Major financial institutions, multinational utility companies and government departments would normally be the first things springing to mind when trying to name large IT services customers. A sporting event would be far less obvious.
But on October 10, when Australia kicks off its opening game against Argentina in Sydney, the Rugby World Cup will immediately become one of the biggest IT services clients in the country.
For the following seven weeks, the world’s media and billions of supporters across the globe will want access to seemingly endless amounts of statistics for each of the 48 games involving the top 20 playing nations.
The task of providing that information will rest with Unisys Australia. The global services company — which has been providing services for the Rugby World Cup since 1991 — will provide systems integration, infrastructure management and outsourcing as well as enterprise server technology. A team of 140 Unisys staff will be supplying real-time information to international media through terminals at 11 centres across Australia, showcasing Unisys ES/7000 technology.
The system was tested during games against Wales and England in June and will be hosted from a Unisys data centre that also runs projects for major corporate and government clients.
“There will be no room for us to drop the ball as spectators, commentators, journalists and fans will need immediate and accurate information,” Unisys Asia-Pacific general manager, Andrew Barkla, said.
Unisys will also manage a database of information including statistics, scores and player profiles dating back to the first international matches in 1881.
Joe Roff, who played 58 consecutive games for the Wallabies and is one of the team’s top five try-scorers of all time, has been named Unisys ambassador for the tournament.