Comment from: Bas Raayman [Visitor]
Bas RaaymanHey Tony,

I can relate. Up to a certain point. You can say that the guys from EMC started it all. Might be so, might not be so. That isn't even relevant.

No company should write something like that. It just makes you look silly to potential and already existing customers. Nothing more, nothing less, regardless of who started it.

Regards,
Bas
04/28/09 @ 11:35
Comment from: Nigel [Visitor]
NigelHi Tony,

Another perspective may be......

I half wonder if Barry Chuck and Mark really like you. Honestly. As you know there is a lot of banter out there between the vendors and the likes but at the end of the day its mainly good fun. Occasionally people overstep the mark. I have noticed terms like "blogger for hire" and one of the ones you mentioned but I didnt read too much in to it - may be thats because they were not directed at me though.

Seriously though I would hope it is just banter may be unintentionally gone a little too far.

This world thrives on intense competition and at the end of the day you are doing a job for their competitors. As an example, if competition for the Symmetrix didnt exist Barry would probably be looking for another job.

We all need to eat and we all need each other to keep us on our toes etc.

Keep up the good work. Attention like that generally means you're doing something right!

Nigel
04/28/09 @ 11:39
Comment from: Stephen Foskett [Visitor]
Stephen FoskettI feel your pain here, Tony. I stand by what I said on my blog: Judge me by what I say, not who pays my check. Of course I'm influenced and biased. But I still have to look at myself in the mirror.

You're upfront and honest about your consulting clients, especially HDS. You even write on an HDS domain, something not everyone can claim. And I've got no problem with what you've written for them.

Guys: Tony does not deserve to be personally attacked. It's just too far.
04/28/09 @ 11:43
Comment from: Tony Asaro [Member] Email
Hey Bas - By "you" - I assume you mean all parties involved. Yes, I do see your point of view that I have lowered myself to their level. But when people publicly attack you personally and try to discredit you instead of addressing the issues at hand - it becomes personal and emotional. So I have responded in an emotional and personal way - right or wrong - it is an honest expression of my anger and disgust.

I take your meaning and I respect your perspective. Thank you.


- Tony
04/28/09 @ 12:07
Comment from: Tony Asaro [Member] Email
Nigel - you are a nice guy - but I think the idea that there is a lot of "like" going around isn't probable. The blogger-for-higher comments are meant to discredit me and to question my integrity - which is total crap. This is not meant as playful banter but as a specific tactic on their part. This is not an isolated incident and it has become the way they speak to me publicly. I won't let it go unanswered any longer.

- Tony
04/28/09 @ 12:12
Comment from: asim [Visitor]
asimTony - stay strong. They're just trying to bully you just like they do their customers, partners and employees. Welcome to the "old" culture indeed. Not sure how this behavior helps them or their company for that matter.

BTW, folks should read this if they want to see EMC's V-Max green story de-bunked. http://blogs.hds.com/asim/2009/04/im-max-ed-out.html
04/28/09 @ 12:17
Comment from: Tony Asaro [Member] Email
Stephen - I appreciate your feedback and support on this. I think it is pretty funny that one of Chuck's biggest issues with me is that I get paid for blogging - meanwhile he has a man-crush on Marc Farley - who gets paid for blogging. Another example of hypocrisy and stupidity on Chuck's part.

- Tony
04/28/09 @ 12:21
Comment from: Tony Asaro [Member] Email
Asim - I appreciate your support but staying strong is not the issue. Their attacks are like spinach to Popeye for me. The fact is that it doesn't help their company and I am sure that the real marketing and PR people at EMC cringe at the crap these three sling. I can only assume that these bloggers think they know better than people who really understand marketing. And it is all marketing - but I bet they don't even get that. The real EMC marketing people can't abide by this - but their advice probably falls on deaf ears.
04/28/09 @ 12:27
Comment from: Bas Raayman [Visitor]
Bas RaaymanHey Tony,

thanks for the reply. Actually, by "you" I was referring to all of the people who say/write stuff like that.

Even on the HDS blogs I found that some of the remarks were a little over the edge. While I don't mind having a good and sharp discussion, that was not what was seen most of the time in the entire EMC/HDS story.

