TOSHIBA TEC ON TOP OF ITS GAME AT GLASGOW 2014
The XX Commonwealth Games took place in Glasgow during the summer of 2014 with the city welcoming a spectacular display of world-class sporting talent. As one of the event’s official sponsors Toshiba TEC UK Imaging Systems provided Glasgow 2014 with a comprehensive, fully supported office automation solution that kept the information flowing throughout the event.
Toshiba TEC completed a major deployment in support of the Commonwealth Games providing office automation across three cities – Glasgow, Dundee and Edinburgh.
On the agenda
The XX Commonwealth Games was an international, multi-sport event involving 71 teams of athletes from the Commonwealth of Nations. Featuring 17 sports over 11 days of competition, there were 261 different medal events on show, from the precision of lawn bowls to the exciting combat of wrestling and judo, as well as the high adrenaline of track events and the grace and beauty of gymnastics.
As well as the Athletes’ Village there were 14 individual venues and most sports took place on three compact site clusters to the east, south and west of the city centre. The Games mostly took place in venues that already existed, such as Scotland’s National Stadium Hampden Park and the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre (SECC). Indeed, rather than go to the huge expense of building a new stadium, Hampden was transformed from a football stadium into an elite athletics arena that hosted track and field competitions, as well as the phenomenal Closing Ceremony where iconic super star, Kylie Minogue performed alongside Scottish icons Lulu and Deacon Blue.
All under control
Glasgow 2014 Limited (Glasgow 2014) was the official name for the organising committee that had the task of delivering the event in partnership with the Scottish Government, Glasgow City Council and Commonwealth Games Scotland.
Glasgow 2014 really did leave a lasting legacy and there were numerous opportunities for people, businesses, organisations and communities in Glasgow and across the whole of Scotland to get involved.
The operational infrastructure required for such a gargantuan undertaking like the Commonwealth Games is vital to its success, and only best-in-class products and services were used.
Toshiba TEC, which was awarded the role of Official Office Automation Supporter by Glasgow 2014, supplied a comprehensive printing solution for the build-up period and during the Games itself.
Murray Husband, General Manager for Information Technology Services at Glasgow 2014, and states: “We carried out a rigorous selection process and only invited those companies that could offer state-of-the-art technology and provide the necessary on-venue support and expertise – all as a full turn-key solution. After carefully assessing all the responses, we felt that Toshiba TEC was the best equipped to work with us and help us meet our demanding and unique objectives.
Toshiba TEC’s Managing Director, Adam Sheppard, says: “Toshiba TEC and the Commonwealth Games shared values such as healthy competition, a commitment to the communities in which we operate, and the desire to achieve the highest standards. We were honoured to play a part in this fantastic sporting event.”
With an immovable deadline Toshiba TEC wasted no time and started work on the project in October 2012, when 20 multifunction products (MFPs) were delivered to the Games’ headquarters.
That was just the beginning though and in the period up to the start of the event over 600 of its market leading e-STUDIO MFPs and desktop printing devices were deployed, supported by on-site engineers, a dedicated helpdesk and project managers. They combined to ensure the Games’ headquarters, satellite offices and venues operated smoothly during the competition.
A large portion of the Toshiba TEC MFPs deployed were e-STUDIO407CS series devices. Jeremy Spencer, Marketing Director at Toshiba TEC, states: “Designed for image quality, performance and versatility, these machines were individually configured and expanded to fit the evolving needs of the Glasgow 2014 team and others who used them.”
Supply and demand
The MFPs were located everywhere from back offices and receptions through to media and results areas, as well as anywhere else they were needed. The number of devices deployed in each location depended on the size of venue and the expected demand. For example, the triathlon needed around 18 devices, while the SECC – which as well as hosting a number of events was also home to the International Broadcast Centre and Main Press Centre – required well over 100.
With the constant demand for information, the media centres experienced some of the highest demand from the print distribution infrastructure, as results from various competitions are approved, printed, photocopied and delivered to the waiting journalists. Anything up to 700 copies of each document was needed, so speed was of the essence. Glasgow 2014 also needed to ensure that additional equipment was available – for instance, the travelling media was not always fully equipped, and needed to hire products that offered scan to email and email to print functionality.
Given the high profile of the XX Commonwealth Games the fact that security was a major consideration in Glasgow 2014’s planning process should come as no surprise. It’s an area that Toshiba TEC’s MFPs also played a vital role as they were utilised to produce the 130,000 accreditation passes used by athletes, staff, contractors and other on-site personnel.
