Major League Baseball - Fostering a Collaborative Approach to Conduct Baseball Business


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Peter Murphy, Major League Baseball
Smriti Kapuria, Prolifics

Abstract: We will present the case study of adopting IBM Connections as a social collaboration platform by Major League Baseball's Commissioner's Office. We will discuss challenges that make an interesting use case of social collaboration in a controlled environment and present a few different scenarios of collaboration needs of different business groups and how each has uniquely adopted the platform. We will deep dive into the key features and Connections Content Library, with a successful software upgrade to Connections 4.5 that have made a big impact on facilitating the business. We will also discuss how MLB has extended the platform and made their own by customizing themes, adding custom widgets, etc.

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Major League Baseball - Fostering a Collaborative Approach to Conduct Baseball Business

  1. 1. CUST118: Major League Baseball: Fostering a Collaborative Approach to Conduct Baseball Business. Peter Murphy, Major League Baseball Smriti Kapuria, Prolifics © 2014 IBM Corporation
  2. 2. Who We Are  Peter Murphy – Project Manager, Major League Baseball, Commissioner's Office – Project Management, Collaborative solutions –  Smriti Kapuria – Technology Manager, Prolifics User Experience Practice – UX designer, Developer, Architect, Ceramicist – 2
  3. 3. Agenda  About MLB Commissioner’s office  Collaboration Needs of business groups  Adoption of IBM Connections as a social platform  MLB’s own solution : Customize and extend IBM Connections  Key Components of solution architecture  Interesting features and challenges  The road ahead.. 3
  4. 4. About MLB Commissioner’s office  What is MLB ? • BOC • MLBAM • MLB Network  Business of Baseball - About Commissioner's office – Game Regulations – Player Contracts – Corporate Sponsorships  Role of MLB IT group at the Commissioner’s office – Diverse Group – Supports BOC and clubs – Wide Spectrum of services – security, collaboration, application development 4
  5. 5. MLB Commissioner’s Office Collaboration Needs of Business Groups 5
  6. 6. Business Groups And the way they conduct their business  Introduction to a few different business groups – Department Based – Finance, Ticketing, IT, Legal • Social Collaboration – Event Based – Industry Meetings, World Series • Content sharing – Baseball Function Based – Official Scorers, Umpires • Social Collaboration, Content sharing – Program Based – RBI, Urban Youth Academy • Process Management 6
  7. 7. Collaboration Needs of Business Groups Basic Ideas of structure and information sharing  Business groups are structured for information sharing and collaboration – with in each group as a community – with external entities • Clubs • Vendors • Sponsors, etc.  Different types of social needs – Facilitate collaboration between clubs – Provide centralized information to conduct business – Periodic Notification of content and information – Expose dynamic and historic ticketing data from several systems 7
  8. 8. Adoption of IBM Connections As a Social Collaboration platform 8
  9. 9. Social Collaboration Eco-system  The solution is implemented as multiple restricted communities  Each with its own unique user group  Users interface with Connection features within their community – Wikis – Files – Blogs – Activities, etc.  Each community has a set of owners that administer their community  Connections administrators – Moderate content – Use Metrics for reporting – Create communities 9
  10. 10. Communities, Users and Functions and it all comes together!  Each business group uses their Community as a collaboration platform  Community is the hub for information and resources to run their business effectively  Functions such as blogs, calendar and forums facilitate communication  Community wikis, blogs, files provides centralized access for business artifacts  Community members set-up preferences to receive emailed notifications of updates  Sub Communities are created for sub groups of users for targeting content and communication – One example is executives of a business group are members of a sub-community – In some cases, regional users/groups also have their own sub-communities 10
  11. 11. Platform Snapshot Here’s how it looks! – The Official Scorers Community 11
  12. 12. Platform Snapshot BOC – IT Project Management Office 12
  13. 13. Platform Snapshot MLB – Collaborative Solutions (Subcommunities) 13
  14. 14. MLB’s own solution Customize and extend IBM Connections  How we got to creating custom widgets on IBM Connections?  Custom Widgets, Custom community themes..  Several communities created custom community widgets in addition to out-of-the-box  Some examples are Polls, File Viewer, Ticketing widgets  Communities expose dynamic aggregated data from different systems through such widgets  An interesting scenario of Workflow Management with IBM Connections 14
