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Cisco UCS helps NHL’s Minnesota Wild Skate to Where the Puck is Going

December 11, 2013 at 11:43 am PST

NHLUCS

Speed is one thing that Cisco UCS and the NHL’s Minnesota Wild franchise share in common. If you have ever been to a professional hockey game you recognized and probably came to appreciate the speed, skill, and nimbleness of the players out on the ice. For Cisco UCS, speed is an attribute inherent in what we do, too – our compute business is highly competitive and requires constant, skillful, and quick innovation to deliver the best and newest in technology to our customers.

The NHL’s Minnesota Wild franchise rely on a Cisco UCS based I.T. infrastructure for their Microsoft Dynamics and CRM software portfolio. To better serve and interact with clients the Wild I.T. staff established three goals for their recent IT infrastructure transformation project:

  • Simplify infrastructure to boost staff productivity,
  • Improve resource management for controlled growth
  • Promote sustainability to conserve resources and provide environmentally conscious facilities for clients.

Looking at their long-term goals for cloud computing, the Wild staff decided to invest in a solution based on our Unified Computing System™ (UCS®) servers with Tegile based hybrid storage solutions. In doing so, the Wild established for them a highly agile data center environment that supports their current and future cloud initiatives with a virtual desktop infrastructure solution. The end results of the I.T. transformation project for the Wild were impressive as they:

  • Achieved 43 percent reduction in support costs
  • Reduced power by 63 percent and heat output by 68 percent
  • Reduced data from 42TB to 17TB

Once again we see the UCS architecture delivering improved performance at lower operating costs for a Microsoft oriented environment – Dynamics and CRM. In the case of the Minnesota Wild, a small I.T. organization when compared with larger enterprise I.T. organizations, they were able to deliver significant business value to their organization and position themselves for future technology shifts. Read more about the Minnesota Wild and their Cisco UCS experience here.

Learn more about Cisco’s Unified Data Center Microsoft solution capabilities at www.cisco.com/go/microsoft.

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The NHL® Experience, Powered by Cisco

Hockey fans are some of the most passionate and tech-savvy fans in the sports world, and the NHL® has partnered with Cisco technology to empower them with the information they crave.  Fans can follow their favorite NHL® team in real-time through streaming video, interviews, recaps, highlights, real-time statistics, and more.  Cisco content delivery offerings are helping the NHL® serve up fan experiences no matter where they are watching—in the arena, through the Internet, or on the television.

Hockey fans are embracing all of these new features, and the NHL® is advancing as quickly as the technology.  For the seventh consecutive season, the NHL® posted record revenue and growth across multiple business platforms.

The infographic below shows how the Cisco-NHL® partnership expands the reach of the game for fans by surrounding them with the information they want, how they want it, when they want it.

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He Shoots, He Scores! – The Pittsburgh Penguins and Cisco StadiumVision

“The value that we are receiving from Cisco StadiumVision far outweighs just a financial investment. We can easily justify it financially, but the value to our brand identity is immeasurable. We can demonstrate to sponsors and fans that they gain a far better experience, and there is not a more effective way to do it.”
David Peart, Senior Vice President of Sales and Service, CONSOL Energy Center

As many sports organizations are finding out today, technology is a strategic investment, not an expense. The return on that investment can be immediate, powerful, and often the dividends end up reshaping the approach to fan engagement, sales, advertising and sponsorship.

The state-of-the-art CONSOL Energy Center, which opened in 2010, is home to the Pittsburgh Penguins and approximately 170 ticketed events per year. In the planning and building process, the venue decided to install a Cisco Connected Stadium platform to operate Cisco StadiumVision, an innovative digital video and content distribution system that centrally controls and delivers targeted high-definition video and highly relevant digital content to guests. The venue put 781 HD screens and 44 digital menu boards throughout its 18,000+ seat venue, and over the course of the last year the system has paid incredible dividends.

Today the Penguins are reporting that the team and facility have seen a 200% increase in the number of advertisers and a 300% increase in concourse advertising and sponsorship revenues – all directly related to StadiumVision.

Perhaps even more valuable is that the Penguins young, highly connected fan base has had a more memorable and impactful brand experience with 80 percent of fans retaining the digital content they viewed.

“We understood the capabilities of Cisco StadiumVision when it was purchased, but it completely changed our way of thinking to ‘now what else can we do with it?’ The more interactive we become with the StadiumVision system, the more often new things come to mind. Advertising is a moving target, and the Cisco StadiumVision system gives us the ability to innovate at a more rapid pace over time.”
Erik Watts, Senior Director, Technology, Pittsburgh Penguins

What a powerful statement – Cisco technology fostering a wellspring of new ideas and creative capabilities…it orchestrated a shift in the mindset of the organization, thereby setting them on a new course to greater profitability and opportunity.

Later this week, keep a look out for a follow-up post and video on another marquee venue here in the United States seeing incredible returns from this Cisco Sports & Entertainment technology consultation and deployment.

As David Holland said in his last post we have reached a tipping point.

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Cisco ūmi Shoots and Scores…Again and Again and Again!

Today is Grou ndhog Day, and just like the Bill Murray movie by the same name, we’re going to relive this past weekend’s NHL Fan Fair event over again!

Our Cisco ūmi “Get Together” Mobile Tour made a stop at the NHL Fan Cave at the NHL Fan Fair event in Raleigh, NC on January 28 – 30.  The idea was to connect fans with NHL hockey players at the NHL Fan Cave via Cisco ūmi, a consumer telepresence system that brings family and friends to your living room through your existing HDTV. We chatted with families about their experience and everyone agreed: Cisco ūmi has great audio and video quality! Fans expressed their excitement about using our tour van big screen HD television to talk to the players they watch and root for throughout the year. Many said it felt like the players were right there in person. Others thought Cisco ūmi would be a great way to stay in touch with family across the country and show off their kids as they grow up.

To see more reactions to Cisco ūmi, check out t his video taken at the NHL Fan Cave at the NHL Fan Fair event!

Read More »

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Cisco ūmi at the NHL Fan Cave This Weekend!

Cisco ūmi is embarking on a road trip today which will take us through California, North Carolina, New York and Washington, DC. During the Cisco ūmi “Get Together” Mobile Tour, we’ll be attending some great events, and we’re excited to get out and share the ūmi experience with even more of you!

Just imagine if you could wave to your mom from the Surf City Marathon finish line—even if she’s all the way across the country! And how about video chatting in such high definition that your friends can almost smell the glass of wine in your hand at the New York Wine Expo? Or celebrate a great win (or talk a little smack) with NHL fans around the country at the NHL Fan Fair event starting tomorrow, January 28, 2011 to Sunday, January 30, 2011.

Whether you’re sipping wine, catching a wave, running your heart out or cheering on your favorite NHL players, stop by the tour bus and check out the new way to be together. Cisco is the Official Technology Partner of both the NHL & NBA so look for ūmi at both their properties!

We’ll show you all the cool things you can do with ūmi and you can give it a whirl!

Make sure to stop by ths weekend to see which NHL player Cisco ūmi is bringing to you at the Cisco ūmi at the NHL Fan Cave!

We look forward to seeing you there!

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