MLB.com: A Case of Streamlining Stats

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Dec 28, 2011


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The Solution:

In August 2010, Boysko started introducing Central Desktop to his staff, and after seeing the potential of working with the system, bought the Enterprise edition in late December 2010. As Boysko explains, "Through a web search I found Central Desktop, checked it out, did it on my own without introducing it to the group, built some things up and then slowly introduced it to my group. We realized there were a lot of benefits if we started to tie in other departments, so it spread to our production and our floor producer group within multimedia, and that is where we are sitting now."

With Central Desktop acting as a central access point for MBLAM, the process of logging information and communicating with different departments is now much smoother. "What they do within Central Desktop now is, a logger will go and fill out a form saying this is a highlight play that we want on the website right away," explains William Lui, manager of sales engineering at Central Desktop. "In real time, notifications will go out alerting several different people on MLB's side. It will alert production managers to get ready for the clip to come to them, they'll alert copywriters to start writing the write-up that will go along with the clip once it makes it to the website. That is really the key for MLB. The real time collaboration feel, because they no longer have to wait for it to move along the line. It really streamlined their process."

The real-time notification system allows MLB staffers to be ready when they need to be. "We have one editorial producer on the editorial side of things here. As soon as a play was put in, they would get a quick subject only email saying this highlight has been created for your game, so they instantly knew without having to go to any sheet or go anywhere that you have this content for this game," says Boysko.

The MLB also takes advantage of Central Desktop's database. As Lui explains, "There is about 10 minutes of action for every 3 hour game, but they use us to record every single play that occurs, even if it is something that might not make it to the website. Our database will capture all of this information as individual records, so every single play will be a unique record within MLB's database. From here in the future they can come and filter out any information." Now, MLBAM can have the system pull up specific records for them, based on any information in the forms.

The Results:

Using Central Desktop has helped trim time off every level of MLBAM's content publishing routine. "The first level of the process is getting the highlights out to mobile devices, to the iPad and all those paid applications. And [Central Desktop] saved us some time, but where we really gained was in the second level, where we're going from those mobile devices to get it to the site. The second level was a 20 to 30 minute thing and now it can be as short as 10-15 at worst," explains Boysko. "Everybody gets to see the information that they need to see, as opposed to having to look through everything that might be in that entry."

Getting the MLBAM staff on board with Central Desktop ended up being easier than expected, according to Boysko. "People are more than willing to put into it because they realize they are getting more out of it the more the season goes on." Boysko notes that Central Desktop's customer service branch deserves much of the credit for this. "I've thrown some pretty crazy things at them over the course of the year. But they always got back to me, they always came up with something, or if they don't have the solution, they'll steer me in a different way to handle the problem from the start."

Their devotion to customer support is something that has always been important to Garcia and Central Desktop. "We have a really strong client service and support team here that you can call directly on the phone. You'll always speak with a human. It has become a strong differentiator. Many other companies have zero support and you have to send in an email for everything. Particularly in cloud solutions, which tend to go light on support."

For Central Desktop, helping the MLBAM streamline its content workflow is more than just a business partnership.  "For baseball fans it is kind of cool to think that every time you see a highlight reel, almost anywhere on television, if it has MLB.com logo, it went through the Central Desktop workflow. There is an absolute sense of gratification when you see that. You are part of supporting a major institution of the United States," says Garcia.

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