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Dale Vile

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Dale Vile is CEO and research director at Freeform Dynamics, a business he founded in 2005 to help guide IT pros on which technology to buy. During his time in IT, he has worked for large end user organisations and vendors, and has run both channel programmes and a reseller business.
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Is cellular M2M actually relevant to your industry?

Machine-to-Machine (M2M) wireless communications, which enables applications such as remote measurement, monitoring and management, is a fairly niche topic. Yet, responses to a recent Reg reader panel survey indicated it's becoming more and more widespread. Seven per cent of respondents rated M2M's importance as 4 or 5 on a …
Dale Vile, 26 Sep 2007
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Is your mobile tech creaking at the joints?

When the area of mobile technology and applications is discussed, there is a tendency to treat it as a relatively new part of the overall IT landscape. It's easy to forget that many logistics and field service organisations have been using mobile devices in the field and the infrastructure required to support them for over a …
Dale Vile, 24 Sep 2007
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Fed up with disjointed telephony?

The proliferation of mobile phones has led to a situation in which many professional workers have at least two numbers and two voicemail boxes to juggle. While most have accepted this as a normal state of affairs, it has become increasingly common for people to question whether the complication this leads to when trying to …
Dale Vile, 21 Sep 2007
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Ditch the desk phone? Yes please

The feedback we received in this week’s mobile workshop about the merits of ditching the desk phone and going purely mobile was overwhelmingly positive, with comments such as... The company I work for has only got 1 normal land-line in. We've also got about 10 VOIP numbers, apart from that we all use mobiles and chat over Skype …
Dale Vile, 18 Sep 2007
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Could you give up your desk phone?

Mobile phones are now pervasive in the business environment. Love them or hate them, there’s no getting away from the fact that many of us are using them as an integral part of day to day communications. Most of mobile phone users, however, also have a phone sitting on their desk, and are routinely juggling two separate numbers …
Dale Vile, 17 Sep 2007
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The trusting, the diligent and the downright paranoid

The results of the mobile security connectivity poll earlier this week revealed some findings that were to be expected and others that were a bit of an eye opener. When we asked you how comfortable you were with various notebook PC connectivity options, while some wouldn't entertain the concept at all, most, on balance, said …
Dale Vile, 14 Sep 2007
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Is wireless security just a pipe dream?

The security of Wi-Fi hotspots, cellular data connections and other mechanisms for connecting remotely is something that is becoming relevant to more and more organisations. While the advocates and scare mongers put their extreme points of view, what is actually happening on the front line? So, we turn to you, our beloved …
Dale Vile, 12 Sep 2007
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Juggle those connections

It doesn’t seem that long ago that we were debating whether Wi-Fi would make 3G redundant. Well it didn’t happen, and with the “son of 3G”, HSDPA, now a mainstream option for business connectivity, and driving rapid uptake, it seems less likely than ever that cellular data options are going to go away. In fact, in a recent Reg …
Dale Vile, 11 Sep 2007
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Challenging the mobile clichés

Let me begin with a warning that I am about to get on one of my hobby horses. This one has to do with the notion that modern wireless and mobile technology is largely about enabling people to become more mobile in the way they live and work, as if they were previously chained to one location and magically liberated by the latest …
Dale Vile, 30 Aug 2007
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Do IT chiefs lack vision?

A high profile industry analyst recently appeared to be implying that US IT management lacked vision, which we at Freeform Dynamics thought was a bit out of order. Analysts should be there to help rather than to pass judgement (see discussion here). But it does raise an interesting question, so we got to thinking about who …
Dale Vile, 30 Jul 2007
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Business intelligence needs business backing

In a recent Reg Panel study into the state of play with regard to business intelligence, a whole range of issues were highlighted by respondents that were standing in the way of business users getting their hands on the information they need. We heard that users commonly complain about having to access multiple systems when …
Dale Vile, 27 Jul 2007
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The practitioner's view of wireless

Our recent wireless workshop has demonstrated yet again that the genuine experts in any area are the people out there doing it for real. Indeed, we saw a number of examples of pragmatic “non trendy” opinions coming back from experienced Reg Readers that don’t necessarily tally with some of the more idealistic views we often hear …
Dale Vile, 10 Jul 2007
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Wireless access - Is it just size speed that matters?

