Leading IT-services company DXC Technology (NYSE:DXC) and longtime racing stalwart Team Penske recently joined forces at the New York Stock Exchange to unveil DXC’s 2018 Indy car. DXC CEO Mike Lawrie was joined by Roger Penske, founder and chairman of Penske Corporation, as well as the driver, Simon Pagenaud, to speak about technology, what brought them all together, and the importance of their partnership.
How does the DXC Technology-Team Penske relationship benefit both companies, from both sponsorship/visibility and business/performance point of views?
ML: It’s a beneficial partnership in a lot of ways. We get to be associated with one of the world’s best and most revered brands. There’s a lot of visibility and awareness value that comes when people all over the world talk about DXC and Penske in the same sentence. Secondly, we have learned from Team Penske over the course of this relationship. Penske is an organization built around performance excellence, and the use of technology to drive that performance. It’s a win-win, and lots of fun.
RP: My mind goes back to 1988, when part of DXC Technology was called Electronic Data Systems, or EDS at the time. The company provided the backbone of all our manufacturing processes, and Mike and his team really helped us build our business up from the fundamentals. From our perspective, the technology solutions are the key, and they support everything we do from customer service systems to security to internal team tools like conference bridge lines. One thing I’ve learned over time is that few organizations are able to do everything themselves, so we look for partners like DXC that will fill those gaps.
ML: I’d also add that winning is contagious…you want to be associated with winners, to learn from them and apply that knowledge so you can continue to improve every day.
Mike, how has the Team Penske relationship helped establish and promote the relatively new DXC brand to your key audiences?
ML: It has helped in two ways. First externally, from the customer branding and awareness standpoint that I mentioned before. But it has also played an important role in building our internal brand. We have 150,000 employees around the world and, for us to be truly successful, all of them have to base their work around a set of shared cultural values and understandings. The Penske relationship is hugely important, as it’s something we can all rally around, get excited about and we can all be very proud.
Roger, what has DXC’s partnership brought to Team Penske and your business, and the value of technology innovation in racing?
RP: Working with DXC gives us access to technologies and innovations that would be far harder for us to find and leverage on our own. Theoretically, you could go out and buy those innovative technologies, but the true value is really found in their implementation and DXC has helped us maximize that. The company been an incredible partner over the years and we’re looking forward to building on to our relationship into the future.
What can you tell us about the new vehicle?
RP: The car was in development for about two years, and a couple of things stand out for me. First, the aero-kit construction has made the car much more predictable for our drivers. There is less downforce, which gives the drivers better control and puts them more “in the seat,” so to speak. Second, we’re controlling costs. Building a car used to cost $400,000 - $500,000, but the aero-kit runs about $120,000. This is a big difference maker for us - a superior driving experience at a lower cost point.
Mike, DXC is about a year old now. What lessons have you and the team learned since the company’s debut?
ML: It’s been a lot of hard work to bring the team together, but all of the benefits we thought would accrue from the business combination have been showing themselves. Today, we’re an agile, ambitious and innovative company, and we’re very excited about the future.
NYSE Interview: Simon Pagenaud
What are your thoughts on driving for Team Penske and representing DXC Technology?
SP: It has been my dream since I was a little kid. I have always looked up to Roger and the Penske team. Coming from Europe, I first got interested in Formula 1, and Ferrari was the leader there. Then when I fell in love with IndyCar, to me Penske was at the top of the list. When I got the phone call to drive for the team, it was the best day of my life.
I know with this team I’m always going to get their full support. I’ll get the best training and equipment and, because of that, I know that in every race I have a chance to win. Then you add in the partnership with DXC, which gives us access to essential data and analytics that come from the car, and it’s a win-win for everyone.
Your profession depends on skill, excellence and technology innovation---how do these apply to you, personally, in planning, preparation and on the track?
SP: There are months of preparation that go in before every race. Along with hours and hours of practice on the track, I also have to make sure I’m physically, mentally and emotionally ready for the race. It’s interesting because visualization has always been a key component of preparation for me and the DXC partnership provides that in a practical sense. Because of the data they enable us to get from the car, we know so much more about it and can visualize how it will perform in any given circumstance.
What are your expectations for the upcoming IndyCar season?
SP: Team Penske is going to be a contender – that is the mindset we go into every race with. We have a really strong team - all three of us are champions and I’m really excited about this year. We’ve worked very hard over the winter and I can’t wait to see what we’re going to do together in 2018.