Posts like the one Barry posted were not ok, but I was also hoping for a more adult response from HDS, then stating that the Tigon was a bad name (everyone knows that code-names for a product can be downright ridiculous ;-)).

Sharp discussions keep everyone on the edge and make sure that people get a clear understanding of the pros and cons of a product or technology. That is one of the reasons why I read blogs and spend time on the web. And say what you want about the various blogs, but you can learn from them all. Well... Most of the time anyway...

Bas
04/28/09 @ 13:49
Comment from: Tony Asaro [Member] Email
Bas - I just edited my first reply - I thought you were specifically stating that you felt that I had lowered myself to that level. Interestingly, I have stayed away from the silly banter and name calling and instead have stuck to issues and asking what I think are legitimate questions when it comes to the competition. I do admit that I lose my patience some times in the comment section. The last exchange between me and Barry on my Switch IT On: Light Bulb Moment blog for HDS pushed me over the line and I had to retort back at his silly comments. I appreciate your feedback. All I can say is that this latest blog entry was open and honest and personal - because they made it personal. I would say everything I just said to their faces - but I dare them to say what they have said to me to my face. I double dare them ;)

- Tony
04/28/09 @ 14:01
Comment from: Chris M Evans [Visitor]
Chris M EvansTony

It saddens me that vendors can't let the technology do the talking. Let's face it, EMC is probably the easiest company to pick fault with.I could write an entire blog dedicated to just that. Irrespective of whether EMC bloggers claim their blogs are personal or not, they are overtly business orientated and explicitly promote EMC.

However what should be remembered is that the Internet is a permanent public record that will stand as a testament. Customers and potential customers will read what's written. Many of them will have distaste for personal attacks when the message should be about (alleged) superior technology.

It wasn't that long ago Chuck talked about leaving only courteous comments (to quote Robin Harris) on his blog. Perhaps there are some short memories in the industry.


04/28/09 @ 17:20
Comment from: Seamus [Visitor]
SeamusHey Tony. Great blog.

Your blog could never be strong enough in the face of the diatribe. The real EMC marketeers must stand up and be counted.

You make us think, question and engage. And while we may not always agree, importantly we will always exchange views with respect. More than can be said for some.

The irony is that their consistent attacks have encouraged your own and Steve D's recent blog. Both responses just cement our support for what you guys do and how you do it, so long live the Consultant!

Something is amiss IMHO when a 'leading' industry player allows such repeated and transparent folly to continue under its own roof. My personal views for what it's worth.


Remember ...
"The attempt to silence a man is the greatest honor you can bestow on him. It means that you recognize his superiority to yourself." Anonymous


Felt compelled to respond,
Seamus
04/28/09 @ 17:57
Comment from: Tony Asaro [Member] Email
Chris,

You hit the nail right on the head. The best thing that vendors should do is educate. When they bash all they do is insult a potential customer who picked their competitor's products.

That doesn't mean that they should not challenge the competition but do it in a way that is credible and educational.

- Tony


04/28/09 @ 18:13
Comment from: Tony Asaro [Member] Email
Seamus - one of the EMC bloggers is in Ireland - so maybe you can go kick his ass for me ;)

One on hand - this discussion might seem off the point. Why not talk about technology and products? But the culture of any company you work with must be a part of the discussion. I think that this is a valid thing to talk about.

- Tony
04/28/09 @ 18:16
Comment from: Martin G [Visitor]
Martin GFirstly, lets take the personal attacks; like most managers in most large corporates, I have been through my anti-bullying training and what was drilled into us was that 'You may not think that you were bullying and that might not have been your intent but if someone thinks that they are being bullied, you must look at modifying your behaviour...telling someone to suck it up is not an option!' So you've raised the flag, I would expect apologies or at least non-recurrence of the offending remarks.

Banter is only banter if people find it funny; you can't read body language on the Internet, so it is easy to step over someone's line in the sand. I am not sure that anyone especially meant to offend although Zilla's response to you on Twitter leaves me wondering!

