M10 Software Industry Survey

This is the language of commerce and is constantly being degraded, e.g.

At different times the same computer application may be called application software, or enterprise software, or legacy software.

Definitions, like software, are fluid

In addition to the above issue, technological progress changes categories. An enterprise software package may include a financial management capability. A year later, the financial management capability will not be part of the software package because it is handled by Excel instead.

What software is categorized as has financial and legal consequences

  • Microsoft includes a calculator application as part of Windows. Is a calculator part of the operating system?
  • Microsoft does not include an anti-virus program as part of Windows, although you can download an anti-virus program from Microsoft’s website.
  • Would anti-virus software companies sue Microsoft for an anti-trust violation if Microsoft included an anti-virus program?

Computer Software Industry Segments

The computer business is divided into several large, for want of a better word, segments. Keep the example of the calculator application in mind and recognize that applications can move from segment to segment and that these definitions are more fluid then most academic definitions.

Vertical Market Software

Software written and sold into a particular industry, e.g. construction, medicine, etc.

Vertical Market Software which runs in a business and runs the majority of the business functions is called, grandly, enterprise software.
Mostly concerned with the elementary figures on which the business runs. Profit and Loss statements, Balance Sheets, Inventory Quantities, etc.

Answers these questions:

Inventory – what is your quantity on hand

What are your sales

What is your profit on these sales

What does it cost you to make a product?

Software Characteristics

Used by many people in the company.
Changes the jobs of many people in the company.
>Often comes with a maintenance contract from the Software company.
Software company often has expertise in the vertical market.
Largest enterprise software company is SAP

Jobs using Enterprise Software

Software developer
Inhouse expert – training or development
Independent consultants who are experts at installing the software or training people to use it.
Expertise in the vertical market the software serves is valued as highly as technical skills

Network and os management

Run by certs – “certs” short for certificates – programs run by companies such as Microsoft, Cisco, or HP on how to use their products.
Keep computers virus-free and mail & essential ops running.
Training Maintenance generating issues – upgrades, virus recovery, backupsJ

Jobs – sometimes certs driven – e.g. cisco and microsoft

Jobs include being the network manager or head computer person for a company, or working for a company which provides these services to others. In house or independent IT support staff.

Horizontal Market Software

Horizontal market software is software which is used the same way by many different companies in different industries. Examples are:

CRM – customer relationship management. This is an example of a new horizontal market. CRM used to be part of many enterprise software packages and now is often done as an internet application, eg. “Sales Force”.

Email – value added – contant contact

Security – anti-virus

Word processing

Mail clients


Office suite

Internet based Horizontal Software – software written to be added to the web page of everyone in a particular industry.

  • Open Table is a good example. Open Table takes reservations for restaurants. All the restaurants put in a link to Open Table, on their websites and open table keeps track of the restaurant reservations.

Jobs – jobs are often certs driven e.g microsoft certified excel engineer. Same sort of model as Network management: You can work in-house, for a consulting company, or on your own.