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Mastermind May Profile : Meet Master ASE Gene Franzen from Austin, Texas


Name: Gene Franzen

Employer: Avnet

Title/Role: Field Technical Consultant

Location: Austin, TX

Education: AAS, Electronics Engineering

LinkedIn Profile:  Gene Franzen


HP ATP - Fortify Security V1

HPE ASE - Server Solutions Architect V3

HPE Master ASE - Storage Solutions Architect V2

Gene FranzenGene Franzen

How did you get started? 

“At this point in my career, this represents a very long and winding story, but from a purely HPE Technology standpoint, it can be directly traced to the attempted acquisition of 3PAR by Dell.  My role at the time was focused primarily on storage performance analysis and design in customer environments, and this level of expertise allowed the team I was on, to often participate in evaluating prospective storage acquisitions. It took very little time to realize 3PAR was the storage solution I’d been searching for almost as long as I’d been interested in shared storage. As a result, I began searching for a position that would allow me to focus on HPE in general and apply all the expertise I’d gained over the years.”

What is your favorite HPE technology? 

“I think I’ve kind of strongly hinted at this already, but storage has been a passion of mine for most of my career. My years doing storage performance analysis and design in real-world customer environments really highlighted for me the immense challenges customers faced, particularly as arrays aged. Changing performance needs for existing workloads, growth, new workloads, or just plain poor planning and decision-making all inevitably led to time-consuming analysis capped with painful, disruptive and more time-consuming work to free up stranded capacity, stranded performance, as well as identify and resolve specific performance issues.  3PAR succeeded both in turning these problems completely upside-down along with providing enormous advantages over any storage solution I’ve worked with, and it’s only gotten better over the years under HPE’s care.”

Any interesting customer stories you would like to share? 

“My favorite issue, by far, is one I’ve actually dealt with several times. It’s simply customers who’ve become fed up with managing their arrays by spreadsheet. Tremendous foresight, intimate understanding of their workloads, and manual planning are critical to mitigating issues like stranded capacity or performance. In fact, it’s inevitable for the most part, but, equally frustrating is the fact that the solutions are so consistently time-consuming, expensive, and painfully disruptive. As time has gone on, the situation has not improved since the vast majority of storage solutions are too fundamentally antiquated to ever effectively prevent these problems. The only substantial change I’ve seen in the meantime is the percentage of customers who no longer manage their arrays at all. They just live with the problems and cross their fingers in the hopes it will hold up long enough for them ‘fix’ it by purchasing a new array and starting the cycle over again. If they do try to work it out, it feels like a catch-22, since they are, ultimately, temporary as the array just goes right back to creating new versions of the same problems. It’s always an eye-opening experience when they begin to realize how effectively 3PAR’s fundamental design is at preventing these issues in the first place. It’s an absolute a revelation when they realize how 3PAR manages to provide a full gamut of RAID policies to ensure optimal performance, availability, and storage efficiency for the most dynamic environments all while adding tools for fully non-disruptive alterations as well. The best part is it does all this while providing superior performance to traditional architectures, as well.”

What are the benefits of being a Master ASE?

“Prior to my shift towards HPE and 3PAR in particular, I’d had little exposure to the Channel, so it was an eye-opening experience to not only the importance of certifications as a whole but the many benefits of obtaining Master ASE certification. Opportunities for deeper training, access to information and resources, as well as being able to provide feedback directly to HPE are all huge benefits. It’s also a critical factor in establishing proven expertise in the Channel and the credibility with both sales teams and customers to step into the trusted advisor role.”

Any tips for others interested in HPE certifications? 

 “My biggest tip would simply be to focus on what you’re most interested in first. As you progress through training, pay attention to any particular strengths with respect to your chosen focus and integration/support with other product lines. This will, in turn, help you to map out the best certification path for you to develop a well-rounded skillset. Don’t forget to step out of your comfort-zone when the opportunity arises either, so you never get too complacent or stagnant.”


As a Master ASE, you will be recognized as having reached the pinnacle in HPE Certifications. Customers will rely on you to bring rich technical skills to design and implement their most complex solutions. You’ll also see personal and business rewards while being able to network and share with one of the most exclusive teams in the industry.

Follow me on Twitter @ Alex_kats
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About the Author


I’ve been in marketing in IT for more than 7 years now. I love sharing fascinating stories about our partners and my colleagues!

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