Last week, ShoreTel invited a few journalists and analysts to AT&T Park in San Francisco for a behind-the-scenes look at the San Francisco Giants' deployment of ShoreTel's voice over IP equipment. Giants CIO Bill Schlough led the tour, explaining the rationale for their migration and a few of the reasons why the team chose ShoreTel over competitive solutions from Cisco, Nortel or Avaya. He also enumerated a few of the features that users and the owner enjoy and some the integrations done to help automate their line of business processes.
Some other fun facts I learned during the tour that were not in the video:
- The Giants started looking into VOIP a few years ago, when they learned from a Major League Baseball-generated report that the Giants had the highest telecom expenses in the league. Schlough knows they aren't at the top of the list now, although he did not specify where they currently fall.
- ShoreTel CEO John Combs excitedly explained how, by sheer luck of the draw, the ShoreTel advertisement behind home plate was onscreen for the last strike as pitcher Jonathan Sanchez completed a no-hitter in 2009.
- Schlough estimates that 10 percent of the visiting fans utilize the ballpark's WiFi network during the course of the game.
- Schlough affirmed that the bullpen phones are connected to the ShoreTel system, but do not have public facing telephone numbers. But on the old Centrex system, the bullpens had externally accessible phone numbers, so anyone that knew the number could have called in to give a pep talk to Robb Nen or another reliever from days of yore.
- The rats in AT&T Park will eat fiber network cable, especially if the cables were installed by technicians with essence of garlic fries on their hands.