Dell has quietly snagged a former IBM Fellow and early storage pioneer to be its new CTO of its Enterprise Solutions Group.
Jai Menon last week unveiled his move to Dell in a blog post in which he said he joined Dell about 10 weeks ago because of the company's ongoing technology transformation and the opportunity Dell has to help shape the future of IT.
"As Dell has matured in the Enterprise space and become a true end-to-end solutions provider -- which has both the ability and desire to innovate across technologies like no other -- I felt like now was the time to make a move. The opportunity to help guide Dell’s enterprise architecture as it creates solutions for the next 25 years in an environment that is not encumbered by the past excites me," Menon wrote.
Menon, a 26-year IBM veteran who most recently served as that company's CTO and vice president of technical strategy, brings to Dell an impressive legacy of storage innovation.
According to his biography, which is still available on IBM's Almaden Research Center website, Menon joined IBM Research in 1982 where he contributed to such technologies as disk emulation, storage controllers, disk caching, storage networking, storage virtualization, file systems and RAID.
Menon was also credited by IBM as the initiator of the company's SAN Volume Controller, a technology that virtualizes heterogeneous storage into a single storage pool.
In addition to being an IBM Fellow, Menon, who holds 52 patents, was also known at Big Blue as an IBM Master Inventor.
Menon, in his Dell blog post, said that Dell's business and strategy has changed quickly over the last four years with the development of its relatively new Software Group Services Group, and Enterprise Solutions Group.
As examples, he cited Dell's investments in enterprise servers and storage, including the acquisition of iSCSI leader EqualLogic, and advancements in cloud strategy including being the first to introduce a complete, integrated hardware and software solution for OpenStack private clouds.
"So it’s this combination of technology transformation and the opportunity it creates for Dell which I found intriguing and when the offer came to join the company, I saw it as too good to pass up. Trading in my career equity at IBM, my role as CTO and VP of Technical Strategy for IBM’s Systems and Technology Group and my role as an IBM Fellow, where I had wide latitude to think about the biggest and most interesting problems in the industry, was not an easy decision to make," Menon wrote.
Menon is the second high-profile hire for Dell's Enterprise Systems Group. Marius Haas, the former head of Hewlett-Packard's Networking unit and former point man for HP's mergers and acquisitions activity, in August took over as president of the group.
Dell and IBM spokespeople were unavailable to comment further on Menon's new position at Dell.
PUBLISHED OCT. 16, 2012