The Madness of March

Unfortunately, the alumni of my alma mater wasn't glued to their T.V. nor their iPhone, shoe phone or other favorite streaming device this past “Selection Sunday” and won't be the three weeks that follow.  

We weren’t really known for athletics.  We’re certainly not going to make the NCAA tournament (again) this year.  In fact, one of us didn’t even know that March Madness was played during the third month of the year. 

Back in the day, we were more into the “Robot Olympics” and goofing off the geek way.  Sure, we too appreciated the genius in the “boss button”. The original boss button was a keyboard shortcut that put the basketball tournament site in the background (bet you didn’t know we could do that) and brought up a spreadsheet that looked like I was actually_working_on_stuff.

Today things are much more complicated.  Every carrier and content deliverer is offering up those games any which way – online, streamin’, hogging up your bandwidth on your wireless and wired networks…nothing’s getting done.  

According to recent articles on both CNBC and Fox Business, websites, the American Gaming Association estimates that 40 million people will fill out 70 million tournament brackets at an average of $29 a bracket in the office pool.  Man, that’s a lot of cheddar.

Both articles site a Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc. study that estimates about 51 million office workers join office pools during March Madness. Based on the country’s average hourly wage of $25.35, the outplacement consultancy firm estimates employers will lose $1.3 billion in pay to slacking employees per hour of distraction. Between time spent filling out brackets and watching tournament games live, the total loss of productivity could approach $4 billion .

How easy is it to access live streams and sneak a peek at the action during office hours? “March Madness Live,” available on the NCAA and its partners’ websites, grants subscribers unlimited access to live feeds across a record 12 platforms, including desktops and mainstream mobile devices. Last year, the service generated more than 80 million video streams and nearly 18 million hours of video consumption, according to the NCAA.

How do you get back some control over your environment without damaging morale?  Policies and technology my friend. 

We recently helped a customer implement standard use policies to manage and improve employee productivity through their Cisco – Meraki Next Generation Firewall on both their wired and wireless networks.  

New technology filters application content and manages the bandwidth used by those applications based on policies.  In layman’s terms, we can limit and even block access to certain websites that stream the tournament games or other cyberloafing sites like Facebook or non-work related sites.
Give us a call to learn more. 

P.S. Teamwork makes the dream work!  

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