IBM Helps USTA Offer Innovative Ways to Bring the Action to Millions of Fans Around the World

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ARMONK, NY - 29 Aug 2006: With New York City having experienced sweltering heat and power outages this summer, IBM (NYSE: IBM) virtualization and self-managing autonomic technology -- which  helps improve utilization of technology systems and help reduce energy consumption -- will power the 126th annual US Open tennis tournament, allowing millions of fans worldwide to experience every point, regardless of the weather. 

Virtualization technology, which IBM has been providing to clients since before Arthur Ashe won his first US Open title in 1968, allows many computing resources to act as one and, more commonly, one computer, storage device or server to divide its own workload and act as many different resources.  By reducing the number of computers and servers in use, virtualization helps minimize the often strenuous and expensive power and cooling demands of datacenters and eliminate unnecessary maintenance expenses.

In the virtualized environment, IBM’s self-managing autonomic technology acts as a safety net by identifying and resolving problems before they happen.  For instance, if power at one datacenter site is interrupted for any reason, autonomic technology automatically redirects services to another location so systems stay up and running.  As the costs to power and cool datacenters climb to become one of the predominant costs of running a datacenter, IBM Virtualization Engine offerings are helping clients consolidate the number of systems needed and help increase efficiency while decreasing power consumption and heat output. 

“High temperatures and the resulting drain on electricity supplies as people use fans and air-conditioners to beat the heat have left places, including parts of Queens, powerless for extended periods of time this summer,” said Rich Lechner, vice president, IBM virtualization.  “IBM’s virtualization technology is a ’green’ technology.  The energy-efficient, consolidated workloads allow IT managers to stay ‘cool’ and require less power as well as administrative effort to accomplish more.”

For this year’s US Open, IBM consolidated the existing infrastructure from 60 servers down to just nine.  IBM Virtualization Engine technology used in the solution includes multiple partitions on the new IBM System p, the world’s fastest and most energy efficient UNIX server, the “all-in-one” IBM System i, an integrated platform that securely houses more resources to save energy, and the highly energy efficient IBM BladeCenter.  By consolidating systems, the new datacenter infrastructure is designed to reduce energy consumption, power and cooling needs.  Additionally, IBM’s enterprise workload manager (EWLM) has self-managing capabilities to automatically oversee, evaluate and handle workload demands based on business priority, recent access trends and requested resources, to allow the US Open to better manage its website system resources while reducing access and usage bottlenecks.
IBM Workplace Web Content Management

This year the United States Tennis Association wanted to empower non-technical staff to publish complex, frequently updated multimedia editorial content to, the official Web site of the US Open, and to offer sponsors more effective online marketing opportunities.  IBM Global Business Services implemented the IBM Workplace Web Content Management™ solution, a flexible and easy-to-use content creation and publishing system, running on an IBM System i5™.

IBM Workplace Web Content Management provides in-depth control of up-to-the-minute news and features, which means can act as the premier online destination for fans seeking to extend their US Open experience—which only adds to the success of the tournament itself.  That same pinpoint control of promotional content means the US Open can better partner with its sponsors by offering flexible, measurable promotions that contribute to more effective online sponsorships as well as increased tournament revenue for both the US Open and its sponsors.

Enhanced Fan Experience

While the previously mentioned improvements are primarily experienced behind the scenes, several enhancements are being made to the Web site, providing a virtual seat for fans who can't attend the matches in person.  PointTracker, a feature launched last year and developed by IBM to allow users to view through animated graphics the shot trail and ball trajectory of a point during selected live matches, will be updated with 3D-like models of the actual Arthur Ashe and Louis Armstrong stadium courts, more viewing angles, and the ability to view archived matches.

Also new for 2006 will be the online availability of statistics related to the instant replay technology that is being used for the first time at the US Open, as well as an updated On Demand Scoreboard application that delivers live scoring and other vital information about each match so fans can follow the action on their home or office computers.

Match Analysis - Player DVD

IBM has been the official Information Technology Provider for the US Open for the past 15 years.  As part of that partnership, IBM provides tournament data on demand to locations around the USTA National Tennis Center, to the web site, and to television viewers through the broadcast graphics.  Information is gathered for these purposes through the scoring, chair umpire and speed serve systems that have been designed by IBM.

This year IBM is going one step further by developing an innovative solution to benefit another important audience: the US Open tennis players.  Within minutes of their matches being completed, singles players on Arthur Ashe and Louis Armstrong stadium courts will be presented with an interactive IBM DVD that integrates indexed video footage, match statistics from the IBM scoring system, and a graphic interpretation of those statistics similar to what fans see on

The DVD enables these players and their coaches to view and analyze the match using a searchable interface that can instantly find a specific point in the match based on score or statistic.  For example, players can chose 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 breakpoints. 

To create this new offering, IBM Business Consulting Services consultants from the IBM Atlanta Center for Solution Innovation provided expertise from broadcast, digital media, rich media, tennis industry, hardware and real-time scoring disciplines.  The solution automatically integrates video from different sources and indexes it with statistical data captured in real-time during the match through the IBM scoring system, which already integrates data from different sources including the speed serve, chair umpire and closed circuit TV systems.  

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