MES, of course, would include applications like scheduling, downtime tracking, OEE, quality assurance, maintenance management and numerous other applications which facilitate better coordination and management of the plant floor. But to do this effectively each separate function needs to collaborate with the other, as well as with each of the stakeholders such as maintenance people, the production scheduler, quality assurance, plant floor operators, the plant manager and so forth. MES should be all about collaboration.
This would imply having a shared data scheme between applications, having a single source user authentication, being able to switch quickly between applications, and having the ability to easily interconnect with various data sources and databases as well as ERP systems. It also implies having the ability to give any stakeholder access to the system from anywhere (without technical or licensing restrictions).
MES systems that fail on any of these points will be short lived and be of limited usefulness. Those that embody these points can be credited with putting the 'c' back into MES and the winners will be the manufacturers that use them.