Dig Baton Rouge

Tech Tuesday Returns

By Nick BeJeaux

The Baton Rouge Area Chamber’s quarterly celebration of the city’s IT sector is set to take over downtown next week to connect tech geeks and showcase exciting new technology developed right here in Red Stick.

Tech Tuesday will begin August 19 at 5:30 p.m. at the North Boulevard Town Square. There will be a cash bar and hors d’oeuvres, but the real draw is, of course, the tech.

“This time around we will be showcasing the Town Square Beacon – a 35 foot multimedia tower with programmable digital media panels,” said Rebecca Harris, BRAC’s manager of business services.  “This is the first [Tech Tuesday] like it, and I think it will really set the tone for what’s happening downtown in terms of growth and redevelopment.”

For this quarter’s expo, Cox Business is the presenting sponsor and plans to showcase a newly developed phone service based in the “cloud.” For the non-techies the cloud is simply the Internet – a collection of servers, in other words. Cloud computing is often used to run web applications like Gmail, Dropbox, Facebook, or Mozey. Having a phone service based in this nebula of information has many advantages; resilience is not the least among them.

“Basically the service is hosted on the ‘cloud,’ so even if there’s a natural disaster or a malicious network attack they can still operate on their phones,” said Harris.

Sadly, this new toy will be unavailable for purchase for a while longer, but if you’re interested in technology – particularly tech being developed in Baton Rouge – schmoozing with the who’s who of the local IT industry would be worth your time.

“The information technology industry here in Baton Rouge has grown tremendously over the last couple of years,” said Harris. “We just want to show the IT professionals some love and provide them with an opportunity to connect and network with each other and anybody who is interested in IT.”

This is the third Tech Tuesday by BRAC and, as Harris explained, they always try to highlight what is new, different, and exciting. It doesn’t have to be all computers, circuits and clouds.

“Each quarter we go to a different location and showcase a different technology,” she said. “This is a neat way of doing it because sometimes a lot of folks are unaware of what BR has to offer in terms of technology. In April we toured the Tin Roof Brewery to see all the tech needed to make the beer and take it to market.”

While she lives in Baton Rouge, Harris joined BRAC only in January of this year. She had no idea that BR was a hub of tech development until her first Tech Tuesday opened her eyes.

“We hope that we bring awareness to the tech community and the work they do. I started with BRAC in January and back then I wasn’t aware of all the things we have here in BR,” she said. “I think by just putting these technological resources where people can see them and interact with them shows them how fast their city is growing.”

Plans for the next Tech Tuesday are already in the works for October 1. For more details on the upcoming Tech Tuesday and future ones, visit BRAC.org

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