Find out about the innovation provided by IBM that drives the Australian Open website, apps, data and analysis.
If you’re like me, during the Australian Open the AO website is the first thing you look at in the morning, and the last thing you look at before going to sleep. I regularly check the Order of Play to decide which matches to watch and read the recent news. When I’m at the grounds I’m constantly looking at the iPhone App for score updates, reviewing the schedule and keeping up with what’s going on.
Having so much information at your fingertips really enhances the Australian Open fan experience, especially during the first week when there are so many matches to keep up with.
The Australian Open works with their partner IBM who provides the technology and innovation for the website, apps, real-time data and analysis.
During the Australian Open each year we transform almost overnight from a medium size business to a global enterprise that must service millions of fans, players, media and officials from around the globe,” continued Samir Mahir. “Using IBM predictive analytics and cloud computing technologies ensures we can meet this demand uninterrupted.”
The Australian Open website
Last year I reviewed The Best and The Worst of the Tennis Grand Slams. In my opinion the Australian Open website is by far the best of any of the slams because it’s easy to use and fan friendly.
The website includes IBM SlamTrackerTM, which provides scores and also analyses more than eight years of Grand Slam data to identify patterns in player style. New features to SlamTracker for 2014 include streamlined analysis of more fan friendly key turning points in a match, such as aces and winning shots, and a social media sentiment feed that measures the percentage of positive tweets. Check it out – it’s fab!
Official Mobile Apps
The official mobile apps for the Australian Open deliver real-time scores and schedules, comprehensive match and player analysis and Twitter feeds.
New this year is the free iPad app, which enables fans to follow their favourite players, tweet messages of support from a player’s profile and track player popularity online using IBM social media analytics.
We are seeing increased demand from fans around the world for more access and real-time event content. Over the two weeks of the Australian Open last year, more than 15.5 million unique users connected with the tournament online, and almost half of the website views were from mobile devices. Each year we aim to enhance the event experience and this year we have worked with our technology partner, IBM, to develop a new iPad app, improve the website and smartphone apps, as well as advance the technology infrastructure behind the scenes,” said Samir Mahir, CIO, Tennis Australia.
IBM predictive cloud provisioning analyses multiple data sources in real-time, such as tournament schedule, player popularity, historical data and social media conversations, to predict and automatically allocate the computing power required by the Australian Open website.
IBM Return Serve
New this year, tennis fans can also now experience what it is like to face a serve from one of the world’s top players with the new IBM ReturnServe. To create this experience for fans IBM, in partnership with Tennis Australia, analyses real-time data from every point of the game at the Rod Laver Arena during the tournament. Displayed in a graphically animated environment and hosted on IBM SoftLayer, this live serve data lets fans attempt to return each serve at home using their computer or at select onsite locations using a virtual reality headset.
Our 21-year history with the Australian Open has been about making the event and the sport of tennis more engaging and enjoyable. This latest focus on the omni-channel experience is no exception. With new digital technologies like the iPad app and virtual reality IBM ReturnServe, this event is a leading example of how cloud computing, data analytics, social and mobile technologies can help organisations better connect with audiences,” said Glen Thomas, Vice President of Marketing and Communications, IBM Australia and New Zealand.
Visit the IBM Area in Grand Slam Oval during the Australian Open or play online at home at www.ibmreturnserve.com.au and see you go!
Real Time Scores
Ever wondered how the real time scoring system works, so that as soon as a point is awarded the score is updated on the website and apps?
Each chair umpire uses a mobile device called the CHUMP (short for Chair Umpire Solutions) to directly capture each point, game and set from the court. Courtside statisticians record vital information and the information is then sent in real time to the IBM Scoring System.
Thanks Australian Open and IBM for doing such a great job of keeping us updated in real time.
Until next time
Grand Slam Gal