SOURCE: Polycom, Inc.

Polycom, Inc.

June 21, 2010 08:30 ET

Louisiana Superdome Stays at the Top of Its Game With Voice-and-Text Solution From Polycom, Intech Studios and SMG

With Easy-to-Use Wireless System, Staffers Respond to Emergencies Quickly and Efficiently Amid the Noise and Commotion of Superdome Events

NEW ORLEANS, LA and PLEASANTON, CA--(Marketwire - June 21, 2010) -  Amid the noise and commotion of large-scale events drawing more than 100,000 people, managing crowds at the 13-acre Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans is a massive logistical undertaking, But with a text-and-voice communications solution built around SpectraLink® wireless telephones from Polycom, Inc. (NASDAQ: PLCM) and a comprehensive incident tracking system from Intech Studios, Inc., event staff at the Superdome can better ensure the safety, security and comfort of guests.

Clear efficient communication among the Superdome's event staff is vital. The largest fixed dome structure in the world, the Superdome can hold some 85,000 people, and when crowds fill the adjacent New Orleans Arena, the total turnout can top 100,000. In a single afternoon, ticket takers, ushers, housekeepers and other event staff must quickly report and respond to hundreds of incidents ranging from medical emergencies to crowd control problems and repairs.

That's why SMG, the industry-leading venue management firm that operates the Superdome complex, deployed a real-time, wireless communication platform from Polycom that integrates full telephone functionality with easy-to-use text messaging. SMG deployed the solution after years spent relying on a mix of two-way radios and cellular phones to call supervisors for assistance in responding to security emergencies, repairing damaged or malfunctioning equipment -- even removing spills that could cause guests to slip and injure themselves.

"We recognized the need for a communication solution for our remote users," said Dave Stewart, chief technology officer at SMG, which operates 220 other venues worldwide.

After a major Wi-Fi network upgrade, SMG found a solution that gives staff the flexibility of both text and voice communication. "We saw a great opportunity to connect our staff using text- and voice-capable wireless telephones," said Tim Suire, manager of Event Services for SMG.

Working with Intech Studios and Polycom, SMG deployed a Wi-Fi text-and-voice solution that allows 110 event staffers to report incidents by selecting from a simple, customizable menu of about 50 messages directly from their Polycom SpectraLink 8000 Series wireless telephones. Workers use the messages to communicate the nature of the incident (e.g. security problem, outage, medical emergency, etc.), their location, and whether they need assistance. Command Post personnel can respond via text, dispatch assistance, and manage the incident until it is resolved. Visual on-screen cues give special priority to urgent alerts.

Polycom Wireless Phones 'Essential' to Superdome Operations
Operating on a converged voice and data Wi-Fi infrastructure, SpectraLink handsets provide the ideal platform for the EventTraxx system, which Intech initially developed for the Superdome. SpectraLink wireless telephones are easily integrated into existing systems, and they provide the durability and reliability SMG needs.

"Polycom phones are durable and they need to be, because they're in use for hours at a time," said Suire. "These communication devices are essential to our operations."

In addition to intuitive and interactive text messaging capabilities, SpectraLink handsets also free workers to communicate by voice with supervisors or other staff. Because the wireless phones are tied to the Superdome's premises-based telephone system, workers make and receive internal and external phone calls at any time.

With the Superdome welcoming so many guests (the New Orleans Saints alone drew more than half a million fans in 2009), the solution helps SMG take some important precautions. Managers can keep a record of every incident complete with date and time stamps, and sequence of communications, along with notations and the names of all parties who responded -- a key advantage when an incident results in legal action.

"The Polycom and Intech solution helps us provide a better and safer experience for every one of our guests," said Stewart. "It's an important part of our effort to ensure the Superdome remains one of the world's premier event venues."

Suire added that the simple-to-use system requires us to provide some additional training elements to our part-time team member program, but provides many great benefits to the event operations. This is a crucial advantage at the Superdome, where a Saints game can require SMG to have over 1,000 part-time team members on site. "The Polycom phones and EventTraxx system are very easy to use," said Suire. "With Polycom and EventTraxx, you can use the device to resolve the incident without ever talking to an operator."

But whenever necessary, a Superdome team member can use his or her Polycom unit to speed-dial the Command Post or make a traditional phone call to an in-house extension.

For SMG and the Superdome, the combination of Polycom and Intech delivers in other ways. "Polycom and Intech create solutions that help us run our business," Stewart said. "They don't just sell us products. They partner with us."

Suire said future plans call for performance improvements. "Combining Polycom and EventTraxx allows us to get real statistics about our usage. We've established a baseline we can use to measure our response times, enhance our productivity, and ultimately expedite incidents faster."

To learn more about how the Superdome is staying on top of its game with a voice-and-text solution from Polycom, Intech Studios, and SMG, read the full case study here.

About Polycom
Polycom, Inc. (NASDAQ: PLCM) is the global leader in telepresence, video, and voice solutions and a visionary in communications that empower people to connect and collaborate everywhere. Visit for more information and follow us on Twitter @AllAboutPolycom.

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