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Cisco enters the home straight for Olympics preparations

UK CTO explains firm's strategies for success at London 2012
Mon Mar 26 2012, 16:04
London Olympics Stadium

Behind every great athlete preparing for the Olympics is a team of experts - from nutritionists to trainers to medical staff - helping to ensure they can achieve their absolute best in time for the event, to be at the very peak of their physical prowess.

The running of the Olympics itself is no different, with the games themselves the star, but powered by a vast army of individuals, companies and government organisations all working to ensure the event is a success for the UK, and the world at large.

Technology is, of course, a major part of this, and Cisco is one of several major technology vendors providing equipment and expertise to the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games (LOCOG).

ian-foddering-cisco-chief-technology-officerThe INQUIRER spoke with the firm's UK chief technology officer, Ian Foddering, to discuss how the firm is ensuring that its preparations are helping to ensure the hardware and software that it's providing will play a crucial role in delivering the greatest show on earth.

Of course, for an event of such size, the amount of equipment being provided is huge, with 2,200 switches, 1,800 WiFi access points and 16,500 IP telephony handsets all being deployed by Cisco, as well as the firm's Webex audio conferencing service.

As Foddering explained, this will be used by LOCOG staff to help with internal collaboration during the games and is used in conjunction with BT's HUCS (Hosted Unified Communications Services) service, allowing the technology to be run as a cloud deployment.

"The way LOCOG is using Webex is a great example of how cloud computing can benefit organisations. At the start of the preparation they had some 200-odd staff but in the run-up to the games this will rise to almost 6,000 employees working around all venues," he explained.

"This will then shrink right back down again after the Paralympic Games, so using cloud technology to scale this up and down is perfect."

However, Cisco's role extends beyond merely providing equipment, as it is also heavily involved in strenuous pre-event tests designed to ensure that the systems in place will remain online in event of any scenario, from extreme weather events to possible terrorist attacks.

 

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