IBM has been chosen by the All England Lawn Tennis Club (AELTC) to be the Official Technology Partner for the ongoing Wimbledon Championships.
The deal marks the 24th year in a row the tech giant has delivered the technology behind the competition, but this year sees an increase in the use of its cloud and big data analytics technology.
As part of the partnership, IBM hosts the Wimbledon website and delivers real-time match analytics to commentators as well as providing the SlamTracker app, which combines players' performance – determined by real-time stats – with spectators' opinions submitted via social media.
The match data collected by the SlamTracker is made into graphics for the BBC to broadcast, and can be used by pundits in their analysis of the games.
This year marks the first time that SlamTracker has included a social-media focus, and IBM claims this move can be translated to other businesses to rank how they are perceived by customers.
In a recently published white paper on the partnership, the vendor said: "In business, being aware of what clients are saying about you at key moments, such as new product launches, can be equally invaluable. The predictive analytics used at Wimbledon can be applied in business to assist organisations to predict what will happen next, enabling them to plan and carry out strategies and improve decision making."
IBM technical webmaster Mauro Marzorati said the vendor's cloud technology is ideal for Wimbledon as the tournament drives huge traffic to the site for a fortnight, which is relatively quiet for the rest of the year.
"The main advantage behind the cloud is the ability to... scale your infrastructure to your business needs," he said. "[AELTC] can draw on resources for a short period of time when they need it and be able to expand capacity to meet the demands of the championship then downgrade it. To be able to shrink and grow, that is essentially the magic of the cloud."
IBM hosts the Wimbledon website all year round using a private cloud. In last year's tournament fortnight, the website saw 16.9 million unique visitors to the site and received 394 million page views.
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