  15. 15. MLB’s own solution Job Request and Workflow Management with IBM Connections  This solutions utilizes Community Activities in IBM Connections to track job requests  New requests are created with a third party tool  Approved requests are added as an activity in IBM Connections using Connections API  Community Owners can quickly view and assign incoming job requests to members  3 custom widgets are created to set-up the Workflow Management dashboard – view new job requests – view schedules of members – view upcoming due dates of tasks  All of these widgets use Community Activities Connections API to maintain a cohesive solution  A mobile view for each of this functions is also provided 15
  16. 16. MLB’s own solution Job Request and Workflow Management Snapshot 16
  17. 17. Let’s Talk IT IBM Connections, user management and databases 17
  18. 18. Solution Architecture  Current implementation of IBM Connections uses a medium topology  The environment is configured for high availability  User management scenarios – A TDI script is used for onboarding users in Connections via LDAP – The user is synchronized with the LDAP and Portal implementations  Cognos is configured to run with IBM Connections to provide metrics and reporting 18
  19. 19. Interesting Features and Challenges  Notifications – a fine balance between voluntary socialization and business needs of information sharing  Are Community members following the right content? – For notifications and preferences!  Dynamic user base – Clubs and user’s name change frequently that needs to be maintained regularly  Challenges with content moderation  Files and tagging as information sharing is an important need 19
  20. 20. The road ahead..  Migration to Connections 4.5 environment  Connections Content Manager evolution  Enterprise document manager consideration  Forms features(survey, polls etc.) through Feature pack  Happy Marriage between Connections and Portal 20
  21. 21.  Access Connect Online to complete your session surveys using any: – Web or mobile browser – Connect Online kiosk onsite 21
  22. 22. Acknowledgements and Disclaimers Availability. References in this presentation to IBM products, programs, or services do not imply that they will be available in all countries in which IBM operates. The workshops, sessions and materials have been prepared by IBM or the session speakers and reflect their own views. They are provided for informational purposes only, and are neither intended to, nor shall have the effect of being, legal or other guidance or advice to any participant. While efforts were made to verify the completeness and accuracy of the information contained in this presentation, it is provided AS-IS without warranty of any kind, express or implied. IBM shall not be responsible for any damages arising out of the use of, or otherwise related to, this presentation or any other materials. Nothing contained in this presentation is intended to, nor shall have the effect of, creating any warranties or representations from IBM or its suppliers or licensors, or altering the terms and conditions of the applicable license agreement governing the use of IBM software. All customer examples described are presented as illustrations of how those customers have used IBM products and the results they may have achieved. Actual environmental costs and performance characteristics may vary by customer. Nothing contained in these materials is intended to, nor shall have the effect of, stating or implying that any activities undertaken by you will result in any specific sales, revenue growth or other results. © Copyright IBM Corporation 2014. All rights reserved.  U.S. Government Users Restricted Rights - Use, duplication or disclosure restricted by GSA ADP Schedule Contract with IBM Corp.  Please update paragraph below for the particular product or family brand trademarks you mention such as WebSphere, DB2, Maximo, Clearcase, Lotus, etc.  IBM, the IBM logo,, [IBM Brand, if trademarked], and [IBM Product, if trademarked] are trademarks or registered trademarks of International Business Machines Corporation in the United States, other countries, or both. If these and other IBM trademarked terms are marked on their first occurrence in this information with a trademark symbol (® or ™), these symbols indicate U.S. registered or common law trademarks owned by IBM at the time this information was published. Such trademarks may also be registered or common law trademarks in other countries. A current list of IBM trademarks is available on the Web at “Copyright and trademark information” at If you have mentioned trademarks that are not from IBM, please update and add the following lines: [Insert any special 3rd party trademark names/attributions here] Other company, product, or service names may be trademarks or service marks of others. 22