Now, the issues of integrity, payment to blog etc; now even if the EMC social-media gang do not get officially paid to blog, you can bet your bottom dollar that when it comes round to appraisal/review time that the fact that they do blog will come into play. So indirectly their blogging activities will have an impact on the perception of them internally. And they all declare their allegiance to the company that they work for; open and above board. That's fine! You, however are an independent contractor who blogs for money; your blogs are a direct income stream for yourself but you declare that you are blogging for pay; that's also fine. I hope that you wouldn't deliberately blog an untruth because you were getting paid but it's fine to put your 'employers' spin on your posts. For example, your post on V-MAX, I found pretty laughable and it fit in to the story being spun by HDS but I don't think it damaged your integrity because you posted it on your HDS blog.

You have as much integrity as anyone else as long as you are open about your affiliations and whose shilling you are taking.

As for my affiliation; I really don't get paid to blog! I do it for love, really I do! Okay, I do it for the fame and adulation it brings! Okay, I look at it as an investment....in me!
04/29/09 @ 03:29
Comment from: Chuck Hollis [Visitor]
Chuck HollisHi Tony

As one of the parties you have an issue with (e.g. one of the morons), let me share our collective, non-corporate perspective.

Simply put, it looks to us like you get paid by the highest bidder to attack EMC's products, strategy and reputation.

We all find that personally distasteful and repugnant on multiple levels. We said as much on our personal blogs.

You don't like what we said. You're taking it personally. You feel the need to share your frustration with everyone. It's interesting reading, to say the least.

Sorry it has to be that way, but it's completely driven by your choice of business model and behavior.

There are plenty of consultants we know and discuss things with with out there.

Sure, they keep us sharp -- that's part of the fun.

But they haven't made a business model of hiring out their services to publicly attack EMC.

Best of luck, Tony

-- Chuck

04/29/09 @ 08:34
Comment from: Tony Asaro [Member] Email
Martin,

I appreciate you point of view. A few things - these so-called personal blogs by EMCers aren't about their views of the world or science or sports or even the IT industry in a general sense. All of these blogs are about EMC. All of their blogs have one goal in mind - to promote EMC and their business.

Your blog is not about your company but about storage and other topics of interest to you. Your blog does not in any way promote the company that gives you a paycheck. That is the difference.

I don't think there is anything wrong with corporate blogs but they certainly should not get on a high horse about a consultant. Like I said - they are fooling themselves at best.

As far as my blog on V-Max - as Stephen Foskett says - everyone has bias - including end users. You've invested heavily in EMC solutions and have a positive bias towards them - and for that reason you have invested millions into their solutions. I used to consult for EMC - and these would have been the questions I asked them. Maybe they are stupid - but I still believe that they are legitimate questions. I will also add that there were a number of others that found my questions to be very good. So it is all subjective.

You also bring up another point about fame, adulation and an investment in you as a professional - all legitimate reasons to blog. You even made an entry about this on your blog as Storagebod. There is nothing wrong with using your strengths to build the kind of career that makes sense to you.


04/29/09 @ 09:42
Comment from: Tony Asaro [Member] Email
Chuck.

Your recollection of the past is convenient but you started the personal attacks in a viscous and disrespectful way. You crossed a line. That isn’t an issue of being a professional but of being a decent human being. You failed on both accounts.

Again, the idea of a consultant seems to be beyond your mental grasp – for all intents and purposes I am an employee for my clients – just as you are for EMC in this regard.

Your condescension is expected but still disappointing. I do not need to go to the highest bidder to do anything. I am fortunate enough to have a very large and diverse network of friends and colleagues in the industry that actually respect, like and value my contribution. You have no idea who I am or what I do or why I do it. However, it appears that your mind quickly goes to the worst in people versus the best. And yes - when you personally attack me - I take it personally.

I do not regret my choice of business model. Interestingly I have a choice with whom I work with. And I would never choose to work with someone like you or a company foolish enough to employ you. And you can lie to yourself and to others that EMC would never work with me – when in fact EMC worked with me quite extensively in the past. Have I burned a bridge with EMC? Are you kidding – because of you and your ilk – I have put a blowtorch to it. And I also have the balls to start my own company and denigrate it all you like because all it does is highlight your ignorance and arrogance.

Yes I probably should have expected the worst kind of behavior from you – my mistake thinking you would not have crossed the line of decency. Please forgive me if I don’t take my moral queues from you but your reputation precedes you.

