Sean Draper manages offices from far-flung places across the world – from a frozen pond in a barn in Europe to a hockey rink in North America – but somehow, he never actually has to leave his desk to liaise with the scouts for the Edmonton Oilers hockey team who are scattered across the globe looking for the next rising star.
"The remote office for me is in Siberia,” said Draper, director of research, analysts and software development, Edmonton Oilers. “My scouts scour the globe looking for players we feel have the potential to help us win the Stanley Cup … the downside is my workforce is never assembled in the same room.”
Draper was on-hand today at the Toronto launch of Microsoft 2010 and SharePoint 2010 at the Hockey Hall of Fame helping make the business case for the suite of products in the age of Web 2.0. Not only do the Edmonton Oilers use SharePoint 2010 to connect workers from remote locations, but it also uses the software to help scouts assess the viability of potential draft picks.
“They look for skill, they look for personality, they look for anything they can use that’s going to help us put one player ahead of another player – they’ll file scouting reports and they’ll hit social networking sites,” Draper explained. The information is then aggregated into the Scouting Portal that helps scouts compare and collect data on each player.
In fact, the portal has proven so critical to the day-to-day operations of scouts that Draper is hoping to further exploit its potential down the road. “If we drafted somebody and he’s playing in Oklahoma City, after every five games, I want to have his videos from those five games on this site and I want him to sit down with our development coach, with the general manager. I want them to go over the video in real-time and talk it out and figure out if you’ve met your goals … I want them to engage in real-time collaboration so that we can build better prospects.”