Welcome!

Blog Feed Post

Kick the Fax out of Football

 

The past few weeks have been spectacular for football fans everywhere. The World Cup in Rio has seen some great goals, impressive matches and a bite of controversy. Interestingly, we’ve also seen technology used more widely on football’s biggest stage. Goal-line technology was first used during the tournament for France’s group-stage match against Honduras and we have watched the use of vanishing spray by officials with interest. Meanwhile, as signing season commences, players are keeping a keen eye on events in the domestic transfer markets.

As a keen football fan and a businessman working with disruptive technology, it is great to see technology being adopted on the pitch. However, why aren’t clubs embracing it off the pitch too?

One perfect example of where technology should be adopted is the FA’s deadline day, which can be an administrative nightmare. Managers are left pulling out what little hair they still possess as deals fall through at the last minute. We’ve also seen farcical events stall huge signings: last year, Manchester United’s bid for Ander Herrera saw imposters turning up at the league’s offices, pretending to be lawyers managing the trade for the club. This year, Herrera conducted a medical and flew to Manchester to finalise the deal in an extended series of bargaining that included the footballer paying his own transfer fee. Manchester United’s initial bid for Herrera was rejected, only to be accepted days later, in a series of protracted to-ing and fro-ing.

The rush of transfers as the deadline reaches its peak means clubs often miss out on signings as paperwork fails to be put through to the FA before the deadline expires. Historically, the format has seen numerous signings fail as last-minute transfers are not put through in time. The cause of this is the sheer amount of paperwork which clubs need to file in order to sign a player.

Football clubs are like any other business and have to manage their workflow accordingly. Signing players during the transfer window adds to this workflow, particularly with vast amounts of documentation. Like any legal or business transaction, transfers can only be approved when the correct forms are signed. Club secretaries are required by regulation to handle offers to existing players whose contracts are about to expire, in addition to players being registered and transferred in and out during the transfer window. This means clubs are required to organise numerous physical documents on player wages, medical forms, transfer agreements between clubs, international clearance and visa issues. Rumour has it staff are told to wear trainers on the final day of the window, as they will be running to and from the fax so often.

Believe it or not, clubs still have to dust off their fax machine every year in order to send these documents to their opposite number before the deadline closes. Far from the most technologically advanced pieces of hardware in the digital age, faxes are slow and prone to breakdown and provide no added value. When clubs are pushing through a last minute contract, this can be a devastatingly costly failure, both in terms of the finances of the club as well as its performance during the football season. There is also no digital audit trail when it comes to faxed documents. The club secretary claims to have not seen a critical document come through? With fax, you have to take their word for it. In such a huge global business as football and even sport more widely, it is ridiculous to think that multi-million contracts are still being handled through a piece of outdated technology like the fax machine.

So what can be done? Clubs need to kick the fax out of football.

We have already seen electronic signatures adopted by the NFL Player’s Association in order to avoid the fax failure fiasco which occurred for Elvis Dumervile last year. With electronic signatures, players can have their medical documentation signed and processed through an entirely digital platform, meaning agents can view who they need to chase for signatures. Contracts can be processed far quicker and on the move. Players in Brazil for the World Cup would not have to worry about fulfilling their transfer window ambitions – their contracts can be processed remotely, across any device. There is no need for expensive air travel or agents to be flown all over the world. Digital Transaction Management (DTM) and eSignature technology like this exist, and should be seized by the FA for the economic and environmental benefit it brings.

Like any other fan, I enjoy following the excitement as deadline day approaches and closely monitor the news knowing that my dream signing could collapse at the last minute. It’s a pain that football fans know all too well. It’s time to put a stop to wasteful processes and frustrated fans. The FA and football clubs need to integrate with the digital revolution. It’s time to ditch the fax and let the beautiful game be played by the right players at the right clubs.

Blog Category:

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By An Bui

Social Media Professional with substantial experience identifying, characterizing and connecting online communities and authors. Strong orientation on actionable recommendations that provide mutually beneficial value for communities and organizations for stakeholders.

Currently, I serve as the social media manager for DocuSign, Inc., the market leader and global standard for electronic signature. DocuSign provides the world’s largest and fastest growing electronic signature platform, empowering businesses to complete transactions online quickly and securely while improving compliance and dramatically reducing costs.

DocuSign is the only cloud computing-based electronic signature platform that entirely replaces slow, expensive paper transactions with a fast, efficient and completely digital solution. Accessible from any Internet-connected device, DocuSign supports virtually any document and form type in simple and complex workflows, and provides broad user authentication options, data collection, secure document/data storage and retrieval, as well as real-time negotiation and collaboration tools.