Modern wireless network technologies for remote access are increasingly offering greater bandwidth. But is it just speed that's important when considering the requirements of different types of application from a mobile connectivity point of view? If you have ever tried to run interactive applications over a traditional 3G ( …
Dale Vile, 05 Jul 2007
MS Windows Vista logo

Vista aligned with good IT practice

A recent management-level survey on IT service delivery threw up the question, "when do you think you are likely to roll out Windows Vista in your organisation?" At a summary level, the responses to this question were not particularly interesting. Just under a quarter of organisations said they would adopt within the next year …
Dale Vile, 04 Jul 2007
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Fooling around at the less glamorous end of mobility

We spent some time last week discussing requirements for mobile devices and got quite a bit of feedback on how to select and deploy the right kit for professional users. This culminated in a poll towards the end of the week in which we learned, perhaps not surprisingly, that while many with smaller installations offer their …
Dale Vile, 02 Jul 2007
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Mobile security: the right way and the wrong way

The team here at Freeform Dynamics has reviewed a lot of projects and gathered a lot of feedback from organisations implementing mobile technology over the years. One of the things we hit on in a report we put together earlier this year was how importance it is to engage and train users to minimise mobility related security …
Dale Vile, 27 Jun 2007
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Mobile device mayhem, or...

In our recent mobile state of the nation survey, we asked you about what was important in a mobile device. In many respects, the results were pretty predictable in that, surprise surprise, battery life and decent voice capability were top of the list: Quite a few then highlighted the importance of high-speed data access, …
Dale Vile, 25 Jun 2007
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BlackBerry squeezes MS on security, management, and control

Mobile email is a hot topic on enterprise agendas at the moment, with many already investing in this area or planning to invest, as we have previously seen. While there are numerous options open as organisations look to implement and/or scale up their installations, there are some obvious choices to make. One of these, …
Dale Vile, 22 Jun 2007
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BlackBerry versus Microsoft

Our workshop on selection of mobile email platforms taking place over here is leading to some interesting insights. In particular, a couple of readers with direct experience of both BlackBerry and MS Exchange/Windows Mobile contrast the two environments. Here are a couple of extracts from their feedback to give you a flavour: " …
Dale Vile, 20 Jun 2007
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Microsoft versus BlackBerry versus, er, BlackBerry?

The results of our latest Reg panel survey (completed last week) confirm that many organisations have already selected a solution for mobile email. As we can see from this graphic, however, there are still quite a few people that are at the "considering or planning" stage – even some that are reconsidering their original …
Dale Vile, 18 Jun 2007
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RIM's growth to 'outstrip Apple'

A little while ago, a Reg Reader poll seemed to indicate that the Microsoft threat was going to clip the wings of RIM in the enterprise mobile messaging and applications space. At that time, RIM was still suffering the effects of a legal spat over alleged patent infringements, and we were picking up a lot of anecdotal feedback …
Dale Vile, 11 Jun 2007

IBM markets up-beat service under legacy brand

Are you looking to change your core email, calendar, and contacts system in the near future? Probably not. While there is a little movement in the market if you are a Microsoft Exchange site, the chances are you will remain so for a while to come, and it is the same for Lotus Notes/Domino shops and others. No one needs the …
Dale Vile, 02 May 2007
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From managed chaos to coherent infrastructure

Over the past few weeks, we have been exploring various aspects of business intelligence delivery through a series of workshops and polls. For the last poll in our series, we pulled it all together and asked where you are now and where you want to get to in terms of infrastructure and solutions. Taking the last of these first, …
Dale Vile, 27 Apr 2007
question mark teaser 75

How did we all end up with Windows?

It's amazing how many people who have Microsoft Windows everywhere look flummoxed when asked whether Windows is their "standard" for desktop computing. The reason they are thrown by this question is typically because they haven't thought about it that way before. In all likelihood, they never actually made a proactive decision …
Dale Vile, 26 Apr 2007
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What the hell is an information delivery strategy anyway?

