Data Centre Management: Q&A With Riello UPS General Manager Leo Craig

Riello UPS General Manager Leo Craig shares stories with Data Centre Management magazine from his 30-plus years working in the power protection industry.

How did you become involved in the IT industry?  

I joined a company called Cetronic which sold Constant Voltage Transformers (CVTs) back in the 1980s. This equipment was used to support the early computers such as the IBM mainframes. From that point forward, I stayed in the industry.

Who has been the biggest influence on your career?

I would give that accolade to Andy Stephenson who was my boss at Cetronic, he spent a lot of time and effort teaching me about power disturbances and pushed me both technically and in sales. If it had not been for his efforts, I would not be where I am today.

What is the biggest issue in the data centre at the moment? 

Efficiency has to be the biggest issue as reducing power demand in data centres is a must both from EU and government perspectives. Data centres have a corporate social responsibility to reduce their demand on the National Grid. In addition, there are a number of green targets to meet. Many of these will eventually become law.

What is the question you are asked most often in your business life?

Well, there are two questions. One from internally within Riello UPS which is: ‘Can I have a pay rise?’ and externally from clients: ‘Can I have a discount?’ I will let you guess what my standard answer is!

What are the best/worst things about your job? 

Obviously, the worst thing is when anything goes wrong such as equipment failing or letting a client down. The best thing is exactly the same answer, as it gives me a chance to put things right and improve the business and show clients how well we respond.

What advice would you give to someone starting out in the industry?

Listen to people as you learn a lot from people that already have experience in the industry. You have two ears and one mouth. Use them both in that proportion.

And Moving Away From The Work Talk…

Which living person do you most admire and why? 

Stephen Hawking as he demonstrates not giving up in the face of adversity and to pursue your goals no matter what.

Where would you like to live? 

Exactly where I live now, Canterbury, Kent. Kent is the garden of England with wonderful local produce, great beaches and wonderful countryside.

What is your favourite book? 

I love reading fiction of all sorts but the book I go back to and use the most is a cookbook called ’The Silver Spoon’. You know, it really gives me inspiration when I want to cook something new. It’s a big book with over 1,400 pages full of techniques and recipes.

If you could go back in time, where would you go?

So many to choose from, but I would like to witness the first modern day Olympics in Athens 1896, just to see how sport and society have changed over a relatively short period. It’s amazing how the world has changed over the last hundred years.

This article first appeared in the Summer 2015 edition of Data Centre Management magazine