Software has emerged as the most important industry on earth. Without software, armies cannot fight, bankers bank, CEOs direct, doctors operate, engineers build, financiers invest, governments tax. True, we have engineered our dependence on software, but we have done so willingly. Now software is necessary: for groceries to reach supermarkets, for benefits checks to reach veterans, for social-security checks to reach the elderly. Software keeps our cars and trains running and our planes flying, and it makes them safe. It keeps electricity flowing through the power grid - and it consumes its fair share. It keeps our water running - and the Internet. But at present, the software industry is at the same stage the auto industry was before Henry Ford revolutionized car manufacturing with the successful implementation of the assembly line, with its total integration of the industrial process. In Software Rules, Oracle Senior Executive Mark Barrenchea lays out his vision for how total integration of software functions - "E-Business Suites" - will totally transform the business landscape and offer companies in every industry the keys to increased productivity, lower costs, successful globalization, increased customer satisfaction - market domination. Using case studies from companies such as BellSouth, Compaq, GE, HP, and Oracle itself, Barrenchea describes how e-business suites work to help companies: * Gather definitive business intelligence in order to manage by fact, not executive personality * Centralize change so that it would be welcomed - not feared - by all stakeholders * Streamline product introductions and upgrades globally - covering all lines of business, partners, and supply-chain sources * Transform marketing into electronic selling * Operate 24-7 * Dramatically improve customer service * Develop managers who can deal with new technologies strategically - instead of relying upon computer specialists, and more This book explains to managers and executives in accessible non-technical language the nature of this software integration and how e-business suites can transform any organization.