Businesses need to respond to the needs of their customers to meet their ever-changing requirements.
The cloud model is a great way to achieve desired outcomes using an on demand service whilst still providing resiliency and security.
Since 1993, Tennis Australia and IBM® have been working together to bring advanced technology and new innovations to the tournament. 50 weeks of the year, Tennis Australia operates as a small business with approximately 200 permanent staff. But for two weeks every January, Tennis Australia hosts the Australian Open tournament, creating a huge demand for a robust, flexible and secure IT solution.
While projects like SlamTracker™ and the official website have been created to enhance the fan experience and build the Australian Open brand, IBM and Tennis Australia have gone behind the scenes to create an economical, efficient and scalable infrastructure solution for Australian Open 2012 – the private cloud.
IBM’s private cloud model which is utilised to host australianopen.com, allows provisioning and de-provisioning of resources, based on Tennis Australia’s business and workload requirements throughout design, testing and then through the live phase of the Australian Open.
IBM assists Tennis Australia every year, with increased features and functionality and more data and analytics for the fans. This thirst for more rigorous data and statistics requires an equally robust infrastructure, which is provided via the private cloud – a dynamic, resilient and secure IT platform.
Efficient, effective, effortless
Previously, when Tennis Australia needed additional infrastructure for their workflow demands, IBM would
need to provision, install and configure a physical server. This manual method of obtaining servers was both time-consuming and costly.
By operating in the private cloud, IBM can now provision a new web server in less than 3 minutes without affecting other IT services, giving Tennis Australia the flexibility to dynamically scale capacity when needed, without sacrificing resiliency.
In real terms, what does this mean for a business? In the case of the Australian Open, it’s simple – higher demand, less capital infrastructure, lower expense. Since 2008 the volume of unique users of australianopen.com has had a dramatic 45% increase, while the cost per user has decreased by 35%. During this time individual page views have grown by 42%, while the cost of each page view has dropped by 34%.
In an environment where businesses worldwide are required to be more cost conscious, a private cloud model allows Tennis Australia to manage budget constraints and the large influx of workload capacity throughout the year.
IBM takes a layered approach to security with best practices, security defences, security checks and balances to protect valuable business information within the cloud. For additional protection, Tennis Australia and IBM have also worked together to create a tailored security strategy according to their individual needs.
Far from being a new technology, cloud computing is supporting more of the Australian Open IT operations every year, with the private cloud solution designed to adapt to Tennis Australia’s changing needs and deliver a rapid ROI.
The cloud is more than just a smarter IT solution; it can reinvent the way you do business.
IBM at the Australian Open
Every year, IBM and Tennis Australia partner together to design, develop and host the interactive Australian Open website. The media-rich online experience allows fans to listen to live radio, review match highlights, read blogs and follow real-time scores
from every court at the tournament.
“Fans onsite and offsite are of equal importance to us; we want to give them a totally connected experience to deepen their engagement with our event” – Samir Mahir, CIO Tennis Australia.
From its start as one of the world’s first live event websites in 1996, the Australian Open has now evolved into a fully integrated web and mobile experience.
IBM SlamTracker allows fans to get live scores, real-time statistics and deeper insight into their favourite player’s best strategy for success. Australian Open SlamTracker allows fans to view tennis scores and stats in new and exciting ways.
Keys to the Match is an enhanced feature of SlamTracker that delivers an in-depth analysis of a player’s performance history to identify three
Keys to the Match that they should meet in order to improve their chances of winning.
Leveraging the power of predictive analytics technology, IBM analysed over 39 million data points across five years of grand slam championships to find patterns and styles for players when they win. This knowledge is compared to an opponent’s patterns and style to determine the keys to the match for each player.
SlamTracker also enables fans to see the scores and statistics of matches come to life. Under Momentum, data is aggregated into a momentum meter, showing which player has a current statistical edge. Player momentum is based on real-time analysis of game statistics, and is updated after each and every point.
Partnered with success
IBM and Tennis Australia take a collaborative approach to investigate advanced technologies, deliver real business value and find a tailored solution for this annual global event.
The same devoted team of international IBM experts is responsible for a number of high-profile global events including the other three tennis grand slams, The Masters and the Tony Awards. This process of evolution allows Tennis Australia to discover new innovations and proven IT strategies used at these international events before applying them to their own tournament.
It takes twelve months of strategic thinking, implementation and dedication from both Tennis Australia and IBM to ensure the two weeks of the Australian Open is a success year on year.
To download the full case study, click here if you are in Australia or here if you are in New Zealand.
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