Here are the news releases:
Today, Governor Bobby Jindal and Stixis Technologies Inc. President and CEO Rayudu Dhananjaya announced the company will open its first U.S. development center at the Louisiana Technology Park in Baton Rouge. The company will create 230 new direct jobs with an average salary of $59,500 per year, plus benefits. Based in Bangalore, India, Stixis Technologies Inc. engineers comprehensive software solutions coupled with application management, maintenance and support for customers across a range of sectors, including oil and gas, health care, digital media and entertainment, education, retail and government. Stixis chose Louisiana for this project after considering many other states around the nation, including Virginia, Florida, Texas, Pennsylvania and Wyoming.
In addition to the 230 new direct jobs, Louisiana Economic Development estimates the project will result in an additional 233 new indirect jobs, for a total of more than 450 new jobs in the state’s Capital Region and surrounding areas. Stixis will begin operations immediately at the Louisiana Technology Park, a hub for early-stage and startup technology firms, and the company will reach employment of the 230 direct jobs by 2019.
Governor Jindal said, “Since 2008, we’ve made economic development one of our top priorities and worked to make Louisiana a place where businesses want to invest. That work has paid off – Louisiana has become the nation’s new frontier for business opportunity, and nowhere is that more evident than in the technology sector. With the nation’s top state business climate and a top-notch tech workforce, Louisiana offers the very best value for expanding and relocating technology firms.
“It’s no wonder the world’s leading software development, digital media and information technology providers are coming to Louisiana – from EA, Gameloft and GE Capital to CGI, CSC and IBM. We’re also adding key emerging players, such as Perficient, Enquero, 4th Source, Performance Software and, now, Stixis. We’re proud that this global company selected Louisiana over many other states as the very best place to grow its technology business.”
The company’s Baton Rouge site will be known as Stixis AMIGOs Development Center, with AMIGOs representing Agility Metamorphosis Incubator for Global Operations. Stixis offers a flexible model – serving clients at company sites, nearby, remotely, or a mix of all three – and provides technology consulting, application management, software product development, maintenance and infrastructure management through a self-organizing team of Stixis and client personnel.
“The Stixis AMIGOs Development Center will focus on innovation, which we think will be well-supported by highly skilled manpower available locally – scientists, engineers, university professors and research students,” Dhananjaya said. “This center is expected to accelerate solutions development, streamline software product delivery and give rise to new business models that help enterprises run more efficiently and stay competitive. We chose Louisiana and Baton Rouge after receiving excellent support from LED team members and after recognizing the value of compelling state incentives, such as LED FastStart® and the Digital Interactive Media and Software Development Incentive. In addition, we will be able to partner with major Louisiana universities and we have received excellent support from BRAC as we operationalize our center to accomplish our long-term goals in Baton Rouge.”
“The digital industry in Baton Rouge continues to gain strength and momentum, thanks to companies like Stixis Technologies,” said Baton Rouge Mayor-President Melvin “Kip” Holden. “Not only will the company provide quality jobs and capital investment, they have a vision for developing the region’s workforce through training courses led by company experts. Baton Rouge is lucky to have such a strong partner in the Louisiana Technology Park who plays a huge role in the recruitment of these companies. The Tech Park is able to offer work space, shared services and a deep understanding of the industry that is crucial to growing and developing technology firms.”
LED began discussing project possibilities with Stixis in January 2014. To secure the project, the State of Louisiana offered the company a competitive incentive package that includes the comprehensive workforce development solutions of LED FastStart. The company also is expected to utilize Louisiana’s Digital Interactive Media and Software Development Incentive, as well as the Quality Jobs Program.
In Baton Rouge, Stixis will mentor students in an incubation boot camp through agile software development practices that cover big data analytics, business intelligence, mobility, cloud computing and social media applications using enterprise and open-source platforms. The company will assist LSU in shaping curricula and support the university’s development of technology sector talent and career opportunities.
“In tandem with this announcement, I am pleased to report that LSU’s Computer Science enrollment has doubled in the past two years to further meet the state’s growing IT workforce demands,” said LSU’s Dean for the College of Engineering, Rick Koubek.
At the Louisiana Technology Park, Stixis will lease existing incubator tenant space, with the option of leasing and building-out larger, customized technology space at the park as company operations grow. Founded in 2009, Stixis operates a development center in Johannesburg, South Africa, and a U.S. sales office in the Dallas area in addition to its headquarters in Bangalore, India.
