Glasgow’s 2014 Commonwealth Games has left behind a rich legacy – not least in the way it helped to promote local companies on the world stage.
Bellshill-based NVT Group successfully designed, installed and supported the entire information and communications technology infrastructure for the Glasgow Commonwealth Games. This provided the perfect showcase for their technology - leaving them in a perfect position to score similar international contracts.
With a bid team led by Hamish Fraser, NVT Group Director, the company won the first large-scale multi-sport event they had ever competed for.
“I think the spark that made us do it was that the opportunity was in our domestic market and we knew we could do it” explains Hamish. “We identified a number of additional benefits, both in our domestic marketplace and the international marketplace, that winning the Games contract would potentially open up for us.”
Discovering that the duties of the contract were completely in line with the day-to-day work of NVT was a major bonus. Based around the delivery of an enterprise scale voice and data network, with physical and virtual server and storage platforms, network connectivity across all venues, security and governance - they were perfectly placed to offer their services.
Laying down the groundwork
To achieve their ambitions for the Games, NVT took on a limited number of extra staff and expanded their premises. They also took part in the development of a Players Programme, which involved a group of IT professionals working voluntarily during the Games.
Pooling individuals from as far afield as Aberdeen and the Borders, they consciously went against a Glasgow-centric approach. They also dedicated themselves to supporting young people at the start of their careers, providing them with invaluable experience and creating future resources.
I think NVT can teach a lot of organisations who get involved in these events that they can leave a mark on people’s lives and take them on the journey...the message is dream big, and challenge yourself.”
David Grevemberg, Chief Executive, Glasgow 2014
Remarking on the Players programme, Glasgow 2014's Chief Executive David Grevemberg commented: "We speak about the organisation of tomorrow being very citizen-active and citizen-conscious. I think NVT can teach a lot of organisations who get involved in these events that they can leave a mark on people's lives and take them on the journey. Everyone wins, the Games win, organisations win and people win. The message is - dream big, and challenge yourself.
By massively expanding their modern apprenticeship programme, they created 15 new positions – and they’re continuing the programme’s legacy, with another ten trainees joining the business this year.
Legacy and looking forward: one year on
Their success at the Glasgow Games left an indelible impression on NVT’s business outlook, which has inspired and exposed them to take on bigger projects.
A year on from the Games, NVT Group's technical team have just returned from Azerbajian, where the firm provided services on behalf of the 1st European Games in Baku. The opportunity came about when NVT was recommended to the Baku European Games Operations Committee (BEGOC) by Glasgow Games organisers.
Tommy Mitchell, Group Technical Director, explains: "Our role at Baku 2015 was different to that in Glasgow but, undoubtedly, our performance at the Commonwealth Games is directly what led to us providing services to the 1st European Games in Baku.
Adaptable solutions, bespoke approach
The Baku contract saw NVT provide technical management and consultancy services. As part of the Technical Strategy and Service Delivery team, they implemented and supported the technology infrastructure which underpinned an event with 20 sports, 18 competition venues and 6,000 athletes from 49 countries.
With every event, there's a unique management structure and way of operating. Each event, as with any new market, comes with different challenges, languages, cultures, geographies and underlying technology platforms.
Whilst the Baku experience has been different in terms of our scope of work and the challenges faced, we’ve proven that solutions which worked in Glasgow, such as the ‘Concepta’ intelligent systems monitoring tool we devised for Glasgow, are fully transferable.
Tommy Mitchell, NVT Group Technical Director
Tommy says, "Whilst the Baku experience has been different in terms of our scope of work and the challenges faced, we've proven that solutions which worked in Glasgow - such as the 'Concepta' intelligent systems monitoring tool we devised for Glasgow, are fully transferable.
"Some of the learnings have been different too, and our engagement in Baku has enhanced the overall wealth of knowledge we can now use to create solutions for other sporting events and truly differentiate ourselves from competitors."
Gaining the confidence to realise ambitions
"We knew that Glasgow 2014 was going to be the best way possible to prove our ability to deliver innovation and to demonstrate how we provide high quality services on time and within budget - even when under pressure" Hamish remembers.
"We also fully expected that the legacy of such an engagement would be felt throughout our business for years to come. With our engagement in Baku being equally successful. we're continuing to gain confidence in our abilities - and we're more certain than ever that securing contracts like these, on the world stage, will help us to realise our ambitious growth plans."
With a thorough understanding of how these global events operate, they've gained the experience - and confidence - to identify future events for optimum commercial success and opened up doors to significant new markets.
By taking the experiences of 2014 and re-framing in a way that's relevant to upcoming international sporting events, they're looking towards a bright business future.
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