Interview: UEFA head of ICT Daniel Marion

By Sooraj Shah
01 Aug 2012 View Comments
uefa

UEFA is a governing body that deals with sport while its business is largely event-driven. It has recently overseen a successful football tournament in the European Championships, held in June this year in Poland and the Ukraine.

The responsibility to ensure that UEFA has the back-end technology in place to run events like the Champions League and European Championships lies with its head of ICT, Daniel Marion.

Marion holds an engineering degree and an MBA from London Business School and has worked for UEFA for over 10 years. After occupying different roles in IT and digital media, he took over the UEFA ICT team of more than 90 people, and as the head of ICT he is best informed to explain how UEFA operates differently to other businesses.

"We are set up very differently [to other organisations], we don't do anything in-house in terms of operations; we outsource all of the development and all of the hosting," he told Computing.

"ICT in UEFA is not really a development house or an infrastructure house – but we do have some technical experts for things like the Euro 2012 championships. We have a service desk and system engineers to do maintenance on our servers which is actually outsourced to [cloud hosting provider] Interoute," he said.

The ICT team is highly flexible so it can adapt and grow for each upcoming event. For example, for the Euro 2012 tournament, there were 1,500 staff working on ICT and telecommunications, more than 10 times the fixed-term UEFA ICT team.

For Euro 2012, many of the staff working alongside UEFA personnel were actually employed by Orange and Ukraine Telecom, UEFA's partners for the tournament. So what is UEFA's relationship like with its partners and how does it see itself as a customer?

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