Interview of Ray Chan, Director of Information Technology, San Diego Padres.
By Wes Durow, CMO, Mitel.
It's great to be here in San Diego. How can you argue with this place? The sun shines, you're close to the waves, but we really do have a special guest here with us today. The San Diego Padres, they're in a unique spot. They've got a downtown stadium, they're surrounding the gas lab district, so full of millennials. They've got traditional baseball people, scouts some of them Coach been there in baseball for nearly 50 years. So they've got a really incredible array of people that use the network each day. People that go across the globe trying to find talent. They also have a unique business model. For those of you that go to Petco Stadium tonight, Petco Park tonight, they actually have their contact center agents right there in the park. Most franchises, that's in some strip mall 30 miles away. Their whole organization, end to end, is built on how they communicate and how they communicate seamlessly as part of their business model, and that's what really makes it exciting.
The gentleman I'm about to introduce is an IT guy first that happened into baseball. Well you might think, wow that's gotta be a great job, I'd love to have that job. It sounds pretty great until you realize about every three days there's not just a few people looking at what he's doing, there's hundreds of thousands of people looking at what he does every day, and it's not just baseball games, it's Rolling Stones concerts, it's Taylor Swift concerts, everything you can imagine. So with that, please help me welcome to the stage the director of IT at the San Diego Padres, Ray Chan. Thanks Ray, I'm gonna sit you right there. So Ray, tell us about yourself, tell us about your role at the Padres, if you would please. Well, first of all, thanks for having me here today. I'm glad to have all of you here in San Diego. We happen to have perfect weather so I'm sure you guys don't mind being out here.
My role with the Padres is Head of Technology. And as I have that role, really have to oversee everything like you said, from end to end. Both on the IT infrastructure as well as the software infrastructure. And servicing a lot of our customers throughout the organization from sales to executives, to baseball operations and really, we really touch everything in regards to baseball. And really IT has become kinda like the life blood of the operations. We're in the shadows, we're doing our jobs keeping lights on, but more than ever before they did really rely on technology as a whole. So talk a little bit more about that, speak to the challenges you guys face, in terms of how you deliver that seamless communication, maybe someone that's scouting in Korea, or in Japan, or in the Dominican Republic, or what you have going on at your facility, Spring training facility in Arizona, and how does that give you, how does your team help give the organisation the competitive edge?
Absolutely, you talk about baseball metrics and analytics and all that other stuff, we look at technology as a competitive edge in sports, and that starts really at the front office level with our employees and keeping them connected is something that we really want to take them to the next level. We do have scouts scattered throughout, include the globe, primarily, they're doing their jobs. We have a facility out in Peoria, Arizona, as well as one down in the Dominican Republic and for a while, we were segmented. Everybody kinda had their own little system there, but now we're able to kind of take and converge all that into one platform with Mitel.And that's really what we're looking to do is give the customer, in our case, our employees, the same experience that they would have here at Petco Park, no matter what device they're using. That's great. Talk a little bit about the fan base because, again, we're surrounded here in the gasland district.
You heard earlier, we talked about mobile consumers what they expect. We talked about millennials entering the workforce. So talk first a little bit about your fan base and what they expect, and then talk about the changes in your own work environment and what your workforce expects. Absolutely. We have the largest sales staff in all of baseball. And to your point, we do have a young tech-savy millennial group here, that expects to be able to connect to wherever their sales agent is, seamlessly. And what we're able to do now, is be able to take these calls and identify who's calling. Route them to the right agent so they have that personalized experience whenever they want help, or whenever they're buying tickets. The contact center allows us to do that now, and tying that into our CRM system allows us to identify who that person is. Fantastic, tell us a little bit about kinda what's on your horizon.
You've got a little event where you go from having millions of people watching every night to literally having tens of millions of people watch you in just a few months. Talk a little bit about what's going on with the All Star game if you don't mind. Yeah, the All Star game. It's a little small event. Yeah, just about that big. But yeah, the All Star game, obviously guys, it's a huge event. It's not just a game, it's four days of baseball and it's a celebration of baseball and really a chance for us to showcase the city. We're gonna have tons of broadcasters coming on board. We're gonna have MLB out there, we're gonna have you fine fans out there as well and to put on a production like that, it takes a lot. I mean, it's not just about Internet connectivity, it's being able to keep these guys connected with their teams.
And by going to this cloud-based solution we're able to deploy a lot more quickly. We're able to be agile out there, whereas before we might have to take some time pulling some cable, cross connecting some old analog phones, getting POS lines. That's not an issue anymore. As long as there's an Internet drop wherever they're at, which will be able to provide a lot easier, we can just plug in the phone and deploy it out to whoever really needs. And that's not just a desk phone per se, we can put it on a mobile device as well. That's great. You talked a little bit about the migration of the cloud, for flexibility, you just touched on mobile, as you finish I'd really be interested in how those two components, cloud and mobile tied to your customer experience really helped shape the decision and why you chose to go with Mitel.
Absolutely. When you look at technology and the way it's moving so quickly, we really need to put a platform down, a foundation down that we're able to grow with and scale with, and not have to constantly have to replace in a couple of years. And, in doing that you have to partner up with somebody who's a leader in the industry. Mitel came to me, basically introduced cloud first. It wasn't about the old PVX type configuration, so that was very intriguing to me, because I knew going forward we would always have the latest and greatest features available to us. So in answering your question, that was important because it wasn't just about he experience you had sitting at your desk.
It's about being able to have that same experience no matter where you are at around the world, no matter what type of device you are using and we want to provide that for our scouts, and that's where competitive edge really comes in. Because now we are really quick to be able to collaborate with teams, and have everybody on the same consistent platform. And yeah, that's what we're looking at, that really was the disruptive technology that kinda swayed me there. Hey Ray, it's a privilege to be a part of your team, and thank you for challenging us and thanks for coming out today. Thank you very much. Thank you, Wes.