Vendor Backlash Fuels Storage Group's Growth

By Drew Robb

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Although launched in September 2003, ASNP is attracting hundreds of members with its call to 'Leave No User Behind.' Tired of over-hyped products from vendors that under-deliver the ASNP's message is all about stripping away the noise and being a true-voice for the end-user community.

"Vendors have no control of the ASNP," boasted chairman and founder Daniel Delshad. "The response to our first round of meetings demonstrates that we fill a great need in the storage industry from the user perspective."

"There is a groundswell of frustration among storage users as you can't get a straight answer from many of the vendors," agreed Tom Giannetti, a Southern California chapter member, and director of IT at Home Depot. "If each company insists its product is the best and that the others are no good, how can you decide what to buy?"

The ASNP agenda goes beyound simple vendor bias to encompass standards. Several attendees at the Southern California chapter meeting, for example, voiced their disagreement with the accepted mode of operation of standards bodies.

"Most standards organizations fail to receive enough user input and the people on the committees typically don't work day-to-day with storage," said Shirley Tseng, an ASNP member and a consultant with Infinite Global Infrastructures, a company involved in satellite networks as well as NASA ground networks. "Also, the standards groups tend to be heavily vendor influenced."Tseng's hopes is that the ASNP will eventually bring both sides together, getting more user input into the standards setting bodies via offical ASNP participation and repesentation.

"I don't have the time to be on a standards panel, but I can afford one day a quarter to come to an ASNP chapter meeting to discuss the important issues," said Tseng.

With 23 chapters already existence, including several overseas, Delshad's goal is to expand membership to over 15,000. By doing so, he believes he will have created a body that can exert a strong influence that will be felt throughout the storage industry

"This validates the need for a user organization like the ASNP," said Delshad. "We are exiting the start-up stage and are well on our way to becoming a full fledged association that exerts a strong influence on the industry as a whole."