SAP hits a six for the Cricket World Cup 2015

Published on the 27/03/2015 | Written by Clare Coulson, Hayden McCall

It’s not just Tui and cucumber sandwiches that are powering the Cricket World Cup – hard working technology is enhancing the fan experience…

In the wake of a nail-biting, edge-of-your-seat rollercoaster semi-final match this week, the Black Caps and, indeed, all of New Zealand, are gearing up for the final against home favourites Australia in Melbourne on Sunday.

But it’s not only on the pitch that teams are proving agile. The ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 organising committee has had to grow rapidly from a start-up to a medium-sized business in order to deliver a quality experience to over 1 billion avid fans globally. To achieve this, it partnered with key sponsor SAP to enhance the event’s digital presence, and to manage the business aspects.

SAP is the exclusive analytics and cloud partner for the ICC Cricket World Cup and is helping the ICC to offer an engaging in-match digital experience to fans. Using real-time data, statistics and performance analysis powered by the SAP HANA platform and SAP Analytics it is offering live match updates across the ICC’s network of websites and the official ICC App that is helping keep fans informed ball by ball.

Commenting on the announcement of the analytics partnership, ICC chief executive David Richardson said: “SAP is changing the way sports fans interact with data and information. In a sport such as cricket where there is a healthy appetite for information and statistics, especially across digital platforms, the ICC is delighted that SAP’s powerful technology will bring the fans closer to the game.”

The ICC and SAP are crowing that the platform is providing fans with the fastest live match scores on the internet, as well as analysis of 40 years of Cricket World Cup player and match analysis. While that may be the case – it is certainly close to live – the ICC should also have invested in some extra typists in the pool. The ball by ball commentary is well short of other options such as that available on Cricbuzz, which lets the app down a little.

SAP Lumira is being used for visualisation of the plethora of player and match statistics that accompany the game of cricket, and the SAP Business One platform is supporting the tournament back office, tracking the cash from ticket sales and handling the event procurement processes. The applications are running on a HANA platform in the cloud to deliver the necessary performance, as well as redundancy and scalability as the event ramped up.

The ICC websites and app are not the only things benefiting from access to real-time data. It has provided the ICC with the flexibility to manage multiple budgets across different countries, get daily ticket reporting and automate purchase order approvals. It is also flexible enough to make changes on the run and add features without having to sink a massive amount of money into the system only to discard it after three years.

“Having all our data in one location is fantastic,” says Luke Spano, financial controller, ICC Cricket World Cup 2015. “Being able to conduct all of our reporting needs, such as daily ticketing reports, from any location is not only critical but adds real business value to the entire organisation. As we got closer to the tournament we had to make decisions instantly. And now we are in the midst of it, we can’t be affording to wait before we act. Having real-time data and insight is empowering all of our business groups to make the accurate and immediate decisions that are crucial to the success of the ICC Cricket World Cup.”

The ICC Business One solution was implemented by local SAP partners UXC Oxygen in just under six weeks from concept to go-live.

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