2010 FIFA World Cup™ core IT complete this month

The software that will underpin the operation of the football World Cup in South Africa will be complete this month. Indian software developer Mahindra...

The software that will underpin the operation of the 2010 FIFA World Cup™ in South Africa will be complete this month.

Indian software developer Mahindra Satyam, which won the tender to supply the event management software for the 2010 FIFA World Cup™, will complete the software on 31 March.

The company started writing the software three years ago. It is written in Microsoft .Net, FIFA's standard programming languages, and is built on 20 different modules.

The 2010 FIFA World Cup™ starts on 11 June when Johannesburg hosts South Africa versus Mexico, and finishes one month later.

Mahindra Satyam will start integration testing in the middle of April. This will involve testing that third-party software, such as the hospitality management application, works with the core software.

Performance testing to ensure that the system can cope with a high number of concurrent users will follow. Based on the results of the integration and performance tests Mahindra Satyam may tweak the software during May.

The modules include a volunteer management system, a ticketing system and the ground transport system (see box for more details.)

Dilbagh Gill, who headed up the project at Mahindra Satyam, said it was the biggest sporting contract ever won by the company.

He said that up to 120 people had worked on the project for the last three years and there would be 160 people working during the tournament.

He was confident that the system would run smoothly. "We have tested the software by using it at 14 other FIFA events."

Successful runouts, according to Gill, include the Confederations Cup, the World Club Championship in Japan, and beach soccer events in Marseilles and Brazil.

Gill said that South African IT professionals had worked on the project and Mahindra Satyam had trained South African IT graduates for the future. "We took 230 people to India and trained them at our own expense." The project itself has a mix of onshore and offshore IT workers.

Mahindra Satyam eliminated connectivity challenges by using wireless technology, with the help of sister company Tech Mahindra.

"We have experience in South Africa because it is a big market for us so we were prepared for some of the challenges," added Gill.

Mahindra Satyam other clients in South Africa include Standard Bank.

BOX: Some of the software modules

1 Accreditation system

Manages access for all 230,000 people involved in the event including officials, players, medical staff and volunteers.

2 Volunteer management system

The 130,000 volunteers at the tournament have to be managed. The software supports recruitment and training, has a time sheet function, and matches skills with roles. Because 2010 FIFA World Cup™ volunteers are paid, there is also a payroll function.

3 Ground transport system

This system manages the transport of people involved in the tournament from the moment they enter South Africa. Functions include optimising the routes that vehicles take.

4 Ticketing system

Working with FIFA's ticketing system, this module ensures that people who buy tickets online get access to their tickets when they arrive in South Africa.

5 Material management

This module manages the electronic assets in the venues (over $1bn worth) their use by staff.

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