The Championships, Wimbledon, is held at the grounds of The All England Lawn Tennis Club (AELTC), located in South West London. Founded in 1868, the Club hosts The Championships, itself the oldest tennis tournament and the only Grand Slam tennis event still held on the game’s original surface, grass. During Wimbledon, AELTC staff numbers rise from around 150 to over 6000 requiring significant changes to the IT and communications infrastructure.
NML has worked with AELTC for over 23 years, although the foundation of the relationship dates back to before NML was founded. Having worked closely with Duncan Hollands, Managing Director of NML, for several years it was logical for the relationship to continue when Duncan set up NML in 1993.
Through the duration of the relationship with AELTC, there have been many different challenges and requirements. The most recent requirement was to provide a stable, researched infrastructure for all the data and scoring information throughout the Referee’s Office, including their daughter systems. In addition, NML were tasked with providing:
- Scoreboard connectivity
- Domain management
- Bulk mail servers
- Bespoke hardware installations
- Bespoke input systems for large screen video wall
- Email connectivity
- Staff Wireless support
- Virtual VMware server setup and management
At the Qualifying event, following research and documentation, the first step NML took was to set up temporary cabling between the cabins to provide wireless connection for staff. Next NML rolled out machines for data storage, match control, printing and scoreboard management, as well as supporting ‘match live’ environments using PDA and Smart Tablet technology. All of this implementation was documented with hardware and software audits.
The Referees and court officials found the systems easy to use and effective, helping to contribute to the smooth running of Qualifying and The Championships.
Scoring traffic was complete and accessible to all subsequent referees’ systems, while data feeds for the players and the public were easily obtainable.