CenturyLink opens tech center, glimpse of the future

Via Thenewstar.com:

CenturyLink chief executive Glen Post said the company’s new Technology Center of Excellence will do more than house 800 employees.

It’s a symbol of the company’s future.

CenturyLink held a ribbon cutting for its new Technology Center of Excellence on Tuesday. MARGARET CROFT/THE NEWS-STAR

“We’re transforming the company from one that provides dial-tone telephone service to a company providing strategic network services and cloud hosting and IT services,” Post said Tuesday during a grand opening of the center, which is contiguous with CenturyLink’s corporate headquarters on U.S. 165 North in Monroe.

“This building is a big part of that,” Post said. “I really believe this company will change the world of technology through work done here.”

Hundreds — perhaps thousands — of people celebrated the ribbon cutting of the three-story, 300,000-square-foot center. Everyone from employees to politicians to community leaders attended.

Monroe Mayor Jamie Mayo said he was still in awe of the project following the event.

“I’m overwhelmed by the promise and potential this company and this center hold for the future of our city, our region and our state,” Mayo said.

Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne noted he had been in northeastern Louisiana for two headline events during the past six months — the inscription of Poverty Point’s ancient earthworks as a World Heritage Site and Tuesday’s CenturyLink grand opening.

“We celebrated Louisiana’s past at Poverty Point and today we’re celebrating our state’s future,” Dardenne said. “There are a lot of technology centers around the country and world, but only one CenturyLink Technology Center of Excellence.”

CenturyLink is the largest public company headquartered in Louisiana. The company already employs more than 2,000 workers at its Monroe headquarters with a local annual payroll exceeding $100 million.

CenturyLink held a ribbon cutting for its new TechnologyBuy Photo

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CenturyLink opens Technology Center of Excellence

The company is hiring 800 addition employees during its expansion. Most will be located in the new center.

“In order to be where we want to be in this industry we have to attract top talent from all over the world,” Post said. “We believe this new facility is already helping us do that.”

The CenturyLink Technology Center of Excellence includes a technology research and development lab, a network operations center and collaborative office and meeting space.

Employees in the center with network, cloud, information technology and other skills will work to create products and services for CenturyLink’s customers.

Ouachita Police Jury President Scotty Robinson had one word to describe the center — “Wow.”

“Everything CenturyLink does touches our community and helps us grow,” Robinson said. “Every month people call me who are moving here to work for CenturyLink. It’s amazing to watch.”

Follow Greg Hilburn on Twitter @GregHilburn1

About the center

Size: three-story, 300,000 square feet

Sustainability: CenturyLink is pursuing LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification

Glass palace: The building incorporates 37,000 square feet of View Dynamic Glass, making it the single largest installation of electrochromic glass in the country. View’s glass leverages nanotechnology and pre-programmed intelligence to tint automatically in response to outside conditions and user preferences, eliminating the need for blinds or shades, as well as providing enhanced occupant experience and improved energy efficiency.

Trees: The building is located in a mature pecan orchard so it was a priority for the design to minimize the removal of these mature trees. The 80 trees that were removed were milled locally, yielding 20,000 square feet of lumber from which veneer paneling and flooring as well as solid material for coffee bar counter-tops throughout the facility were produced. The landscape design for the campus included planting a new tree for each tree removed.

Source: CenturyLink