OK, you got us thinking on this one. In a recent reader survey, about three quarters of you said you had an overall information delivery strategy or were putting one in place for things like business performance management or more general management information requirements. Since then, we've been trying to figure out what you …
Dale Vile, 25 Apr 2007
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Are vendors looking after the BI needs of small biz?

There has been a heated debate going over here on the relative merits of mainframe architectures versus massively parallel Intel/AMD based platforms for large scale data warehousing and other requirements. So far, the mainframe camp seems to be winning this one, so if you are a fan of MPP, get yourself over there and have your …
Dale Vile, 23 Apr 2007

And the centre of your desktop is...

Well, if ever there was any doubt that what's going on with the desktop is a hot topic among IT professionals, put it to one side. We had an overwhelming response to our reader poll in this area with over 4,800 of you participating, so thanks to those who took the time. The first thing we learned from the poll was that …
Dale Vile, 20 Apr 2007
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MS Office versus the browser

The death of the PC and an end to the running of applications on the desktop has been predicted constantly for at least 10 years. From Larry Ellison's high profile advocacy of the Network Computer in the 90s, through modern day web delivery methods, to the latest software as a service (SaaS) plays, there has always been …
Dale Vile, 18 Apr 2007
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Mainframe now obsolete for data warehousing

Many would have argued in the past that a data warehouse was not a "real" data warehouse unless it existed the in big iron mainframe number crunching environment. A bit of a generalisation maybe, but when you look at where many of the big banks, insurance companies, retailers and telcos stick their transaction data for analysis …
Dale Vile, 17 Apr 2007
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Is the relational database now a commodity?

For those of us who were around in the industry during the mid to late 80s, it is interesting to think back to a time when vendors of relational database management systems (RDBMS) were struggling to be taken seriously. The line up then was DB2, Ingres, Informix, Oracle and Sybase, and back in those days RDBMS specialists took …
Dale Vile, 16 Apr 2007
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Vendors causing confusion on business intelligence

The term “business intelligence”, “BI” for short, is one of those phrases that pretty much everyone working in IT will have heard of, and the concept is fundamentally very simple. It’s simple enough, in fact, that even Wikipedia is able to sum it up reasonably effectively as “a business management term which refers to …
Dale Vile, 09 Apr 2007
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Too many users fending for themselves on BI

Recent feedback gathered through reader surveys and workshops tells us that the need for direct information access by end users is increasing. Around one in five organisations already view business intelligence as something that is relevant to a broad audience rather than just a select few senior managers, analysts and other …
Dale Vile, 06 Apr 2007
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Enthusiastic power users still a danger?

Some would argue that it all started with Lotus 123 back in the 80s. When the early spreadsheets emerged and users seized on them as a way of solving their own information requirements, IT's control of the organisation's data started to gradually slip away. We could put all of the security and integrity checks we liked into …
Dale Vile, 02 Apr 2007
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Letting users loose on system integration?

There has been a lot of talk in recent times about portal frameworks and other technologies that allow end users to "compose" their own applications and essentially perform their own development and system integration, in the front end at least. Advocates of Web 2.0 often take this idea to the extreme, and sometimes appear to …
Dale Vile, 23 Feb 2007
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Don't get hit by a 'bad comms day'

When people get issued with their first mobile email device, they invariably get obsessed for a period of time with the novelty of the thing. A few, sadly, remain addicted and never move on from this phase, giving rise to the "CrackBerry" label among BlackBerry users, the occasional divorce, and perhaps the odd nervous breakdown …
Dale Vile, 05 Feb 2007
Warning: roundabout

Vista and Office 2007 spin tales from the Underground

Microsoft launched Vista and Office 2007 at the end of last week to a gathering of developers in its UK headquarters in Thames Valley Park, Reading, and a couple of us from Freeform Dynamics were there to hear what the Redmond software giant had to say. The event itself was typical of Microsoft, pretty slick and well presented …
Dale Vile, 26 Jan 2007
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Managing the change to connected mobile working

Background Mobile working is nothing new. Travelling sales people and tradesmen have been with us for as long as anyone can remember and, in industry today, we have many more examples of workers operating outside of a fixed base - consultants on projects, accountants conducting audits, engineers on construction sites, and so on …
Dale Vile, 25 Jan 2007
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CMDB implementation? What do you think

