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How cloud communications could have helped the St. Louis Cardinals

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Disclaimer: The author is an ardent Mets fan, and is immensely enjoying the scrutiny that Larussa is under, and hopes that the Cardinals continue to keep their phones the way they are.

Imagine you were scheduled for open heart surgery and the guy who walked in wasn’t your surgeon.  That’s what just happened to Tony Larussa. The NY Times article had it right. MLB needs to rethink its 100 year reliance on the bullpen phone. But it’s not because it was on a land line. It’s because the phone system is in some closet, near the player lounge, in the clubhouse, near the beer.

If the Cardinals were on the M5 network, the call would have sounded perfect. “Why not just use Skype or some other internet VoIP”, you might be thinking.  Why?  I will tell you why.  Because those providers use the internet and you can’t rely on the web if call quality is as important as it was here. The simple answer is to outsource to a cloud communications provider, like M5, who uses private circuits and QOS standards that make us the most reliable in the industry.

And while texting is great for the transactional stuff, like getting the right pitcher out, the intimacy of the phone is why we resist. Imagine talking to your bullpen coach and hearing his voice to judge whether you believe if Motte had it today. If Motte had gone in, maybe the Cardinals would have won this game (and game two for that matter).

We trust the land line phone more than any other form of communication. Text is immediate but impersonal.  Email is wonderful but can be misconstrued. You can’t misconstrue the sound of somebody’s voice.

Land lines work. Premised based phone systems are the problem. They are dying slowly, but if we can get them out of America’s pastime, then we will be one step closer to the death, once and for all of the dumb, unmanaged PBX.