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How Wimbledon scales up instantly with IBM Cloud | The New Economy

November 21, 2019


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.

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