French IT outsourcing firm Atos has opened a technology operations centre (TOC) for the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games, putting on display its technological knowhow in supporting the global sporting event. This comes almost six months after the outsourcer set up an IT integration-testing lab in the Brazilian city.
Although invisible to most people, the IT provided by Atos plays an essential role in making the games a success. For example, Atos provides the systems that beam the results of the competition around the world in less than a second on television, online and on multiple devices.
Atos is also running a portal that supports the recruitment and training of 70,000 volunteers, besides helping process 400,000 accreditation passes. The outsourcer says that for the first time IT backend of the Olympic Games would be managed in the cloud, including the volunteer portal and the accreditation system.
“Today the Olympic Games could not happen without technology,” stated Sidney Levy, CEO of Rio 2016 Committee. Running the IT for the Olympic Games is equivalent to setting up and running the IT to a company of 200,000 employees addressing 4 billion customers, operating 24/7 and moving to a new territory every two years.
Over the past few years, Atos has built up a strong services portfolio and expertise in cloud, Big Data, cyber-security, and in high power computing. Last year, it acquired the IT outsourcing unit of Xerox, increasing its size by three fold in the U.S. alone.
The TOC will serve as the command and control center for technology, monitoring and controlling the IT systems that support the running of the Games. In other words, the center will be the Game’s technology headquarters, where experts will monitor technology infrastructure and systems, including IT security, telecommunications as well as power.
Reports say the TOC in Rio will be supported remotely by another technology center in Spain. “This will be the operating model for the future Games that will be delivered fully in SaaS and over the Cloud,” Atos stated in a press release. A team of 150 business technologists will provide support from Spain.