From pit stop to checkered flag—NASCAR drives productivity through cloud-based IT innovation

Today’s post was written by Stephen Byrd, director of Technology Integration and Development at NASCAR.

NASCAR pro pixIn the midst of the deafening noise and speed of a NASCAR race, even mundane tasks like changing a tire become heroic. It’s the same with the technology we employ; simple tasks like collaborating on documents and sharing files support the essential teamwork that is at the core of the NASCAR enterprise. When the Technology Integration and Development team at NASCAR chose Microsoft Office 365, we knew we had found a platform that would simplify how we produce the exciting sporting events that are the NASCAR legacy. Today, we are about 25 percent migrated to Office 365, including SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business.

To say our business is mobile is an understatement; NASCAR holds 38 events a year all over the country. This means setting up the compound infrastructure, arranging catering and coordinating travel for our employees. For 10 months of the year, we are a traveling circus. It’s a huge undertaking, and it’s crucial that all the aspects of our operation run smoothly. In the past, the logistics of coordinating these events came down to printing out huge runbooks and relying on email to make sure everyone had the correct information before race day. That has fundamentally changed with the introduction of Office 365 and, specifically, SharePoint Online collaboration team sites. Using SharePoint Online, we created a brand-new intranet called Inside Track that employees use to collaborate simultaneously on documents, update spreadsheets in real-time and securely access the information they need on the road or from the track. Productivity is at a peak level in the company, and we’re setting up new races with maximum efficiency.

The company is also piloting Microsoft Teams to take chat-based teamwork to the next level. We have lofty expectations that Microsoft Teams can handle the extremely fast-paced collaboration that must happen trackside and in the pit. For example, we are interested to see if we can use Microsoft Teams to ascertain if a penalty has been handed out, rather than hopping on a radio channel or the phone.

Our fast-paced industry is unique, but NASCAR’s security concerns are much like those of any large enterprise. After doing our due diligence, we felt confident that the Microsoft cloud-based products were among the best in their class when it came to cloud security. We are confident that with Office 365 and a custom app built in PowerApps, we can easily manage data access for all of our employees and hundreds of freelance contractors to ensure everyone gets the information they need to get their work done.

The Technology Integration and Development team at NASCAR was born out of a single question: How do we empower the business to get more done? We chose Office 365, with its mobile-first, cloud-first benefits, to give our employees the best tools for working at the office or at the track. Putting a race together requires the same coordinated teamwork you see in the pit, and with Office 365 and SharePoint Online, we’re driving productivity into a new era of time- and cost-savings. That’s great news for NASCAR.

—Stephen Byrd

For more on NASCAR’s race toward efficiency, read the full case study.