How does a major telecom company become a leader in Cloud and Managed Services? It's the ability to adapt and change! In some companies it is common to find a corporate culture that is not only resistant to change, but discourages it -- not so with CenturyLink. The CenturyLink of today looks very different from even just a few years ago.
We're evolving strategically through key technology acquisitions, our cloud market presence, scalable on-demand solutions, and our MarketPlace Partner Program. Each acquisition brought on board technology that enables us to create new products, build next-gen services, and leverage partner offerings. We optimized customer care, contributed to the open-source community, and executed a Customer Driven Cloud philosophy that drives our Agile product cycles. We also built a Connect Experience to enable knowledge sharing in the communities. The next step? Build work environments that encourage a culture driven by innovation. As we like to say – it’s your platform in motion!
Building the Vision
In October 2014 we opened our Seattle Cloud Development Center. In March 2015 we built the Monroe Technology Center of Excellence. We are excited to announce another milestone of our long-term vision, our latest Development Center in St. Louis opened to the public on March 3, 2016.
Ultimately, more than 230 employees will work in the 46,000-square-foot facility, helping to make the roadmap for CenturyLink Cloud and Managed Services a reality. The new facility will enable us to build out the vision of a unified platform across our entire portfolio and complete the development of our next generation services. Aamir Hussain, Executive Vice President and CTO at CenturyLink, shared the vision for the space with the guests at the Grand Opening, "This center offers an Agile and collaborative environment for our developers and software engineers, superb spaces for client and industry discussions, and a hub that is key for our strategy to build cloud-based managed services that drive increased value for businesses."
With the Development Center open we're able to provide a meeting space to collaborate with others in the wider St.Louis technology community. The goal is to solve real-world business problems and share knowledge.
Behind the Scenes - Opening Day
At the grand opening, our guests had the opportunity to tour the new space, attend interactive product demos, network, take pics in a photo-booth, eat, drink, collect swag, and win cool prizes! We shared the night socially in real-time using our custom CTLSTL app.
Upon arrival, guests were greeted by CenturyLink staff to sign-in via iPads. Each was provided a map of the space, a bag to collect swag, and instructions on how to download our cool app. Once inside, they were free to choose where they wanted to go, how they wanted to tour the facility, or head straight to the Coliseum area for complimentary food and beverages.
Stops along the tour included four product team rooms. Members of the teams showcased live product demos.
- Protect - The Client Security team walked our guests through how CenturyLink Cloud uses IPS to protect VM's and servers on any cloud, anywhere, anytime!
- Transform - The St. Louis User Group team gave an overview of our culture, insight into the design of the new facility, and demonstrated the CTLSTL tech-app that we use to share events and knowledge socially.
- Automate - The Runner team demonstrated how easy it is to manage apps and infrastructure anywhere. It's automation made simple.
- Develop - The Relational DB team detailed how the product helps you develop apps, fast!
Oh, and there is the game room, of course. No tour necessary. Self-guided, all hands-on! Video games, pinball, darts, or chess, if that’s your pleasure. People could have stayed as long as they wanted – and many of them did!
A Space Built for Networking
Beyond the self-guided tours and demos, attendees had the opportunity to interact with a wide range of CenturyLink staff, partners, and other guests from a vast array of backgrounds ranging from local dignitaries, executives, and the press. The event was as unique as the culture in our new facility! Attendees discussed topics ranging from business solutions and strategies, to the latest tech, and even sports (Go Cardinals! Go Blues!). Some conversed over a perfectly-shaken martini, while others talked shop over a friendly game of pinball! The open floor plan, large dinning area, game room, and learning stations permitted the guests to flow freely and target the areas of interest to them.
Special Presentation from the Girl Scouts
The event included a presentation from our special guests, the Girl Scouts, from the Eastern Division of Missouri, who presented us with a huge gift basket full of Girl Scout cookies as an expression of thanks for hosting their International Festival in our new space. The Festival was a wonderful learning experience for the community, and we were grateful to have the opportunity to host this amazing event. One of the main ideas behind the design of our new space is that the area should be open and collaborative in nature. In addition to hosting CloudWalks and Meetup group events, it's our intention to open the space for community events as well.
Afterward, CenturyLink executives Pasha Mohammed, Vice President of Product Strategy, and Aamir Hussain, Executive Vice President and CTO, both shared their excitement about the Development Center. They emphasized CenturyLink’s ongoing commitment to involvement and growth in our local communities. The official Ribbon Cutting followed shortly thereafter while the networking and learning opportunities continued for hours.
Special thanks to our guests who attended our opening. It was our pleasure to share this new space! We look forward to continuing a collaborative approach to solving problems in the digital economy, producing innovative products and services, and most importantly connecting with the customers and communities in which we serve.