NBA teams adopt UC solutions

1 PM on December 13, 2012

Posted By: Tricia Stream

Two NBA teams chose to adopt unified communications.
Two NBA teams chose to adopt unified communications.

Corporate enterprises have seen the benefits of unified communication systems in recent years as the collaboration technology has advanced, making it easier for employees to share information and make contact with each other and their customers or clients. Two professional basketball teams are among the high-profile organizations that have opted for UC services to help manage operations.

InformationWeek reported that the Boston Celtics and the Brooklyn Nets recently announced they adopted UC solutions. The Boston Celtics use an on-premise system, as the team's VP of Technology Jay Wessel said he prefers to manage the system at the Celtics'  office. Mireille Viau Verna, the senior director if IT for the Nets, chose a hosted UC service that is managed by the vendor.

Verna told the source the scalability of a hosted UC system is what attracted the IT team most. Verna wanted to have a speedy installation of a solution that included mobile capabilities and the ability to add new users and features. The Nets recently opened their new facility in Brooklyn, the source said, which required a "rapid" system development.

"We hit the ground running, we opened the new arena and now we can go back and look at some of the features we might want to add," Verna said.

The IT professional was also impressed with the way the hosted UC service performed during Hurricane Sandy, InformationWeek reported. Despite electricity, phone service and utilities going out in New York when the storm hit, the UC system continued to perform, Verna said.

Network World reported that during Sandy, the "Nets' front office UC system never skipped a beat."  In Boston, communications have also been enhanced thanks to the team's UC system. The article stated the system links the Celtics' business office in Boston to another facility in Massachusetts where the team's basketball operations are managed.

"Maintaining communications between both facilities is essential to day-to-day operations for the team," the article stated.

They may be league rivals, but the Nets and Celtics do have one thing in common - they both chose ShoreTel to provide their UC service. ShoreTel said 80 percent of its customers are those like the Celtics, with on-premise solutions. However, the company recently purchased the cloud services provider M5 Networks to prepare to shift more toward hosted UC solutions, according to InformationWeek.

An IDG study also reflected that the majority of UC users currently have an on-premise solution. The report stated that 51 percent of enterprises using unified communication solutions have opted for an on-premise setup and 9 percent surveyed said they preferred a hosted service, according to the article on Network World.