NFL app maker makes a play for the enterprise

The company that jumpstarted the National Football League's migration from paper playbooks to tablets is making a bet that its content control and collaboration platform can score in the enterprise.

The company that jumpstarted the National Football League's migration from paper playbooks to tablets is making a bet that its content control and collaboration platform can score in the enterprise.

The Denver, Colorado-based company PlayerLync created technology that allowed NFL coaches to remotely update a player's iPad with new plays. It also allowed the coaches to see if the content was being used. If a player was cut from the team, the encrypted content could be remotely erased.

But in a play for the enterprise, PlayerLync announced Monday the launch of an enterprise edition of its tablet-based collaboration platform that it says enables companies to centrally manage and share content such as video and documents to a large disparate workforce.

PlayerLync says typical use cases for the enterprise edition include the support of teams in training, operations and corporate communications across industries such as restaurants, retail, construction, financial services, entertainment and healthcare.

With those use cases in mind, PlayerLync also announced that the fast casual burrito chain Chipotle Mexican Grill and the entertainment network Starz are on board as part of an inaugural group implementing the platform across their workforce. 

Features of the enterprise platform include automatic sleep mode synchronization, time-shifted collaboration and native offline access, which eliminates end user streaming, buffering and downloading.

According to PlayerLync CEO Bob Paulsen, many of those features were developed, tested and perfected within the initial platform iteration geared toward the NFL, but that security was one of the key areas of focus when tweaking the platform on the back and front ends for enterprise use. 

The enterprise edition uses 256-bit encryption security, the same encryption used by banks to safeguard financial data. The central platform also lets administrators remotely wipe a tablet’s content with a single click.

Paulsen said 60 percent of NFL teams currently use the PlayerLync platform, but that it all began with his hometown team of the Denver Broncos.

"The starting point was a discussion with the Broncos about how they were spending tons of money to print paper playbooks that needed changed daily and to burn DVDs that were being handed out to their players," Paulsen said. "The players began bringing in tablets and requesting to watch the game videos on there, but the process available for the coaching staff to do that was insecure and inefficient."

From that point on the platform spread across the NFL, Paulsen said. And with big name brands like Chipotle and Starz signing up, he thinks his odds are fair for a repeat in the enterprise.