On June 21st, Digital Realty kicked off the start of summer by celebrating innovation and technology across the Atlanta tech ecosystem. As part of our Tech Open House, we hosted over 130 attendees from across the Atlanta tech ecosystem to meet with local industry leaders and gain key insights into the community.
The event created an atmosphere that facilitated networking and gaining a deeper understanding of the thriving tech landscape in Atlanta, including the strong startup community and innovations being done in the sports landscape.
We partnered with the Technology Association of Georgia (TAG), Georgia’s largest tech meet-up which serves over 30,000 members; Startup Grind Atlanta, a community to teach, inspire and connect entrepreneurs; and Megaport, Digital Realty’s cloud exchange partner.
A portion of the event was dedicated to providing an educational training on our newest offering, Service Exchange powered by Megaport. You can learn more about Service Exchange and our partnership with Megaport here and here.
Another focus for the event was to provide guided tours for attendees through our fifth Atlanta data centre, which opened in March 2017. Our data centre at 250 Williams seamlessly interconnects with the region's key carrier hotel at 56 Marietta Street. With over 170 service providers (network, IT, and cloud), you can leverage our Atlanta facilities to connect with customers, providers and partners. Missed out? You can timetable a tour of 250 Williams at any time.
A highlight of the event was the Tech Talks portion, specifically spotlighting the Atlanta tech scene. We had Larry Williams, President of TAG, kick off the session with a very warm welcome followed by informative, fireside chats. See below for some highlights.
Nick Matthews, Solution Architect at Amazon Web Services (AWS), spoke with Digital Realty's Marc Dyman, SVP of Network Sector, about the deployment of AWS Direct Connect in our Atlanta facilities. AWS Direct Connect offers direct, low-latency, and a highly resilient connection to AWS, thus providing more options to support mission-critical hybrid applications. You can learn more here.
IBM Rapid Fire | Stadium Built for the Future: Enhancing the Sports Fan Experience
We were thrilled to have Dean Brantly, Sr., Construction Manager at IBM Global Technology Services, speak with our very own John Boutross, SVP of Enterprise Solutions, about the Falcon’s new NFL stadium that is set to open in the 2017-2018 season. Brantly is in charge of building out the Distributed Antenna System (DAS), Passive Optical Network (PON), WiFi, Internet Protocol Television (IPTV), Core Network, IP Telephone, Audio/Video (AV), Security and Storage at the new stadium, using IBM’s advanced Smarter Stadium Network technologies. According to Brantly, “40,000 people will be able to stream on WiFi with tremendous capabilities.” His enthusiasm about the stadium was contagious as he described the affects it will have on attending sporting events live.
"The stadium will create the ultimate, immersive fan experience, from before you even get inside the stadium to where, no matter the event, you'll be immersed in 360 degrees of technology. It will be such a tremendous emotional and sensory event," said Brantly.
The new stadium will prove to be a game changer for how attendees experience live events, especially sporting events. If you're in the Atlanta area and a football fan, you won't want to miss out on experiencing this enhanced, high-tech viewing experience.
Successful Startup Stories | Stackfolio & Insightpool
Next up, we had the pleasure of hearing from the CEO/Founder of Insightpool, Devon Wijesinghe, and the CEO/Founder of Stackfolio, Pavleen Thukral. These two made for a dynamic duo in talking about their experiences with planting the roots for their startups in Atlanta. When asked why they chose to start their companies in Atlanta, they were both proponents of the Atlanta startup scene. Wijesinghe explained “being in Atlanta gives you access. It's like a big-small city and is a great place to build a business."
For Thukral, a huge draw to Atlanta is the access to mentorship.
"No one will ever be Silicon Valley, but Atlanta is uniquely something else. Atlanta is one of those areas where there's a ton of innovation and startup activity. There are so major mentorship opportunities that you can't get anywhere else. If you're in that early stage of the game, Atlanta is the place to be to get the right mentorship," he said.
Southern hospitality also goes a long way and scores bonus points for starting a company in Atlanta since “people are just nicer here vs. how cut throat it can be elsewhere,” explained Thukral.
For fans of HBO’s Silicon Valley wondering how accurately the television show portrays the ups and downs faced in the startup landscape, Thukral confirmed that “so much of it is really real.” A big portion of the show focuses on the many obstacles and failures that startup companies can face, especially in the beginning. For Wijesinghe, failure should be expected and not feared.
"You need to start thinking of failures, not as an end-result, but as incremental. Failure is a constant, daily activity," he said.
Our Atlanta Tech Open House would not have been possible without the generous support of our sponsors: Aspen Technologies, Cleveland Electric Co., DPR, Excel Electrical, Highland & Associates, MF Malone, Morrison Hershfield, RM&E, Strome Networks, and Vanderweil Engineers.
If you would like to be kept informed of our future events across the globe, you can reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org to connect