LA Kiss Arena Football League
LA KISS Kicks Off Operations with ShoreTel
“Installation only required us to install a few switches and plug the phones into an existing Ethernet port. The phones were working immediately and so were we.”
Schuyler Hoversten, President, LA KISS
Los Angeles may be the entertainment capital of the world, but the one thing it lacks is a professional football team…until now. Only Los Angeles could be the backdrop of a team considered a fusion of entertainment and sports. Introducing the LA KISS arena football team. Why LA KISS? Because two of the classic band’s front men have partnered with others to bring professional football back to L.A. Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley kicked off their new team with its first game of the season, something promised to be unlike anything football fans have ever seen.
An undertaking such as this is no small feat. The team was formed in August of 2013 and just seven months later it played its first game. Besides the mountain of paperwork and red tape, it required a front office infrastructure to be built from the ground up, as well as business operations, team branding, coaches and player acquisitions and a marketing strategy to sell tickets. Win or lose, one thing is for certain – ticket holders will get their money’s worth.
Challenge: Picking the Team
One of the first steps in establishing a business is to get lines of communication up and running. President of LA KISS, Schuyler Hoversten, knew from his work with the LA Dodgers that phones were a critical component of a successful infrastructure. It was his job to make sure reliable, scalable phones were available quickly.
“It’s one thing to start a new sports team, but to start it under these seemingly impossible time constraints is another ball game,” Hoversten says. “It takes an enormous amount of work, all with the goal of delivering an unrivaled level of entertainment fans are expecting with KISS.”
Onsite PBXs were out of the question, given the rapid launch date and lack of an IT department. The organization needed phones fast and with minimal IT support, so its choice in vendors would be a calculated one. The Dodgers switched their phones to ShoreTel during Hoversten’s tenure so he knew of the phones’ capabilities. He believed if ShoreTel could join their team quickly, our hosted VoIP solution would solve all of his communication challenges.
Solution: LA KISS Scores Big with ShoreTel Sky Hosted VoIP
Hoversten reached out to ShoreTel and was pleased to learn his entire phone network could be up and running within a couple of days. The simplicity of a hosted VoIP system makes implementation as easy as plugging in the phones wherever there is an Internet connection. In fact, the installation process was so easy, Hoversten’s assistant did it herself with ShoreTel Sky technicians walking her through the steps over the phone. “With us being a small business without an IT staff, it was nice to know ShoreTel Sky has in-house resources to allow us to plug-and-play and not have to wait for a technician to come to us,” says Hoversten. “Installation only required us to install a few switches and plug the phones into an existing Ethernet port. The phones were working immediately and so were we.”
The staff enjoys many of the features available with their ShoreTel Sky phone system, like getting an email on their mobile phone when someone leaves a voicemail on their office phone. “The voicemail to email capability allows everyone to stay connected and essentially ‘in the office’ without actually being there,” says Hoversten. “I’m usually working from my mobile phone so not having to call into voicemail or wait until I’m in the office to check voicemails is a huge time saver, making me more efficient and responsive.”
While the football team’s players win or lose games, its sales staff’s proficiency in selling tickets makes or breaks the entire organization. The director of ticket sales depends on the system’s rich reporting features to monitor the effectiveness of his staff that spends 85 percent of their day on calls selling season tickets. He pulls detailed weekly and daily call logs for each user so he can quickly identify how many outbound calls each is making, how much time each is spending on the phone, the number of outbound calls made and their duration. “We live and die by our ticket sales,” explains Hoversten. “Having the capability for our front line people to communicate with potential prospects is essential to our success.”
Results: LA KISS Can Rock ‘n Roll All Nite
Remarkably, LA KISS is functioning like a team that has been together for years, thanks in part to their ShoreTel Sky phone system. The phones are reliable, extensible, and best of all, easy to install and use right out of the box. “When you’re launching a new business, you have a thousand things that are priority,” says Hoversten. “Phone systems have to rank at the top because you’re nowhere unless you’re able to have a phone system running, and in our case, a ticketing department making sales calls around the clock. This was step number one for us and ShoreTel was one of the first relationships we made, laying the foundation for our entire operation.”
The critical component for LA KISS was to get the communication infrastructure in place and have the network scalability to grow as an organization. The ShoreTel Sky system gives the organization the ability to conduct business whenever and wherever needed with technology that meets their current needs. As the business matures, ShoreTel Sky will continue to align its services with demand. “The phones have more capacity than our current requirements as a startup, but it’s nice to know the capability is there when we’re ready.” With all systems go, the team is ready to pioneer their brand and do things never done before, much the same as KISS has been doing for 40 years.Print