Collaboration, Networking & Consumption – What does it take to Power the Olympic Games?

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Both Cisco and Microsoft have a significant stake in the 2016 Rio Olympic Games. Cisco has laid claim to the idea that their technology is integral to Games’ infrastructure. To connect the athletes, the fans in the stadiums, and the billions of people watching at home, Cisco touts that they have been educating, manufacturing, and setting up advanced communication connections all over Brazil for years now.

As a stakeholder in the games, Microsoft is seeing the employment of their cloud services by NBC to live stream and provide on-demand audiovisuals for this year’s Summer Olympics. More than one million viewers are expected to watch concurrently. The software giant also plans to use their search engine, Bing, as a TV/streaming guide that will use an algorithm to predict winners and suggest events to watch. For people using Bing during the Games, they will be treated to original content just for them.

For both Cisco and Microsoft, their respective technologies will play crucial roles in the success of the Rio De Janeiro Summer Games and both companies have invested heavily in enhancing the experience. From the looks of it, consumption will be at an all-time high and the variety of devices recruited for watching will surpass any prior year. How will the companies handle all of the additional consumption?

Microsoft’s Platform as a Service, Azure Media Services, plans to build in redundancy with both East Coast and West Coast data centers capable of backing up the other as needed to keep streaming data delivery running smoothly. As for consumption, with billions tuned in, whether in person or watching at home in real-time or on-demand, the network capacity will have to handle all that demand. No different than what a business encounters on a daily basis, just on a much larger scale.

Cisco has Rio set up with advanced connections that enhance everything from transport to healthcare. They also provided the network and collaboration tools for the Brazilian Olympic Committee (BOC) that will operate as their headquarters during the Games.

For the success of the 2016 Rio Summer Games, Microsoft and Cisco will have to use powerful analytics and reporting to know up-to-the-minute demand and consumption over the network; making the necessary adjustments to ensure communication and collaboration flow is unimpeded.

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Darlene Jackson is a published writer with many years of experience in digital publishing, advertising, and public relations. Her diverse assignments include stints with Chicago Public Media, The Chicago Tribune, and various print and online media and communication outlets. She is currently pursuing a master's degree at Northwestern University.

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