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The Florida Gators football program represents the University of Florida in American college football. Florida competes in the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and the Eastern Division of the Southeastern Conference (SEC). They play their home games in Steve Spurrier-Florida Field at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium (nicknamed "The Swamp") on the university's Gainesville campus. The Gators have won three national championships and eight SEC titles in the 111-season history of Florida football.
Adrienne Pozzetta is the Executive Assistant of Administration for the Florida Gators. Prior to using 24/7 Software, the Florida Gators were relying on antiquated methods for becoming aware of issues and incidents, communicating, and capturing critical details on game days. The Florida Gators recognized they needed a software solution that would allow them to communicate efficiently and effectively among departments while managing and responding to issues and incidents much faster.
This requirement led to the Florida Gators’ implementation of 24/7 Software’s Text Communication and Incident Management System.
After deployment of 24/7 Software’s platform, the Florida Gators gained more than just a solution that helped overcome their operational challenges. They secured access to a staff of knowledgeable professionals and to 24/7 Software’s customer community. 24/7 Software affords the Florida Gators the ability to communicate with many staff simultaneously, capture the detailed and accurate information they analyze for trends, all while producing a world-class fan experience.
The Florida Gators needed a faster, more thorough way to disseminate and save information obtained during a home football game.
According to Pozzetta, “There were several solutions we needed, and were looking to find answers to specific challenges we faced during our football games.”
“Originally, we had handwritten notes for each incident that occurred during a game but learned that handwritten notes do not hold up in court,” explained Pozzetta.
For each call that comes in, the Florida Gators need specific questions answered but didn’t have a way for all staff who responded to calls for service to know or see which questions to answer.
“During a football game, something happens in a section; we always want to know the exact location,” explained Pozzetta.
“For example, a guest passes out in the stadium bowl. We wanted to know the section, row, and seat number to find them. We also need to have this information documented,” she continued.
“That’s not the only reason we need this information in a solution, though,” Pozzetta stated.
“Let’s say someone is covering for me. They need to know and have all the details to collect in front of them. We needed an easier way for everyone to see those details.”
Incidents were always disseminated via phone or radio during Florida Gators home games, but the organization knew that was not a 100% reliable way to ensure streamlined contact with staff or fans.
“I’ve been a dispatcher at football games with the Florida Gators for almost 17 years now. It used to be that we would’ve been using a telephone at the desk. I used to have to track down someone if they weren’t near a phone. The radio doesn’t work well either because noise becomes a major issue during games.”
When asked what criteria the Florida Gators had in mind for a solution, Adrienne shared their three primary requirements.
“We needed a system that enabled us to have permanent records, is easy to use, and provides ongoing training.”
Pozzetta explained, “My long-term goal is to have all Police agencies and other game-day entities using this system. We want to be able to investigate the past and look into trends for specific games to see areas of concern we can optimize for the next game.”
“If I had to do it now, I would have to look at handwritten notes,” she revealed.
“In the future, I won’t have this issue because we will have been using 24/7 Software long enough for all critical details to be in the solution – and not on handwritten documents anymore.”
Pozzetta further shared, “We needed timestamps to help if we ever need to appear in court. Digital records will stand up in court and help us fight a lawsuit as opposed to our existing methods for documentation.”
According to Adrienne, the Florida Gators did not have to look far to find the solution that would fit their needs.
“We were lucky enough that Scott Meyers was a University of Florida graduate. He reached out to promote the system to our administration.”
“We quickly decided on using the text system because of its features, ease of use, and competitive pricing. Since then, we have not needed to consider any other solutions providers,” said Pozzetta.
“We now have the ability to forward texts to staff phones. The solution is more efficient because rather than having to type a text myself, I can use the preexisting templates.”
“Most attractive for me has been the ability to call 24/7 Software’s Customer Success team for help with any questions or issues, and have immediate support,” shared Pozzetta.
Adrienne further explained the ways 24/7 Software’s Customer Success team has helped her as a customer. She noted that she gets help for more than just ‘tech support.’
“I call for two different reasons: tech support or for ways to expand our use of the system to enhance our operations,” explained Pozzetta.
“The Customer Success team helps me to easily get in touch with someone from one of their many other customer organizations to figure out how to do something I am not currently doing,” she continued.
“They also help with technology-based questions, and there is always a quick turnaround. They explain things in a way that I can understand because I am not super tech savvy.”
“Over the years, we’ve built great relationships with the 24/7 Software’s employees and feel that they will always be there to help us when needed.”
“Whomever I speak to is always able to help me troubleshoot. They also help me get the full picture of what occurred and how to get it back to the original state if necessary,” said Pozzetta.
When asked what benefits the Florida Gators have experienced from using 24/7 Software, Adrienne responded with a few.
“When using the software, we have all information accessible to multiple people at the same time – this really saves time and effort when dealing with issues.”
According to Pozzetta, “The Florida Gators have many different departments, multiple Police agencies, Medical, and others working in our Security Box. They’re not always reading their computer screens, but they will have the information in front of them when they return.”
“There is no need for back and forth communication to clarify details, which allows us to move on to the next incident or issue,” she continued.
Next, Adrienne shared how 24/7 Software’s close relationships with all of its customers creates a community for customers to interact, share best practices, and develop their own relationships with one another too.
“As a 24/7 Software customer, we get the ability to network with other software users from different companies and teams.”
“The User Conference lets me meet people, put a face to the name, and discuss new ideas in someone’s presence. The customer community by which we can gain insight or get feedback from other customers who have used the software for a while or differently is a significant part of being a 24/7 Software customer.”
Lastly, she reiterated her appreciation for the 24/7 Software Customer Success team one last time. “Having a knowledgeable staff at 24/7 Software to ask questions to and get detailed answers from is a huge benefit.”
24/7 Software’s Incident Management System has increased the ability of multiple departments to see the same issues simultaneously; therefore, the Florida Gators have experienced a 50% reduction in response times to problems and incidents.
“Since our first year using it, Conversations has helped decrease the number of texts per game on our busiest in-state rivalry game against Florida State University by 76% (e.g., 2009: 223 incidents reported vs. 2017: 54 incidents reported),” revealed Pozzetta.
Adrienne shared how 24/7 Software has allowed the Florida Gators to respond to issues faster, and be aware of situations before they become problems, in turn, decreasing the number of incoming texts.
“We have our gates open before kickoff. Not everyone comes into the stadium, but the people that do help us mitigate issues before they become problems. We take care of things before the rest of the fans enter the stadium,” said Pozzetta.
“If a fan is sitting out in the sun or they find a bleacher issue or water is spilled, it allows us to be proactive before most fans arrive,” she continued.
According to Adrienne, “The Conversation’s ability to create groups to send a message to has shown a 156% increase in our ability to contact multiple staff members with the same weather-related message simultaneously. Up from 61 people in the group in 2013 to 156 in 2017.”
Adrienne concluded that her current initiative is to get all departments on campus using 24/7 Software. “That way, at a certain point in time, we could have all the information from a game loaded onto one format. This will save time on many levels.”