Technology Making a Play in Sports

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Since the 1850’s baseball has been known as America’s “national pastime.”

Major League Baseball organizations and their home fields are synonymous with many American cities. Today, building and maintaining world-class facilities that offer fans more than just a place to watch a game, but a “total experience” is a necessity.

Technology Making a Play in Sports

Today, sports complexes across the country, technology is playing a significant role in the business of baseball. Whether it’s engaging with fans and customers via social media, managing security threats, competing for talent, or using data to increase ticket and food sales, all of it depends on a strong information technology backbone.

Some of the challenges sports organizations are facing, include:

  • Younger fans often leave stadiums earlier because they can’t obtain Wi-Fi.
  • Baseball teams are using data analytics to gain insights to make decisions, including, creating their starting line-up and choosing top draft picks.
  • Increased technology use directly opens these organizations up to cybercriminals and increases cyber threat.

Understanding Licensing Agreements for Substantial Cost Savings

For over 8 years, Rolta AdvizeX has been working with this Major League Baseball Organization to help them support these technological advancements. When this Major League Baseball Organization Chief Information Officer was trying to decide how he could best expand upon the VMware investments he had previously made, Rolta AdvizeX immediately stepped up to the plate.

In order to improve performance and availability with virtualization and automate IT, they were interested in upgrading from vSphere® to vCloud Suite™, while also adding application-centric security with NSX®. The organization was contemplating an Enterprise License Agreement (ELA). VMware’s ELA program bundles the products and licenses and requires the customer pay for it upfront. The VMware ELA includes credits or “tokens” that can be exchanged when the customer needs a new license. The terms of an ELA are entirely based on the needs of the customer bringing more flexibility. An ELA also guarantees a fixed price on licenses during the agreement and the organization does not pay for support until the credit is converted to a license.

Furthermore, the ELA often provides discounts for licenses, support and training. Another important feature is the single volume license keys that simplify deployment. On the other hand, when you purchase an ELA you must be sure of your needs, as any licenses not used are not refunded; it’s a use it or lose it situation. In a world where budgets are shrinking, and demands are increasing, no IT organization wants to waste financial resources.

Over nearly a decade, Rolta AdvizeX has grown accustomed to the rhythm of the VMware licenses for the Major League Baseball Organization and was familiar with its existing VMware licenses. They included:

  • VMware vSphere® Enterprise Plus Edition™
  • VMware vCenter Server® Standard™
  • VMware Horizon® View™ Standard Edition
  • VMware vSAN™
  • VMware vRealize® Automation™ and VMware vRealize® Suite
  • VMware AirWatch®

Their 18-month projection plans included adding:

  • VMware vCloud Suite®
  • VMware NSX® Enterprise
  • VMware vRealize® Network Insight™ Enterprise
  • VMware vSphere® Remote Office Branch Office™ Advanced
  • VMware NSX® Remote Office Branch Office™ Advanced
  • 3-year Support and Subscription for the Install Base
  • 3-year Support and Subscription for the New Licenses

Trusted Advisor: Moving Forward with the Project

Rolta AdvizeX, in its role as advisers to the organization, developed a fully architected plan for the vCloud Suite and NSX rollout, including the necessary consulting services, to present to the organization’s senior management. The solution was presented with several different options. Rolta AdvizeX’s research revealed a 45% savings in total cost of ownership when purchasing the VMware ELA. The substantial savings and thorough vCloud Suite and NSX rollout plan convinced senior management, and the VMware ELA was purchased.

In early 2018, the project was still being rolled out in phases. Substantial changes to the infrastructure of the organization must be done in the off-season. They are planning to rollout the vCloud Suite and NSX solutions in the next few months. Virtualization makes it easy to do the work from a central location that will be rolled out in data centers in various sites around the globe. They are running 46 Virtual Machines on 8 physical machines. The VMware technologies have been deployed seamlessly with the Dell EMC products already in use by the organization, such as ISILON®, scale-out storage platform and XtremIO®, all-flash storage arrays.

Partners with Similar Philosophies

Rolta AdvizeX’s corporate philosophy encourages their employees to build strong, long-lasting relationships with their customers. They also have great employee retention, so often these relationships are with the same individuals over the course of the partnership. This Major League Baseball Organization appreciates that fact as they are an organization that values promoting from within the organization. This Major League Baseball Organization CIO started working for the organization in a job that required wearing a ketchup costume. They have an all hands-on deck team philosophy themselves.

When the scoreboard suddenly goes black during a game, the CIO or one of his team is there to troubleshoot immediately. This Major League Baseball Organization does not have a deep IT bench to draw from, so Rolta AdvizeX’s partnership means a more well-developed IT team with the expertise of our technologists. We have the depth of knowledge to help our customers design, build, and deploy solutions from VMware and make these solutions work seamlessly with products from other vendors as well.

For Rolta AdvizeX, “customer for life” is more than a marketing slogan. It is our driving philosophy, and one that has served our customers well over the last four decades. Rolta AdvizeX’s highly trained technology experts provide individualized solutions for our customers and truly become a part of the team. As a recipient of VMware’s Global Partner Innovation Award in the Partner Professional Services category, Rolta AdvizeX is qualified to add value to any VMware deployment.

To learn more about how we can help, contact your local Rolta AdvizeX representative or visit us online at ▪