Q&A with Data Center POST’s Contributing Editor, Kathy Xu

Edward van Leent, Chairman & CEO, EPIEdward van Leent, Chairman and CEO of EPI, recently spoke with Data Center POST about EPI’s upcoming participation at Data Center World April 3-6 in Los Angeles. We covered many topics, including what has contributed to EPI’s success as the largest data center training and audit/certification organization in the world and the company’s recent release of the world’s first Data Center Operations Standard (DCOS), which has gained quite a bit of interest.

Data Center POST, Kathy Xu (DCP-KX) Question: Tell our readers about your company: What do you do and what problems are you attempting to solve?  

EPI, Edward van Leent (EPI-EV) Answer: EPI is focused on the data center market providing four distinct services: Data Center Design Validation/Certification ensuring that the design of the data center conforms to the ANSI/TIA-942 standard. This independent assessment will identify at the design stage any design mistakes which could have a large business impact and/or conformity issues, therefore preventing costly modification after the build; Data Center Facilities Audit and Certification; Data Center Operations Audit and Certification, and; Certified Data Center training and Certified IT Training.

DCP-KX Q: What do you attribute your company’s success to?

EPI-EV A: There are several reasons why EPI is very successful, and by far the largest data center training and audit/certification organization in the world.

  1. Strategy; we ensure that we have a tactical operations plan whilst at the same time taking a longer-term outlook on the industry and markets we operate in. By having this balanced approach we ensure that we deliver quality services to our customers today and also ensure that we are ready to provide quality services required by our customers in the future.
  2. Customer focused; we constantly review how we can add value to our customers and assist them with overcoming their data center challenges.
  3. Hire the best; we hire some of the best people in our industry and customers notice this. Anybody can put some training slides together or can put an audit checklist together. However, it is the quality and industry experience that the trainers and auditors have which set them apart. All of our trainers and auditors have at least 5-10 years data center experience at all levels such as design, build and operations in data centers with a variety of complexities and on a global scale.
  4. Quality; we do not compromise on quality in anything we do, whether it is training, auditing or our back-office support such as marketing and operations. We put quality over revenue, as in our view it is quality that provides a long-term path to having great customer relations.

DCP-KX Q: How do you see the data center industry evolving?

EPI-EV A: There is a very large shift happening in the data center industry at both the technology level as well as the business level. IT budgets have been pretty stable with at most 2-3% average growth per year over the last 5-7 years, of which about 80% of the budget is allocated to keeping the wheels turning, leaving relatively little for innovation. However, the consumer IT spending has quadrupled in the last decade, meaning that customers are innovating heavily whereas enterprises have a hard time keeping up. That means CIOs need to get rid of cost for the traditional IT in order to free up money for innovation. This is one of the big drivers for organizations looking at cloud. Cloud will allow them to drive down cost whilst at the same time speed up innovation, which is of course a great value proposition in today’s world. At the same time IoT and other applications will drive more need for data storage, communication and processing, so there will be more demand for data centers. Not at the enterprise level, but more for commercial/cloud data centers. This will create more need for standardization to bring the cost further down for those hyperscale data center operators.

DCP-KX Q:  What new developments are on the horizon for your company?

EPI-EV A: We have recently released the world’s first Data Center Operations Standard (DCOS), which is getting a lot of traction (over 2,000 downloads in the last few months alone). It is clear that data centers are looking at improving and benchmarking their operations and DCOS is a perfect reference point.

DCP-KX Q: What would you like to accomplish at Data Center World?

EPI-EV A: First of all we would like to be able to catch-up with our loyal customers to understand their current and future requirements and explain to them all the excellent offerings we currently have in our portfolio to address their challenges. We also want to catch up with technology vendors to get a view on their current and planned future offerings. At the same time, we are looking for training partners and audit partners in order to expand our business over and above our current two offices in the USA.

DCP-KX: Thank you for your time and best of luck at Data Center World.

Readers, if you are interested to learn more about EPI, a company providing data center services to businesses worldwide, please visit http://www.epi-ap.com.

If you would like to attend Data Center World, please register here. Follow all things Data Center World on Twitter with the hashtag #DataCenterWorld.

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