Outsourcer Atos is about to commence its final test phase for its systems supporting the 2012 Olympic Games in London, before systems go live on June 1.
Technical Rehearsal 2 will commence next Monday (21 May) and complete on Friday, after which the systems, including the core Games Management System (GMS), associated data distribution systems and a workforce management system will be considered operational for the Games in July and August.
Atos, which will be overseeing the IT operations from its headquarters in London’s Canary Wharf, will be co-ordinating the activities of a number of third-party IT suppliers including Acer, Airwave, BT, Cisco, Omega, Panasonic, and Samsung. It will support a number of media partners for the Games including Reuters, AP, USA Today and Press Association.
Atos will also have to work with a number of other stakeholders, such as healthcare, security and immigration organisations.
The scale of the task is huge, with 3,500 IT staff employed by all the IT suppliers supporting 1,000 servers and 10,000 end user devices over 140 sites.
The GMS is the Games' core ERP application, which handles all of the data around the athletes, from accreditation and the issuing of a pass to each entrant that serves as an entry visa to the UK, as well as access to the various sports venues.
It also serves as a hub for data around their timing and scoring performances at the games. This information is fed into a real-time data distribution system that updates scoreboards at the events and supports a commentator information system accessible by the media at the Games and around the world.
During the tests next week, over 70 IT teams deployed across the Games venues will go through busiest-day scenarios using data collected by Atos from past Olympic Games and other world championship events.
Although Atos has operated an IT upgrade lock-down with its IT partners for nearly 18 months, to make sure that all the IT systems are durable for the Games, Michele Hyron, chief integrator for London 2012 at Atos, explained at a press conference that competition rules are constantly changing and present a significant change management task for the IT team.