NaaS technology a boon for MLB during the pandemic

November 10, 2021
Dan Lowry
Enterprise Solution Consultant

Major League Baseball returned this spring in full force following a shortened campaign in 2020. While maximum capacity crowds fill stadiums nationwide, organizations are still working through the social distancing challenges wrought by the virus crisis.

Technology is mitigating ongoing virus-related obstacles in MLB, with the Cincinnati Reds finding success in keeping players healthy and socially distanced and their execs in constant communication. Franchises, including the Reds, typically carry about 35 players on the active roster and another 20 to 30 on a “taxi squad”—the informal name for a group of players who fill short-term needs on the major league team from its minor league AAA affiliate.

A Network as a Service solution built and continually managed by CBTS since 2017 ensures connectivity across all Reds locations, providing best-in-class security and Cisco Meraki cloud-controlled Wi-Fi. Today, the management team and coaching staff for the main roster at Great American Ball Park connect seamlessly to their counterparts evaluating the out-of-town taxi squad and players throughout their farm system through pop-up networks housed at every team facility.

Read more: Answering the vital question: What is NaaS, and how can it improve business outcomes?

A highly-scalable multi-location approach

With NaaS, Reds personnel can harness the network and remotely evaluate players at the major and minor league levels. This MLB-ready technology gives management, coaches, scouts, and players vital access to live video feeds—a cost-effective communication method compared to outmoded and time-consuming digital transmission. 

NaaS is highly scalable and meets all IT requirements of multi-location organizations. MLB teams like the Reds can pay a monthly fee covering equipment, network management services, and ongoing support. Additionally, an extended warranty program eliminates technology obsolescence by building managed hardware upgrades into the solution lifecycle.

CBTS and the Reds have established a customized infrastructure to address their specific IT needs. By partnering with CBTS, the Reds can use available resources more efficiently without sacrificing security. All MLB franchises and similar multi-location organizations can utilize this technology across their facilities, giving their teams access to bandwidth-intensive applications once limited to larger hub offices.

“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. “Anyone can buy technology or figure out how to mine data, but the secret is in how you analyze and present it to the baseball guys, and we do that well.”

With NaaS implementation from CBTS, the Reds now enjoy:
  • No-touch deployment and management – CBTS maintains the technology environment with a team of certified experts proactively supporting the network 24x7x365.
  • A centralized web dashboard – The CBTS single pane of glass, mobile-enabled cloud dashboard provides a real-time view of the entire network while leveraging crucial team data and network analytics.
  • Controlled applications, users, and devices – The Reds IT staff can search for users by device type—PC, mobile phone, tablet, and more—allowing them to monitor client or organization application usage.
  • Equivalent reliability and security with improved performance over MPLS.

Read more: CBTS NaaS Awarded Product of the Year by CIOReview

Basic functionality of NaaS technology for MLB

Perhaps the most significant impact for the Reds in integrating NaaS has been the increased flexibility. The organization quickly added its minor league location to the network without incurring typically steep MPLS expansion costs.

Fully managed NaaS solutions from CBTS provide the Reds with scalable methods of supporting, expanding, and securing its enterprise-wide network. Centralized service lets the team utilize the network from any location or device, unhindered by limitations of standard MPLS-based architecture.

Built on Cisco Meraki technology, full-service networking solutions from CBTS combine:

  • Automated virtual private networking (VPN) to connect and secure local area networks (LANs).
  • Robust scalability options to add or remove users.
  • Software-defined wide area network (SD-WAN) technology that enables centralized network management solutions.
  • Multi-level security protocols comprising next-generation firewalls, unified threat management, and advanced encryption standards.

Read more: How Cisco Meraki + CBTS NaaS team up to deliver cost-efficient modernization for your network

Looking ahead to a high-tech future

From MLB teams to food industry giants, businesses across verticals are tapping into NaaS from CBTS. For the Reds, NaaS technology helps the team score big as they navigate an ever-evolving communications landscape.

“The current pandemic has forced everyone to be reactive and sometimes uncomfortable,” said Jon Lloyd, Global Solutions Architect for CBTS. “That truth applies for networking, too, and the CBTS partnership with Cisco Meraki allows us to be agile and flexible. We are proud to deliver an on-demand network and play a role in bringing baseball back to Cincinnati.”

Read more about how the Reds leverage the power of technology for Major League Baseball.

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