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L.A. Dodgers touch all bases on phone equipment.

It's winter. It's cold. People are skiing down mountains slopes, skating over frozen ponds, snowshoeing in the woods. Springtime thoughts are a long way off.

That's not true in all parts of the country. In some cities, nobody gives a second thought to winter sports. Some people have baseball on their minds the year round.

The 50 employees of the Los Angeles Dodgers are already selling tickets to see the boys of summer play 81 games under the bright, warm California sun.

By the end of September 1992, the Dodgers expect to break their three million person National League attendance record set in 1991. Should the Dodgers win their division and the playoffs, and succeed in grabbing a spot in the World Series, they believe they could set another attendance record.

The Dodgers' telephone system will play a large role if that happens. According to Linda Cohen, manager of the team's telecommunications, 256 lines come into the stadium, with 65 Comdial Voice Express phones handling most administrative needs.

Voice Express is a system designed for companies that have not switched from 1A2 technology to skinny wire. It bridges the gap between the two technologies and provides a number of features such as last number redial, built-in appointment alarm, message waiting, timed hook-flash and 41 speed dial locations.

"We particularly like the speed dial features on the phones because they eliminate the centrex speed dialing charge," Cohen says.

The team just signed a five-year contract with Pacific Bell to continue centrex.

The biggest change in the Dodgers' telephone system in 1991 came when the team built a "phone room" for 18 telephone charge sales and customer service representatives.

Before this year, tickets could only be purchased in person at the stadium ticket office, by mail or through some third-party outlets. The Dodgers researched the cost of in-house equipment and purchased an automatic call distributor.

Serviced by Executone ACD and telephones, the room is dormant during the off-season, but jumps to life in the spring. All 18 telephones are frequently in use at one time while a queue of calls waits to be answered.

The Dodgers don't have the equipment to daily measure the number of calls they get, but they sold 27,000 season seats to 7,500 season ticket holders in 1991.

Voice mail is a big part of the Dodger scouting department and five minor league teams. The team has a two-port Genesis system during 60 mailboxes driven by Cindy software.

The teams call in progress reports on developing players, and in return they get scouting bulletins issued to each mailbox by the scouting department.

The team has had the voice mail system for five years, and it has paid for itself many times over. The organization likes the convenience of the scouts being able to give and get their messages no matter what time zone they happen to be visiting.

They prefer on-site voice mail over that offered by centrex. PacBell charges about $20 per month per mailbox for centrex voice mail.

When it comes to championship play on the field, or great communications off the field, the Dodgers touch all the bases.
COPYRIGHT 1992 Nelson Publishing
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Copyright 1992 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Publication:Communications News
Date:Mar 1, 1992
Words:525
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