For the visiting athletes, their accreditation passes also acted as a visa waiver to assist their entry into the UK – so given their importance the need to satisfy the highest standards of print quality and security was paramount.
A thorough testing and scoping process was completed to ascertain the best Toshiba TEC MFP to handle this particular job and the e-STUDIO407CS series was once again considered the most suitable solution.
Making it happen
The service and support was equally as important as the technology and experts from across Toshiba TEC played their part.
Two dedicated project managers were backed up by a variety of technical, resourcing and logistics personnel, who were responsible for ensuring that the devices arrive at specified locations and that any system software was set up correctly. During the Games, up to 35 additional Toshiba TEC personnel were on the various sites from the hours of 6.00am-12.00am, working in two shifts.
Jeremy Spencer concludes: “Glasgow 2014 was a massive undertaking with 600 of our MFPs and desktop printers producing 11 million prints over 11 days. Despite the size of the project, it was a dream installation and went to plan. It has helped re-energise our people, who were bought in from all four corners of the UK, and reinforced our ability to support big sporting occasions and other large scale events. As a result, we would have no issues with going after this kind of business again.”
Brian Nourse, Chief Information Officer at Glasgow 2014 adds: “As the Official Office Automation Supporter for the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games, Toshiba TEC UK delivered a comprehensive managed print service, which included the delivery and support of 600 multi-function printers. Throughout the entire project, the team from Toshiba TEC delivered an outstanding level of service – meeting the unique demands required by a project of this nature. Toshiba TEC also demonstrated an outstanding level of commitment and flexibility helping ensure the Games was an outstanding success.”
The final word goes to David Grevemberg, Chief Executive of Glasgow 2014, who concludes: “I’m delighted that we’ve been able to partner with Toshiba TEC on this important aspect of the XX Commonwealth Games. The company is a true leader in its field and brought a wealth of expertise – not only in delivering key services but also doing so amidst the uniquely pressurised environment and atmosphere of a global sporting event.”
Security was a major consideration in Glasgow 2014’s planning process. It was an area in which Toshiba TEC’s MFPs played a vital role as they were utilised to produce the 130,000 Accreditation Passes used by athletes, staff, contractors and other on-site personnel.
Toshiba TEC wasted no time and started work on the Accreditation Passes two years before the Games began. For the visiting athletes, their Accreditation Passes also acted as a visa waiver to assist their entry into the UK. Without them being correctly printed, the athletes could not gain access into the Games.
As a result, the need to satisfy the highest standards of print quality and security was paramount. Due to their use as travel documents, Toshiba TEC had to work very closely with the UK border agency to ensure they satisfied the robust demands of the Home Office.
The paper type was also specified by Glasgow 2014 and could not be changed. It had a number of security features to help mitigate pass fraud including a special ultra violet coating. In fact, the paper was actually kept in a secure safe and Toshiba TEC had to sign for the paper it used and return any that was left over. It was important that the paper was tamper proof to avoid unauthorised people who could potentially pose a security risk gaining access to the Games.
Glasgow 2014’s brief for the printing device for this process was a small footprint and high speed output. After a thorough testing and scoping procedure, it was ascertained that Toshiba TEC’s e-STUDIO407CS series was the best solution. It was important that the MFP did not interfere with the perforations on the paper or compromise it in any other way.
The toner for the devices also had to be virtually indestructible and used at extremely high temperature for maximum penetration into the paper, to prevent it being altered in any way. The document was submitted to Glasgow 2014 for thorough construction and scratch testing over a period of several months to see if the print could be erased at all.
A trial accreditation run for border agency staff was implemented by Toshiba TEC. This ensured relevant personnel had a good understanding of what the passes looked like and were then unlikely to allow unauthorised people gain entry to the Games.
Glasgow 2014 required detailed plans from Toshiba TEC outlining how it was going to test the devices and how it would rectify any issues to avoid interruption to printing during the event, as well as information outlining network and infrastructure design. This level of testing went way beyond what is normally required and there was lots of collaboration with other partners including network providers, infrastructure suppliers, etc.
The devices were all reviewed by the Games security team beforehand to ensure they could not be hacked. When they found that the security on one model needed to be improved, Toshiba TEC demonstrated its flexible approach by engaging with its headquarters in Japan to revise the firmware and implement the required security adjustments.
This flexibility helped Toshiba TEC meet the additional layers of security required by the Games. Although the demands were over and above what is required for everyday business, Toshiba TEC’s adaptability allowed it to overcome all challenges.