11 and R/3 have evolved into de facto standards[2].
[1]SAP: Provides powerful programs for accounting and controlling, production and materials management, quality management and plant maintenance, sales and distribution, human resources management, and project management
[2]De facto standards: Have NOT been approved by a standards organization. Instead these are widely used and recognized by an industry as being standard.