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Desai joins EMC at a time when the entire IT industry is focusing on improving end-user experience as a way to advance the business, Lumenate's Shepard said.
"The whole IT world is turning to the services provider model, with public, private and hybrid clouds," he said. "And to do this right, IT needs control."
The need for IT control in a services-oriented world makes executives like Desai key to success, Shepard said.
"He's an end-user guy," he said. "He was a big Oracle guy, and then at Symantec focused on endpoint security. Customers need endpoint security to get to their Oracle applications. He also understands cloud security and has a lot of data protection experience."
Desai is unique in the industry, and recruiting him was an important move for EMC, Shepard said.
"Business is the consumer going forward," he said. "Who better to have than a guy with experience with applications and how to protect the endpoints?"
A Symantec spokesperson told CRN via email that Desai's position at that company was split into two and handled by Jeff Hausman, senior vice president of information availability and intelligence, and Pablo Stern, senior vice president of backup and recovery.
EMC executives were unavailable to comment further on Desai's appointment.