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SNIA Filings Should Interest

by Administrator on January 23, 2007

For those who care, the Storage Networking Industry Association (“the SNIA”) is a registered 501(c)6 non-profit trade association in the State of California.  That requires them to file an annual report, and to make it available for public review.

Shortly, they should be filing their annual financial position covering 2006, which I will certainly read with some interest.

Looking at its filing last year, what jumped out at me was:

  • A net DECREASE in cash from $809,929 in 2004 to $486,279 in 2005.
  • A net DECREASE in Membership and Forum revenue from $3,141,156 in 2004 to $2,471,167 in 2005.
  • A sharp DECREASE in monies spent on Program Services (e.g., the work of SNIA) and an equally stunning INCREASE in the amount of money spent on employee expenses, operations and meetings.  (To their credit, the Board seems to have taken a bit of a pay cut:  Wayne didn’t make as much as his predecessor.)



Program services:



General and administrative expenses:    
Employee expense









Board of Directors



Were I an investor, these kind of numbers would paint a picture of an organization whose membership is in decline (partially a function of mergers and acquisitions within the industry that reduce the number of dues paying members) and whose mission (program services) is in serious jeopardy. 

From the numbers, it would seem that a lot of meetings are being held and independent contractors are being hired to try to get back on some semblance of a track and to compensate for the lack of interest among members in volunteering to do the heavy lifting of the organization without compensation.

This is reinforced by what happened recently in the Storage Security Forum, which was energetically helmed by LeRoy Budnik for the last couple of years.  Here is what I have ferreted out from my research into Budnik’s recent departure.

The Storage Security Forum under LeRoy Budnik’s leadership and cooperation of the member’s had actually built a war chest(?) of $60,000 over three years to promote storage security. The money was accumulated “through careful cost monitoring and price points for events that were a good value while still paying for themselves.”

Membership in the Forum was actually going up, with the dues typically coming from descretionary spending.

Budnik has been replaced by former EMCer, Larry Krantz, who Budnik brought in to assist him in membership development.  The story goes that Krantz pitched the board behind Budnik’s back to obtain a lucrative contract as the new SSIF Chair — a position that will pay him $40K for 3 months. 

According to one source, “If the number is correct, that leaves $20,000 for pilfering. Wonder how long that will last? I’m an independent consultant and I’d certainly like to see an annual contract for $160,000.”

Of course, the information I have received might reflect sour grapes on the part of some “Budnikians.”  However, viewed from the perspective of the financial backdrop above, it seems to me that paying independent contractors to run SNIA efforts is an extraordinarily wasteful endeavor given a net decline in revenues over the past year. 

I eagerly await the SNIA’s next filing to see whether the decline worsens.

Not surprisingly, given my view of SNIA generally, if this were my company, I’d shut it down today.  If I was a share holder, I would abandon my position. 

But that’s just me.


{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Chris M Evans January 24, 2007 at 5:59 pm

It’s not often I feel drawn to comment (and not often I agree with your views 🙂 ) but I agree SNIA has had it. I think it is a bumbling organisation which will just fizzle out due to inability to implement any of its key aims. I was a member, but chose not to renew (partly because I got nothing out of it, partly because they made it too difficult). Thank goodness I didn’t.

Administrator January 25, 2007 at 2:38 pm

Thanks, Chris. And welcome to DrunkenData. I welcome your views even if they are contrary to my own. The clash of ideas is what makes this thing work.

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