Christian Holzer is crazy about soccer. As a little kid, he started playing soccer as soon as he could kick a ball. He showed so much talent he was selected for the German national youth team. Then, while still a teenager, he turned pro, lending his skills as a goalkeeper to the German Bundesliga, playing for the Munich team. He was selected as goalkeeper for German national teams several times.
Today Christian is applying the skills he learned in sports to running IMPIRE, a company that instantly provides soccer sports stats to the media and sports fans across Germany.
Running this business is very much like when I was playing soccer. You have to concentrate on the big points, you have to concentrate on the necessary things, and the IDS is helping us to adapt our performance to the customers’ needs.
IDS is Informix Dynamic Server, the fast and reliable IBM data server that helps IMPIRE serve up sports statistics right as the games progress.
We have observers working in each stadium, and they are feeding the data into the IDS database system. We selected Informix Dynamic Server because of its high availability. Our customers are demanding a 24 by 7 business and our experience showed that the Informix Dynamic Server is available of providing this kind of service.
The company feeds the soccer statistics to the major German TV broadcasting
companies, and to the sports pages of daily newspapers, regional sports magazines, and to websites covering the national passion for ‘foosball.’ The soccer clubs also use the information to analyze the performance of their players.
Today only a few seconds go by between a goal being scored in the stadium and IMPIRE’s reporting of that milestone. IMPIRE is looking at new technologies that will soon allow the company to report sports stats in real time.
We are writing a new kind of technology which is related to real-time data streaming and we are also looking into media tracking technologies, and the combination of both are creating a new experience for our customers and their users because they are getting all their information in real-time.
IMPIRE, a subsidiary of Cairos Technologies, was founded in the mid-eighties. The company’s 50 employees are located in Hamburg, Munich, Cologne, Vienna and Innsbruck.
While soccer remains the main focus, IMPIRE is also providing graphics and statistics about handball, a popular sport in Germany, and ice hockey.
IMPIRE is also offering online sports games that allow the players to manage their virtual teams and call the plays. And IMPIRE makes 3D soccer animations available online so players can watch games from a particular camera angle and point of view.
As he moves his company into the future, the former soccer star believes the IBM technology solution can keep pace with the company’s fast moves.
We compared IDS with other technologies on the market and we found that the IDS system is much better than the other systems, and also the IBM services are much better than any other kind of service that we demanded.