The silent 12th man: How IT could help the Broncos win the Super Bowl

With Super Bowl XLVIII looming, you can be certain the Seahawks and the Broncos are leaving few things to chance. Coaches are refining their game plans. Players are reviewing tape. Trainers are assuring their teams are in peak physical condition. And while Seattle won’t have its famous 12th man–the loudest fans on Earth–in full force on Sunday, the Broncos will have their own version of the 12th man working behind the scenes: their IT team.

In the typical football game, the IT team is invisible to the fans, but crucial to the players. I’ve heard that when Peyton Manning steps off the field after a drive, he’ll grab his tablet to playback the series and pinpoint any adjustments he needs to make. It’s a smart strategy if connectivity is fast and reliable. But just five minutes of slow Internet could prevent him from watching the feed, eliminate the chance for corrections, and potentially change the game’s outcome.

A single game at Sports Authority Field in Denver eats up as much bandwidth as a typical neighborhood block over a month as announcers, coaches, and players all connect to the network. In an effort to solve this bandwidth problem and gain greater security and control over the Broncos network as a whole, the team sought out a more reliable and manageable solution.

Long-time partner SHI helped the Broncos break down their specific requirements. The team’s previous firewall solutions were difficult to understand and provided limited network visibility. Not only were the Broncos suffering from slow stadium connectivity, but they also struggled to manage external network use both at the team’s main office location and through the personal tablet use of coaches and players, leaving the network open for security risks and crashes.

With these needs in mind, SHI identified the Dell SonicWALL firewall as the optimal solution to the Broncos’ IT headaches, saving the team the time and trouble of vetting all the possible solutions themselves. With the deployment of Dell SonicWALL SuperMassive 9200, the team gained greater reliability and network security while improving its ability to quickly identify and solve network issues. Also, with the installment of the SonicWALL SRA 4600 remote access device, the team simplified and accelerated VPN access for staff and vendors.

Since the installation of SonicWALL, the Broncos have drastically reduced their connectivity issues and boosted their network security as a whole. With the Super Bowl just a few days away, players and staff can rest easy knowing that network issues won’t interfere on game day. Leaving the Broncos focused on one thing: winning.

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