It’s game day. You can smell sizzling sausages. The hum of hopeful fans builds as they find their way into Fenway Park.
In a matter of hours, nearly 40,000 people will walk through the doors of one of the world’s most beloved venues to do what they’ve done for more than 100 years – intimately interact with one of history’s greatest brands – the Boston Red Sox.
This well-choreographed dance has to be perfect – from “Sweet Caroline” to every fresh Fenway frank to that ball cap fitting a 6-year-old at her first game.
One of the masterminds behind the curtain is Brian Shield, the chief information officer of the reigning World Series champs. It’s his job to connect employees so they can connect to a fervent fandom.
To do this, Shield uses the Akumina Employee Experience Platform.
“We have a broad range of responsibilities, and if you think about a game that goes on, it ranges in everything, from like groundkeepers, to ballpark operations, and security, and fan services, and client services, and ticket takers, and greeters, and technology, and security, and - there’s probably some 20 or so departments that have to work together in a very collaborative manner in order to pull these things off,” Shield said.
About 350 year-round and more than 1,000 seasonal, day-of-game employees interact with the mobile-friendly digital workplace.
There are two main ways employees interact – as a resource for the communications and collaboration to do their jobs, and as content providers and folks who update the site. First, they use the site as a service for employees. They communicate about benefits, or time off, tickets, projects, department-specific information, etc. They educate themselves about products, menus, services, or even history of the ballpark so they can serve customers. They also share content from photographers, baseball operations, public relations, historians, statisticians, HR, and other departments with each other.
Must-haves included a way to effectively communicate and share information with a diverse and frequently mobile staff, improve collaboration, and a way to provide a digital workplace platform and support for a growing workforce.
The Red Sox launched a digital employee hub for every staff member. Home Plate is both mobile-friendly and an intuitive user experience for accessing game-related details, launching key applications, and allowing employees to stay informed with communication on everyday updates, all within a secure environment.
The Red Sox met their goals of connecting and informing employees, productivity soared, and the Akumina EXP has proven to have the flexibility needed to meet evolving changes within the organization.
“(Before Akumina) our site content was flat, it wasn’t very dynamic, it required IT interaction to make it robust, and it really wasn’t a priority. In many ways it was a landing page and a launch site for other applications and it kind of performed that job adequately,” Shield said.
Now, Home Plate is a thriving digital hub. Previous incarnations relied on more of a push model, heavily dependent on email. Now their redesigned and reimagined Akumina site is moving toward a pull model that effectively serves a broad range of employees with information and content flowing to and from, seamlessly, Shield said.