How 6 Points Reinvented its Business Model and Positioned for New Growth Using Avaya Spaces, OneCloud CPaaS
Every year, hundreds of quarterbacks from youth level all the way to the professional level travel to Denny Thompson’s premier quarterback training facility, 6 Points, to train with the best of the best. “6 Points is visibly different than any other quarterback training program. We’re not just out there running drills. We’re giving our guys the leadership skills they need to develop both on and off the field. We focus on emotional strength, socialization, and many other aspects where communication is critical,” he explained.
Thompson had been in discussion with Avaya seeking a solution to improve his business processes before COVID-19 accelerated the adoption of virtual work worldwide. “I get to do something every day that I love, helping improve the lives of athletes I see a lot of myself in, but I was drowning in administrative work. I went from being out on the turf to stuck behind a laptop most of the day. Initially, we were looking at Avaya Spaces as a way to improve productivity and back-office efficiencies. Then COVID-19 hit, and I felt like my world was going to crumble. 6 Points is almost entirely reliant on in-person training at our Jacksonville, Florida headquarters. Everything I had put my blood, sweat and tears into was on the line.”
Like so many other small business owners, Thompson found himself in what felt like an impossible situation. The initial investment in Avaya Spaces helped him quickly shift to a virtual model without program interruption to workouts, training, and communication — all while increasing operational efficiencies, amplifying the overall training experience with easy mobility, and identifying new opportunities for business growth and digital transformation. The company also uses Avaya OneCloud Communications Platform as a Service (CPaaS) to run a custom mobile application for chatting with clients, enabling automated communications, and organizing day-to-day activities.
“Avaya opened my eyes to see the bigger picture of how remote collaboration could transform my business and the way we do business beyond the pandemic.”
I know without a shadow of a doubt, Avaya Spaces is going to take my business to a level that we never imagined was possible.
QB Trainer/Owner 6 Points
"Whatever we put out didn’t need to be rushed - it needed to be right”
“When the pandemic hit, my gut instinct was that we needed to hurry to get something up and running,” Thompson explained. “But I knew that whatever we put out didn’t need to be rushed - it needed to be right. A lot of companies were looking at alternative solutions like Zoom, but we needed more than a short-term solution.”
Avaya Spaces gave Thompson and his staff a central hub for planning quarterback development and a simple online portal - called 6 Points U - for players to learn the game and have those critical connections and conversations. “Beyond the business, these kids’ hopes and dreams were on the line. Their parents were looking to us to make it work. Now we’re not only ‘making it work,’ we’re going above and beyond for our players and their families. Think about a world where a 15-year-old quarterback is on a call talking football concepts with a current NFL player, four college players, and sixty other high school players. That's unbelievable.”
Players can log into their Avaya Spaces account to learn everything they need to know about the game of football, from pre-recorded interviews Thompson conducts with coaches to workouts (pre-recorded and real-time) with 6 Points staff and guest coaches. “You don't have to fly to our Jacksonville headquarters to do this. You can be wherever you want or in pandemic times, need to be, doing the exact same thing you would do in person,” he explained.
The same goes for Thompson’s ability to interact with recruiters. “I can sit face-to-face with any college rep with the ability to show drills and highlight reels for players with amazing audio and video quality. It’s like they’re sitting in the room right next to me.”
In a new reality of social distancing, it was also important for Thompson to maintain in-person traditions 6 Points is known for. For example, the lunch experiment. “One of our required leadership exercises is for our guys to find someone they don't know and eat lunch with them at school. It has to be a different person each day. Later on, they have to share anonymously a story of what was learned with that person. This gets them out of their comfort zone. More importantly, it makes them listen. I think it's a good example of how we're trying to push in areas that others aren't. With Avaya Spaces, we can find a way to keep this going considering how many schools are starting out virtual this year.”
A lot of companies were looking at alternative solutions like Zoom, but we needed more than a short-term solution.
QB Trainer/Owner 6 Points
“This was about more than just signing in, saying ‘hi’ and logging out.”
As mentioned, there are emotional and mental aspects of the 6 Points experience that make communications critical. Thompson and his staff have dealt with players who struggle with depression and thoughts of self-harm. There are quarterbacks who train at no expense due to lack of funds. One player - a four-star recruit with 40 offers - trained for free for three years due to his mother passing away from cancer. “The difference between 6 Points and other training companies is the level of care and trust we have. We’re there for our guys like family, no matter the circumstances. For us, this was about more than just signing in, saying ‘hi’ and logging out.”
At the same time, Avaya OneCloud CPaaS helped 6 Points enable automated communications that improved efficiency and productivity. “We were getting anywhere from 70 to 100 texts or calls a day about training schedules. We just couldn’t keep up with answering them. Avaya’s CPaaS is helping us to automate communications for large groups of people with the click of a button versus having to send out hundreds of messages manually. That has been amazing. Even better is the fact that we only pay for what we use,” Thompson said.
I can sit face-to-face with any college rep with the ability to show drills and highlight reels for players with amazing audio and video quality. It’s like they’re sitting in the room right next to me.
QB Trainer/Owner 6 Points
"With no physical barriers holding us back, we’re now looking at the possibility of expanding quarterback training to players across the country.”
The concept of cloud-enabled video and team meetings was foreign to Thompson, but he knew when to trust the experts. “We always tell our guys to stop and listen to the people who actually know what they’re talking about. That’s exactly what happened here. I’m not a big technology guy. I’ve heard of the ‘cloud,’ but that’s about where my understanding ends. I had to listen and trust the people who have that expertise. Having worked with Avaya, it’s clear this is what they do. It’s in their DNA.”
“It’s frustrating and exhausting having to redo your business plan, especially based off circumstances you have no control over, but at the same time that pushes you to places you would have never gone before. Avaya approached us with this amazing offer for Avaya Spaces that just launched, so we didn't know its full capabilities. Not only did they offer it to us, but they walked us through the whole process. It was comforting and exciting to see the full picture from a revenue and expansion outlook. With no physical barriers holding us back, we’re now looking at the possibility of expanding quarterback training to players across the country.”
6 Points helps transform the lives of its quarterbacks by pushing them beyond the limits of possibility. With Avaya, the company is pushing its own limits with new communication and collaboration capabilities. “There may be a lot of uncertainty right now, but you can find the bright side if you look for it. Our business is changing immensely, but it’s pushing our creativity to help our guys fulfill their goals and dreams like never before. I know without a shadow of a doubt, Avaya Spaces is going to take my business to a level that we never imagined was possible.”
As a small business, this is not a time where we adapt and survive. We need to adapt and grow, and Avaya helps us do that.
QB Trainer/Owner 6 Points