If you've had any encounters recently with vendors who sell service management solutions, you'll undoubtedly have had the acronyms "ITIL" and "CMDB" thrown at you on quite a few occasions. ITIL is the best practice framework that basically tells you how to deliver IT services effectively and efficiently, and one of the basic …
Dale Vile, 20 Dec 2006
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The BlackBerry Pearl

A couple of months, I committed the cardinal sin of criticising a mobile device without actually having used one. When I posted my initial reaction to the BlackBerry 8100 “Pearl” here, I was bothered by the thought that RIM had sold out its loyal business users by bowing to the pressure of the consumer market and cluttering the …
Dale Vile, 25 Nov 2006
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Vodafone UK gets serious about mobile remote access

Back in 2000, I was recruited into Nortel Networks as part of an initiative to provide advice and guidance to its mobile operator clients on how best to exploit emerging mobile data networks in the business sector. At the time, I knew pretty much zilch about the telecommunications industry, but was hired because Nortel had the …
Dale Vile, 21 Nov 2006
fingers pointing at man

Oracle's Fusion Applications strategy: what the customers think

Following the acquisition of PeopleSoft and Siebel Systems, only a short time after PeopleSoft had itself acquired JD Edwards, software giant Oracle became the proud owner of four ERP and three CRM product lines, all originally developed on different platforms and having different tooling to manage configuration and …
Dale Vile, 15 Nov 2006
channel

The future of Oracle applications

One of the IT vendors with a particularly active and creative marketing department is Oracle. This means that while the company is undoubtedly doing a lot of good stuff, it is sometimes difficult to tell what's real among all the positively spun positioning. An area in which the Oracle messaging machine has been in overdrive is …
Dale Vile, 09 Nov 2006
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Will SOA kill the idea of applications?

As SOA begins to gather momentum in the market, there has been a great deal of speculation about whether we will see the concept of an application disappear. The reasoning goes that a natural consequence of SOA is that systems will no longer be implemented as single monolithic structures, but as a series of component parts that …
Dale Vile, 08 Nov 2006
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Business process modelling

Over the years, business process modelling has, at various times, been a big part of my life. From using a pencil, paper and stencils to draw process diagrams in the mid 80’s, through pushing the first generation of CASE tools to their limits, I eventually got into modelling environments from vendors such as Rational, Select, …
Dale Vile, 02 Nov 2006
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Hot technology agendas

What are the hottest infrastructure technologies as we look forward over the next two years? This was a question the all new Reg Barometer set out to answer by asking readers to rate the short and medium term importance of 25 emerging or fast developing technology areas. The study provides some good insights into what's on …
Dale Vile, 20 Oct 2006
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The keys to mobile success

As many of you will have noticed, we have been running an online workshop on the site over the past month or so gathering reader views on the way things are unfolding in the mobile space. As part of the exercise, we kicked off discussions in the following areas: Mobile email options and use Security and mobile working …
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Youth, age and technology

There have been a few debates recently about the impact of a highly tech/internet savvy generation entering the workplace. The argument is that youngsters brought up in the PC/Web/IM/blogging/mashing culture of interactive electronic 2000’s will expect (need?) all this stuff when then eventually join the ranks of the working …
Dale Vile, 09 Oct 2006
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Convergence: How far you gonna go?

There have been various announcements coming out of the communications industry lately from services providers offering to sell us core complete packages that solve more of our communication needs. We are talking here about services that bring together various elements of voice, data, fixed, wireless, and so on. But how much …
Dale Vile, 04 Oct 2006
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Convergence, or just a tangled mess of ideas?

The word "convergence" is responsible for a lot of confusion in the industry. In some circles it means the coming together of all voice, video and data on an IP network with delivery based on the circumstances or "presence" of the user. In others, it's about getting mobile and fixed line communications working together more …
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One device or two? And who chooses?

One handset or two? That seems to be a major point of discussion in the quest to square the mobile device circle. On the one handset front it has traditionally been a choice between something like a full-on Windows Mobile PDA with all the toys, but which is therefore bulky and has a short battery life (translation, useless on …