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Toshiba TEC Sets Out Its Game Plan For Glasgow 2014

The XX Commonwealth Games will take place in Glasgow during summer 2014 and the city is getting ready to welcome a spectacular display of world-class sporting talent. As one of the event’s official sponsors Toshiba TEC UK Imaging Systems is providing Glasgow 2014 with a comprehensive, fully supported office automation solution that will keep the information flowing.

First held in 1930 and taking place every four years in a different location, Glasgow is currently preparing to host the XX Commonwealth Games in July 2014. Over 4,500 athletes and up to one million ticket holders will converge on the city to witness some of the world’s finest athletes competing for glory in one of the most revered and respected sporting competitions.

On the agenda

Taking place from 23rd July to 3rd August, the XX Commonwealth Games is an international, multi- sport event involving 71 teams of athletes from the Commonwealth of Nations. Featuring 17 sports over 11 days of competition, there will be 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.

To complement the sport, Glasgow will also host an extensive range of cultural and arts based events to suit all tastes. An army of up to 15,000 volunteers will give up their time to ensure that things run smoothly and visitors and spectators get as much enjoyment as possible from the occasion.

As well as the Athletes’ Village there are 14 individual venues and most sports will take place on three compact site clusters to the east, south and west of the city centre. The Games will mostly take place in venues that already exist, 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 will be turned from a football stadium into an elite athletics arena that will host track and field competitions, as well as the Closing Ceremony.

All under control

Glasgow 2014 Limited (Glasgow 2014) is the official name for the organising committee that has the task of delivering the event in partnership with the Scottish Government, Glasgow City Council and Commonwealth Games Scotland.

Glasgow 2014 fully intends to leave a lasting legacy and there are numerous opportunities for people, businesses, organisations and communities in Glasgow and across the whole of Scotland to get involved.

The excitement is rapidly building and The Queen’s Baton Relay continues to demonstrate this. Launched at Buckingham Palace on the 9th October 2013, where Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II placed a message to the Commonwealth into the baton. Over a period of 288 days it will have covered more than 190,000km – travelling from Asia on to Oceania, Africa, the Americas and Caribbean, before making its way back to Glasgow for the Opening Ceremony.

Supporting role

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 are used.

In 2012 Toshiba TEC was awarded the role of Official Office Automation Supporter by Glasgow 2014, to supply a comprehensive printing solution for the build up period and during the Games itself.

Murray Husband is 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 share values such as healthy competition, a commitment to the communities in which we operate, and the desire to achieve the highest standards. We’re honoured to be playing a part in this fantastic sporting event.’

Management decisions

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 will be deployed, supported by on- site engineers, a dedicated helpdesk and project managers. They will combine to enable the Games’ headquarters, satellite offices and venues operate smoothly during the competition.

A large portion of the Toshiba TEC MFPs being deployed are e-STUDIO407CS series devices. Jeremy Spencer, marketing director at Toshiba TEC, states, ‘Designed for image quality, performance and versatility, these machines can be individually configured and expanded to fit the evolving needs of the Glasgow 2014 team and others who will be using them.’

Supply and demand

The MFPs will be located everywhere from back offices and receptions through to media and results areas, as well as anywhere else they will be needed. The number of devices deployed in each location will obviously depend on the size of venue and the expected demand. For example, the triathlon is expected to need around 18 devices, while the SECC – which as well as hosting a number of events will also be the home of the International Broadcast Centre and Main Press Centre – will require well over 100.

With the constant demand for information, the media centres will experience 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 could be needed, so speed will be key. Glasgow 2014 will also need to ensure that any additional equipment is available – for instance, the travelling media will not always come fully equipped, so might need to hire products that can offer, for example, scan to email and email to print functionality.

Security guard

Given the high profile of the XX Commonwealth Games the fact that security is a major consideration in Glasgow 2014’s planning process should come as no surprise. It’s an area that Toshiba TEC’s MFPs are also playing a vital role in as they will be 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 will also act 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 is paramount. Murray Husband explains, ‘, The paper used has a number of security features designed to mitigate pass fraud. The print quality of the passes is a key component of the pass security. Due to their use as travel documents the finished product has to satisfy the robust demands of the Home Office, so we’ve had to work closely with them on this requirement.’

A thorough testing and scoping process has already been completed to ascertain which is the best Toshiba TEC MFP to handle this particular job and the e-STUDIO407CS series was once again considered the best solution. Husband continues, ‘We’ve worked very closely with the technical team at Toshiba TEC on this project. We had to make sure that the printer did not interfere with the perforations on the paper or compromise it in any other way. The toner also has to be used at the optimum temperature for maximum penetration into the paper, to prevent it being altered in any way.’

Making it happen

Although the technology that Toshiba TEC is providing Glasgow 2014 with is important, equally so is the service and support that goes with it, and experts from across the company are playing their part.

Two dedicated project managers are backed up by a variety of technical, resourcing and logistics personnel, who are responsible for ensuring that the devices arrive at specified locations and that any system software is set up correctly. During the Games, up to 35 additional Toshiba TEC personnel will be on the various sites from the hours of 6.00am-12.00am, working in two shifts.

While it is, quite rightly, the sporting heroes and heroines that will be the focus of attention, Toshiba TEC believes that its role has much in common with sport’s back room heroes – the physiotherapists, coaches, nutritionists, equipment developers and others who dedicate themselves to excellence.

Jeremy Spencer opines, ‘We see the behind the scenes teams as our kindred spirits – constantly striving to give others the edge. It is a source of great pride for us to be able to use our technology, knowledge and innovative methods of working in a way that will contribute to this event being one of the defining moments in Glasgow’s modern history.’

Proof positive

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 preparations for the XX Commonwealth Games. The company is a true leader in its field and brings 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.