UNC-Chapel Hill’s Athletics Department has improved efficiency, data security and customer service within its ticket operations with help from Information Technology Services.
ITS On Site Support Athletics, the group that supports the department’s technology needs, has deployed a variety of tools over the last year to assist ticket operations. For starters, new Rise Vision digital boards have replaced old, hard-to-read scrolling LED boards. The new electronic signs better enable the Athletics Department to communicate information.
“Dumb” terminals deployed
Secondly, OSS Athletics removed desktop computers from work stations on the front lines of ticket sales and replaced them with “dumb” terminals, or technically, a virtual desktop infrastructure, or VDI. Although the desktops were on a secure campus network, ticket operations needed a better solution to address credit card information security standards.
The “dumb” terminals operate on the familiar platform of Windows 7, said Tom Livers, who leads OSS Athletics. But “the second you log off the machine, the machine’s back to the way it was delivered every time, the same way,” he said. As a result, no one can capture key strokes or install malware. It’s a secure desktop environment,” he said.
One Card readers support Carolina Fever
In a third effort, OSS, the One Card Office and the ticket office collaborated on the launch a year ago of One Card readers at athletic venues. These devices enable the ticket office to more easily and quickly collect and manage data for student attendance at games, said Tim Sabo, Assistant Director of Ticket Operations. Reports are automated and presented online to students participating in Carolina Fever, a rewards-based program in which students earn prizes, gift certificates and access to more or better men’s basketball tickets by attending designated Carolina sporting events.
Before the One Card readers were deployed, students scanned their One Card into laptops manually. Now students can get through the gates faster, limiting lines, Sabo said.
OSS Athletics also assisted the ticket office with researching, purchasing, testing and configuring some additional technology:
- New ticket printers that print much faster
- Hard shell, padded cases for more safely transporting ticket scanners out to the various athletic venues, which limits costs for repairs and replacements
- A new system to track online inventory requests and workload, meaning the ticket office will know who asked for what—such as parking and credentials—when, and who approved it