Promotion to the Premier League in 2012 was great news for Southampton Football Club, but also presented challenges for its IT and communications. Rising call costs, an expanding workforce and new demands for collaboration led head of IT Matthew Reynolds to seek out a new communications solution.
He explained: “After thorough research it became very clear that the only offering that could completely fulfil every requirement was NEC’s UNIVERGE 3C solution.” Supplied by Southern Communications (a Premier NEC Business Partner), this unified communications and collaboration (UC&C) installation has provided substantial business benefits across numerous departments of the club, partly due to 3C running the same client across multiple devices for a common user experience.
Employees have seen reduced latency thanks to the Presence and IM features for the 300 users. “We estimate we have saved each user 15 minutes per day, the equivalent of seven full-time staff each year!” said Reynolds.
For the IT department, the ease of administration has reduced the time to manage the system and halved the time required to fulfil a service request.
Watch a video about NEC's UNIVERGE 3C at Southampton FC below:
Even the club’s Academy has been given greater leverage thanks to talent scouts being enabled to film promising players on their iPads. Southampton FC’s CEO Gareth Rogers explained: “Our scouts and coaches can now collaborate on the go, with the ability to stream live video of potential players as well as recording an entire training session to analyse at a later stage.”
3C also helped forge a stronger link between St. Mary’s Stadium and the club's Staplewood Training Campus, adding greater resilience; the virtual environment provides complete business continuity and high availability. If there was an issue with any of the data centres across the sites, 3C would automatically ensure communications were maintained throughout.
Reynolds continued: "NEC’s UNIVERGE 3C has fulfilled our requirements, added value to our business and dramatically lowered our total cost of ownership. Overall we estimate a saving of over £170,000 per annum for the club thanks to this solution.”