Storage Soup

Jan 4 2008   4:04PM GMT

Storage analyst goes to the Dell Side

Beth Pariseau Beth Pariseau Profile: Beth Pariseau

The industry’s been abuzz this week with rumors that ESG analyst Tony Asaro is headed to Dell, and today Asaro confirmed that’s the plan. He’s going to join Dell as a director of product marketing; today is his last official day as an analyst.

Asaro said his new role will be in creating Dell’s storage strategy and evangelizing  their storage products (some would say this is the role of analysts in the market today, anyway). When asked why he’s leaving his analyst gig, Asaro said he’s excited by the position iSCSI is taking in the market and Dell’s direction following the $1.4 billion acquisition of EqualLogic in November. In other words, a boilerplate answer.

In fairness, Asaro has focused on iSCSI during his time as an analyst and has been bullish about that market’s future. Maybe he didn’t want to sit on the sidelines anymore, watching money roll in elsewhere. In that way, it’s refreshing to see an analyst put his career where his predictions are.

However, he’ll need to be careful to avoid the fate of another former analyst, Randy Kerns, who left the Evaluator Group to become a vice president of strategy and planning at Sun in September 2005, shortly after Sun completed a blockbuster acquisition of its own. Less than a year later, he left Sun, resurfacing in October 2006 as CTO of ProStor Systems.

Still, this news, along with Dell’s acquisition of The Networked Storage Co. in December, will be welcome to EqualLogic users concerned with customer support in the wake of the acquisition. Folding in added storage expertise shows Dell’s at least trying to make the right moves.

4  Comments on this Post

 
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  • Beth Pariseau
    Go back and look at Asaro's analysis and blogging specifically on this deal at ESG's web site. You don't see a conflict with one of the biggest analysts in the storage industry pumping the deal and the bolting for the company? How stupid do you think Steve Duplessie feels? How does this hurt ESG's credibility? This story needs more unpacking.
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  • Beth Pariseau
    Dave, you're surprised by conflict of interest in the analyst game? ("game" used intentionally, as that's exactly what the analyst business is, a game) That said, Asaro was a decent analyst, a smart guy, and a good human. Asaro has also been bullish on iSCSI and the burgeoning SMB market for sometime - so I don't think he is as culpable in this as you might make him out to be. I'm frankly surprised he lasted this long at esg where there really isn't room for anyone to breathe in the shadow of Duplessie's over-sized ego and mouth. No matter how stupid Duplessie feels, he'll never admit it, and esg won't talk about it, they'll "spin" this departure somehow ("it was a good 5 years, we wish him well, blah, blah, blah"). esg doesn't have the depth or bench of the major analyst firms like Gartner or IDC, so talking about a departure of this magnitude just draws attention that the fact that they'll have to scramble to fill the gap. I'm skeptical about Dell's ability to execute on the EQL acquisition, and I'm skeptical about Asaro's ability to impact a behemoth like Dell. Sure, Dell has said they want to own IP - remember the last time they said that? Anyone? 2 words - ConvergeNet - look it up. Sure that was 8 years ago, but Dell has always been an execution and fulfillment machine, and I don't think they have the depth to wield the EQL technology into anything other than a channel play via their distribution model. That's not a very "exciting" or "intellectually stimulating" type of a role for someone like Asaro, or any analyst, that likes the limelight, at least to some degree. It'll be interesting to see what happens. Don't get me wrong, I'm bullish on iSCSI too, I think the SMB, prosumer / consumer storage market is the next big growth market, I'm just not sure Dell has the chops to get there... I give Asaro 12-18 months there
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  • Beth Pariseau
    These comments about hurting ESG are just another form of spin city from an analysts who did not get the call. Call it jealousy or call it what ever you want but Tony who is a very capable guy was just at the right place at the right time. Any way, how many customers, competitors, or storage people would have reccommended Tony to MD anyway? Many more than you think......Good Luck Tony!
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  • Beth Pariseau
    [...] This has to be some kind of record. I haven’t gotten hold of him directly yet, but sources close to the situation confirmed today that Tony Asaro has left Dell, less than a month after leaving analyst firm Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG) for the vendor. [...]
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