On August 21, 2017, a total solar eclipse will take place, a cosmic event that hasn’t happened in the continental United States since 1979. Liaison Technologies will be right in the center of the action — our office in Carbondale, Illinois, is located just a few miles from where the eclipse will reach its point of greatest duration. So, we’ll have a front row seat when the sun goes dark for two minutes and 38 seconds.
With a population of about 26,000, Carbondale is a small town gearing up for a big event — between 100,000 and 150,000 people are expected to descend on Carbondale to witness the eclipse, including many scientists and celebrities. The Carbondale campus of Southern Illinois University (SIU) is partnering with NASA, the Adler Planetarium of Chicago, the Louisiana Space Consortium, the Science Center of Southern Illinois and other groups to monitor the eclipse and provide educational information.
Liaison’s ties to Carbondale run deep: I’m not just Liaison’s Chief Information Officer, I’m a Carbondale native and President of the SIU Alumni Association. When Liaison opened its office in Carbondale seven years ago, I remembered my own experience as an Illinois native who was obligated to move to a big city to pursue my technology career, and that made me determined to expand options for SIU students who want to stay in the area.
And thanks in part to Liaison, Carbondale isn’t just a hub for solar eclipses (another is scheduled to reach its point of greatest duration in Carbondale on April 8, 2024) — it’s a town-scaled hotbed of technology. My team and I here in Carbondale work with SIU to recruit students from the computer science, engineering and applied science programs to work for Liaison. Approximately 90% of the company’s Carbondale team are fellow SIU graduates who are enjoying the opportunity to work globally with Liaison and live locally in Carbondale.
Liaison’s partnership with SIU has been a boon for the local community, and SIU enthusiastically embraces its role as a business incubator. Liaison’s rapidly growing Managed Services team calls Carbondale home, and in exchange for the opportunity to live in a great town while fully using their sought-after technology skills on a global scale, the team is giving Liaison and its customers an enormous competitive edge. By outsourcing their data integration and management tasks to Liaison, customers get the time and insight needed to innovate.
As the scientists who will soon be descending on Carbondale know, data is the key to insight, and the same is true in the data-driven economy. Backed by a Carbondale-based team focused on data integration, management and security, Liaison customers can optimize their business processes for maximum efficiency and get products and services to market sooner. That might lack the drama of darkness in the afternoon, but it’s cosmic all the same. Stay tuned for updates from Carbondale as we get closer to the eclipse.