In today’s fast changing world, ‘change’ is the only constant. The IT and data center industry is no different in that it is changing rapidly and at an ever faster pace. For many organizations the budget for the IT department is hardly growing, yet the demand for IT services are growing at a rapid pace and therefore, arises the need for CIO’s to squeeze more out of every dollar they have available in their limited budgets. It is therefore not surprising that the enterprise data center market is moving into cloud, standardized solutions as well as deploying hybrid solutions by combining on- premise data centers and cloud solutions to maximize IT capabilities, improve speed of innovation while maintaining budgets.
In this fast pacing industry and rapidly changing world, one leader who is making extraordinary benchmarks in the industry of the Data Center with passion and energy is Edward van Leent, Chairman and CEO of EPI Group of Companies, a leading global player in the data center services industry providing services such as data center audit and certification, data center consultancy and globally accredited data center and IT training courses. Equipped with a strong technical and business background, Edward has led the company to be the largest ANSI/TIA-942 audit & certification organization in the world. Under his leadership, the company has also established itself to be the first and largest globally accredited data center training company in the world. He is the driving force behind the growth of the company from a local UK brand into a globally recognized brand for data center services.
Establishing Operational Excellence to Ensure Maximum Efficiency
Being a result oriented person, Edward always keeps the bigger picture in mind while looking at operational excellence to ensure maximum efficiency. Behind every successful person there is always someone or something that motivates them, supports them in the hard times and push them more towards the destined success. Similarly, Edward is thankful to his parents for supporting him to be what he is today. “I came from a low incoming upbringing, but my father and mother gave me the best education they could afford and gave me great values to which I still live by such as win ethically, work hard, work smart and let nothing stop you from reaching your goals,” says Edward.
Initial Days which Shaped up his Successful Career
Edward is an extremely hardworking person who turned every opportunity into a successful trail to make his career a progressive one. He started his career in electronics and chip design, Edward then moved into the CAD/CAM industry where he grew himself from an engineer to supervisor and then the manager. Soon after that he moved into the High-Availability computer and data center industry where he held various sales and senior leadership roles and where he was awarded the “Chairman Achievement Award” as one of the highest accolade in his career. The career graph of Edward’s life took another huge rise in the year 1997, when he moved to Asia as the Director of Customer Services Business Development for the Asia-Pacific region.
Everything changed again in the year 1999; it is then when Edward moved to EPI as the CEO for Asia-Pacific. In 2001, he became the Chairman & CEO for the company looking after all worldwide affairs. Since then till now, the leading entrepreneur has managed to grow EPI to be a global brand with nine offices worldwide supporting a partner network serving over 50 countries and over 130 cities. With a passion for the data center industry increasing the quality of data centers and assisting people working in the industry to gain the required competences and personal development, he is leading the company to serve people globally and win recognitions worldwide.
About Leading the Data Center Services Industry
Since 1987, EPI is delivering a wide range of data center services, enabling businesses worldwide to design, implement, optimize, test, operate and maintain their mission – critical data center to ensure it meets and exceeds the business expectations. It offers a wide range of globally accredited certified data center professional training courses such as CDCP/CDCS/CDCE/ CDFOM/CDRP/CDMS/CTDC/CTIA/CTEA along with other certified IT professional training courses such as CITP/CITS/CITE which are fully aligned with the European e-Competence Framework. These courses enable organizations to educate and align their staff on data center design principles, data center efficiency, green data center principles, data center migration, and ANSI/TIA-942 design and audit.
Revamping the Complete Business Structure was a Daring Decision
EPI was originally in the industry of data center design and built, with a very successful reputation in Europe. But starting the same business in Asia turned out to be very different. While taking an interview of the CEO of EPI, Edward shared his experiences and stated that starting the same business in Asia was challenging since the strategy, which was very successful in Europe, didn’t work out in Asia as by the time they arrived in Asia, the market was already dominated by a few players who were working at cut throat prices to outcompete each other on price rather than quality.
Edward soon realized that although they had won recognitions worldwide, products and pricing on the basis of European standards was not really going to help them in the Asian market. Hence, he changed the entire business model of the company and moved it from being a data center design and build company into a data center audit, certification and training organization. It required a complete revamp of the organization including the staff to align the organization with the new business vision and strategy. It was a daring decision which Edward took, but in the end, it proved to be the right move and as a result of his strategy, putting in place an efficient operating model and by aligning the human capital he managed to turn-around the business. Edward talked about the steps he took and said, “As a result of our strategy and operational excellence we have now become the largest training and data center audit organization in the world.”
Edward concluded the interview by advising the budding entrepreneurs and saying, “Have a razor-sharp focus. Make sure you have a strategy and appropriate operating model and hire the best people you can find. Make sure you keep a razor-sharp focus and don’t get dragged into all kind of opportunities that might come along side as that will distract you from your path. Stick with your strategic decision.”