Dick Johnson Racing (formerly DJR Team Penske), racing as the Shell V-Power Racing Team, is one of Australia’s most successful and longest operating motorsports teams. Founded by Dick Johnson, and co-owned by Ryan Story, the team competes in the Australian Touring Car/Supercars Championships.
Besides being an engineering company, the Shell V-Power Racing Team is also in the entertainment business, delivering corporate hospitality experiences for its fans while racing extensively across Australia and New Zealand.
Like the broader economy, technology is revolutionizing motor racing, with teams constantly searching for the ultimate performance edge. Continuing to modernize business operations and processes while leveraging data and analytics is essential for success. DXC Technology is collaborating closely with the Shell V-Power Racing Team to take advantage of technology and deliver innovation for the business.
Like many organizations around the world, the global pandemic caused significant changes to the business of racing. Scheduling, transportation and travel became challenging for the Shell V-Power Racing Team, and with the change in ownership from the Penske Group, there was an immediate and critical need to create its own information technology ecosystem as part of the ownership transfer.
The Shell V-Power Racing Team had to transition from massive parent company Penske, employing over 60,000 people worldwide, to a much smaller workforce of around 50. As part of the separation agreement, everything from Penske’s ecosystem had to be securely migrated to a new Shell V-Power Racing Team ecosystem. In addition to establishing a new secure IT environment, the Shell V-Power Racing Team’s endpoints at the race shop, engineering workshop and the mobile trackside environment had to be upgraded.
While the diverse Shell V-Power Racing Team had previously worked in different ways using multiple systems, with the additional need to adhere to COVID restrictions, it was now essential to provide consolidated, flexible and robust systems to enable remote access in real time — allowing the team to work the way they needed to — securely from anywhere, on any device. A modern workplace solution was needed to enhance employee productivity and enable seamless communication and collaboration across all locations and platforms while guaranteeing high security and integrity of systems and data.
To understand the Shell V-Power Racing Team’s operations, DXC chose a team made up of auto racing enthusiasts. The DXC team spent time with select Shell V-Power Racing Team members and sat alongside engineers and mechanics in the pits at significant races, asking questions and identifying what needed to be done. One of DXC’s engineers even camped at Mount Panorama for the Bathurst 1000 touring car race, visiting the pits over the race weekend to experience first-hand what the Shell V-Power Racing Team go through during a race.
With just 50 people on the Shell V-Power Racing Team, it’s a diverse and tight-knit group, with most wearing many hats daily. From the mechanics in the pit lane focused on cars, to Story, with his long history of technology success founding his first computer company at the age of 12, to some of the less computer literate on the team — DXC adapted its approach to accommodate the varying technology skills of team members to support the unique business needs of the Shell V-Power Racing Team throughout the transition.
Work was undertaken in collaboration to enable the Shell V-Power Racing Team to take full control of its security and data management, and to streamline the processes used by engineers and mechanics to ensure optimal operational efficiency.
The work included the establishment of a Microsoft 365 tenant utilizing best practice for secure adoption of Microsoft Cloud and user experience. Data migration for Microsoft Messaging, SharePoint, OneDrive, OneNote, Teams and various workflow processes for 50 active users was completed.
Data from several archived users was also brought over to enable retention of intellectual property and allow a complete disengagement from Penske.
In addition, a review of compliance and information protection taxonomy was executed while the Shell V-Power Racing Team devices and services were onboarded to the new tenant. DXC advisory and consulting services for cloud service adoption were provided to maximize utilization of the new service.
With a broad range of users with many different devices and a high number of shared services, DXC migrated all Shell V-Power Racing Team’s applications into a managed apps environment allowing seamless deployment and use on various devices. The entire deployment and migration to the new environment was executed without interruption to the Shell V-Power Racing Team’s business of racing.
Commenting on DXC’s selection to complete the project, emeritus chairman and co-owner Ryan Story said, “The advantage of DXC is that they take the time to understand the problems that face a variety of different businesses and act quickly to ensure success. For us, that meant deployment of our own Microsoft 365 tenancy as well as other solutions in a manner that not only met our expectations but, in all aspects, exceeded them.”
Results and benefits
DXC built a personalized, intelligent, secure and modern workplace platform helping the Shell V-Power Racing Team to operate with speed, reduce costs and remove legacy licensing commitments, ensuring sustainable future success.
On completion, DXC handed over the project to the Shell V-Power Racing Team to self-manage, enabling the team’s continued self-sufficiency. As part of its ongoing commitment, DXC is always on hand to consult, support and proactively offer suggestions on relevant new technology innovations, and to pilot these opportunities.
Story commented, “The solution architecture that DXC provided is fundamental to our success and will continue moving forward. It’s important to future proof yourself as much as possible. Being in control of our own tenancy, and in that sense our own destiny, allows us to make changes on the fly as needed with the full support and backing of DXC every step of the way.”
From mobility solutions to corporate hospitality and technology solutions right across the board, the support provided by DXC will continue to enable the Shell V-Power Racing Team to keep on track, win races and maintain success.
Jim Naumovski, director of Applications for DXC in Asia Pacific and executive sponsor of the Shell V-Power Racing Team relationship, said, “As a technology company, DXC has access to, and associations with, many of the world’s leading technology organizations. Our long-standing partnership with the Shell V-Power Racing Team has evolved strategically in many positive ways. At the heart of the collaboration are the people our team works with, and the technology we jointly architect and deploy, allowing the Shell V-Power Racing Team to perform at their best. We continue to support the Shell V-Power Racing Team to maximize their full potential to help make the difference between losing and winning. New insights and technology development will continue to drive improvements in the business of racing and continue the development of the relationship beyond the racetrack.”
Story concluded, “Our relationship with DXC is a genuine partnership where both sides contribute to success. They are genuinely valued members of our team. DXC’s commitment to our project, their support levels, and the way they went about staging, planning and working with key stakeholders showcased their competencies and capabilities. Quite simply, DXC delivered on the brief more than I could possibly have hoped.”
With huge volumes of data generated when the team is on the racetrack, much of which is beamed back live to the pit crew, Story says there is more the Shell V-Power Racing Team can tap into. “When we’re in a race situation, we’re monitoring the performance and health of the car from fuel levels to the life cycle of the tires. That data analysis ensures we retain track position and put ourselves in the best position possible to win the race. So that’s our focus for the immediate future.”
Winning car races isn’t down to any one thing — it’s a multitude of things. Any company can gather data, but it’s what DXC can do to help maximize and utilize it that will help the Shell V-Power Racing Team remain competitive.