Service Management and supporting Sports

One of the areas that Accedo as an overall company has had great growth in the last two years is the sports domain. From our support of National Football Leagues around the world, to the Olympics, Cricket and Football World Cups, great things are happening for Accedo.

By Steven Kopec, Head of Service Management, Accedo

In this blog post, I’d like to focus on one component of our Sports growth, our Service Management packages and the customers we support with them. It is all too simple to assume that once the service is rolled out, you can just sit back and relax. However, what happens after delivery is just as, if not more, important than the development itself. Never more so than with sports services, where content is often live and audiences demanding. A service interruption as someone shoots for goal is simply not accepted by sports fans, anywhere in the world.

That is why our Service Management team is often called upon across the globe to keep those services running, even after the delivery process is complete, or even while ongoing.

Service Management covers a wide range of important functions such as:

  • Load testing – ensuring that the service can handle high usage volumes
  • Monitoring and investigating alerts
  • Identification and fixing of defects
  • Security consulting
  • Managed Hosting
  • Designing and implementing scalable architectures
  • Solution Architecture reviews

Here are just a few examples of Service Management in action:

Handing a Large Number of Concurrent Viewers

Let’s start with one of the largest customers we’ve supported on Sports. With pending coverage of multiple tournaments, events, and functions, this company was keen to ensure that its service could handle a large number of concurrent viewers. Of course some matches were also likely to attract more viewers than others, so being able to scale quickly was going to be extremely important.

Accedo Service Management worked closely with the company to perform load testing to 5MM concurrent users, as well as preparing and scaling the infrastructure for key matches.

At the same time, ensuring a consistent and good quality viewing experience for all matches was vital so the Service Management team also monitored the live streams of key events, responded to automated and manual alerting and was able to fix any defects as they occurred.

The end result was an uninterrupted service and experience for  customers across all of the matches and fixtures.

24/7 Support for the Winter Olympics

Due to cover the Winter Olympics, another customer wanted to ensure it could deliver a comprehensive package of Olympic events to its customers, without having to worry about possible outages. With global events such as these which tend to have a strong following and all the complexities of live coverage, it is certainly good to know that someone is on hand to ensure things run smoothly.

The Accedo Service Management team supported the video service throughout the Winter Olympics.

During the events, Accedo had standby personnel to monitor and investigate alerts, and also developers available should any problems be discovered in the app. Having a mix of software expertise, broadcast expertise, and infrastructure expertise allowed Accedo Service Management to provide a frictionless support experience. The result was seamless coverage and happy viewers who could catch-up on all the action as it happened.

Infrastructure and Security Review

In May of 2019, a provider in APAC engaged with Accedo for an infrastructure and security review of its platform and Accedo Service Management played a key part. The company was about to launch its new VOD service having just secured the rights to the English Premier League for its market. This was naturally an exciting time for the provider, making the very first time a local entity had won these rights. It was also more important than ever to ensure the security was up to scratch.

Utilising internal expertise in Information Security and Infrastructure, Accedo was able to help make clear, concise, and key recommendations to help secure its infrastructure and apps before the launch of the English Premier League.

The company quickly followed-up with Accedo to engage our services for help in enacting our recommendations to make sure that it was fully prepared. This broadcaster has been one of our most successful customers, especially with the marriage of Accedo’s expertise in consulting, delivery, and post-launch operations. Working together, we were able to deliver a working and secure version of its apps in advance of the English Premier League launch, and following on from that, we were engaged to provide post-launch support and enhanced live event management for key matches. This allows the internal team to relax and just have one person to call in case of a problem. The service provides multi-vendor management for live matches, combining Accedo’s expertise in video delivery, partner relationships, and excellent monitoring infrastructure. As EPL matches takes place almost every weekend – Accedo team works very closely to provide support to their key matches.

One contact to rule them all

Another provider in APAC in a region with  a massive sports following, was keen to tap into that with a premium offering. With the FIFA World Cup fast approaching, it was decided that securing the rights to stream the 64 live matches would be an extremely welcome addition to its existing VOD service and the perfect way to launch live content on its app.

As well as engaging Accedo to deliver additional functionality to an already existing MVP (minimum viable product) app, the Service Management team was tasked with live event management for key matches.

During the summer months, the Accedo team sat side-by-side with the internal team to make sure that the infrastructure, apps, and streams were all working as needed and delivering the best possible experience for its customers.

It was challenged from the start with an incident in the first week of FIFA 2018. Accedo worked with multiple partners to identify a root cause for what appeared to be streaming issues. It quickly discovered that the issue was in fact down to capacity as the audience was ten times the anticipated number. Once the problem had been identified, we were able to quickly deploy additional infrastructure to handle the load and help customers enjoy a wonderful, and action-packed, World Cup.

Conclusion

The main priority for any video service is ensuring that the viewer at home has the best possible experience. This means developing an engaging and intuitive service, but it also means ensuring that service is working properly 24/7 after launch. That is where the Accedo Service Management team comes in, using many years of experience to make sure a smooth and consistent service at all times.  In order to keep your sports fans happy you need to:

  • Have one contact for any issues
  • Be able to proactively identify issues and correct them before they become a problem
  • Deliver a safe and secure product

We are at Sports Pro OTT summit in Madrid this week. Get in touch to book a meeting. If you aren’t there, but want to find out more about Accedo Service Management, please reach out to you Accedo AM, or email [email protected].

CUSTOMERS