“For over 13 years, the Tech Park has been the hub for innovation in Baton Rouge, providing local, regional and national high-tech entrepreneurs the synergy and services they need to launch their products faster and more effectively,” said Executive Director Stephen Loy of the Louisiana Technology Park. “Now with Stixis, we are able to bring our environment to bear and serve as a soft landing space for an international startup. We are thrilled to have Stixis here in Baton Rouge and at the Tech Park and are eager to see how they'll add to the energy here.”
“The Capital Region is fast becoming a hub for software development, with the talent, quality of life, and infrastructure to set companies up for success,” said President and CEO Adam Knapp of the Baton Rouge Area Chamber. “Stixis Technologies, an international company, will further enhance the digital industry ecosystem here. BRAC worked with the company to identify the space that would provide the growth opportunities and resources needed, and connected them with higher education partners to assist with workforce development. On behalf of the region’s business community, we welcome Stixis to the Baton Rouge area.”
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana and United Concordia Dental (UCD) have partnered to offer dental benefit plans to both individuals and small groups and now plan to bring real-time, online appointment scheduling convenience to Blue Cross customers. Using the unique technologies created by Baton Rouge-based LocalMed, Blue Cross and UCD will be the first insurance companies to offer their policyholders online real-time scheduling.
“Blue Cross is pleased to partner with United Concordia to expand our network for Louisiana consumers and small businesses and to introduce the convenience of online scheduling, said Blue Cross President and CEO Mike Reitz. “In addition to an expansive network, United Concordia’s expertise in dental network management and dental claims administration allows us to offer a superior product as part of our Blue Dental portfolio.”
The partnership allows Blue Cross to offer small group plans as well as on-exchange and off-exchange individual dental products to Louisiana consumers using UCD’s Advantage Plus PPO network, which gives customers access to more than 81,000 dentists at 260,000 access points nationwide.
“Our agreement with LocalMed further enhances Blue Cross’ competitiveness and marketplace presence and brings them one step closer to becoming Louisiana’s leading dental insurer,” said United Concordia Senior Vice President of Sales Tom Palmer. “Our companies have worked together to offer an expansive dental network and introduce new, value-added services to consumers.”
As part of the agreement, Blue Cross customers accessing the Blue Dental Advantage Plus PPO Network will be able to schedule appointments online in real-time with participating dentists. This innovative service was developed by Louisiana-based LocalMed, which has partnered with United Concordia to make the service available to Blue Cross customers.
“As a Louisiana-based company, we’re excited to work with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana—the premier health insurer in Louisiana—and United Concordia to offer this cutting-edge technology to Blue Cross customers,” said LocalMed CEO Keith English. “We’re proud, too, that this software is filling a void in the dental community that is not currently available,” he added.
As more dentists sign up for the service, their patients will be able to find and book appointments with participating dentists directly from the directory page (located at www.bcbsla.com) by clicking the “Schedule Now” button. Louisiana dentists who are part of the Advantage Plus PPO network have access to the same technology and can offer online appointment scheduling and book appointments on Blue Cross’ “Find A Dentist” webpage.
“We’re excited to introduce LocalMed and its enhanced platform and technology, which allows Blue Dental customers to schedule appointments online in real time, 24/7,” said Reitz. “In the coming months, as more providers sign up for this unique service, our Blue Dental customers will be able to find and book appointments with participating dentists in our Blue Dental Advantage Plus PPO network.”
He added, “By introducing this feature into the Louisiana dental market, we’re able to enhance the customer experience and make their need for convenience a priority. Using LocalMed’s technology to connect patients with dentists in a more convenient manner is revolutionary, and we’re proud to offer this technology on our website.”
To continue increased, intensive educator support during the state's transition to higher expectations, the Louisiana Department of Education today announced the launch ofEAGLE 2.0- a web-based tool educators can use to create assessments measuring students' skills to highlight successes and struggles.
EAGLE 2.0 is a system loaded with more than 8,500 English, math, science, and social studies assessment questions written by Louisiana educators for educators. Rather than simple test preparation, the new system provides different question types, from multiple choice to written-response literacy questions and math problems requiring student writing. This variety of sample questions allows students to buildindependent thinking skills and provides teachers more targeted information about student learning to better tailor their teaching to individual student needs. In addition, the new system includes a new interface and technology features, making it an easier, more efficient tool for teachers as they prepare lessons. To learn more about these enhancements, clickhere.