In every business decision he makes, Thomas Mayer, Chief Operating Officer of Renault Sport Formula One Team has a key question: Will this make our cars faster? Sure, you'd expect decisions about materials and design to impact the speed of Renault's top-tier race cars. But enterprise resource planning tools? It's not the first thing that comes to mind.
In a recent conversation I had with Thomas, he explained why Microsoft Dynamics AX, a cloud ERP service built on and for Azure, is a clear fit for some of the world’s fastest cars and his company. "Dynamics AX is a hosted cloud-based system so I don’t have to worry about infrastructure and can shift my IT resources to do other work—more performance-related work," Thomas told me. "This directly correlates with the performance of the car because I spend the money on the car and not IT systems. Combined, it has a very significant impact.”
Renault Sport Formula One Team is no stranger to Microsoft technology—they’ve been using both Microsoft software and hardware such as Office, SharePoint, the Surface Pro tablet and Lumia phones for a few years. But the team recognized it was time for a complete transition to the cloud, starting with Dynamics AX.
We worked closely with Thomas and Renault Sport Formula One Team not only as a customer, but also as development partner through the creation of the new Dynamics AX. They were one of the first customers to test out the new Dynamics AX service and they proved to be a great fit and test case for us. In addition to diverting valuable resources from IT, Microsoft Dynamics AX helps Thomas accomplish his goals by supplying intuitive analytics in a user-friendly interface available on his phone and in the cloud. These capabilities allow him to keep a constant pulse on his business wherever he is in the world.
Renault Sport Formula One Team is an example of a complete end-to-end business, from manufacturing to retail to everything in-between. They also have a unique need—speed. Renault Sport Formula One Team needs to get their products and services ready and out to market a faster than nearly any other business, and they do it while the world is watching. As a result, efficient business decisions are integral to the company’s success.
With Dynamics AX’s seamless integration of Power BI, Skype, Yammer, and other facets of Office 365, Thomas can effortlessly analyze data in real time to determine whether an investment, partnership or strategy will be profitable. "We need to always make decisions about how we apply the funds best," he said. "That's where AX helps us a lot, because now we can make a qualified decision in terms of 'Do we want to invest in this kind of important project, or this kind?' and then track the cost against it. We've never been able to do this before."
Dynamics AX also delivers a sleek user interface that works like other familiar applications, making implementation simple. "It's a very new way of engaging the user," Thomas said. "It's a user interface that you're very much used to because it's browser based, so it's something [users] know from their daily life . . . they want to work this way because it's the way they are most comfortable working."
But a superb user interface isn’t enough. Today’s leaders also need to be able access ERP systems on their phones and in the cloud—two factors that directly influenced Thomas’s decision to use Dynamics AX.
This flexibility is part of a long-term strategy to make Dynamics AX relevant to the modern business leader. As the world becomes more mobile, phones are increasingly used for work as well as personal use. To meet business leaders where they are, a lot of the work we’ve done around Dynamics AX has focused on how to enable people to access information and more importantly, run processes on mobile device just as they would on a desktop computer.
From Thomas's perspective, Dynamics AX not only fills a need, but also opens up new possibilities for his company. "It's something people want—they see a business benefit because it gives them a lot of different opportunities to work which they were never able to work before," he said. "There's a very big demand from the user, from our side, to get this new version up and running."
I’m excited about the delivering the capability to people so they are able to get business insight when and where they need it. This week we published the first two Power BI content packs for businesses at www.powerbi.com. These first content packs are: (1) Financial Performance and (2) Retail Channel Performance. Users can select the desired content pack from the services catalogue and deploy in minutes, so try it out for yourselves today.
This is the latest in a series of blogs leading up to the new Microsoft Dynamics AX virtual launch. To learn more about how the latest cloud release of the Microsoft enterprise ERP solution can help take your business to the next level, register today to attend the virtual launch. For more information about Microsoft Dynamics AX visit, www.microsoft.com/dynamics/ax.
Past posts in the series: