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A CIO, CMO partnership in the fast lane

Byron Connolly | April 14, 2015
Why Williams Martini Racing’s CIO, Graeme Hackland and Avanade CMO, Stella Goulet are a winning combination

Avanade's CMO, Stella Goulet (left) with Williams Martini Racing’s CIO, Graeme Hackland

In late 2014, Williams Martini Racing signed Avanade as its technical partner, in a multi-year agreement that has seen both companies work closely to create a new website among other projects for the 2015 Formula One race season.

In fact, Williams Martini Racing's CIO, Graeme Hackland and Avanade's CMO, Stella Goulet, have helped build a pipeline of 50 digital, 'cloud-first' projects around the world.

"Marketing for the website is the first area," says Hackland. "At the end of this initial phase, we recruited an internal team within Williams who can run with it and we bring in Avanade to help us with some of the specialist portals and content that we want to create," he says.

Both execs worked together to ensure the new website was turned around in six weeks.

"We need the media to be able to get in and get access to content that we generate at races around the world. We use it as our main means of getting news out from the team. We use it more for fans, which is probably where we haven't had as much traction with the older website," Hackland says.

Williams Martini Racing is also working with Avanade to digitise workflow across the organisation in areas like human resources, says Hackland. The company has rolled out SharePoint Online, and moved from Lotus Notes to Office 365 and Microsoft Lync to improve information flow across the organisation.

Currently, Williams Martini Racing puts half of the resources it receives from Avanade towards its performance engineering applications -- the apps it uses at the track to improve the performance of its F1 cars.

The first app -- a tyre optimisation solution - went live during last month's F1 race in Melbourne. The app provides engineers with statistics around the performance of tyres and how long they are expected to last.

"It's all about [using technology] to make the car quicker... and Avanade is helping me deliver [these slolutions]," says Hackland.

Williams Martini Racing needs to create new products after every race and roll out agile services faster than most companies.

Hackland says that race-by-race during the 2015 season, Williams Martini Racing will add functionality to its technology platforms using a proper testing regime, which the organisation has not had in place previously.

"We need to bring in a lot of expertise around software development testing and move towards automated testing. Avanade is helping us with that," says Hackland.

"In the past, we haven't always focused on the user and their experience. That's something that both companies are really focused on producing. We've had a UX designer come in and help us with that.


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