Few things get my adrenalin pumping but the sound of V8 racecars roaring around the track is one exception!  The smell, the sound, the floor vibrating beneath my feet – I love it!

I’ve recently been lucky enough to experience this first-hand at a V8 Supercars race in Tasmania. V8 Supercars is the premiere motorsport category in Australia, as well as one of the country’s fastest growing motorsports.  It's more than a motorsport though – V8 Supercars is an events and media company that moves one of the biggest shows in the country from location to location, in Australia, New Zealand and the US, at least fifteen times a year.  At any point in time, its employees could be working from their Gold Coast office or be track-side in Auckland, Townsville or Bathurst.

V8 Supercars has been a Microsoft customer for years and recently decided to move some of their IT to the cloud via Office 365.  It was being trackside in Tasmania that I was able to see first-hand how Microsoft's cloud services have transformed their business – from the lead-up to a race right through to the winner’s podium.

Despite being the most-loved motorsport in Australia, V8 Supercars has faced some pretty unique business problems:

  • A dispersed, international operation with domestic and overseas races 
  • A highly mobile workforce, working from multiple locations, with a need to access to data and documents in real-time
  • The need to deliver a top class broadcast event to a wide audience efficiently and cost effectively

With the amazing growth and popularity of the V8s, their old IT system could not cope and was causing a lot of frustration. They had to move to a more cost-effective and flexible platform to support their expansion plans and better connect their mobile workforce. V8 Supercars’ Head of Finance and Systems, Peter Trimble, would often field calls from his frustrated teams who were dealing with connectivity issues, which in turn, made him feel challenged in his ability to enable his workforce.

Peter turned to V8 Supercars' long term IT partner, Sinapse, which, after an in-depth needs assessment, recommended Office 365. Sinapse initially deployed a pilot within the finance team and then embarked on a scaled deployment across the business. Today, V8 Supercars have reliable access to files, email and collaboration tools, and it doesn’t matter whether they are at their headquarters up on the Gold Coast, in their Sydney office, or trackside in Launceston. The technology was a winner from day one.

So, it was great for me to be on the ground at one of their events to see how Office 365 is helping V8 Supercars focus on what it does best. Not only that, consider these amazing facts for a moment. It blows my mind thinking about it:

  • The realisation that the biggest motor sporting event in Australia is run by just 70 phenomenal people!
  • This is an office that gets moved every weekend to a new location, which has to be one of the most extreme examples of mobility and flexible working.
  • The fact that every office, every room, every team and every person has to be connected every time and all the time. Office 365 is absolutely mission critical so they can do their job and in Peter Trimble’s words: “The show stops for no-one”.
  • Whilst V8 Supercars’ employees are highly mobile, dispersed throughout Australia and around the world, they also face a huge set of logistical challenges, moving 18 teams, 28 cars, support staff, an army of contractors and an in-house film crew to 15 different races each year!

It’s hard to beat the high octane rush of a live sporting event on the scale of the V8s. From the smell of burning rubber to live music and the rare ‘behind the scenes’ glimpses of the effort it takes to put a car on the track.

Without doubt, this slick, well-oiled event is certainly one worth going to and I personally can’t wait to introduce my whole family to this great experience.  I'm sure they will love it as much as I do.

Find out more about V8 Supercars and their next race here.

Isabel Boniface, Office 365 Product Manager, Microsoft Australia