SCC and Red Hat help fans return safely to sports stadiums

The European football season has ended, but all eyes are on clubs up and down the leagues as they prepare to host fans in grounds and stadiums next season. The same scrutiny is being applied to tennis, rugby, cricket and other sports. The clubs and their respective governing bodies want to implement new technologies and practices that will help them return to normal and keep fans safe. SCC, a Red Hat Solution Provider, is in discussions with a Premier League club for precisely this reason. After further consultation, we realised containers could be deployed to develop apps to help enrich the fan experience inside and outside of the stadium. SCC has become a hub of innovation for its customers that are adopting hybrid cloud strategies and embracing open source projects like Kubernetes, to deploy new containerised applications at scale across their IT infrastructure. This customer-led model is driving momentum and innovation across different sectors, including sports and stadiums. The timing couldn’t be better as sports clubs reopen their turnstiles.

The Red Hat Connection

— SCC focuses on consultation with customers to address problems and deliver outcomes. We regularly sit down with our customers to address their “Top 5” concerns. As an integrator and a provider of managed IT services, we aim to deliver a unified solution. We have our own cloud and SaaS capabilities, and we work with some of the best names in the business, such as Red Hat. In 2020, we selected Red Hat OpenShift and it has enabled us to build our Containers-as-a-Service (CaaS) solution to help customers evolve their businesses and embrace this new modern architecture. CaaS accelerates application development and helps drive innovation. It also provides customers with the flexibility to deploy containers on premises or in the cloud, via our SCC Hyperscale platform. This process can be automated using Red Hat’s Ansible Automation Platform to manage workflows and deploy containerised applications anywhere across a hybrid cloud infrastructure. With automation, customers can adopt containers more quickly and easily. We can help them to build a new infrastructure, but we can also support them with application modernisation as they transform into more agile cloud native businesses.

Developing CaaS Capabilities

— We work with Red Hat on an ongoing basis, engaging with the Red Hat Open Innovation Labs team to optimise our CaaS offering and develop new go-to-market strategies. We apply the same approach to our customers. SCC has a dedicated lab facility that provides customers with a secure and sandboxed environment to test new applications and capabilities. This can also be done on site. We recently built an operational hub in a busy NHS hospital to work directly with the customer to better understand their requirements, and help them improve care and productivity. Incidentally, it was this initiative that caught the attention of the Premier League club. The end-to-end system that we have develope that leverages the cloud, internet of things (IoT), wireless connectivity, and data science can use the data it produces to create player profiles. It can also help club doctors and training staff rehabilitate players recovering from serious injuries. The data is collected via wearables or video sensors, to create a 360-degree view of a player’s condition, improve their performance and support sports science. This is all possible through our CaaS solution.

A Safer and More Secure Stadium Experience

— From a stadium perspective, crowd control can be managed via integrated systems that leverage CCTV and wireless connectivity to deliver video monitoring and analytics to help verify that people are following safety guidelines. It’s also possible to implement zero touch controls to manage stadium capacity, maintain social distancing, and protect fans and stadium staff. Vaccination passports and healthcare information can be incorporated into the club app or season ticket to allow fan access to the ground. This information could be used to direct fans to specific zones to minimise risk. Wireless connectivity has always been an issue in football stadiums, but going forward 5G and flexible cloud architectures can provide clubs with the capacity to deliver real-time services that may help drive fan engagement. This would support a range of different use cases. For example, fans could receive live stats or player information on their mobile device. They could also access tailored content or personalised in-app offers to buy club merchandise, food and beverages. Other potential use cases include, immersive augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) experiences that fans can enjoy from the comfort of their own home. Clubs can even think about looping into smart city infrastructure to drive new revenue opportunities from tie-ins with taxi and public transport services to provide fans with live travel information to beat the traffic or share a cab.

Innovation Gives Clubs a Sporting Chance

— Aside from a handful of Premier League teams, sports clubs and stadiums have never budgeted for this kind of investment before. So, they need the agility of a cloud-native platform that can replace expensive application servers. We have the scope to deliver a wide range of CaaS use cases through our managed SCC Cloud+ platform and our SCC Hyperscale public cloud solution. Red Hat OpenShift helps our customers to embrace Kubernetes, run new workloads and deploy containerised applications across multiple hybrid cloud architectures. This agile framework can help sports clubs to modernise and address priorities, while building a new sustainable cloud and IT infrastructure. It provides them with the template to host international tournaments, concerts and other events as we return to a new normal.

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