Tuesday, 11 September 2018 06:45

Infosys gets Australian Open gig as IBM given the boot

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Infosys gets Australian Open gig as IBM given the boot Pixabay

Tennis Australia's technology needs for the Australian Open in 2019, and for the next two years thereafter, will be provided by the Indian outsourcing giant Infosys, which has signed a three-year deal with the body responsible for the sport in Australia.

For many years, IBM has been the technology provider for the tournament, one of the four Grand Slams and the first of the calendar year.

The switch of technology provider could be due to the increasing costs of staging the tournament. A report in The Australian said the organisation's annual profit had halved despite pulling in record revenue, with the cost of hosting rising above $200 million.

The report said Tennis Australia's 2018 financial report showed a net surplus of about $6 million in the year which ended on 30 June, down from $11.4 million a year earlier. Revenue was up from $318 million in the year ending 30 June 2017, to $337 million in FY2018.

A statement from Infosys said it would be the official digital innovation partner for the event and leverage "its expertise in emerging technologies like big data and analytics, artificial intelligence as well as virtual and augmented reality, to provide unique, innovative and engaging experiences for fans".

Tournament director Craig Tiley said: "Partnering with Infosys is an exciting next step in our ongoing quest to innovate the Australian Open and engage new audiences across the world.

"We have long understood the importance of using data and insights to improve connections with our fans, players, coaches and the rest of the tennis community and we look forward to working with Infosys to change the way we all experience our great sport in the future."

Tennis Australia will pull in more money next year as it has switched TV broadcasters as well. Nine Entertainment will telecast the 2019 tournament and has paid $348.5 million for a six-year deal. Prior to this, Channel Seven had been the home for the Open for many years.

Infosys chief executive and managing director Salil Parekh said: “This partnership is about creating new ways of experiencing the Australian Open.

"We’re really excited about the opportunity to showcase how digital technologies can enhance the boundaries of this tournament, to change the way the Australian Open is watched, analysed and played.

"This association with Tennis Australia also reaffirms our strategic commitment to the region where we partner with some of the leading enterprises in driving their digital transformation agenda.”

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Sam Varghese

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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