How Wimbledon scales up instantly with IBM Cloud
IT Director Bill Jinks tells IBM’s Karen Dewar how IBM Cloud gives the Wimbledon Championships security, availability, and confidenceShow transcript
The Championships at Wimbledon is the oldest tennis tournament in the world. While its brand remains traditional, it’s also known as an early adopter of technological innovations that connect the sport, media, and its relationships with fans. Bill Jinks and Karen Dewar discuss how the Championships use IBM’s Hybrid Cloud services, AI capabilities, and security products.
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Karen Dewar: Bill Jinks is the IT Director at Wimbledon. So, Bill: Wimbledon is this amazing global sporting event and brand, but I’ve also heard it referred to as a data-driven media business. How do these two things co-exist?
Bill Jinks: Yeah, so: we’ve recognised that we can’t just be a sporting event. We are on a global stage, and it’s really important for us to act like that. We need to own our own content, own our audience. Own the data that we drive. So more and more we have to behave like a media organisation in those ways. And they co-exist nicely. The sporting event’s really important to us, but by those things we can actually get more value out of it.
Karen Dewar: Wimbledon has been using IBM’s hybrid cloud capabilities for some years now; can you tell me why that’s important from a business perspective, and how it’s keeping you competitive?
Bill Jinks: Yeah, obviously year-round we’re actually quite a small business. But then for the Championships we have to…
Karen Dewar: There’s a massive explosion.
Bill Jinks: It’s a massive explosion! We have to scale for millions of people who are going to watch the event on the digital platforms. And cloud allows us to scale up for that audience. It also provides the security, the availability, and gives us the confidence that it won’t go wrong during the two weeks of the year when all eyes are on Wimbledon.
Karen Dewar: So, Wimbledon is this fabulous traditional brand, but you also have a really good reputation in terms of being highly innovative. Can you talk a little bit about how you’re using AI in terms of connecting with your fans on a very, sort of, real and personal sense?
Bill Jinks: Increasingly fans want to engage in a conversational style on their social platforms. So we’ve used IBM’s AI within Facebook Messenger to create a chat interface, which allows fans to follow their favourite players, to get match information. And then they can ask further questions to get more information and insight about the Championships.
Karen Dewar: So for such a prestigious event, security must be a huge focus. So can you tell us how Watson Cyber Security has helped you in this regard?
Bill Jinks: Information security is a significant concern. And we’ve been very lucky that IBM’s security products have helped protect wimbledon.com for many years. But the threat landscape and the exploits that are coming along are ever increasing. And the amount of information you’re getting from your security infrastructure is becoming almost more than your security teams can deal with.
So I like to see Watson Cyber Security as an additional member of our team. It’s analysing all of that data, and it’s providing the security team with insight they need to help protect wimbledon.com
Karen Dewar: Bill, thank you very much for your time today, really appreciate it.
Bill Jinks: Thank you.