The Cincinnati Reds, CBTS, and Cisco score big with NaaS

July 10, 2020
Grey Borneman

America’s pastime is officially back. The country has been waiting for the return of sports, and major league baseball is leading the way. Managing a baseball team in the era of social distancing brings a lot of new challenges, but technology is stepping up to the plate and delivering. MLB teams typically have around 35 players on the active roster and another 20-30 on a “taxi squad.” In the COVID-19 age, that’s too many players training in one facility. 

The challenge for the Cincinnati Reds was to separate the two squads and still have the ability to monitor and evaluate the taxi squad remotely. Throughout the year, many of the players from an MLB taxi squad will get “called up” to play. 

NaaS pop-up networks 

In 2017, CBTS built the Reds its Network as a Service solution. CBTS implemented all the necessary Internet connectivity at every Reds location and deployed Cisco Meraki cloud-controlled Wi-Fi, routing, and security. CBTS also continuously monitors and manages the network for the Reds. 

Fast forward to today. The Reds needed to separate their squads with the main roster at the Great American Ball Park and the taxi squad going to Prasco Park in Mason, Ohio. Because of the CBTS NaaS implementation in 2017, the Reds had the ability to create pop-up networks at all team facilities, including the new location at Prasco Park. 

How NaaS benefits Major League Baseball 

With NaaS, the Reds front office personnel and coaches can access the network and remotely evaluate players at both the major league and minor league levels through a live video feed—a much more cost-effective method than digital transmission.  

“MLB is an extremely competitive landscape, and leveraging NaaS technology from CBTS has given the Reds an important edge to develop top talent and scout across our organization,” said Brian Keys, vice president of technology for the Cincinnati Reds.

Since the CBTS NaaS implementation in 2017, the Reds have benefited from:

  • No-touch deployment and management: CBTS manages all implementation and related tasks, and certified experts manage and support the network 24x7x365.
  • Centralized web dashboard: Single pane of glass, mobile-enabled cloud dashboard for entire network management leveraging real-time data and network analytics.
  • Control applications, users, and devices: Search for users by device type (PC, mobile phone, tablet, etc.) and monitor client or organization application usage.
  • Equivalent reliability and security with improved performance over MPLS at a lower cost.

The biggest impact for the Reds has been the increased flexibility. The Reds were able to quickly add the Prasco Park location to their network without incurring typically expensive MPLS expansion costs.

“The current pandemic has forced everyone to be reactive and sometimes uncomfortable,” said Jon Lloyd, director of cloud networking for CBTS. “That truth applies for networking, too, and the CBTS partnership with Cisco Meraki allows us to be agile and flexible. Nothing is more ‘back to normal’ than Reds baseball in Cincinnati in July. We are proud to help deliver an on-demand network within 24 hours and play a role in bringing baseball back to Cincinnati this summer.”

To learn more about CBTS Network as a Service, click here.

About CBTS CBTS serves enterprise and midmarket clients in all industries across the United States and Canada. From Unified Communications to Cloud Services and beyond, CBTS combines deep technical expertise with a full suite of flexible technology solutions that drive business outcomes, improve operational efficiency, mitigate risk, and reduce costs for its clients. For more information, please visit www.cbts.com.


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