The short version
Dennis Howlett has been taking the buyer’s perspective in analysing application vendor offerings for more than 22 years following a 20 year successful career in IT and finance related roles. ‘Never knowingly under opinionated,’ Howlett takes strong positions in the interests of getting to the truth of what drives customer value.
The long version
Dennis Howlett started his career as an accountant in a number of industries including investment banking, construction, batch manufacture and structural steel, eventually ending up as a partner in a British firm of Chartered Accountants. Throughout that time, he was involved with technology in one way or the other, learning a smattering of Basic, Pascal, C+ and an assortment of databases including the forerunner to Oracle, Paradox, MS SQL and Dataease. In the 1980s, his firm became one of the first to implement Finax, first on a ‘luggable’ Apricot and later on a Novell Network. He also implemented a variety of systems for clients, mostly SMEs.
Retiring from practice in 1993, Howlett pursued a fresh career commenting upon the technology industry, testing and reviewing enterprise applications and consulting with end user organisations. In the run up to Y2K, his portfolio of work extended to some 27 print magazines before the dot com bust wreaked havoc on the technology industry and with it pretty much all of the titles to which he had been contributing.
After a two year sabbatical, Howlett returned to writing in the summer of 2005 only to find that media had started to move en masse to the internet. Seeing an opportunity to offer analysis and commentary from a different perspective, Howlett started writing AccMan, a self published ‘blog’ that ran continuously through October 2012. Its focus was the professional practitioner with an emphasis on what cloud based applications could bring. He also started contributing to ZDNet under the irreverent title ‘Irregular Enterprise.’ The focus was upon cutting through the hyperbole that is so fondly adopted by technology companies and especially around cloud, social media and other buzz phrases. During that time, Howlett has gained a reputation for taking no prisoners when it comes to tackling vendors, especially when their actions are not in the best interests of the buyer community.
Along the way he was one of the founding Enterprise Irregulars and an early inductee to the SAP Mentor group. He continued to provide end user consulting and advisory, especially in the area of cloud contract negotiation and implementation. In the last few years, a number of the vendors have consulted with him on product topics. Most recently and along with Jon Reed, Howlett has built up an substantial video portfolio under the JD-OD.com brand.
As 2013 swings round, Howlett is about to scratch an itch that’s been driving him nuts for the last couple of years. Under the working title #evilplans, Howlett wants to take a fresh approach to providing comment and analysis. It may not work.
Where he writes on topics that include reference to recent or current clients, those relationships are disclosed in the copy.