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IBM and Tennis Go Green at 2008 US Open

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IBM, the official technology partner of the US Open, and the United States Tennis Association (USTA) have teamed to offer exciting ways to help more fans than ever experience the action of the 2008 US Open. The event runs through Sept. 7.

With a new array of personalized features including customized content and mobile alerts, the http://www.USOpen.org

site is helping fans get closer to the action of the US Open in ways not before possible. In addition, this year IBM is helping the USTA run a more environmentally-friendly US Open by helping reduce the energy consumption required to power the tournament's Web site and scoring operations. The IT solution continues to allow the USTA to concentrate on its goals of building value for the US Open brand around the world, meeting revenue objectives, and promoting tennis in the United States.

Robust Efficient Infrastructure

IBM has provided the USTA with a robust infrastructure to handle the unpredictable nature of running a sporting event. Even as visits to the USOpen.org site have grown steadily over the past two years, power consumption continues to decrease due to new innovative technologies from IBM. New solutions for the 2008 US Open that IBM is putting into place include implementing Power 550 servers running Linux with new POWER6, the world's fastest microprocessor technology. IBM is taking further advantage of Virtualization and Systems Management Technologies to ensure an Optimized Infrastructure with integrated solutions for both monitoring and managing the infrastructure as well as a fully virtualized environment. These include a variety of IBM Tivoli systems management and security products, applications support from Rational, database management from DB2, and Web management from Lotus and WebSphere.
The results of these solutions are significant:

·      Consolidating from nine servers to six (since 2006, consolidation has gone from 60 servers to six servers).

·      Since 2006, reduction of energy consumption by 23 percent and cooling demand reduced by 25 percent.

·      With the POWER6 implementation it is expected that energy consumption will be reduced by 40 percent and cooling demand reduced by 48 percent.

·      Since 2006, visits to events infrastructure have grown by 26 percent while the cost per visit has been reduced by 38 percent during the same period.

·      Users have increased by over 20 percent while the cost/user has been reduced by over 27 percent during the same period.

"The USTA requires a solution that helps extend the global reach of the tournament, but is also energy and cost-efficient," said Rick Singer, director Worldwide Sponsorship Marketing, IBM. "This is an example of how IBM takes a more holistic approach to helping our clients solve the problems that matter most to them. USOpen.org must be scalable, highly available, highly secure as well as interactive, entertaining and user-friendly to ensure that fans have the best fan experience, no matter where they're sitting. That's what IBM delivers."

Real-Time Scoring

IBM's real-time scoring system collects court-side data from each umpire's chair and then stores and distributes the statistics to broadcast TV, USOpen.org, the intranet used by more than 1,500 international journalists at the event, closed circuit TV, electronic displays, and automated voice applications for players. On the broadcast courts, IBM statisticians enter winners, unforced errors, and net approaches.

The scoring system ensures spectators both at the stadium and online, can view details on the current schedule, matches in progress, and results for every match by court. IBM WebSphere software, leveraging a flexible Service Oriented Architecture, streamlines the timely and accurate distribution of more than 200 million score updates to fans around the world.

In 2008, IBM and the USTA are expanding their initiative to create an even more engaging, more immersive and more personalized user experience, including the following online features:

·      My USOpen--Personalized section of the home page to track your favorite players; users can track up to five (5) of their favorite players and customize their experience by following the players' statistics, related news and interviews, match results and scores. Users can also customize three homepage sections from a list of 11 content options with their preferred choice.

·      SlamTracker application--Interactive Draw feature that allows your to track you favorite player through the Draw as well as switch to follow a specific match in real-time, with exclusive point-by-point scoring. There is also an Interactive Venue Map -- with a simple roll of the mouse over locations on the map, fans can see who is playing on a given court and the online scoreboard changes to reflect the chosen match.

·      USOpen FANBOOK--fans from around the world can share their thoughts, comments and perspective on the tournament in real-time.

·      Widget--Scoring, Schedule, News and other tournament content. Widget is shareable via Facebook, iGoogle and downloadable via Yahoo! Widgets.

·      Mobile.usopen.org--US Open "on the go" at http://usopen.org/Mobile -- action all in one; receive real-time scores, stats, schedule for the day, news, photos and more.

·      Text Alerts--fans can stay close to the action with text alerts for breaking news, match updates and more. There are more than 47 different alerts a user can select from including TV tune-in updates, breaking news and match updated (by player).

"Our 17-year partnership with IBM has allowed the USTA to continually deliver a unique and cutting-edge experience to all tennis fans," said Phil Green, director, Advanced Media, USTA. "This year we're taking steps to make this Open not only more fan-friendly, but environmentally-friendly as well. Reducing energy consumption while being able to increase services, is an important statement for our growing fan base. USOpen.org has evolved into the premiere destination for innovative and interactive web experiences, including significant multi-media content, personalized features and real-time solutions."

IBM Provides Match Analysis for Players

IBM is providing men's and women's players on the five broadcast courts with DVD copies of their performances following their matches. The DVD is expected to help these players and their coaches view and analyze their matches from a variety of angles, see their strengths, weaknesses, etc. IBM automatically indexes the video with the match statistics. Players can choose to view the video of just their aces, or forehand winners, or backhand unforced errors, or even go back to specific critical points in the match like watching the breakpoints. IBM integrates the data collected from multiple sources and formats.

IBM is a leading global hybrid cloud and AI, and business services provider, helping clients in more than 175 countries capitalize on insights from their data, streamline business processes, reduce costs and gain the competitive edge in their industries. Nearly 3,000 government and corporate entities in critical infrastructure areas such as financial services, telecommunications and healthcare rely on IBM's hybrid cloud platform and Red Hat OpenShift to affect their digital transformations quickly, efficiently, and securely. IBM's breakthrough innovations in AI, quantum computing, industry-specific cloud solutions and business services deliver open and flexible options to our clients. All of this is backed by IBM's legendary commitment to trust, transparency, responsibility, inclusivity, and service.

For more information, visit: www.ibm.com.



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