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Major upgrade set to commence at Australia’s premier ice sports venue

Major upgrade set to commence at Australia’s premier ice sports venue
July 1, 2015

The Medibank Icehouse, Australia’s premier ice sports venue, will receive a major systems upgrade later this year to make it easier for customers to book online, get in and out of the venue faster, and sign up for memberships, email newsletters and rewards programs.

The O’Brien Group, which has managed Medibank Icehouse in Melbourne’s Docklands precinct since August last year, has signed a deal with leisure software experts Centaman to overhaul the venue’s guest and facilities management IT systems.

The five-year-old venue is the only ice sports facility in Australia to feature two Olympic size ice rinks under one roof.

More than 400,000 people pass through its doors every year, from casual skaters and spectators watching Australian National Ice Hockey League matches, to elite athletes training with the Olympic Winter Institute of Australia.

Medibank Icehouse General Manager Paul Keisler said the Centaman upgrade would improve the customer experience and simplify life for staff.

Keisler explained that the addition of six new EasyGate access control gates, also provided by Centaman, would speed up entry and exit for visitors and make it easier for the venue to provide secure access, stating “we were looking for a system that could serve our entire facility, help us report on all areas of our business, and integrate with access control.

“We wanted to allow people to book online, print their ticket at home and then come to the venue and scan at the gate to get in, without having to wait to get to the building to purchase tickets.”

Keisler added that the venue hosts competitive sports events, as well as casual skating and skate school learn to skate programs, so being able to efficiently manage both bulk ticketing and scheduled programs and events was vital.

Keisler added “from the guest experience point of view this will be a major improvement. We will be able to deploy online bookings and improved email communication with customers through the Centaman customer relationship management system and will also use Centaman to launch a new membership, loyalty and reward program.”

The upgrade is also good for staff and management at the venue, as it will allow them to use a single software platform to manage ticketing, book functions and events, schedule skate school and other programs, and report on the most popular areas of the business, improving efficiency.

Centaman Australia National Sales Manager Bryn Whales said Centaman was an ideal fit for Medibank Icehouse because of the diverse nature of its business.

Whales added “the Icehouse needs to manage bookings for two ice rinks, administer memberships and engage with its customers, and control access between two Olympic sized ice rinks and an on-site gym and café.

“Using Centaman they can do all of this and more, rather than having to train up staff to use multiple, less powerful and less integrated software products.”

Whales said Centaman had partnered with premium technology provider NTT Communications ICT Solutions (NTT ICT) to provide installation of server and point of sale hardware and management of Enterprise licenses.

This simplified the project for O’Brien Group by allowing it to deal with just one project manager, rather than multiple suppliers.

Whales concluded “NTT ICT is an established and well regarded technology provider with an impressive history. Its expertise will help ensure the end result is absolutely world-class.”

The Medibank Icehouse system’s upgrade will be complete in the fourth quarter of this year, ensuring customers can take advantage of online booking and other improvements before Christmas.

Click here to contact Centaman via their entry in the Australasian Leisure Management Supplier Directory.

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