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Digital transformation in industry: F1 Williams, Avanade case study

AvantiKumar | May 20, 2015
Interviews: Computerworld asked Formula 1 team Williams Martini Racing's Graeme Hackland and Avanade Malaysia's Subra Suppiah to share their insights into an ongoing five-year digital transformation programme.

Subra Suppiah - Avanade Malaysia

Photo - Subra Suppiah, Country Manager, Avanade Malaysia


Could you give your perspectives on the Williams Group's digital strategies and how the partnership is faring?

Avanade and Williams have well-aligned business priorities, working together to make sure future digital and cloud investments lead to improved business performance. The partnership will help the Williams F1 team fully optimise its enterprise platform.

From Avanade's perspective, the very nature of Formula One continues to be technology and innovation-driven, which aligns very closely with our business goals. We are focused on driving innovation for our customers across all industries, and this platform ensures there is continued strong visibility of the Avanade brand and how we help drive results.

Williams is ready to navigate a path to the cloud to enable the speed and agility needed for digital business, and Avanade will be guiding that journey and optimising their technology investments. Avanade is working with Williams to develop a digital workplace that will increase productivity through new tools, as well as empower innovation and allow an 'always-on' accessibility globally - a critical component when literally tenths of a second separate winning teams on the track.

Avanade is proud to partner with Williams on its digital transformation journey. As an innovator in cloud, digital and managed services in the Microsoft ecosystem, Avanade is all about helping companies realise results from their technology investments and speed up innovation.

What do you think sets your company's approach and solutions apart from others?

As we talk to clients, digitisation is the irresistible force driving and enabling companies to rethink their response to markets and customers, reshape their operations, and engage and empower their workforce. Williams is an example of this. Avanade's expertise and experience in the Microsoft ecosystem is helping Williams to remain at the cutting edge of motorsport and advanced engineering.  At the same time, Williams has a strong development program supporting the next generation of engineers coming into the sport - and Avanade has a similar goal to help advance and support future IT leaders.

Another success factor is Avanade's targeted approach to digital workplace, which is focused on the strategic growth of Williams' business by driving a maximum increase in employee efficiency, performance and innovation. In terms of specific projects, Avanade's expertise in Sitecore and Microsoft Azure made it possible to deploy the new Williams site within one month, in time for the start of the 2015 race season.

Avanade's user experience consultants were also able to work with Williams to incorporate functionality for more dynamic content - and optimise it for desktops, tablets and phones. In addition, by moving the site to Azure and migrating the update functions in-house, Williams saw a cost saving benefit, which it is reinvesting into creating more content and frequent updates for the site.

The tyre optimisation app is also an example of how Avanade is helping Williams develop a digital workplace, enabling the team to work in a more social, mobile, always-on and data-driven environment. Data is only as valuable as one's ability to leverage it, and the tyre optimisation application enables Williams to gain better insights on the performance of its tyres so that the team can make better decisions about things like when to do a pit stop, improve car design, etc.

What are Avanade's plans for Malaysia - as well as the Asean region - in the next year or so?

One of IDC's top 10 predictions for Malaysia in 2015 is that technology innovation will continue to accelerate, while the growing adoption of third platform technologies - cloud, big data/analytics, social, mobile - is increasingly disrupting the ICT landscape. IDC also highlights that Malaysian organisations are faced with the need to transform while steering past heightening economic pressures in 2015. The research firm also predicts that over 30 per cent of CMOs will take a more proactive approach on technology to meet KPIs that are increasingly measured by customer outcomes.

In line with these market trends, our objective for Avanade's business in Malaysia is to continue to be recognised as the most trusted digital and cloud innovator in the Microsoft ecosystem. We want to help companies envision future opportunities and drive digital transformation within their businesses to improve and differentiate their business, bring innovative products and services to market, and drive new experiences for customers.

Key target verticals for Avanade in the region include financial services, telecommunications and resources, as we see that these are the industries that has the fastest growth and demand for enabling excellent customer experiences.

Regarding individual projects, what I can say is that we have a number of interesting current and upcoming projects in progress. We are seeing particularly high demand for our managed services, AX and CRM expertise, which are helping our clients to drive ongoing innovation and customer engagement in their businesses.

Also, we believe Avanade is recognised as the leading innovator in the Microsoft ecosystem, with world-class expertise in cloud and digital. For example, Avanade Malaysia was recently named as overall winner at the Sitecore Experience Awards 2014 in Asia for our work building the Ooredoo Myanmar website. Avanade has actually the most Sitecore implementations on Microsoft Azure worldwide, and collectively our people hold more than 24,000 Microsoft certifications. 

Lastly, Avanade helps customers realise results in a digital world through business technology solutions, cloud and managed services that combine insight, innovation and expertise focused on Microsoft technologies. Our people have helped thousands of organisations in all industries improve business agility, employee productivity and customer loyalty. Avanade combines the collective business, technical and industry expertise of its worldwide network of experts with the rigor of an industrialised delivery model to provide high-quality solutions using proven and emerging technologies with flexible deployment models - on premises, cloud-based or outsourced.


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