Wednesday, May 01, 2013

V8 SuperCars and an uncommon bedellow Microsoft Office365

Hi, this is Wayne Mansfield. I'm in this gear because I've just been over to Launceston in Tassie, to the V8 Supercars, as a guest of Microsoft Office 365. It was a fabulous weekend, but it got off to a bit of a rocky

I was travelling around, as you know I always do, so I'd been in the Middle East. I went to see my friends in London. Croz and Val Crossley, and we were talking about establishing our seminar business there. While there, this email pops up on my screen and it says... Hang on, I'll just get it and read it to you.

I wasn't sure if somebody was having a shot at me, but it says... Gee whiz, I'm so excited, now I've lost the thing. Here we go. It says, "As an authoritative voice on business in Australia, I wanted to touch base with you regarding the exciting opportunity, where we would like to invite you to The Tasmanian Microsoft Office 365 V8 Supercar race taking place on April 6 to 7 in Launceston."

Now as thoughts go, I've never had an invite from Microsoft. Here I am in London and one of my passions is the V8 cars. Matt and I have been to Bathurst I think five times. I just love the cars. So I sent it off to Matthew, who was still in Doha and he said: "You're going to have to think about saying 'yes' for this."

And in that sort of different time frame the lady from Ogilvy in Sydney says, "I hope you saw this one. We really want you to come." So I said, "Look, I'd love to come."

We went through all the processes and she said, "We're going to fly you from Perth to Launceston on the Friday."

Well, I had to get home quicker. I had to change my flights out of London to get home and she said, "There's no flights back to Perth on the Sunday night, so do you mind staying an extra day in Launceston on Sunday night? Microsoft will pick up the tab."

I said, "Great, but I've got a job in Sydney on Tuesday. What about you just drop me back to Sydney, I'll make my own way home? Because I've already got those tickets," which was a saving of a few dollars for
Microsoft. Everything seemed sweet.

So I was home enjoying Easter because that was the Easter weekend, and on the Monday, actually Tuesday, I thought I'd ring them up and see where my tickets and confirmation, and all that sort of stuff was.

This was what that delightful young girl said to me. I'm presuming she's young. I'm old, so she's probably young.

She said, "I've been advised we can't accommodate your request of change of travel."

And I'm thinking, "Oh, well. I'll have to fly back from Perth to Sydney on the same day." She said, "In fact, the client has capped the trip and withdrawn your invitation."

Here I am, all excited. I've rushed home from London. I've spoken to everybody and I've said, "Hell, I'm off to the V8 Supercars," all out the window. I said, "Beg your pardon? You've got me because I have an extensive social media network and presumably you wanted me to say good things. Now you're withdrawing the invitation, after you've gotten me to change plans at no little expense and a lot of mucking around. I did want to go to the race and you've changed it."

She replies, "I'm sorry. We'll invite you next time." I said, "Look, just be sure that if you invited me because I could give you good vibes, maybe I could do the opposite." Anyway, on deaf ears that was.

Have you ever tried to talk to somebody from Ogilvy or Microsoft or any of those large companies?

No phone numbers. If you ring them, they're in meetings. The emails bounce. Microsoft doesn't have emails, for heaven's sake! I sat down and plotted my path at social media. I found the Twitter address for the big, big boss of Microsoft, Australia. I wrote a couple of emails and I set out without the emotion, because I was fuming, because I really wanted to go

I had told everybody I was going. To say, "Oh, well it's all changed?" Anyhow 10 o'clock on Tuesday night, I get a Tweet from the head of Microsoft. A delightful lady I've found out since, saying that "I'm in New
Zealand on family business. What's the problem? How can we fix it?" That means she was up at 3:00 o'clock in the morning because there's a five hour difference.

So during the next five or six hours all was fixed and we went to Tasmania. They looked after me fabulously well, the races were just spectacular. How Office 365 is being used by V8 Supercars is just extraordinary, so we got to look at the back of the event. We got to look at all the bits and pieces and another update. I will share with you how V8 Supercars were able to fix a crumbling IT infrastructure with Microsoft's Cloud version of Office, and all the other bits and pieces. I'm playing with it.

I'm sure that as we move forward, there will be lots of people on my advice, move over to Office 365. But while we're at it, "Thanks very much to Microsoft for the invite. Sorry, to the young lass at Ogilvy, Maxine,
for giving you a hard time, thanks to Pip, the big boss at Microsoft for fixing it." And there's some great stuff to come out of this, so keep your eye on my blog. I'll be talking about it for a while.

Now I'm wearing the colors on my chest and on my sleeve; by heavens do they ever make a dollar; I went up on the mountain. The hill, not the mountain, I'm thinking about Bathurst. I'm up on the hill to have a look at the merchandising area; $35 for the cap, $75 for the t-shirt, and they were selling out, they were absolutely selling out. So until next time when I give you a bit of an update on the V8, but more importantly on how you can use MicroSoft Office 365, this is Wayne Mansfield signing up and saying, "See you on the mountain."