Oracle Customer Success — FIFA Early Warning System GmbH

FIFA Early Warning System GmbH

Early Warning System GmbH, a FIFA Subsidiary, Boosts Monitoring of International Sports Betting to Protect Integrity of Soccer

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Our mission is to help FIFA protect soccer’s integrity by analyzing and monitoring international sports betting. We rely on Oracle Exadata and Oracle Database 12c for data integration to provide our analysts with near real-time monitoring for thousands of matches per year, and to manage increasing monitoring complexity and scope.

— Thomas Hartmann, Head of Information Technology, Early Warning System GmbH

Early Warning System GmbH (EWS) was founded by the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) to protect the integrity of soccer by monitoring and analyzing international sports betting and preventing unlawful betting and match manipulation. The ever-increasing range of sports bets available has a growing influence on soccer at national and international levels. In the light of various betting scandals, FIFA set up an early warning system prior to the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany. The successful experience prompted the FIFA Congress to formalize the system and employ it for future competitions. In 2007, FIFA launched EWS as a not-for-profit organization operating independently of the commercial betting industry.
 
The international sports betting market has changed fundamentally since EWS was founded. The trend towards live betting and in-play bets has made early identification of irregularities more difficult. It has therefore become an important task for EWS to report analyses of sports betting transactions shortly after each event to enable investigation and disciplinary penalties. Thanks to EWS’s far-reaching monitoring capabilities, disparities of betting odds in soccer matches and other sports events can be identified. Today, the company is an independent global center of intelligence whose clients benefit from tailored specialist monitoring activities.
 
Challenges
  • Protect the integrity of national and international soccer and sports in general from match manipulation by optimizing the monitoring of sports bets at a global level—with 80% of sports bets worldwide placed on high level soccer matches such as national premier league and FIFA matches
  • Provide company analysts with faster access to betting odds—collected from hundreds of sports betting operators and service providers delivering summarized feeds of sports betting data—to enable near real-time monitoring of betting odds via standardized reports and dashboards
  • Manage the anticipated extension of monitoring scope to national soccer leagues and multi-sports events, and cope with the strong increase in betting odds volumes to be analyzed, as sports bets today are placed cross-border and around-the clock via the internet
  • Solidify EWS’s position as a trusted global intelligence center for sports betting analysis, capable of monitoring tens of thousands of soccer matches per year, without expending disproportionate effort on system maintenance or growing the company’s IT team
Results
  • Enabled near real-time monitoring of international sports betting and prevented match manipulation by deploying Oracle Exadata Database Machine to establish fast synchronization with the most relevant sports betting operators and other information sources for every single FIFA competition—including the FIFA World Cup and all qualifying matches
  • Decreased the time required to load and process sports betting data and dispatch it to dashboards from 8 minutes on legacy infrastructure, to 90 seconds using the combination of Oracle Exadata and Oracle Data Integrator— enabling analysts to detect unusual sports betting odds significantly faster
  • Strengthened EWS’s ability to effect near real-time analysis in spite of increasing data demands during high-level soccer matches—which generate on average 17,000 in-game odds movements—for example after a goal when many users start betting or modify their initial bet
  • Reduced false-positive and false-negative alerts by enabling analysts to follow live video footage, reports, and graphs in near real time—decreasing dashboard latency, the time required to refresh the dashboards with newly processed betting data, from five minutes on legacy infrastructure to five seconds on Oracle Exadata
  • Provided analysts with access to summarized sports betting data per match on near real-time dashboards, enabling in-depth post-game analysis of global betting odds—which change multiple times per minute during the course of a match—and ensuring a well-founded assessment of the likelihood of manipulation at a given soccer match or sports event
  • Enabled EWS to scale seamlessly to monitor national leagues such as the Japanese J.League— while continuously providing analysts with low latency access to betting odds—a key requirement in view of the fact that FIFA has 209 member associations across the globe
  • Gained the ability to survey multi-sports events for bodies such as the International Olympic Committee (IOC)—whom EWS successfully helped to monitor the London Olympic Summer Games 2012 and the Sochi Olympic Winter Games 2014—and strengthened the company’s position as a trusted global intelligence center for sports betting analysis
  • Used Oracle Platinum Services to enable the company’s IT team to ensure around-the-clock availability and performance of EWS’s monitoring system by offloading workloads to a synchronized standby database—while minimizing platform maintenance efforts and leveraging a single point of contact for support requests and quarterly patching of Oracle Exadata
  • Used Oracle Data Integrator on Oracle Exadata to ensure fast extract-load-transform of rapidly increasing data volumes—such as the number of bets, bet adjustments, and matches monitored per year—and manage the increasing complexity of the sports betting industry due to diverging national betting laws and a multitude of betting types
  • Used Oracle Multitenant to consolidate multiple pluggable databases into a container database, facilitating database management from patching and upgrades to cloning

 

We chose Oracle Exadata for the philosophy behind an engineered system optimized for Oracle Database 12c and all technology running on it. We needed a high-performance platform with few maintenance requirements to analyze a growing amount of sports betting data. With Oracle Platinum Services, we have a single contact person and are always on the latest patches, and with our deployment, EWS is fit for the future.

— Thomas Hartmann, Head of Information Technology, Early Warning System GmbH

Execution

EWS worked with Oracle Advanced Customer Support for system installation and configuration—a service included in the Exadata purchase—and also purchased re-racking to install the Exadata rack with the company’s communications provider Swisscom. The company went live on Oracle Exadata within six months of signing the contract.
 
“Oracle Database 12c has functioned excellently in production since January 2015. We gained further in database management performance by implementing the Oracle Multitenant option in August 2015, and will achieve even more improvements through the Oracle In-Memory option,” Hartmann said.

About FIFA Early Warning System GmbH

Headquarters

 
Zurich, Switzerland

Employees

 
Less than 100
Published:  Feb 11, 2016