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A digital workplace is putting Williams in pole position

  • Posted on February 2, 2016

WilliamsThe following is a guest blog post by Graeme Hackland, IT Director, Williams Martini Racing.

In 2015, Williams Martini Racing began its partnership with Avanade; a plan to digitise the entire organisation to help us optimise our enterprise platform, race by race. Looking back on 2015, I can already see how much has been achieved as we start to embrace a digital workplace.

Automated processes

One of our biggest successes of last year was moving away from paper-based processes. Avanade and Williams wanted to decrease admin levels across the entire organisation and automate information, to allow us more time to work on the pressing aspects of our work.

A focus for any Formula One team is aerodynamics, so to get ahead of the competition we’ve worked hard to create a more efficient wind tunnel programme. Initially, we looked at how people used the wind tunnel data, and found there were many separate processes that included various spreadsheets and paper files being passed between departments.

We now use SharePoint to create a central platform and developed a wind tunnel app bringing together all the previously siloed processes. With one hub that everyone has access to, collaboration becomes infinitely more simplified and productivity has increased. In fact, the wind tunnel app alone will save 300 man hours per year – a huge saving in the time-focused world of Formula One.

Real-time data for better racing

The exciting thing about working in Formula One is the tight race schedule. Any tweaks and improvements have to be made in time for the next race, so not only is it paramount we get real-time data, but that we can share it with all the relevant people at the same time. For example, getting data from the Australian GP as it happens, and sending it to Williams HQ in the UK, means our team has a head start on analysing data and improving the car for the following race.

Accelerating into 2016 and beyond

Because a digital workplace essentially keeps the day-to-day processes ticking, we can commit more people to improving the car for the following year. This aligns with Avanade’s ‘two-approaches’ idea, meaning we can optimise the core of the business and still have the bandwidth to innovate elsewhere.

The partnership with Avanade means Williams is digitising its workplace, using tools and technologies to realise true business value and get results both on and off the track.

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