Technology continues to push stadiums and sports venues to reimagine the entire fan experience. Mobile apps ease the pain of parking and make concession lines move faster. Social media connects those in the seats with friends at home – a marketing boon for teams and the stadiums they play in.
According to Deloitte, new fan experiences will be delivered via the “stadium as a platform.” In this model, three layers – technology infrastructure, enabling technologies and experiences – work together to create entirely new ways to enjoy a day at the ballgame.
New venues have an easier time delivering such experiences because they can design for the stadium as a platform ahead of construction. However, current stadiums don’t have the advantage of starting from scratch. But aging infrastructure doesn’t have to be an obstacle. Unified communications offers the ability to integrate the venue as a platform concept whenever technology is refreshed.
Here’s how stadiums can stay in the game by deploying unified communications.
The opponents: Legacy systems versus unified communications
Legacy technology can be expensive and unreliable. As systems age, they become difficult and costly to maintain. Modifications often require expensive calls to a third-party vendor. Aging communications systems are also less flexible, preventing stadiums from adding new features and functionality that fans have come to expect. Dropped calls make for unhappy fans and frustrated employees.
A unified communications solution eliminates these issues. Advances in cloud infrastructure and mobile technology have made it possible to upgrade stadium technology without incurring large investments in on-site infrastructure. Plus, management can offer fans an innovative experience and provide employees with a collaborative work environment.
What’s more, deploying unified communications can deliver venues a lower total cost of ownership. Stadiums that have upgraded to unified communications report savings of $25,000 per year on managed services and $45,000 on phone system costs. Positive ROIs have been realized in as little as six months.
Game highlights: Benefits of a unified communications system
But these are just a few of the topline benefits. The UC playbook includes these advantages, as well.
Multi-site support. Staff, personnel and players have access to the same features and user experience whether they’re in the stadium, on the road or at a training facility. Communication lines are always open, and people can work on their preferred device with uninterrupted service.
Improved customer service. Data on call activity and average call time allow for better management of customer service staff. Hold times are reduced and routed to the appropriate agent. Call prioritization for season ticket holders increases loyalty. CRM integration enables agents to deliver a more personalized customer experience and answer questions quickly and accurately.
Mobile support. Stadium personnel rarely stay in the same location. Calls are rerouted to mobile devices so all staff members are reachable regardless of where they are. The same features and functionality are available on all devices, delivering a consistent user experience.
Increased revenue and sales. Conferencing, web and desktop-sharing capabilities make the sales team more productive. Personalized customer service helps agents sell more tickets and upgrades.
Ease of use. Installation can be done in one day. Employee training is simple and rarely requires repeat sessions. Reduced impact on IT teams keeps costs down and allows administrators to make changes in minutes.
The play-by-play: How unified communications delivers a win
Wondering how it all works? These are just some of the ways a unified communications solution brings flexibility and innovation to stadiums:
An open platform’s modular approach allows for the easy addition of new features as you grow and your needs change.
Cloud-hosted PBX services deliver a real-time voice and collaboration experience while saving time and money.
Dynamic extensions allow users to choose up to eight different devices or numbers to serve as their answer point.
Unified messaging provides access to messages anytime and anywhere.
Standards-based architecture operates across any LAN/WAN infrastructure with embedded native support for standards-based networking.
Real-time, historical and customizable reporting tools unlock the value of contact center data.
Seamless integration with external systems and databases – like Salesforce – keeps agents informed and better able to handle calls.
Stadiums don’t need to fear facilities that are newly built with the latest and greatest technology. A unified communications system can be built into existing infrastructure with minimal investment, and easily expanded as needs change. This allows stadiums to offer fans the technology they expect while preserving the nostalgia and memories they have of these landmarks, giving them an edge over their newer counterparts.