We just wrapped up our third year as sponsor of Rogers Cup presented by National Bank. With all the excitement surrounding Milos Raonic, Vasek Pospisil and Eugenie Bouchard, our homegrown tennis talent, the fans were especially spirited! If you aren’t familiar with how Cisco is involved with Rogers Cup, we partnered with Rogers to deliver a unique fan experience centered around using Cisco TelePresence (high definition video conferencing) to connect the Rogers Connected Zones in Toronto and Montreal.
From Monday to Friday, we hosted live player interviews with legends like Monica Seles and rising stars Eugenie Bouchard and James Blake. Because of our video technology, fans in both cities were able to interact with the players, whether they were live in Toronto or Montreal.
In addition, this year we worked with Tennis Canada to integrate Cisco technology into their operations so they could run the tournament in two cities more efficiently and productively. Vince Mammoliti, Cisco Canada’s Director of Strategic Investments, had a chance to sit down with Tennis Canada’s Director of Technology Services, Kevin Pope, to discuss Tennis Canada’s vision for improving the way they operate and enhancing the fan experience.
Vince Mammoliti (VM): What were some of the business and technology challenges Tennis Canada had, specific to Rogers Cup, that made you turn to Cisco TelePresence?
Kevin Pope (KP): Although we had a world-class event that our fans loved and was executed well by our team , we lacked a solid partner who could provide us with the cutting-edge collaboration tools we really needed to catapult our event into the 21st century. Our fan experience has only grown stronger since our relationship with Cisco began, we understand that with the growth of technology, we need to evolve the way the game is delivered and we need to make sure fans have access to information at their fingertips.
VM: How has TelePresence improved the fan experience at the Rogers Cup?
KP: We now host live HD video chats between fans and players from two completely different tournament sites 561km apart. This has given us the unique opportunity to create the sense of a joint community for both tournaments, despite location. Fans can see the other location and talk to fans and players, which was never possible before.
Also, we use onsite Cisco wireless bridges to bring rich, deep digital fan experiences further afield on our sites and to power the secure tunnels between the two cities that allow live HD transmission of our internal video, live scoring and communications systems.
VM: Recently, Tennis Canada upgraded to a Cisco unified communications solution across your organization. Tell us how this decision has impacted your employees.
KP: Internally, the replacement of our Nortel CSE1000 with a fully redundant UC 6000 has given us the tools that allow us to truly collaborate within the organization.
Intercity four-digit dialing and multi-unit video TelePresence have also impacted our bottom line, greatly cutting down on long distance costs while easing inter-office communication and allowing team members in opposite cities to “be there” in high definition without the airfare.
The addition of powerful mobile abilities through Cisco Jabber, which is akin to always having your office phone with you and is great for our mobile staff, and inter-office convergence has opened a lot of technology doors for us. And it’s all through this one installation. I also have to say, the recommendation by Cisco to use ITPRO Canada, a Cisco Certified Integration Partner, help tremendously in not only the initial planning, but also the installation and cut over form our old system. They were straight out amazing to deal with and Cisco really came through bringing us together.
As I like to say, our Cisco system isn’t a phone system … it is a “way better way to work” system.
My sincere thanks to Kevin Pope and the Tennis Canada team for giving us a glimpse into their Cisco deployment. To read more Cisco customer stories like this, visit our Canadian case study website.