Analyst Q and A: Chatting with Deni Connor – the straight talking Queen of Storage Strategies NOW

September 15, 2011

By Rose Ross, @Rose_at_O

We were granted an audience with one of the veritable queens of Storage. Deni Connor, Founding Analyst of Storage Strategies NOW.

Q. Tell us a bit about yourself:

I started out in medical editing for the National Institutes of Health and then converted to technology in the early 80s. I’ve worked in marketing for a number of companies. Among them a mobile computing company, IBM, Novell and Thomas-Conrad, a company acquired by Compaq.

Q. Tell us a little bit about your analyst firm and its interest in data storage.

Storage Strategies NOW provides research to vendors, end-users, venture capitalists on storage technologies and products.

Q. What’s hot in storage this year?

Solid state drives and of course, more and more virtualization, including the virtual desktop infrastructure. Also cloud companies.

Q. How many storage events do you attend each year?

About 6, not including analyst days.

Q. Which one are you most looking forward to?

Storage Networking World, where we will release the results of two reports: one on Data Reduction and the other on Data Protection and Recovery in the SMB.

Q. What types of companies are likely to attract your attention this year?

Companies that are doing something innovative with the cloud and SSD companies.

Q. How many interviews do you do per week?

Ask me that on a good day and I’d answer none. But most days, at least three.

Q. What’s the best way to pitch a company to you? Email? Phone? Twitter? By mail?

Definitely, email.

Q. Who is worth listening to (about storage)?

Anyone who has a broad and long view of storage and can draw relationships between it and today’s current technologies.

Q. What’s your favourite blog?

Ours of course. StorageBytesNOW.com

Q. What is your favourite piece of technology?

My new Airport.

Q. What do you think is the most important development in storage to date?

Solid state drives as they replace spinning, magnetic media as the cost economics come down.

Q. What is the best piece of advice for companies pitching stories?

Don’t bore us with endless drivel about non-existent products. Don’t pitch something you can’t follow through on. And, if we ask you a ‘Yes/No’ question, be prepared to answer it with ‘Yes’ or ‘No,’ nothing else.

Q. What was the best business trip you’ve ever been on? Worst? Why?

Usually the last one – it’s where I’ve had the best briefings with customers. Worst – Frankfurt Germany – ugly, grey, industrial city.

Q. What’s your favourite restaurant?

Bouchon, Thomas-Keller’s restaurant in Las Vegas.

Q. Are you a social media lover? Which ones are you on? FB? LinkedIn? Twitter?

Sort of. I find that a lot of people tweet because they have nothing better to do. I use Twitter infrequently – just to announce something I think is important. I also use LinkedIn for business contacts and FaceBook for personal relationships.

Q. Tell us something no one knows about you. Do you have any unusual or unexpected hobbies/interests? Do you have a claim to fame?

I have insomnia and make a killer bowl of red beans and rice. Once upon a time, I wrote ‘NetWare for Dummies’ – it was the only book on technology that I made any money from. Oh, and don’t even try to read my Kindle.

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