- Tony
04/29/09 @ 10:42
Comment from: Greg Knieriemen [Visitor]
Greg KnieriemenChuck: You find what Tony is doing as "personally distasteful and repugnant on multiple levels" but EMC hires consultants the same way for the same purposes - right?
04/29/09 @ 15:14
Comment from: Tony Asaro [Member] Email
Greg -

Consider this: EMC is a big customer of IDC. Interestingly, IDC states that EMC is the market share leader in NAS. Anyone that is really in this industry knows that this is absurd - NetApp is the NAS leader. I find this to be extremely curious. Meanwhile Gartner has NetApp as the NAS leader by a mile.
04/29/09 @ 16:17
Comment from: Val Bercovici [Visitor]
Val BercoviciHi Tony,

Just leaving a comment in full support of your position here. Sadly, it seems to be standard operating procedure in EMC's blogging playbook to immediately personalize any debate about the company and their technology.

As Martin G astutely points out - this type of Bullying would not be tolerated inside EMC, so why is it acceptable out in the public domain? Perhaps it is actually an unintended direct reflection of EMC that Bullying truly *is* tolerated within EMC?

The EMC anti-social-media-gang's lack of ability to debate the merits of an argument is as clear an indicator as any that their targeted "victims" have already won the debate. Selective comment censorship on their blogs is another hallmark along these same lines.

Other noted industry experts such as Curtis Preston have also endured these shameful attacks, yet come out of the experience with even stronger credibility due to the merits of their arguments.

As a direct competitor, I fully anticipate EMC to immediately personalize every criticism I publish. But that's OK, because I relish outing this very common inappropriate behavior on their part - which would otherwise remain invisible to the public at large behind closed doors.

Chris Evans’ point that “the Internet is a permanent public record” ensures that this ugly behavior will become EMC’s ultimate social media legacy.

-Val.
04/30/09 @ 21:32
Comment from: Tony Asaro [Member] Email
Val,

I know that some people would prefer that we just talk about products and technology but I think that this is a legitimate topic - customers should not just base their buying decisions on products or services but also on the culture and character of a company. What does it say about EMC that they would allow and probably even encourage this type of behavior?

There are some really good people at EMC - so I don't mean to throw them all under the bus. However, as a corporate entity they do control how they interact with the ecosystem - both internally and externally.

I didn't write this blog because my feelings were hurt. I was actually startled by the stupidity. I left storage for six months and you guys let these three EMC bloggers set the tone of the conversation for the storage blogosphere? Here is a three letter acronym for you - NFW.

So let's put it all out there - that is what social media is all about. I'm not afraid of a fight - a part of me thrives on it.

Unfortunately, I feel pretty strongly that these three EMCers will never see the light. They still have self-righteous indignation. It is often the case that the greatest offenders are quick to judge others but never see the fault within themselves.
05/01/09 @ 04:33
Comment from: Tony Pearson [Visitor] Email
Tony PearsonHi Tony,
Keep up the good fight. Please let me know when your book comes out. I think it would be an interesting read even for those of us who are fully employed.

At the defense of your targets claim they are not corporate bloggers, however, I can say that I was paid to blog for IBM from August 2006 to September 2007, then went a year where blogging was not listed in my "official duties" but did it anyway, and then recently got it back added so that I am now, once again, a professional blogger.

-- Tony Pearson (IBM)
aka "The other Tony in storage"
05/11/09 @ 19:03
Comment from: Tony Asaro [Member] Email
Tony - thanks for the feedback. And the book is coming along at a nice pace.

Interestingly a professional blogger from VMware supported me privately and said he was paid to blog for his company - EMC's sister company.

The EMC guys think that they are ahead of the curve and understand social media. I contend that they do not. Professional blogging is of course acceptable but like anything else you must be honest and up front about it. Actually EMC should pay them to stop blogging.




05/12/09 @ 11:10
Comment from: Gary [Visitor]
GaryHi Tony,

This is interesting reading, but would you mind adding links to the offending attacks so we can judge for themselves?
05/18/09 @ 13:25
Comment from: Tony Asaro [Member] Email
Maybe I will at some point.
05/21/09 @ 16:41
Comment from: Vaughn Stewart [Visitor] Email
Vaughn StewartIt's too bad that the blogosphere has become so polarized. This is a small industry which we all work within, and I have concerns that the current tones may hurt one's ability to attract talent in the future.
07/07/10 @ 09:47

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