Latest Stories
"This week we're really focusing on scalability, asset preservation and how do you back up to the cloud and in the cloud with object storage, which is really a new way of attacking dealing with your file, your blocked data, where you put it and how you access it," stated Jeff Greenwald, Senior Director of Market Development at HGST, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
In a world where the internet rules all, where 94% of business buyers conduct online research, and where e-commerce sales are poised to fall between $427 billion and $443 billion by the end of this year, we think it's safe to say that your website is a vital part of your business strategy. Whether you're a B2B company, a local business, or an e-commerce site, digital presence is key to maintain in your drive towards success. Digital Performance will take priority in 2018 for the following reason...
Rodrigo Coutinho is part of OutSystems' founders' team and currently the Head of Product Design. He provides a cross-functional role where he supports Product Management in defining the positioning and direction of the Agile Platform, while at the same time promoting model-based development and new techniques to deliver applications in the cloud.
All organizations that did not originate this moment have a pre-existing culture as well as legacy technology and processes that can be more or less amenable to DevOps implementation. That organizational culture is influenced by the personalities and management styles of Executive Management, the wider culture in which the organization is situated, and the personalities of key team members at all levels of the organization. This culture and entrenched interests usually throw a wrench in the work...
Leading companies, from the Global Fortune 500 to the smallest companies, are adopting hybrid cloud as the path to business advantage. Hybrid cloud depends on cloud services and on-premises infrastructure working in unison. Successful implementations require new levels of data mobility, enabled by an automated and seamless flow across on-premises and cloud resources. In his general session at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Tevis, an IBM Storage Software Technical Strategist and Customer Solution Architec...
Business professionals no longer wonder if they'll migrate to the cloud; it's now a matter of when. The cloud environment has proved to be a major force in transitioning to an agile business model that enables quick decisions and fast implementation that solidify customer relationships. And when the cloud is combined with the power of cognitive computing, it drives innovation and transformation that achieves astounding competitive advantage.
IoT is rapidly becoming mainstream as more and more investments are made into the platforms and technology. As this movement continues to expand and gain momentum it creates a massive wall of noise that can be difficult to sift through. Unfortunately, this inevitably makes IoT less approachable for people to get started with and can hamper efforts to integrate this key technology into your own portfolio. There are so many connected products already in place today with many hundreds more on the h...
In his session at Cloud Expo, Alan Winters, U.S. Head of Business Development at MobiDev, presented a success story of an entrepreneur who has both suffered through and benefited from offshore development across multiple businesses: The smart choice, or how to select the right offshore development partner Warning signs, or how to minimize chances of making the wrong choice Collaboration, or how to establish the most effective work processes Budget control, or how to maximize project result...
"Software-defined storage is a big problem in this industry because so many people have different definitions as they see fit to use it," stated Peter McCallum, VP of Datacenter Solutions at FalconStor Software, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
"Our strategy is to focus on the hyperscale providers - AWS, Azure, and Google. Over the last year we saw that a lot of developers need to learn how to do their job in the cloud and we see this DevOps movement that we are catering to with our content," stated Alessandro Fasan, Head of Global Sales at Cloud Academy, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
Personalization has long been the holy grail of marketing. Simply stated, communicate the most relevant offer to the right person and you will increase sales. To achieve this, you must understand the individual. Consequently, digital marketers developed many ways to gather and leverage customer information to deliver targeted experiences. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Lou Casal, Founder and Principal Consultant at Practicala, discussed how the Internet of Things (IoT) has accelerated our abilit...
In his keynote at 19th Cloud Expo, Sheng Liang, co-founder and CEO of Rancher Labs, discussed the technological advances and new business opportunities created by the rapid adoption of containers. With the success of Amazon Web Services (AWS) and various open source technologies used to build private clouds, cloud computing has become an essential component of IT strategy. However, users continue to face challenges in implementing clouds, as older technologies evolve and newer ones like Docker c...
Data is the fuel that drives the machine learning algorithmic engines and ultimately provides the business value. In his session at Cloud Expo, Ed Featherston, a director and senior enterprise architect at Collaborative Consulting, discussed the key considerations around quality, volume, timeliness, and pedigree that must be dealt with in order to properly fuel that engine.
As organizations shift towards IT-as-a-service models, the need for managing and protecting data residing across physical, virtual, and now cloud environments grows with it. Commvault can ensure protection, access and E-Discovery of your data – whether in a private cloud, a Service Provider delivered public cloud, or a hybrid cloud environment – across the heterogeneous enterprise. In his general session at 18th Cloud Expo, Randy De Meno, Chief Technologist - Windows Products and Microsoft Part...
Andi Mann, Chief Technology Advocate at Splunk, is an accomplished digital business executive with extensive global expertise as a strategist, technologist, innovator, marketer, and communicator. For over 30 years across five continents, he has built success with Fortune 500 corporations, vendors, governments, and as a leading research analyst and consultant.