Racing and Wagering Western Australia bets its business on CA Technologies

When RWWA wanted to reduce the risks associated with its business-critical wagering systems, it deployed a suite of service assurance solutions from CA Technologies

Racing and Wagering Western Australia (RWWA) can’t afford to gamble with its core IT systems. With the organisation bringing in more than $1.5 billion in turnover each year and achieving a turnover of up to $22 million during major sporting events such as the Melbourne Cup, IT is critical to the organisation’s profitability.

“Our revenues come from our wagering services, which are entirely dependent upon IT,” General Manager Information Services at RWWA, Mike Meehan, says. “If our IT infrastructure suffers an outage on the day of a significant event, we stand to lose millions of dollars of turnover that will never be recovered.”

In 2009, the senior management of RWWA decided to overhaul the organisation’s IT infrastructure by refreshing its state-wide network, replacing its ageing fleet of betting terminals and launching a new betting system.

The newly modernised IT environment, however, also brought with it new operational challenges. “We found it challenging to fully support and maintain our state-wide terminal network as we often had to fly engineers to remote locations, arrange hire cars and pay for their accommodation,” says Meehan. “This was not only costly but also meant that it could take several days to respond to a problem and could potentially result in lost wagering turnover.”

To simplify IT management duties, RWWA implemented a suite of service assurance solutions from CA Technologies, including IT Client Manager, IT Asset Manager, eHealth Performance Manager (PM), Spectrum Infrastructure Manager (IM) and Application Performance Management. The solutions combined to automate key processes and increase the uptime of RWWA’s revenue generating systems, which in turn helps the organisation reduce costs, improve the customer experience and safeguard its wagering revenues.

Deploying IT Client Manager, for example, assists RWWA to administer software upgrades, patches and virus protection from a single central console. “We can now implement new software overnight to approximately 3000 terminals instead of having to visit each in person, which could take weeks,” Meehan says.

IT Client Manager’s asset management capabilities are also helping to improve efficiency at RWWA. “CA IT Asset management assists us to automatically detect networked devices and the software running on them, giving us instant visibility of the IT estate without time-consuming data collection,” Meehan says.

RWWA implemented Spectrum IM and eHealth PM to assist it in ensuring the core network that supports its betting terminals remains highly available. The two solutions have been integrated to provide real-time and historical performance metrics, alerts to potential problems and analysis of infrastructure faults.

According to Meehan, the solutions “can monitor around 4000 network devices and the wagering platform, which is based on 34 logical IBM Power6 Systems and approximately 450 Intel servers.”

RWWA also implemented Application Performance Management, which is designed to assist the organisation to monitor and manage its revenue generating applications, as well as perform fast root cause analysis if problems are encountered.

“CA Application Performance Management has already identified a number of potential problems of which we were previously unaware.” Meehan says.

CA Technologies’ solutions are an integral part of RWWA’s IT modernisation program, and helped the organisation reach its business goals. “Being able to manage the infrastructure effectively on an ongoing basis is crucial to maximising our investment and, as a result, we are in a better position to support Western Australia’s racing industry and meet our own strategic goals,” Meehan says.

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