WARSAW: UEFA has touted the capabilities of its own dedicated cloud computing software that it uses to manage all its major events, including the European Championships currently taking place in Poland and the Ukraine, in an interesting twist on traditional cloud computing use.
The service, called Football Administration and Management Environment (Fame), was launched in 2004 as a dedicated web-based ERP system for three elements of UEFA's requirements, most specifically travel, but has widened to now cover 15 major areas of event management.
Speaking to V3, UEFA's event solution manager explained that these elements cover accreditation, media services, volunteer information, transportation, as well as stats and information on all teams and players.
"Because we have such specific business process requirements we needed something that was tailor-made for our services, rather than trying to modify an off-the-shelf package," he said.
UEFA works with development firm Deltatre to specify what it wants from the platform, and they then build the applications to add to the Fame system, in a twist on the usual set-up whereby organisations attempt to modify off-the-shelf ERP services from the likes of SAP.
“It’s unusual to see an externally hosted web-based ERP application. Usually the cost versus an off-the-shelf solution are prohibitively high, except where there’s specific individual requirements,” said Daniel Beazer, a senior European analyst at Tier 1 Research.
“It’s proof it can be done.”
The system is used throughout the year by UEFA for events including the Champions League and the Europa League, but sees its largest use during the European Championships, with some 25,000 users of the services expected during the three-week event.
The hosting of the Fame service is outsourced and managed from two datacentres, one in Geneva and one in Amsterdam for back-up, by UK networking firm Interoute.
The firm's vice president of enterprise solutions, Neil Downing, explained that given the huge user base accessing Fame across Europe, it took six months of planning before they could identify a window of opportunity to stress test the system to see how it would fair if a failover was required.
Given the success of FAME, several other sport federation in Europe are interested in the solution because they have the same challenges.
He also revealed that the firm will be trialling the service for iPad and iPhone devices at the Super Cup final in Monaco in August, in a further attempt to enhance use of the service.
Dan Worth is the news editor for V3 having first joined the site as a reporter in November 2009. He specialises in a raft of areas including fixed and mobile telecoms, data protection, social media and government IT. Before joining V3 Dan covered communications technology, data handling and resilience in the emergency services sector on the BAPCO Journal.