FIFA World Cup 2006 sponsor Avaya completed the converged communication network that powered operations at the final draw last Friday. This is the first in a series of events that will place extremely high demand on the performance of the Avaya network throughout the FIFA World Cup in June, 2006.
The Final Draw took place at the Messe Leipzig conference centre in Germany and was viewed by up to 350 million people worldwide tuning in to see which teams will play each other in the Finals to take place in Germany next summer.
To ensure the exacting requirements are met, the converged network has been developed over a period of nine weeks by a team of over 40 Avaya employees working on site. The network, which will stay live for 11 days, took three days to activate has been live from the 1st December.
In the weeks of run-up activities to the event, the Avaya network has already provided access and support to over 500 users including FIFA and Messe employees, customers, partners, media and other guests of the draw. Avaya say they have reduced the cost of call traffic over the network and enabled attendees, FIFA employees and accredited users to work flexibly and access the network from a variety of locations within the Messe complex. Seven major conference rooms are fully equipped with Avaya AP8 Wireless Access technology.
To further increase productivity, FIFA staff will be equipped with Avaya’s Extension to Cellular mobility application, so they can benefit from one business number while being able to make and receive calls, and use applications on either a desk phone or mobile handset. The network is fully interoperable and open-standard based. As a signal of confidence in the Avaya technology, the Messe Leipzig has purchased Avaya’s voice solution for permanent installation following the Final Draw for the 2006 FIFA World Cup.
Doug Gardner, Managing Director, Avaya’s Global FIFA Programme said: “Over the past four years we have been able to use our experience of managing and delivering enterprise converged networks to deliver state of the art communication capabilities for FIFA.” He continued: “This network is our most scalable and advanced to date, combining full flexibility with first-class performance and durability. Avaya is pulling out all the stops to develop the capabilities and reach of the Final Draw network to make this our strongest and most innovative solution to date.”
Mike Kelly, Head of IT Solution at FIFA commented: “Everything we learn now will feed into the 2006 FIFA World Cup network, which will be the culmination of our work with Avaya on this project. This is an important technological challenge in its own right but also helps us to scale our converged communications infrastructure appropriately to handle the magnitude of the 2006 FIFA World Cup next summer.”
To improve the service quality and access options of people attending the draw, Avaya designed and implemented a distributed network that links an additional 12 remote sites to the main converged network at the Messe Leipzig. These sites include VIP hotels, major airport lounges and train stations and offer accredited users access to key FIFA administration, communication and businesses applications, just as if they were at the main site.
To support the network and maximise its integrity, Avaya has provided a full converged security solution that includes an intrusion detection system and remote monitoring services from Avaya Global Services’ monitoring centre in Carlton, Texas. Based on Avaya’s Enterprise Service Platform (ESP), this secure service enables Avaya consultants to access and monitor remotely all of the key systems, to track security threats or incidents. Also, to monitor the network’s overall performance levels during the event, Avaya will be using its Converged Network Analyser application. The feedback from this will then be used to optimise the configuration for the 2006 FIFA World Cup.
As a precaution, the entire network was first built and tested in just three weeks at Avaya’s technology laboratory in Frankfurt. This enabled Avaya consultants to plan the entire system effectively and fully test the security, performance and functionality of the network. This was integral to Avaya meeting the strict build and dismantling deadlines imposed.
To power the event, Avaya’s converged voice and data network includes Communication Manager IP software running on two Avaya S8700 Media Servers, G600 Media Gateways and Avaya-Tenovis i55 gateway. In addition, the Messe Leipzig was equipped with Wireless AP8 Access Point technology. As part of its global strategic alliance with Avaya, Extreme Networks will provide its highly resilient and secure data networking equipment to ensure the smooth and uninterrupted operation of Avaya’s communications solution to FIFA.