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V8 Supercars Fuel up with Microsoft Cloud



Office 365 helps fast-track V8 Supercars

Sydney, Australia – 8 April, 2013 – Today, Microsoft announced that V8 Supercars has adopted Microsoft Office 365 to provide a highly mobile and flexible workforce with fast, efficient access to email and company files from virtually any location. V8 Supercars, an international motorsport and media company, sets up, delivers and broadcasts race events all over the world. The company had outgrown its current IT system and wanted a cost-effective and flexible platform to support expansion plans, in Australia and overseas.

V8 Supercars, established 17 years ago, is considered to be the premiere motorsport category in Australia as well as one of the country’s fastest growing motorsports. The company moves from race to race for 10 months of the year and needs its mobile workforce to remain connected throughout. At any point in time, there could be employees simultaneously based in Abu Dhabi, New Zealand, as well as local, employees building the Townsville circuits and getting ready for Bathurst.

“As a business we are operating in multiple locations, pretty much 24/7 during race season,” said David Malone, CEO, V8 Supercars. “Last year it became clear to us that we needed to transform our business while at the same time ensuring that our workforce was connected both in Australia and abroad. There’s thousands of stakeholders involved in the V8 Supercar Championship, and we need to be leading the category into the next era. Office 365 is going to help us get there.”

‘Expanding its footprint both locally and overseas’…

Over the past 12 months, V8 Supercars has gone through a major change and is poised to expand its popular motorsport brand into new markets. The company currently employs 70 full-time staff, with a network of approximately 1600 contractors and volunteers to help manage race teams, events and broadcasts to over 130 countries and online.

“Being able to connect our employees securely to their email as well as their necessary documents is key to our global growth plans,” says Peter Trimble, Director of Finance and Systems, V8 Supercars. “Our business runs primarily on contracts and intellectual property and now we can have multiple people accessing and collaborating on a single document in real time, from almost anywhere.”

The V8 Supercars team also has a number of staff and teams that operate in satellite offices, which makes it imperative that employees all remain connected.  “We are extremely cost conscious and saw that moving to Office 365 wouldn’t cost more than maintaining our old systems, allowing us to stop worrying about server upgrades and provide a solid and consistent platform for our whole team now and support growth in future.”

‘On the frontline’…

At any given time, V8 Supercars has up to 600 onsite and over 1000 volunteers working for them. Managing rosters and ensuring all employees and contractors have the flexibility to gain access to those rosters when they need them, as well as being able to share information is critical to ensuring each event is run like a well-oiled machine.

“In preparing for a major race, there’s a lot of work that goes into advance planning. It’s really like constructing a small city,” said Kurt Sakzewski, General Manager of Events, V8 Supercars. ’There’s a lot of people involved and a lot of equipment that needs to be installed so we have months of planning with engineers, emergency services, security service providers, caterers.  It’s crucial that Office365 allows us to keep up to date, on the move, no matter which circuit we’re at.”

‘Trackside Technology’…

At each race event, V8 Supercars works closely alongside engineers and trackside staff to ensure the company provides the drivers the best assistance possible. One of the main tools used is Excel, to help calculate the fuel consumption of the teams. This kind of calculation is essential to ensure teams are playing by the rules. This data is shared among the core team via Office 365 throughout the practice runs and actual race, with driver’s race positions being updated in real time, and shared between employees in the pits, mobile trucks and at different offices across Australia.

“Office 365 allows us to communicate between each other more easily and access information remotely, where previously we had to wait until we got back to the office to download the data,” said Damien White, General Manager of Motorsports, V8 Supercars “There are great amounts of statistics and information captured on a race day that we are now able to share between the race organisers, fans and the teams in real time now that we’ve moved to Office 365.”

“We have massive V8 mobile offices parked onsite so that the team working at any given event can communicate throughout the day wherever they’re located using their mobile devices and Surfaces,” said Mr White.

‘Connecting with the fans…the other side of V8 Supercars…the Entertainment Business’

In the head office, the marketing team is focused on the V8 Supercar brand, looking at innovation and sophistication. Each season, V8 Supercars promotes nine events, four major street races in Australia, four smaller permanent circuits and one race in New Zealand. As a result, V8 Supercars is a dynamic business, focused on both entertainment and motor sports. At the track, the team assists with movement of drivers, communicating with the fans through its track-side big screens, autograph signing sessions and tailored one on one fan experiences.

“Often at a V8 Supercars race, we race by day and we rock by night with an on-site concert and entertainment for all the family,” said Penny Glasson, National Marketing Manager. “We have two different fan demographics, those coming for the concerts and those coming for the racing. For us, it’s about working smart, making things easier and making sure our communication is streamlined and flawless, which Office 365 allows us to do. For us Excel is imperative, as it’s the tool we use for all of our planning, so being able to work simultaneously on the same document to manage our driver matrix and know where and when they’re going is imperative.


‘Fast Forward to the Future’…

V8 Supercars is poised to expand its popular motorsport brand into new overseas markets with video conferencing and instant messaging through Microsoft Lync. “Our plans for expansion include the U.S.A and the United Arab Emirates, so we need to allow our employees to stay connected through video conferencing. Office 365 can support those plans and help us control our costs along the way,” added Trimble.

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For further information or interviews please contact:

Rudolf Wagenaar

Ogilvy PR

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rudolf.wagenaar@ogilvy.com.au