USA Ultimate to Debut New Technology Platform Next Month
Posted: November 5, 2013 01:06 PM
USA ULTIMATE TO DEBUT NEW TECHNOLOGY PLATFORM NEXT MONTH
Variety of New Services Offered to the Ultimate Community Starting With Phase One Launch
Boulder, Colo. (November 5, 2013)—Next month USA Ultimate will launch a new technology platform that features a variety of new services and benefits designed to serve its membership and the greater ultimate community, the national governing body for the sport of ultimate in the United States announced today.
Phase one of the new technology platform will launch on Monday, Dec. 2 and coincides with the opening of membership registration for the 2014 calendar year.
The new platform represents a significant change and utilizes an entirely different system for various administrative processes designed for league, event and team organizers, as well individual members, athletes and fans.
"After many months of work, we’re excited to finally announce and launch the initial phase of this new system," explained USA Ultimate Chief Executive Officer Tom Crawford. "This new technology platform achieves several important goals and provides us with an efficient, stable and fully-integrated system on which to run our business. In the past we were too reliant on a patchwork of separate systems developed and managed by excellent but very small vendors and generous volunteers to service the needs of our entire community. As we continue to grow and reach record numbers on an annual basis, it became clear that this was a risky and inefficient path and we needed to make a big change. Having done this at two prior businesses, we ask for everyone’s patience and understanding as this new system will require everyone to learn and adapt to something different. "
The system was designed by American Eagle, an industry leader in website design, development, e-commerce, hosting and marketing with more than 5,000 web projects to its credit in nearly every industry, including NFL teams and multiple sports and national governing bodies.
"By building this with a large partner in American Eagle, who supports several high-profile institutions and national non-profits, we receive 24-7 support and a greater degree of stability," continued Crawford. "Also, we now have a synchronized system which does not require the use of separate databases and increases internal efficiency and productivity. We also own the platform, so after multiple years of support and service by American Eagle, we can continue to improve the system as we grow and bring it entirely in house when we have the capacity to do so."
As with all major overhauls of technology projects of this scale and scope, there will undoubtedly be a learning curve for the various constituents and user groups of USA Ultimate as they learn how to navigate and utilize the platform’s new features. Anticipating the potential challenges and inevitable technology glitches that usually accompany such projects, USA Ultimate will host various tutorials aimed at specific subsets of the community, including organizers of sanctioned and postseason championship series events, team organizers, event participants, coaches and volunteers. Additionally, USA Ultimate will publish a comprehensive FAQ for individual users and members, as well as provide live customer service and support during and after the system’s launch.
Upon launch on Dec. 2, several new features will be readily accessible, while others will be part of a second phase launch in early 2014.
Highlights of the new system available beginning Dec. 2 include:
- Membership registration
- Enhanced payment features, including the ability to purchase multiple memberships with a single transaction
- More individual member account features such as history, event activity, member roles, clinic registration, certifications and notifications
- Improved team management features, including master season roster, team personnel management, team history and event registration
"The new system offers enhanced features for different types of users," explained USA Ultimate Director of Membership and Sport Development Melanie Byrd. "Individual members will enjoy the addition of personalized account features. Event organizers will find increased flexibility and functionality when running events. And USA Ultimate affiliates can take advantage of additional business solutions through a new streamlined and integrated payment and registration system."
After the initial launch of these benefits and services next month, USA Ultimate will continue and complete testing on phase two, which for the first time will include USA Ultimate’s own fully integrated event builder and score reporting function. This is one example of a technological component that has never been owned, operated or serviced by the national governing body and was dependent upon a single generous volunteer. The forthcoming event builder will be synched with team databases, player profiles, and registration and payment functionalities, giving organizers of sanctioned events a platform on which to administer and promote their tournaments and leagues.
Once phase two is live, the full benefit of the currently planned elements for this new technology platform will be fully realized. A new event management system will integrate team rostering and event registration with public team and event pages. The second phase will also offer public team profiles complete with stats, logos, pictures and schedules, as well as enhanced event information pages and game tracking elements like scoring and statistics.
Prior to the Dec. 2 launch of phase one, and in order to assist users with this new and different system, USA Ultimate will provide more information in the coming weeks about instructional and training services designed to help users through the transition. Until then, visit usaultimate.org for continued updates.
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