Atos opens IT testing lab for Rio 2016 Olympic Games

15 April 2015 Consultancy.uk

Global IT services firm Atos has opened its IT integration testing lab for the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games, where it will put in 200,000 hours of IT testing in the run up to the Games. For the IOC and Atos, the 2016 Games represents the next step of the digitalisation of the Games, with all of the key IT systems transitioned into the Atos cloud, allowing for reliability and cost reduction. 

Atos and the Games
Since 2002, IT firm Atos has been a Worldwide IT Partner of the International Olympic Committee, delivering the IT and solutions for the Olympic Games. Solutions delivered include the systems that beam the results around the world in less than a second for use on television, online and on multiple devices, the portal to support the recruitment and training of 70,000 volunteers, and the solution that processes 300,000 accreditation passes so those involved in the Games. 

Atos opens IT testing lab 2016

To ensure all IT is working properly, the Atos IT team prepares by test every results related IT system, IT application and the IT infrastructure itself to help ensure the Games run smoothly in its IT Integration Testing Lab. The Rio 2016 lab covers 1272 m2, comprising 42 cells covering each sport and venue plus 12 cells dedicated to the accreditation and results information systems. “Testing is critical to our success at the Olympic and Paralympic Games and today’s opening is a major milestone in our technology roadmap,” comments Patrick Adiba, Group Chief Commercial Officer and CEO of Major Events at Atos.

Elly Resende, Rio2016 Technology Director, adds: “Atos plays an important role not only as a key integrator for our Games solutions but also as a true partner to support our challenges. With their successful track record in delivering IT for the Olympic Games since 2002, they bring experience, expertise and specialised knowledge which is enabling us to deliver the IT for the Rio 2016 Games and the foundation for future Games.”

Rio 2016

Rio 2016 Games
For the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the Rio 2016 Games represents a major step in its IT strategy to embrace digital transformation as all key systems will be transitioned to the Atos cloud Canopy. As a result of which, in the future, a local IT testing Lab will not be necessary anymore, with a permanent IT testing lab set up in Spain to support all the testing for upcoming Games. This allows for increased flexibility and agility as well as increased reliability, better accessibility to services worldwide, and a considerable reduction in the cost incurred by IOC and Organising Committees.

“Rio 2016 marks our eighth Olympic Games, fourth Summer Olympic Games and importantly the first and important step in the IOC’s journey to digital, as we move to a new IT delivery model from a ‘build each time’ to a ‘build once and reuse’ model. This will bring benefits in terms of efficiency not only for the Rio 2016 Games but for all future Games too. We are delighted to be working with the team in Rio to deliver this exciting transformation,” explains Adiba.

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Despite industry disruption televised sport still draws audiences

24 April 2019 Consultancy.uk

Despite the disruption wrought on most areas of traditional broadcasting by streaming challengers, sports remains a major draw for audiences of television networks. This is particularly true of viewers who bet money on sporting events, with those that have skin in the game considerably more likely to follow the event on a television screen.

Arguably the true opiate of the masses, for centuries organised sports have been a major draw for hordes of fanatical spectators, from the grand coliseums of Ancient Rome to the more understated greens of local cricket grounds. The advent of television in the 20th century took this to a new level, allowing for widespread visual access to major sporting events, and sowing the seeds of a multi-billion industry in the process. Yet while watching sport remains a key pastime for many, changing consumer preferences and new technologies are affecting the traditional sport distribution channel of TV.

To better understand trends in the sporting broadcast market, Deloitte recently released an article titled ‘Does TV Sports have a Future?’ as part of its wider ‘Technology, Media, and Telecommunications Predictions 2019’ report into telecommunications trends. The conclusions in the piece are based on the firm’s own survey of 1,062 US-based respondents.

More men than women watch sport

Traditional television has in recent years begun to lose out to streaming and on demand services, resulting in a generation that is watching considerably less television. The shift in consumer sentiment has caused traditional TV companies consternation as well as shifts in business models. The average Millennial now watches 42% fewer minutes per week of TV in 2018 than they did in 2010. Yet not all areas of the traditional television market have been as hard hit by the shift, and sport is one of them. This contradicts previous studies which may have suggested that Millennials were abandoning ‘old’ media for their sport viewing.

One reason for this could well be sports betting, which means that many of the people watching the event are keen to see how their punt is faring, in play. According to Deloitte, 78% of male sport viewers, and 64% of their female counterparts would be more likely to tune in to a live event if they had bet on it.

The study found that sport gambling remains a key fixture in the gambling industry as a whole in the UK. In the United Kingdom in 2017, sports betting had £14 billion in turnover. In the four Nordic countries, meanwhile legal gambling of all kinds was an approximate €6 billion industry in 2015. In the US, meanwhile, the industry as a whole is worth around a quarter of a trillion dollars – with sports betting figuring at around 40% of that total. The industry is projected to see growth of 9% over the coming three years.

Betting on sports is associated with watching sports on TV for more than five hours on a typical weekday

However, while the gambling industry does indeed seem to have some impact on television engagement, it would be dangerous to overstate this as a positive, and such a conclusion might also put the cart before the horse. Deloitte’s study found that ‘super-superfans’ – those who watched more than five hours on a typical weekday – were more likely to gamble than average viewers.

Of those who watch more than five hours of sport per day, only 4% do not bet. Of those, 2% do not currently bet, or have never bet, respectively. Again, it could be asserted that these people are engaging with televised sport, and thus keeping the advertising-based industry afloat, due to the betting they participate in. However, it could equally be argued that they are exhibiting compulsive behaviour in spending such a large amount of time viewing sport in the first place – behaviour which would leave them as easy prey for gambling firms, who can now milk them for profit.

But where is all this set to lead? According author Duncan Stewart, the potential profitability of this model means it is likely to be exported from the UK in the coming years.

Steward concluded, “As a thought experiment, one can imagine a 30-year-old American man in the year 2025… watching a football game on the TV set, smartphone in hand. He can bet on the match at any point, modify his wager, buy back a losing wager, bet on the outcome of individual plays or individual stats such as the number of passing yards by the quarterback—all in real time, and all tailored to him. Ads could be served that are customised for him, informed by his betting and attention, and watching would have to be 100% live. The broadcaster or betting site could not only charge more for ads seen by such an involved viewer, but even have a share in (or own outright) the profits from the betting/video stream … at margins much higher than the usual for TV broadcasting. To an American, this sounds like science fiction, but in the United Kingdom, these solutions (or variations of them) are available today.”