Techies Love Race Cars

By William Wappler, CEO and President, Surgere

Not long ago, and still somewhat true today, racing was the advertising domain of oil companies, tire manufacturers, automotive manufacturers, and traditional industry. Race fans had a demographic that was well understood and coveted, and advertising dollars were extremely focused. 

Fast forward to 2020
But wait…I’m a software guy. Our company, Surgere, is a global leader in providing a highly sophisticated technology used to capture IoT data throughout supply chains. Why in the world have we become so interested in a partnership with Andretti and the world of IndyCar? How have our software engineers, project managers, and other technical staff become engrossed in a sport that was far removed from their past (except as gamers)? And, most importantly for us, why have our clients become tightly connected with our journey into IndyCar?

The answer is both simple and yet a window into the complex nature of today’s racing. The simple answer, Andretti creates, consumes, and analyzes vast amounts of data to compete. IndyCar is an exercise in the use of many interwoven sciences. Techies love it. A more complex conversation centers around the emotional connection created between today’s racing teams and the technology paradigm. After all, we look alike. 

Constant communication drives success as data is continually changing on the track as well as it does throughout the supply chain. In racing and in technology, highly specialized team members come together in groups to solve problems and position the team to win. Competition is based on many layers of expertise. The driver or Surgere’s “data scientist”, visually represents a deep, well organized, tight-knit unit, coming together as a single entity. To us, they are us. 

Racing fans love the competition.

We know that racing fans build strong bonds with their favorite drivers, for Surgere and our clients, that’s Marco. The #98 car is extremely special to us; in fact, it’s my favorite video-conferencing background right now! Not only has it been fun following Marco and the entire Andretti team, but it’s been exciting to show some of our friends how racing is a must-try experience for all. We’ve had clients and employees who have never been to a race, who fully dive in and enjoy everything racing has to offer.

Overall, my education, surprise, and enjoyment stems from watching the blending of cultures. Being part of a growing family of “gear heads” and “techies” is an exciting and wonderful world. Surgere couldn’t be more pleased to become part of Andretti and IndyCar. I personally have come to the realization that when our technological folks watch #98 race …we’re looking in a mirror.