Paytech boosts Sport Relief 2018

Pivotal Cloud Foundry chosen by British charity to provide the technology behind donation platform

Austin Clark | 21st Mar 18

Pivotal has announced that it will be hosting Sport Relief 2018’s donation-processing platform, collecting millions of pounds in donations processed online via Sport Relief’s call centre network and smartphone application.

In 2017, the company hosted Comic Relief’s donation-processing platform on its flagship open-source Cloud Foundry product, hitting peaks of between two and three hundred donations every second and helping raise a record-breaking £73m.

Pivotal engineers have been carrying out weekly capacity tests in territories across the globe, ensuring the donation platform is prepared to combat a range of scenarios. With most of Sport Relief’s two-year fundraising cycle concentrated on the telethon event on 23 March, Pivotal Cloud Foundry will run the application across different IaaS providers and physical regions, using DNS round-robin to load balance traffic, responding to DNS requests with a list of potential IP addresses corresponding to several servers that host identical services.

With increased demand for mobile payment mechanisms, Sport Relief has witnessed the use of mobile increase dramatically. Where it was 10 to 20 percent of traffic five years ago, it is now the main mode of payment. 2017 also saw Comic Relief launch Apple Pay as a way to make donations for the first time.

“Creating a diverse range of channels by which payments can be reliably processed is key to creating a user-centric experience that supports this type of giving,” comments David Laing, Director of Software Engineering at Pivotal. “Not only does our platform support the donation process, it also gives the charity detail about how viewers are interacting with the telethon which assists programming in real time. We’re really proud to be supporting such a fantastic cause, helping maintain the reputation of one of the UK’s most admired charities when it matters most.”

“With such a small window of time, collaborating with Pivotal has allowed us to manage the huge spikes in demand we experience,” adds Zenon Hannick, CTO, Comic Relief. “Pivotal’s technology platform is central in transforming the good will of the Great British public into record-breaking fundraising.

“The money then goes to incredible projects, in the UK and across the world, that are effectively tackling inequality and making lasting change.”