Guardians Upgrade Network with Windstream, Targeting Digital Edge

Guardians Upgrade Network with Windstream, Targeting Digital Edge

By Greg Tavarez

The sports analytics market is poised for explosive growth, with projections exceeding $9 billion by 2030 according to Research and Markets. This surge is fueled by teams embracing a data-driven approach. From big data analysis that unearths hidden talent to AI that tracks ball movement and generates player evaluation videos, these tools are transforming the game.

As teams build out their analytical capabilities with new technologies, their network needs will evolve. Robust and secure connections will be key for seamless data transfer and analysis. This will create a demand for solutions like cybersecurity measures and managed IT services.

The most recent franchise looking to achieve a dedicated and simplified cloud network connection is the Cleveland Guardians of Major League Baseball. The Guardians selected Windstream’s services to bolster their IT performance, so it can use today’s data-intensive sports applications without latency or interruption, giving the team and its fans a competitive advantage in the MLB.

Guardians personnel, including staff at Progressive Field, minor league affiliates and coaches and scouts on the road, were previously hampered by limited network bandwidth. This restricted the team's ability to share real-time information like player statistics, performance metrics and videos. Traditional network infrastructure lacked the flexibility and scalability needed to support cloud-based applications requiring constant accessibility.

Windstream's solution included SD-WAN technology and a dedicated connection to Google Cloud Platform. This guaranteed the Guardians received secure and uninterrupted access to critical network and cloud resources. Improved communication extended beyond the front office and boosted game-day connectivity for broadcasters and stadium applications like ticketing, concessions and scoreboards. The upgraded network has facilitated a more streamlined and proactive approach to managing the Guardians' digital operations.

“America’s favorite pastime is data science-based as much as talent-based, and in today’s competitive environment, with millions of dollars and fan expectations at stake, sports teams need lightning-fast connectivity, reliability and support for that competitive edge,” said Mike Flannery, president, Windstream Enterprise. “The Guardians are hitting a home run with Windstream solutions.”

What really convinced the Guardians to select Windstream’s SD-WAN and Cloud Connect was the provider’s WE Connect portal and network management services.

WE Connect offers a unified digital experience and makes it simple for the team personnel to directly liaison with their dedicated Windstream experts who are fully managing the network and proactively resolving issues before they become headaches for the internal staff. Team resources are then freed-up to focus on innovations like advanced baseball applications and other sports technologies.

“Windstream Enterprise’s SD-WAN allowed for a more efficient and cost-effective way to manage the things that we were previously managing,” said Whitney Kuszmaul, senior director of infrastructure and operations, Cleveland Guardians. “What really sold the SD-WAN solution was the ability to bring everything into a centralized portal. The Windstream Enterprise support team has been top-notch.”

Edited by Greg Tavarez
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MSPToday Editor

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