Winter Olympics IT infrastructure work begins

A consortium of global IT companies are developing sports-related applications in preparation for the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin, Italy, under the leadership of Paris-based IT systems integrator Atos Origin.

Atos, which handled scoreboards, timing devices, video screens and other IT integration for the 2004 Athens Games, also has won the IT contracts for the 2008 Beijing Games and the 2012 Vancouver Games.

"Atos Origin integrates, manages and secures the vast IT system that relays results, events and athlete information to spectators and media around the world," said Atos spokesman Emilie Moreau. Atos also is responsible for the design, building and operation of the IT infrastructure for the 15 Winter Olympics sporting events, including skiing, luge racing and figure skating, he said.

Partnering with Atos are Omega Ltd., a Swiss watchmaker, providing timing and scoring systems and scoreboards; Eastman Kodak Co. of Rochester, N.Y., providing photography and imaging systems; Lenovo Group Ltd., of China, which recently acquired IBM Corp.'s personal computer division, providing hardware; and Kyocera Group of Japan, providing printers, according to a statement released by Atos.

Other IT companies cooperating with Atos include Matsushita Electrical Industrial Co. Ltd. of Japan, Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. of South Korea, and Nortel Networks Corp. of Brampton, Ontario.

Atos already has completed the first phase of the technology rollout for the 2006 Turin Games. The games intranet, including a commentator information system and central results depository, has been finished, and many technologies from the 2004 Athens Games are being "reused," Atos said.

The 2006 Winter Games are expected to present IT complexities due to the weather conditions, remote location and transportation challenges. Atos began planning and building the IT systems last year.

Atos also is focusing on network security by deploying antivirus, firewall and intruder detection devices, the company said.

About the Author

Alice Lipowicz is a staff writer covering government 2.0, homeland security and other IT policies for Federal Computer Week.

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