Sailing into the future: How SailGP and Oracle NetSuite are changing the game for high-tech racing leagues

As the high-speed and high-performance SailGP event in Singapore prepares to kick off on January 14th, Oracle NetSuite has revealed how the global racing league is using its ERP software to navigate the financial waters of multiple countries. 

With SailGP’s goal to double the league’s size over the next two years, the organisation sees Oracle NetSuite as a crucial part of its long-term success strategy.

SailGP is using NetSuite to streamline its financial reporting and improve forecasting, so it can stay on top of its financial performance. The platform enables SailGP to address its tax and reporting requirements in the countries it operates in, giving them a more accurate view of its cash flow and automating its supplier payment processes, which is essential for a growing organisation like SailGP.

The platform also allowed SailGP to automate its financial and accounting processes, reducing the need for manual data entry and minimising the risk of errors. As a result, SailGP was able to focus on growing the league and achieving its mission while having a robust system in place to manage its financial operations.

Journey to the top

Founded by Oracle Chairman and CTO Larry Ellison and renowned sailor Sir Russell Coutts, SailGP is a high-tech racing league that is in its third season. The league features nine national teams competing in identical F50 foiling catamarans. 

Credit: Wikimedia Commons

When SailGP first launched in 2018, it had a clear goal: to revolutionise professional sailing through a new global racing league. The boats would be faster, events would be held throughout the year, and the league would be fan-centric, in contrast to the past’s infrequent and closed-off sailing events.

In its inaugural season, SailGP had six international teams competing in five events held in some of the world’s most iconic harbours. Each event featured equally matched hydrofoiling catamarans that were capable of reaching speeds of up to 60 mph. To enhance the fan experience, SailGP team used Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) to process 240,000 data points per second from thousands of sensors attached to the catamarans. This allowed spectators to watch the video coverage and engage with real-time race metrics and have a more interactive experience.

SailGP’s use of OCI technology allowed them to analyse the performance of each team, the wind conditions and the racecourse. This helped the SailGP team to make informed decisions and improve the overall sailing experience for the fans.

The technology also helped SailGP gain more insights into the sport, which can be used to develop new strategies and improve the teams’ performance.

SailGP’s use of technology like Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) and real-time data analysis has helped the league become more fan-centric, interactive and engaging. This clearly indicates how technology is changing the way we experience sports and how organisations can use technology to improve the overall fan experience.

SailGP has grown rapidly since its inception, with an increasingly international event schedule, multiple boat-building facilities, and a growing commercial division focused on designing and manufacturing their boats. With this rapid growth, they needed a system that would streamline their global financial functions and help increase efficiencies to support their expansion plans.

As SailGP has grown, with an increasingly international event schedule, multiple boat-building facilities, and a growing commercial division focused on the design and manufacturing of their boats, they needed a system that would streamline their global financial functions and help increase efficiencies to support their expansion plans. 

Credit: Wikimedia Commons

To address this challenge and gain real-time visibility into their operations, automate core business processes, and enhance decision-making, SailGP selected Oracle NetSuite. With NetSuite, SailGP was able to centralise its financial data and automate its financial processes, improving the accuracy and visibility of its financial information, which is crucial for forecasting, budgeting, and making informed business decisions. 

How NetSuite powers SailGP

NetSuite’s platform allows SailGP to manage its financial operations in multiple countries from one central location, making it easier to track revenue, expenses, and cash flow across different regions, currencies, and languages. NetSuite also gives SailGP better control over its inventory, sales, and customer relationship management, which is essential for a growing organisation like SailGP.

SailGP’s Director of Finance, Julie Boyd, stated that “data is critical to both the race crews and internal teams on that journey”, and that “with our targets come a need for tight control of finances, compliance, cash flow visibility, and insight to advise the business where to navigate next.

SailGP also uses Oracle Stream Analytics and Oracle Cloud Infrastructure to capture and transmit data from 30,000 data points to deliver real-time racing metrics that allow teams to build their optimal in-race strategy on the water, and amplify the viewing experience for fans.

Visit NetSuite’s blog and case study to read more about how SailGP uses NetSuite for smooth sailing in the back office.

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