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Countdown to the FIFA Women's World Cup USA 2003:

08-25-2003
  • More than 10,000 pounds of equipment in St. Petersburg, Florida being staged, configured and tested for event network implementation

With the opening kick of the FIFA Women's World Cup USA 2003 only four weeks away, Avaya Global Services engineers are scrambling to configure, test and stage the more than 10,000 pounds of network equipment that will support the tournament.

With the opening kick of the FIFA Women's World Cup USA 2003 only four weeks away, Avaya Global Services engineers are scrambling to configure, test and stage the more than 10,000 pounds of network equipment that will support the tournament. Once in place, the networks will allow organizers to report match results, manage tournament logistics, meet the communication needs of an international press corps, and accredit thousands of players, staff and volunteers.

The schedule couldn't be tighter. Network requirements for the tournament were just finalized last month after the Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) decided to move the tournament from China to the United States as a precautionary measure against the SARS virus, selecting six new stadium sites.

For Avaya (NYSE: AV), an event sponsor and the Official Convergence Communication Provider for the tournament, the change in venue required quick action. Networks had to be redesigned quickly to accommodate existing systems and configurations and to deliver consistent communications at the six stadiums and FIFA's tournament headquarters  with the event looming close.

"Staging the networks in our Avaya Global Services Network Operations Center is the linchpin in our plan," said Doug Gardner, Avaya managing director for the FIFA World Cup Technical Program. "This strategy gives us a chance to test all the components and resolve unforeseen issues before we deploy systems to the field."

For the St. Petersburg center, the home to Avaya networking engineers, to test and stage the networks for the FIFA Women's World Cup, 47 pallets of equipment for the tournament had to be transported to the 100,000 square-foot facility.

Kevin Shiller, operations manager in charge of staging and remote installation support for Avaya Global Services in St. Petersburg, organized the team of Avaya technicians tackling the mountain of network gear.

"It was daunting to see what we were facing when the equipment arrived," Shiller said, "but the team quickly unpacked and organized the components we knew we needed for the unique requirements of each stadium."

The FIFA Women's World Cup networks will include hundreds of components, including Avaya IP-based communication systems and software, data switches and routers, wireless equipment, security gateways and a variety of existing equipment.

Shiller is a veteran of the 2002 FIFA World Cup who managed the team that configured equipment onsite in Japan. His St. Petersburg team has designed a multistep template for configuring and testing each piece of equipment and for verifying network connectivity to critical FIFA systems in New York and Switzerland.

Because of the tight timeline, Avaya Network Consulting Services engineers have joined Shiller in St. Petersburg for the staging. Also part of the Avaya Global Services team, they are responsible for the design of each network and will oversee installation.

"Having them here is helping us quickly resolve any questions and is giving them a close look at what they will be installing in the field," Shiller said. "This is especially important to us since they were still finalizing network designs as the equipment was arriving here in the U.S."

By the end of this week, Avaya will begin to ship the equipment to tournament sites that span the U.S. from coast to coast: the Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif.; PGE Park in Portland, Ore.; Columbus Crew Stadium in Columbus, Ohio; Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Mass; Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, Penn.; and RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C. Avaya also will provide voice and data communications for FIFA's temporary headquarters in Long Beach, Calif.

Once installation is complete, technicians in the St. Petersburg Network Operations Center will begin to remotely monitor, manage and maintain the networks, using expert tools and providing 24-hour-a-day support until the tournament concludes. In addition, Avaya engineers will be available onsite for the duration of the event.

About Avaya
Avaya Inc. designs, builds and manages communications networks for more than 1 million businesses worldwide, including 90 percent of the FORTUNE 500®. Focused on businesses large to small, Avaya is a world leader in secure and reliable Internet Protocol (IP) telephony systems and communications software applications and services.

Driving the convergence of voice and data communications with business applications  and distinguished by comprehensive worldwide services  Avaya helps customers leverage existing and new networks to achieve superior business results. For more information visit the Avaya Web site: http://www.avaya.com

Avaya Global Services
Avaya Global Services includes more than 7,000 consultants and professionals and 23 network operations and 13 technical centers worldwide. The Avaya Services team can assess, plan, design, manage and maintain converged voice and data networks, including multivendor local area and wide area networks. The St. Petersburg center is home to Avaya networking engineers who offer remote staging, technical support, maintenance engineering and convergence testing for multi-vendor networks and who support more than 300 products from 35 vendors. The state-of-the-art facility also houses an around-the-clock remote maintenance and management capability for enterprise networks around the globe. For more information about all offerings from Avaya Global Services, please visit: http://www1.avaya.com/services.

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