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.
Windows Vista teaser

Reg readers split on Vista readiness

Reg Tech Panel The first of our three polls on desktop operating systems is now complete. The poll looked at Reg reader opinions on the readiness of Windows Vista for business use. We’ll be putting together a complete analysis once the other two polls - on desktop Linux and OS X - are done. In the meantime, here are some headline findings from …
Dale Vile, 23 May 2008
The Register breaking news

Is Vista ready for Business?

Reg Tech Panel Now that Windows Vista SP1 is here, you’ve got no more excuses to put off that upgrade, right? And if you have strayed in the past onto one of those ‘alternative’ (shiver) platforms such as Linux or OS X, you’ll of course be coming home to grab yourself a slice of that Wow! Maybe, maybe not, but given that Vista has been with us …
Dale Vile, 16 May 2008
The Register breaking news

Virtualization: nothing new on the Sun or the mainframe

The Freeform perspective IT industry veterans are often heard complaining that the new fangled stuff youngsters are raving about today is just a rehash or repackaging of old familiar things that have been around for years. As an old timer myself, it's something I can definitely relate to, and one of the areas that evokes this kind of feeling is …
Dale Vile, 16 Apr 2008

Why I downgraded from Vista to XP

Freeform Dynamics I blogged a while back on how a Vista upgrade effectively rendered my old desktop machine useless for business purposes (see Retiring Leonardo from last year). I got a lot of feedback at that time as many people out there were obviously trying to get a handle on the viability of upgrading older kit. While …
Dale Vile, 12 Mar 2008

Just because it’s SaaS doesn’t make it good

Freeform Dynamics The prevailing view among SaaS evangelists seems to be that if it’s hosted and charged for on a price per user per month basis, or better still free, then it must be good. This is a religious standpoint that is no more useful or valid than oft-heard claims that open source software is universally better than …
Dale Vile, 07 Feb 2008
The Register breaking news

Are your staff adequately trained?

Reg Tech Panel Freeform Dynamics An interesting finding emerged from a recent Reg reader study. It concerns a cause and effect that is pretty obvious once it is highlighted. Put simply, IT departments operate much more smoothly and efficiently if IT staff are adequately trained. The data, which is derived from over 1,100 responses to an …
Dale Vile, 04 Feb 2008
The Register breaking news

Is Oracle really the next Microsoft?

Freeform Dynamics The gobbling-up by Oracle of BEA, the last significantly-sized independent middleware vendor, is another sign of the trend we are seeing towards increasing consolidation in the IT industry. It leads to obvious questions about customer choice, disruption, and protection of investment that will sound very …
Dale Vile, 24 Jan 2008
Recycle sign

A green solution? So what?

With vendors falling over themselves to demonstrate their green credentials, it's interesting to consider how much customers really care when they are looking to buy IT products and services. Freeform Dynamics According to our recent survey on computing and the environment, the answer is "not that much" at the moment. Based …
Dale Vile, 22 Jan 2008
question mark teaser 75

Should BEA have said yes to Oracle?

Mini Poll Well, the shareholders succumbed in the end, and BEA is now to be part of the mighty machine that is Oracle (see here if you missed the news). This probably didn't come as that much of a surprise to the pundits, and the BEA shareholders must obviously think they're getting a good deal. Beyond the wheeling, dealing and …
Dale Vile, 16 Jan 2008
The Register breaking news

Rewriting the SaaS laws

Comment I sometimes think I am living in a parallel universe when I get into conversations about Software as a Service (SaaS). People keep talking to me as if there is some kind of seismic shift taking place in the way organisations are acquiring and running software. Then I look around me and down at the results of study after study of …
Dale Vile, 05 Nov 2007
The Register breaking news

Going mobile is part of the process

Workshop roundup As mobility has entered the mainstream, most of the focus to date - at least in the media and among analysts - has been on connecting up mobile professionals via BlackBerries, Windows Mobile devices and laptop data cards. The drivers for this kind of investment have mostly been concerned with improving collaboration and …
Dale Vile, 26 Oct 2007
The Register breaking news

IP telephony: does it float your boat?

Reader Poll IP telephony (IPT) solutions have been in the market for quite a while and our research indicates continued and growing activity in this area. However, the issue of service and call quality is still frequently mentioned in the press, with references to small businesses in particular ripping out their VoIP/IPT solutions and going …
Dale Vile, 19 Oct 2007
BEA logo

BEA and Oracle - doing the math

Comment The problem with takeover bids is that once made, things can never be the same again for "target". At this point, we cannot be absolutely sure that the proposed acquisition of BEA by Oracle will go ahead, or whether other potential buyers will enter the game - as industry analyst James Governor encourages with his mischievous …
Dale Vile, 16 Oct 2007
The Register breaking news

M2M jumps beyond the line

Mobile Workshop Much debate about the use of wireless technology in business tends to revolve around providing mobile and remote workers with access to central systems of one kind or another. The growing popularity of notebook data cards and handheld email devices among professionals is probably the most obvious illustration of this, though …
Dale Vile, 02 Oct 2007
The Register breaking news

Is cellular M2M actually relevant to your industry?

Reader Poll 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
The Register breaking news

Is your mobile tech creaking at the joints?

Mobile Workshop 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
The Register breaking news

Fed up with disjointed telephony?

Workshop roundup 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
The Register breaking news

Ditch the desk phone? Yes please

Reader Poll 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
The Register breaking news

Could you give up your desk phone?

Mobile Workshop 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
The Register breaking news

The trusting, the diligent and the downright paranoid

Mobile Workshop 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
The Register breaking news

Is wireless security just a pipe dream?

Reader Poll 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
The Register breaking news

Juggle those connections

Mobile Workshop 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
The Register breaking news

Challenging the mobile clichés

Opinion 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
The Register breaking news

Do IT chiefs lack vision?

Reg Technology Panel 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
The Register breaking news

Business intelligence needs business backing

Reg Technology Panel report 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
The Register breaking news

The practitioner's view of wireless

Mobile workshop 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
The Register breaking news

Wireless access - Is it just size speed that matters?

Reader Poll 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

Comment 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
The Register breaking news

Fooling around at the less glamorous end of mobility

Mobile workshop 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
The Register breaking news

Mobile security: the right way and the wrong way

Mobile workshop 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
The Register breaking news

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
The Register breaking news

BlackBerry squeezes MS on security, management, and control

Poll results 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
The Register breaking news

BlackBerry versus Microsoft

Reader Poll 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
The Register breaking news

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
The Register breaking news

RIM's growth to 'outstrip Apple'

Reg Technology Panel 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

Comment 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
The Register breaking news

From managed chaos to coherent infrastructure

Reg Reader Workshop 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?

Reg Reader Workshop 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
The Register breaking news

What the hell is an information delivery strategy anyway?

Reg Reader Workshop 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
The Register breaking news

Are vendors looking after the BI needs of small biz?

Reg reader workshop 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...

Reg Reader Workshop 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
The Register breaking news

MS Office versus the browser

Reg Reader Workshop 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
The Register breaking news

Mainframe now obsolete for data warehousing

Reg Reader Workshop 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
The Register breaking news

Is the relational database now a commodity?

Reg Reader Workshop 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
The Register breaking news

Vendors causing confusion on business intelligence

Reg Reader Workshop 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
The Register breaking news

Too many users fending for themselves on BI

Reg Reader Workshop 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
The Register breaking news

Enthusiastic power users still a danger?

Reg reader workshop 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?

Reg Reader Studies 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
The Register breaking news

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

Comment 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