Aug 26, 2008 (02:08 PM EDT)
Futurist Ray Kurzweil Interviewed

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InformationWeek Daily - Tuesday, Aug. 26, 2008


Editor's Note

New Records For IT

The Beijing Olympic Games are over, and much of the attention is focused on the accomplishments of the athletes from around the world, who broke more than 40 world records and more than 130 Olympic records.

IT's role has also been impressive, although much of that remains behind the scenes -- as it should when all is going well with the technology. Atos Origin, the company that provides the IT infrastructure for the Olympics, far exceeded what it delivered at the last summer Games, in Athens in 2004.

Compared with the Games in Athens, the IT team in Beijing provided systems and software that processed and activated 70% more accreditations, for a total of more than 340,000, according to Atos Origin.

Here are some other stats from the Paris-based services company:

*Systems in Beijing securely processed a more than 80% greater volume of data on competition for media and news agencies worldwide, compared with the Olympics in Athens.

*The IT infrastructure in Beijing enabled nearly 50% more stories to be published each day in English by the Olympic News Service, totaling an average of 500 stories each day during the Games.

*Atos Origin added 40% more sports disciplines to its Commentator Information System to provide broadcasters with more detailed, real-time information about more sporting events.

*IT supported about 30% more hits on the intranet for the Beijing Games, called INFO2008, averaging about 1.2 million hits each day.

*Systems collected and filtered more than 12 million information security events each day to protect against potential IT security threats. Of these, fewer than 100 were identified as real issues. All of these were resolved, according to Atos Origin, resulting in no impact on the Olympics.

In a prepared statement, Jacques Rogge, president of the International Olympic Committee, said, "today people expect more content and more detail about events as they happen. Through the IT infrastructure that Atos Origin has designed, built, and operated during the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, the competition results have been viewed and read by more people and on more channels -- Web, mobile phone, and TV -- than ever before."

Atos Origin's work isn't done in Beijing. The company also is providing the IT infrastructure for next month's Paralympic Games in the city. In addition, it will provide IT for the Vancouver Winter Olympics Games in 2010 and the London Summer Olympic Games in 2012.

Do you have any insight into the IT workings of the Summer Olympics? How'd it work out? Let us know.

Bob Violino
bviolino@optonline.net
www.informationweek.com

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