April 7, 2005
 



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Posted: 04.01.05

Another Big Win for the Sox

The Boston Red Sox, tanned and toned after several weeks of spring training in the Florida sun, officially reported to work this weekend (traveling to The Bronx and being flayed by the Yankees). While pitchers and catchers reported to Ft. Myers back on Feb. 17, the business staff would be forgiven for thinking they had never left Fenway, as with their recently implemented Avaya IP telephony solution, they were able to take all of their communications capabilities with them.
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By Michelle Maisto




Avaya's solution, designed for small and medium-size offices, offers converged voice and data technology, which means traveling operations staff, through laptops and cell phones, had access to all the capabilities they have on their desktop phones and PCs. Using Avaya's EC500 (extension-to-cellular ) feature, they never had to miss a call; the system was set up to automatically re-route calls to their Boston numbers to either a designated IP deskphone, their cell phones or even to their laptops, through Avaya's IP telephony solution, Softphone.

At the Ft. Myers ball field, a communications “gateway” was installed, which enabled the staff to connect locally, while it connected to the full server in Boston . The gateway enabled staff to behave as though they were still in Boston , accessing all the same calling features.

The Sox have also outfitted their scouting staff with Softphone, and by making and receiving calls through their laptops, the team has saved thousands of dollars in toll call charges and calls made from hotels and remote locations.

Ayava has also enabled the BoSox to cut costs in its dealings with the media. During the 2004 season, instead of making hundreds of landlines available to reporters during each game, the Red Sox offered IP connectivity. Which netted an annual savings of $40,000.

And on those game days, even the Sox's competitors benefited from the team's relationship with Avaya. On the team's improved network, the quality of voice calls to the Fenway Park bullpens improved considerably, enabling managers to better hear instructions over the blare of the crowd.

The only people not so hot on Avaya, it would seem, are the scalpers. When game tickets for the 2005 season went on sale, the Red Sox ticket line received so many calls that Boston 's 617 telephone exchange and cell service were knocked out of service. The team's central information number, per an Ayava press release, received 60 to 100 calls per second. Using Avaya's contact center, staff was able to make sure that tickets were sold in a first-come-first-serve order, by detecting potential scalpers, who find ways of rerouting their calls to the front of the line.

“Though we may be ahead of the curve in adopting a number of new technologies, we're using them to give the Red Sox a competitive advantage, not just to be cool,” said Steve Conley, Red Sox director of IT, as reported by Avaya. “Anything we put into our communications infrastructure is helping us serve our customers better, and every dollar we save contributes to putting a better product on the field.”







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