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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Challenging accepted ERP wisdom

Workshop So you've been through an ERP implementation before and you know how it's all done? That’s good to hear, but if your experience was a few years ago, it might be worth taking a look at the way things have been changing. The truth is that anyone reviewing their ERP requirements today won't be doing themselves any favours if they …
Dale Vile, 22 Mar 2010
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Just how does IT spend its time looking after ERP?

Poll Results Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) packages providing functionality to support core business processes in an integrated manner are a prominent feature in a lot of IT environments. But what kind of burden do they place on the IT department? Some of us who have been in the business for a while can remember the days when these …
Dale Vile, 19 Mar 2010
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Do ERP projects ever end?

Workshop In some organisations, the ERP system represents the biggest single entity within the IT environment. This is particularly the case in industries such as manufacturing, distribution and others that are heavily manpower- or goods-centric. Even if ERP in itself doesn’t account for a lot of the infrastructure per se, it is one of …
Dale Vile, 18 Mar 2010
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How much of a burden is ERP on your IT department?

Mini Poll Following our discussions earlier in the week on the current state of ERP, we thought it would be useful to gather some structured feedback on the burden such systems place on IT departments. So, if you have a couple of minutes, let us know how things are with your ERP system in the following mini-poll: READER POLL: ERP BURDEN …
Dale Vile, 17 Mar 2010
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ERP checkpoint

Workshop A lot of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems in place today were installed in the 90's as part of the consolidation of point solutions or to deal with Y2K. At the time, a lot of effort generally went into selecting the most appropriate supplier and system, and significant money and manpower was invested in implementation …
Dale Vile, 15 Mar 2010
channel

Another annoying cloud pitch

I just sat through another cloud consulting services pitch from a major IT vendor. Some of it was under NDA so can’t talk about specifics, but that’s not really relevant to the point that has prompted me to write this. I guess my big problem is that I have spent the last ten years as an analyst looking at different disciplines …
Dale Vile, 16 Feb 2010

Lighting up management’s information blind spot

Poll Results Consultants and analysts often trot out lines about the importance of ‘IT-business alignment’, encouraging IT departments to tune into the ‘business agenda’ and take their lead from management priorities and objectives. But what happens when management and the broader business needs help with something, only to have a blind spot …
Dale Vile, 14 Dec 2009

Business application suppliers: What do we want?

Workshop As we near the end of another decade it is an appropriate time to look at the way in which IT supplier relationships are changing and what current and potential customers are likely to be pushing for over the coming 10 years. The fundamental impact application packages such as ERP and CRM have on a business makes this question …
Dale Vile, 10 Dec 2009
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Crap data not my problem

Getting IT professionals to tell you about how poorly the information needs of users are catered for in their organisation is easy. Time and time again, we have run surveys and workshops on The Register that confirm the issues around fragmentation, duplication, inconsistency and how application vendors don't make it easy to get …
Dale Vile, 10 Dec 2009

Balancing user and business expectations

Workshop Nobody wants to go back to the early days of packaged applications when green screens were the norm and users got what they were given and had to come to IT if they wanted anything different. But should we really be going to the other extreme, as some would argue, and let users take control? It has become quite trendy now to …
Dale Vile, 07 Dec 2009
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The unrealised potential of ERP and CRM

Poll Results With all of that money, time and effort expended on ERP and CRM systems over the years, you would expect organisations to have paid a lot of attention to getting the most from them, but a recent poll of Reg readers (including 66 ERP users and 65 CRM users) suggests that many implementations have some way to go before they …
Dale Vile, 04 Dec 2009
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Setting application data free

Workshop The best time to sell someone pain relief is when they are hurting, and so it was back in the 90s, when the first wave of ERP software was offered to customers to ease their suffering from point solution chaos and broken automation. The next best time to sell medication, of course, is when someone is looking forward to some …
Dale Vile, 03 Dec 2009
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Squeezing more out of ERP and CRM

Mini Poll One of the most common complaints at board level to do with IT is the amount of money thrown at ERP and CRM application deployments over the years. Some question the perceived returns that have been delivered in terms of value to the business. With this in mind, we would be interested in whether you think packaged applications …
Dale Vile, 02 Dec 2009
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Expanding the footprint of enterprise apps

