With several Olympics under its belt, Atos is supporting one of the largest IT infrastructures in sports history. If it succeeds, it's an unheralded hero. If it fails, it gets crucified.
Thierry Breton, chief executive of IT services company Atos SA, refuses to e-mail, which, he says, cannot replace the spoken word. The bon mot, it seems, is best delivered in person.
When the torch is lit to signal the start of the 2012 London Olympics, 900 servers, 1,000 network devices, and 9,500 computers will be working overtime. They are being extensively tested first.
Testing has begun on the computers that will keep the 2012 London Olympics running, jumping, diving and trampolining.
The many Acer computers that dot the Olympic venues are running Windows, but it's the venerable Windows XP rather than one of Microsoft's newer operating systems.
While problems and controversy have found the games elsewhere, it's been smooth sailing inside the main technology center.
The Winter Games in Vancouver, which kick off Friday, rely on thousands of servers and PCs to manage everything from scores to travel plans. Magnus Alvarsson has to make sure everything is working.
Powering the Winter Games requires more than 5,000 kilometers of cabling, 6,000 computers, and a willingness to break with tradition.
Two teams in London will deal with crimes such as attempted hacks on computer systems and fraudulent ticketing Web sites.
A year before the 2010 Winter Olympics are set to start in Vancouver, the technological backbone is nearly ready.