Games ”insiders” with on the go intranet access
The Sochi Olympic Games are being followed by more than 3 billion people through many different forms of media … broadcasters, social media, press, radio, online … in a multi-device experience using mobile phones, tablets, computers, televisions and in new innovative ways, reaching over 8 billion devices. These Winter Games have become the most connected with more people using mobile devices to follow them; a 3000% increase since 2002 Winter Games, when smartphones didn´t exist.
But what happens behind the scenes to make all this work? How is the Olympic Community (the IOC, press, broadcasters, photographers, volunteers, athletes, trainers and delegations) accessing all the information they need for their daily activities whilst on the go? A few years ago they might have been provided with some static devices to ensure they have the right access to the intranet systems so that they can have a better experience in certain locations. Today, they are already mobile users, and they have advanced smartphones and tablets that they use for their personal needs. Would they accept a secondary device for only 2-3 weeks during the Games for just one activity … that would in many cases be less advanced than the ones they already have? Obviously not. They want to have a continuous experience on their own device, including their personal apps and access to the Olympics intranet. With this in mind, this is the largest BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) Olympics with an intranet supporting tens of thousands of users; and perhaps the largest BYOD service in the world!
Accredited journalists, photographers and broadcasters access real-time results and information regardless of their device: smartphone, laptop or tablet, and also regardless of their location in the middle of the mountains at 11 different venues. They are provided with the right content (personalised and secured) at the right time (in real time) in the right format, enabling a completely immersive Olympic Games experience. This is the first time that the Info service (Olympics intranet) is fully delivered over a mobile platform. Therefore one of the main IT innovations introduced in these Games that would probably get a medal in its own category of access to information.
This approach is extremely convenient for the end user but it also requires certain controls from the organization facilitating it, to manage the BYOD environment. Organizations need to ensure that end users get the appropriate quality of service that is required by each user and with the security concerns associated to it. They should be able to connect securely to the intranet with access to the right data they need when they need it.
Deploying a BYOD strategy is not only an IT and Security issue, it affects all areas in an organization with implications at Corporate, Legal, Financial and Human Resources. Imagine how complex this can be when you have the diversity of users that you have in the Olympics and you have in mind that this is going to last only a few weeks! A real challenge with no silver medal in this case.