The FIA Formula 1 World Championship is the most widely watched sport in the world, complete with exotic venues, glamorous spectators, and competitors running some of the fastest circuit-racing cars made.   With 20 races in 2012, six former World Champions on the grid, and close to 2 billion people following the sport, this is looking to be an exhilarating season!

As you may have seen in the news and social media last week, we're proud to announce Microsoft Dynamics business solutions has been chosen to partner with the world championship winning Lotus F1 Team to help optimize their business processes, improve quality, and enable a performance-driven approach to their racing operations.

Lotus F1 knows better than anyone that this is a sport where every single thousandth of a second counts.  Even the smallest parts of a car go through constant enhancements in design, aerodynamic optimization, and structural strengthening.  Thousands of evolutionary designs are created during the racing season based on terabytes of logged data, wind tunnel tests, and computerized simulations running on cutting-edge super computers.  Bringing out innovations faster and better than competitors creates an intense sense of urgency in the organization, where a process from design conceptualization, procurement, manufacturing, testing, and deployment to the car is often counted in days and is critical to the success of the team on the track.

From a business perspective, the consistent year-on-year performance and track results of the Lotus F1 team are also tied to significant income from television rights and new sponsors.  In few other businesses does the term "time is money" fit better than in the sport of Formula 1, where success is directly related to attracting more people and more business opportunities from around the world.

Managing a time sensitive operation like Lotus F1 requires that the people in the organization are equipped with the right set of tools-tools that are powerful, agile, and give people the information they need to do their jobs effectively anywhere and on any device.  The Lotus F1 team is a true testament to our Dynamic Business vision and how one customer uses these tools to not only run a successful enterprise, but to win races and beat the competition.

During a recent visit to the team's headquarters in Enstone, UK I had the opportunity to experience this first hand.  Lotus F1 runs an extremely innovative hi-tech manufacturing plant and has made significant investments in research, design, development, manufacturing, quality assurance and logistics.  What's even more impressive is that this investment is complimented by a full merchandising business, customer and vendor relationship management, and much more.  This is exactly the type of environment where Microsoft Dynamics excels and helps our customers achieve their best work. 

We're extremely proud that Microsoft Dynamics will become a sponsor for the Lotus F1 Team, where our brand will be prominently featured on its 2012 E20 Model car, drivers' uniforms and more.  We look forward to sharing more about the partnership at Microsoft Convergence 2012 in Houston, this week, where one of the Lotus F1 cars is on display for our record number of attendees.  More importantly, we wish our new partner, Lotus F1 Team, the best of luck and continued success in the 2012 season with former world champion Kimi Räikkönen and young protégé Romain Grosjean leading the charge!

Christian Pedersen

General Manager, Enterprise Applications & Services