Inside - The Technology Backbone Supporting the Democratic Convention - Page 2

While Google has again trumped fellow tech companies in publicity, virtually every big name in IT will be in Denver to promote itself. Joining Google as "official convention providers" will be Microsoft, which also plans to provide live streaming of high definition video throughout the four-day convention. Yahoo plans to partner with the Capitol Hill newspaper Politico for convention coverage and public discussion forums.

Microsoft's dive into political convention sponsorship provides Redmond with the perfect platform to promote its Silverlight technology, which allows users to customize their viewing experience with multiple streams and data updates.

Microsoft is also providing the convention with infrastructure support, allowing convention staff to handle media registration and delegate tracking. Convention staff is also expected to use such Microsoft programs such as Office Live Meeting for Web conferencing and Microsoft Office SharePoint Server for online document management.

Leah Daughtry, CEO of the Democratic National Convention Committee, said Microsoft's "technology will play an integral role in powering the business of the convention and helping to involve more Americans in the convention experience than ever before." Added Brad Smith, Microsoft's senior vice president and chief legal counsel, "As we've seen throughout the primary season, technology is playing an increasingly critical role in the electoral process. Microsoft will help ensure that both parties' delegates are able to take full advantage of the benefits that today's technologies offer."

Not to be outdone on the infrastructure front, Verizon Wireless said Aug. 18 it is prepared to handle five million more calls and data transmissions than normal during the convention. Qwest, as the official telecommunications provider for the convention, announced it was providing wireline voice and data services for the Democratics' administrative offices, approximately 5,000 delegates and the hordes of media descending on Denver.

"With the arrival of an estimated 5,000 delegates, 15,000 media members and thousands of other visitors to the city during the DNC, our customers will be talking, texting, navigating and e-mailing with their wireless phones and devices at a record-setting pace," said Melanie Braidich, regional president for Verizon Wireless.