Westwood Associates at the London Olympics: A case study
8th of March 2013
The Project (July 2011 - November 2012)
In June 2011 Westwood Associates Limited, successfully won the contract to provide UK IT engineers to the Olympic Broadcast services (OBS) to support their need in the UK. OBS are an international organisation, who provides all of the Olympic Broadcast Content to Rights Holders around the world. OBS are based in Madrid, Spain, and move the majority of their staff to the country in which the Olympics are happening, just before the event occurs. Some staff like the Construction Teams and logistics Staff move much sooner. OBS expands from approximately 60 permanent staff to 1600 at Games Time. Our role was to assist in the setup, deployment and support of that activity for the full scope of the project from Greenfield to Decommission.
Phase 1- Pre-Games time: July 2011 – March 2012
We at Westwood Associates provided dedicated engineers, who liaised with the appropriate construction teams on the Olympics projects, LOCOG, BT and OBS for the installation of the computer broadcast network in buildings still under construction. Our Engineers were also commissioned to help with the distribution of equipment, Network Design and Support activities. These activities were critical to the strict timelines of this project and enabled the OBS construction teams and the Remote Warehouse, not based on the Olympic park, to communicate with the Organisation, before it moved from Madrid, Spain.
Phase 2 – Pre-Games time: March 2012 – July 2012
Having completed the Network Design and implementation, our next role was to maintain the support of those networks and ensure that the LOCOG equipment provision had been successfully delivered to approximately 50 Venues. We moved all of the Computer resources, including the Servers from OBS’s London Office to the Olympic Park. We installed all of the new computer equipment required for the incoming 1600 users and assisted in the creation and management of the additional 1540 users and email accounts. An example of one of the activities during this period was the creation of a multiple site / Multiple Country file replication system using Microsoft’s DFS. Another example was to setup 21 wireless access points to give the Logistics warehouse complete coverage for the inventory PDA’s to communicate with a Spanish SAS database. As an additional request we were asked to assist with setting up and monitoring the Anti-Virus provision and network security.
Phase 3 – Games Time: July 2012 – September 2012
On-going support of critical systems was required of us over this period, with our Engineers working a challenging 24/7 shift pattern for the entire length of Games Time (Main and Para). The Para Olympic Games is a much smaller affair, hence between the two Games Periods, the Westwood staff removed the extraneous equipment and arranged for secure transport, back to the relevant logistic Warehouse, be that in the UK or Spain. We also decommissioned the extra network accounts, which were no longer required.
Phase 4 – Post Games Time Decommissioning - September 2012 – November 2012
Westwood Engineers were asked to manage the transfer the Data and Critical systems back to Spain. We then went on to remove and decommission all of the OBS network equipment from the IBC on the Olympic Park, the Venues and the Logistics Warehouse. This was done during a fixed timeline by LOCOG, the majority of the equipment being removed in the first 2 weeks after the Para Olympics closing ceremony. The final stage of the project was to move the remaining Staff computers to a new London office, Set up a temporary network for the construction Staff remaining on the Olympic park, as it became a building site again and the removal of all IT and the shutdown of the logistics warehouse.