From its Monroe headquarters, CenturyLink stands as a leading provider of Internet, TV and voice services. The company is included on the Fortune 500 list of America’s largest corporations, but it is not resting on its laurels. With a series of strategic acquisitions, CenturyLink emerged from a small Louisiana-based telephone company into the third-largest telecommunications company in the U.S. and it is a global leader in cloud infrastructure and hosted IT solutions for enterprise customers. CenturyLink not only maintains its momentum in its march to be the provider of choice, but it also remains apprised of the latest advancements in the industry. Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary Stacey Goff shares the company’s innovation story:
[Q] How has CenturyLink evolved through the years?
[A] CenturyLink is one of the leading providers of data, voice and managed services in local, national and select international markets through its high-quality advanced fiber optic network and multiple data centers for businesses and consumers. The company also offers advanced entertainment services under the CenturyLink® Prism™ TV and DIRECTV brands.
CenturyLink was founded as the Oak Ridge Telephone Company in Oak Ridge, Louisiana, in the 1930s. Today, our company is publicly traded on the NYSE under the symbol CTL. Throughout our history, CenturyLink has grown through strategic acquisitions that allow us to expand our portfolio of service offerings and grow into more diverse markets.
In early 2015, we will open the 300,000-square-foot CenturyLink Technology Center Excellence which will include a technology research and development lab, a network operations center and collaborative office and meeting space. In the Center, employees with network technology and IT skills will work together to create innovative products and services for CenturyLink’s customers.
[Q] Why did you pick Louisiana to develop your product/company/innovation?
[A] The state has continued to make it attractive for businesses to locate and expand in Louisiana, which is one of the key reasons we continue to invest and grow in Monroe. Louisiana is a great place to do business and there are numerous programs in place to assist businesses who want to locate or grow here.
[Q] What unexpected advantages did CenturyLink benefit from that could only be found in Louisiana?
[A] Louisiana offers a diverse and rich cultural experience from north to south. CenturyLink has found Northeast Louisiana particularly attractive to families, outdoor enthusiasts, and those seeking music and the arts. Monroe is home to the University of Louisiana at Monroe, and we also enjoy the benefits of nearby educational institutions such as Louisiana Tech University, Grambling State University and Delta Community College.
CenturyLink is anchoring a cyber economy in Louisiana on the eastern end of I-20. With Louisiana Tech, the Cyber Innovation Center and CSC on the western end of I-20, we are positioned to take advantage of this growing area of business and commerce.
[Q] How does CenturyLink impact the Louisiana economy?
[A] CenturyLink is the third largest telecommunications company in the U.S. and is recognized as a leader in the network services market by technology industry analyst firms. The company is a global leader in cloud infrastructure and hosted IT solutions for enterprise customers.
With roots in rural northeast Louisiana, CenturyLink is headquartered in Monroe, which has proven successful over the years as the company has grown. The company employs about 2,200 people in Monroe and will hire an additional 800 in the next few years.
As a result of CenturyLink’s overall growth, some of our key vendors are also locating offices and employees in Monroe to be closer to us.
[Q] What is your company doing (from a product or service offering) that no other company is doing?
[A] Since 2009, CenturyLink has transformed our business into the company it is today. On July 1, 2009, CenturyTel acquired Embarq Corporation, creating one of the leading communications companies in the United States. Simultaneously, the company began operating under the name CenturyLink. This acquisition positioned the combined company as the largest independent telecommunications provider in the United States.
On April 1, 2011, CenturyLink acquired Qwest Communications, creating the third largest telecommunications provider – based on access lines – in the U.S.
On July 15, 2011, CenturyLink acquired Savvis, Inc. for $3.2 billion. This acquisition allowed CenturyLink to achieve global scale as a managed hosting and cloud services provider, and accelerated our ability to deliver those capabilities to business customers.
In 2013, CenturyLink acquired AppFog, Inc. and Tier 3, Inc. to enhance our platform-as-a-service and infrastructure-as-a-service offerings. AppFog provided a reliable, scalable and fast platform for developing apps in the cloud, and Tier 3 provided a public, multi-tenant cloud platform and a related development roadmap.