Singapore F1: Once-in-a-Lifetime Opportunity with ShoreTel
It was pretty exciting to get the news earlier this year that ShoreTel had signed a partnership with the Williams F1 Racing Team. Why? Because it was just a few short months before the F1 was due in ShoreTel’s Asia-Pacific head office city for the Singapore Grand Prix, and now ShoreTel was part of the action.
There’s no bigger event than the F1 in Singapore – well, apart from Chinese New Year and Singapore National Day of course! With the circuit winding through the city and most of the racing done at night, it’s a massive spectacle and a great opportunity for business networking.
This year, as a Williams F1 Team partner, we had the opportunity not just to attend the race, but to get a real insiders’ view of the whole event.
On the first day of racing, I was lucky enough to get the ShoreTel ticket, together with the principals of three of our biggest partners in Asia: Jonathan Juay from Transition Systems; RJ Pangilinan from SkySoft; and David Ng from Dacon.
In the late afternoon, the four of us met outside Gate 8, which is the same entrance that the F1 drivers use, so we entered the circuit like we were famous, pushing our way through hundreds of reporters and fans to enter the gate.
Once inside, we were met by Billy Coulson from Williams F1 Team hospitality, who took us through VIP and Driver Security checks to the Williams partner lounge for refreshments. Both Williams drivers - Pastor Maldonado and Valtteri Bottas – were in there as well, getting a pep talk and discussing race tactics with team management. In fact, Valtteri was good enough to join us for a group photo.
Then it was down to the Williams garage for a tour of the team’s operations and an explanation of all the logistics involved in moving the team and all the equipment around the world every two weeks. Of course, that includes Williams’ ShoreTel communication system, and I caught a glimpse of some ShoreTel equipment’s lights blinking in one of the racks. With security and secrecy paramount in the operations centre, unfortunately I wasn’t allowed to take any photos!
After the ops centre and garage tour, and a photo opportunity with the cars and equipment, we had to let the drivers get ready for the first practice session, so we headed up to the Sky Suite to enjoy a meal and watch the action from a table overlooking the track.
The whole event really was one of those once-in-a-lifetime experiences, and a great way to discuss business with some really important ShoreTel partners. I’m really looking forward to going again to next year’s Singapore Grand Prix.