Workshop Many organisations originally invested in ERP and CRM suites to deal with specific problems they were focused on at the time. Whether it was automating or fixing certain processes, or simply replacing existing obsolete systems, the job at hand was clear, and bad things happened if the immediate objectives weren’t met. Sure, the …
Dale Vile, 30 Nov 2009

Reg readers lay out their selection criteria for app packages

Poll results While software sales and marketing people often try to convince business people that the technical stuff doesn’t matter that much when selecting an application package, Reg readers beg to differ. Indeed, over a hundred of you participating in our recent mini-poll were clear in what matters from an IT perspective to ensure …
Dale Vile, 27 Nov 2009

Evaluating enterprise application software

A seasoned ERP salesman coaching a junior colleague once said: “The trick, my boy, is to avoid the IT department like the plague for as long as possible, as they’ll just make your life complicated by asking lots of irrelevant geeky questions. Win the hearts and minds of the business people first by convincing them the software …
Dale Vile, 25 Nov 2009
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Your wish list for packaged applications

Mini Poll Following our discussions this week on the importance of evaluating application packages from a technology perspective, we're interested in gathering some more information from you on the things that really matter. So, if you have a couple of minutes, please give us your feedback in the short poll below: READER POLL: …
Dale Vile, 24 Nov 2009
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Looking back at packaged application rigidity and lock-in

Workshop When packaged applications first appeared on the scene a quarter of a century ago, it was normal for them to be very proprietary in nature. Modifications and extensions were generally implemented through toolsets and programming languages that were each specific to the application concerned. Integration between systems was …
Dale Vile, 23 Nov 2009

The pros and cons of business application packages

Poll Results Whether to build or buy, that is the question? Well, it is for many when it comes to business applications. It's a topic on which we asked for your feedback as part of our latest workshop, and over 100 of you came back with your views on it. So what did we learn? Firstly, the drivers for going down the ’buy’ rather than ‘build …
Dale Vile, 20 Nov 2009

The great ‘build versus buy’ debate

Mini Poll Following our discussions earlier in the week on the pros and cons of packaged applications, the ‘build versus buy’ debate rolls on. Whether it’s ERP, CRM or other solutions for dealing with core business requirements, we’d be interested in gathering a bit more information on where you are today and how this is changing. So, …
Dale Vile, 18 Nov 2009

Is there any such thing as ‘The Business’?

Reader Workshop A seasoned CIO of a large multinational once remarked: “All of these vendors keep telling me that IT must be aligned with the needs of ‘the business’, as if I just had one customer. "The reality is that I am constantly refereeing in squabbles over budgets, resources and priorities between the heads of the eight divisions I …
Dale Vile, 17 Nov 2009
The Register breaking news

Are packaged applications becoming less relevant?

The imminent death of traditional packaged applications for dealing with ERP, CRM and other core business requirements has been proclaimed in many quarters recently. Whether it’s SOA purists telling us that we’ll all be self-assembling solutions from components, enthusiasts of modern development environments wanting to build …
Dale Vile, 16 Nov 2009

Windows 7 kills two thirds of active Vista initiatives

Tech Panel results We recently ran a Reg Reader survey asking respondents (over 1,100 IT pros) about their thoughts and plans on the topic of desktop modernisation. Along the way, we took the opportunity to figure out where organisations are out there today with their desktop estates. You can download our full report here (no reg req'd). …
Dale Vile, 09 Nov 2009
cloud

Time for a change on the desktop?

Reg Reader Studies A combination of the economic downturn and lack of appetite for Vista means that many have deferred desktop upgrade activity over the past year or two. If the stories of economic green shoots and the virtues of Windows 7 are to be believed, however, we are likely to see desktop modernisation coming into focus again as we look …
Dale Vile, 21 Sep 2009
arrow pointing up

Vista and Lotus: Knowing when to let go of a brand

Microsoft spent an absolute fortune on the Vista brand. In marketing terms, the Vista campaign was huge by any standards, and was a big success insofar as raising awareness of Microsoft's next-generation Windows offering was concerned. Of course as we all know, things didn't work out too well for Microsoft. The the new …
Dale Vile, 07 Sep 2009

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