Rac­ing Up with Dig­i­tal Trans­for­ma­tion

In an in­dus­try where ev­ery mil­lisec­ond counts, here’s how Mi­crosoft’s dig­i­tal tech­nolo­gies are help­ing Re­nault Sports to win; both on and off track

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For­mula One is one of the most watched sport­ing event glob­ally, with over 1.6 bil­lion cu­mu­la­tive au­di­ence a year. It is a sport that per­sis­tently pushes the lim­its of its peo­ple, pro­cesses, cars, and driv­ers in or­der to out­per­form its com­peti­tors.

In 2016, Re­nault de­cided to get back into team own­er­ship to par­tic­i­pate in the For­mula One races round the world. Sports rac­ing is no longer about the car and its tech­nol­ogy. The im­pact of in­for­ma­tion tech­nol­ogy has re­de­fined the game.

Re­nault’s cor­po­rate lit­er­a­ture states:

“At the end of 2015 Re­nault an­nounced it would re­turn to team own­er­ship.

For 2016, the Re­nault name once again raced in F1

as a full man­u­fac­tur er en­try, un­der the Re­nault Sport For­mula One Team ban­ner as part of a min­i­mum nineyear com­mit­ment to the sport with as­pi­ra­tions to once more re­turn to the top step of the podium and chal­lenge for cham­pi­onships.”

As a chal­lenger brand, Re­nault Sport For­mula One Team re­lies heav­ily on tech­nol­ogy to help sim­plify pro­cesses, ease work­flows and ul­ti­mately en­able its en­gi­neer­ing team to bet­ter plan and re­port on per­for­mances of the car on track. 2017 is the first year the com­pany built its own R.S. 17 car as one sin­gle en­tity, and the goal is to break into the top three, in three years’ time.

Mi­crosoft has been work­ing with Re­nault Sport For­mula One Team since 2012, when pre­vi­ously it was known as Lo­tus F1 Team. Said Si­mon Davies, Vice Pres­i­dent for Mi­crosoft Busi­ness So­lu­tions, Mi­crosoft Asia, “The goal of the part­ner­ship was for the race team to op­ti­mize their busi­ness pro­cesses and in­crease op­er­a­tional ef­fi­ciency, im­prove qual­ity, and en­able a per­for­mance-driven ap­proach by max­i­miz­ing the im­pact of tech­nol­ogy.”

In ef­fect, Mi­crosoft has been the key part­ner to Re­nault Sports Rac­ing in its dig­i­tal trans­for­ma­tion. Said Pierre d’Im­bl­e­val, CIO, Re­nault Sport For­mula One Team, “For an in­dus­try where ev­ery mil­lisec­ond counts, we need to tap on the power of dig­i­tal in or­der to win; both on and off track. And for the Re­nault Sport For­mula One Team, dig­i­tal trans­for­ma­tion is rac­ing ahead at full throt­tle. Mi­crosoft plays a huge role in this trans­for­ma­tion.”

Re­nault Sports Rac­ing’s part­ner­ship with Mi­crosoft in­volves four key tech­nolo­gies: Dynamics 365, Azure, Power BI, and Of­fice 365.

With Mi­crosoft Cloud’s busi­ness ap­pli­ca­tion tools such as Power BI and Dynamics 365, the team has been able to flag in­ef­fi­cien­cies in its man­u­fac­tur­ing pro­cesses. It has also en­abled the team to garner de­tailed in­sights on ev­ery­thing from costs and staffing to ma­te­rial or­ders. Our team has seen an ef­fi­ciency im­prove­ment of 20% dur­ing the man­u­fac­tur­ing process, from de­sign to stor­age, for se­lected parts, said Pierre. He adds, “More im­por­tantly, any small im­prove­ments that we can make to stream­line our op­er­a­tions and pro­cesses can snow­ball into huge gains on the tracks.”

Use of Mi­crosoft Cloud has been a game-changer for Re­nault. Sports rac­ing is data in­ten­sive. Pierre says that on a race week­end, the cars gen­er­ate more than 35 bil­lion data points equiv­a­lent to about 30GB of data; their su­per­com­puter gen­er­ates 60TB of data per week – that’s enough stor­age for 25,000 hours’ worth of movies.

With Mi­crosoft Cloud, Re­nault team is now able to an­a­lyze sets of data re­trieved from the race cars on the track in real-time to max­i­mize race sim­u­la­tions. In­sights can be im­me­di­ately re­trieved and fur­ther an­a­lyzed by

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