EPI: Standardizing Mission Critical Data Centers

In an entrepreneurial journey, the road to success involves equipping oneself with the knowledge and wisdom that comes from various experiences and skills. “Having worked in some of the leading organizations at a senior management level with great business minds alike has made me more knowledgeable about running a business,” begins Edward van Leent, the Chairman and CEO, EPI group of Companies. van Leent’s portfolio manifests incredible experience in the global high-tech, high-availability, and mission-critical data centre industry. However, being a versatile person, van Leent believes in having an open mind and eagerness to learn combined with passion and tenacity for achieving ambitious goals. With such approach and mindset van Leent directs EPI towards greater success.

Van Leent reminisces his early days at EPI where he started exploring the data center market segment. He discovered that it was a very challenging business which would unfold rapid changes and complexities in the future. Being a business enthusiast, van Leent started with observing the market trends and the current state of EPI’s business. He concludes that to do well in any business, one would need to develop strategies that match the market needs, the existing operating model and at the same time, one need to ensure that you have the best people to execute the strategy.

Imparting In-depth Knowledge

Comprehending the emerging requirement of data centers, van Leent saw a great opportunity in educating the market about data centers. “There is huge shortage of qualified personnel and downtime in data centers is frequently attributed to the human factor,” says van Leent. With this in mind, van Leent and his team went back to the drawing board and turned EPI into the first, and now by far the largest data centre training company in the world, delivering high quality data center courses. The EPI data center courses are aimed at helping customers with knowledge and competencies on designing and building data centers as per industry standards. van Leent is the main developer of the EPI data center facilities training courses. “We provide CDCP (Certified Data Centre Professional), CDCS (Specialist) and CDCE (Expert) courses to the commercial market for in-depth understanding on how to design, build, and operate a data center,” states van Leent.

We enable businesses to enhance their data center infrastructure and ensure it meets and exceeds the business expectations

“We have also developed many other courses addressing data center operations, risk management and data center migration as well as compliance and standards tracks for ANSI/ TIA-942 consultants and auditors,” says van Leent. This has led to a comprehensive, yet comprehensible, data center training framework, which is often used by companies for career planning of their employees. Due to the process and quality of the course development, EPI received accolades from a totally independent accreditation and global examination institute called EXIN.

“The quality of our programs, quality of our trainers, and the impartial accreditation and examination has proven to be very valuable to the market,” states van Leent. Providing a substantial increase in performance year over year, van Leent positioned EPI globally at the forefront of data center education, audit and certification market. Today, EPI primarily focuses on providing services that enable organizations to educate and align their staff on data center design principles, efficiency and operational management with competency based training services.

Audit and Certification of Mission Critical Data Centers

The advent of data centers empowered enterprises has led to a much greater dependency on those data centers’. It is therefore no surprise that more and more enterprises want to ensure that quality is instilled in the design and built of those mission critical data centers’ based on well accepted standards such as the ANSI/TIA-942.

Van Leent, being the key-driver has steered EPI towards delivering a wide range of services to this market segment as well by assisting data center operator/owners with matching valuable services. “We offer an extensive range of datacenter consulting, design evaluation and validation, surveys, assessments, and data center audit certification based on relevant international data centre standards such as the ANSI/TIA-942,” says van Leent. EPI’s distinctive services include DCDV (Data Center Design Validation) and DCCC (Data Center Conformity Certification) are world renowned for its rigorous approach and execution.

Apart from helping EPI stand firm in the mission critical data center landscape, van Leent shares a vision to assist EPI’s customers attain a compelling data center infrastructure and also overcome their operational challenges. In one instance, EPI helped a customer in the audit space. EPI finalized a design validation which proved to be of great value to the customer. The company’s review revealed a number of critical design mistakes leaving the customer with a data center which would be required to shut down during certain maintenance activities. The customer was able to change their design and was able to undertake any maintenance activity without
CIO VendorEdward van Leent, Chairman & CEO impacting their ICT infrastructure therefore having their business able to operate in a truly 24x7 type of operations which was a requirement from the business van Leent says.

Philosophy that Matters

Following the philosophy—Think before you do, and whilst doing it, think again— has taught van Leent to always look ahead of the curve and constantly find ways to improve. “We don’t allow ourselves to devalue our core values and principles for a quick buck and for the same reason we don’t enter in markets which are not our core competency,” says van Leent. “Winning ethically, focusing on quality and do what is in our core competencies has given us great success.”

Keeping Pace with Innovations

Even after sixteen years in the role of a CEO, van Leent is constantly driven to deliver the best. Furthermore, to stay ahead in the market, van Leent is directing EPI towards investing heavily in technology to ensure that the company’s service offerings are kept up-to-date. “We want to further improve our training, audit and certification offerings whilst at the same time making sure that our staff is connected with the developments in the market and showing great efficiency in what the company is doing,” says van Leent.

As for the years ahead, van Leent sees EPI to stay focused on innovation and development of solutions that enhances availability, improve efficiency and manageability for data centers.

While the road to success has its own set of challenges, van Leent’s advice to budding entrepreneurs embarking on a new journey is for them to look closely at the market and the customer needs. “Observe the market needs, review carefully your current operating model, hire the best people in the industry and align yourself with the customers’ needs whilst at the same time keeping an eye on the future trends and then build a long lasting strategy,” says van Leent. As they always say, ‘the only constant is change’, however, van Leent has been instrumental in the field he is serving and with a distilled outlook and expertise, which he now has taken EPI to stand out in the data center landscape.



Edward van Leent, Chairman & CEO

A company offering wide range of data center infrastructure services which enables businesses to design, optimize, test and maintain their mission critical data centre to ensure it meets and exceeds the business expectations.