Red Bull

Increasing skills and maintaining productivity throughout an Office 2010 upgrade project.

The Client

Inspired by functional drinks from the Far East, Dietrich Mateschitz founded Red Bull in the mid 1980’s. He created the formula of Red Bull Energy Drink and developed the unique marketing concept of Red Bull. In 1987, on April 1, Red Bull Energy Drink was sold for the very first time in its home market Austria. This was not only the launch of a completely new product, in fact it was the birth of a totally new product category. Today Red Bull is available in 171 countries and over 68 billion cans of Red Bull have been consumed so far.

“I’ve been in IT for nearly 20 years and I hadn’t realised the level of expertise our field sales reps require in the areas of Microsoft Office. A lot of the time our staff didn’t realise that they were doing things in an inefficient manner.”

Steve Soloman, National IT Manager | ANZ

The Challenge

When Steve Soloman, the National IT Manager for Red Bull ANZ, was instructed by his corporate head office to standardise the local offices on the latest versions of Microsoft’s Office Suite (Office 2010) and Client Operating System (Windows 7) he was presented with a significant challenge. With nearly 20 years of experience in IT, he knew the technical component of the upgrade would be easily managed by his team, however, he was concerned with the impact that the change would have on Red Bull’s end-user productivity.

Having tested the latest versions of the software, Steve understood the dramatic differences between the two interfaces and realised that there would be a steep learning curve involved for Red Bull staff members to become proficient with the newer versions. With a large portion of Red Bull’s workforce dedicated to frontline sales roles, the potential impact of lost productivity due to the software upgrade posed a significant risk to the organisation’s top line revenue.

Steve stated “Office 2010 had such a significantly different interface it would have drastically reduced the business’ productivity. Not only would it have increased the amount of time our IT staff dedicated towards support related queries, but more importantly, it could have crippled the business’ ability to function as a well oiled machine.”

In the early stages of engagement, New Horizons worked with Red Bull to conduct a skills analysis of all staff members by assessing their skills within the current version of Microsoft Office installed on PCs and devices at Red Bull. To the surprise of Red Bull, the results from the skills analysis were less than glowing, and demonstrated a deficiency in the organisation’s overall workplace efficiency with Microsoft Office.

With the Windows 7 and Office 2010 upgrade scheduled for mid- 2011, Red Bull was presented an ideal opportunity to not only update staff skills to the latest version of Microsoft Office, but to also improve the overall depth of staff knowledge and expertise within the applications.


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“Without the Microsoft Office transition training
provided by New Horizons, our business could
have been crippled.”

Steve Soloman, National IT Manager | ANZ

The Solution

In working with Red Bull, New Horizons identified three critical factors required for the outcomes of the training to be considered a success.

The training programs needed to:

  1. Include customised course content which was related specifically to the Red Bull business.
  2. Address key topics and skills which their competitors would likely be training their staff, so that they would remain competitive.
  3. Utilise Microsoft’s recommended skills framework to ensure the content covered was in line with standards for end user efficiency within the Office applications.

With these learning goals in mind, New Horizons utilised the results from the skills analysis to develop a two-stage customised training program which successfully addressed Red Bull’s staff training needs.

The first stage of the training program was a national rollout of ‘basic level’ dedicated courses delivered to 170 staff members across Red Bull’s various offices throughout Australia. The aim of these sessions was to provide staff members with the core Microsoft Office 2010 skills required to be productive and efficient within their roles.

The second stage of the training program was designed to provide key individuals within the organisation who were identified to be most suitable to act as ‘power users’ within the business.

Red Bull’s goal was to create a stronger internal support system by providing designated employees with advanced level Microsoft Office skills to enable them to provide localised support when required.

“For me the entire project was a success. There’s nothing more that New Horizons could have done to have improved the outcome.”

Steve Soloman, National IT Manager | ANZ

The Outcome

A Smooth Transition

Through the development and delivery of customised training programs, Red Bull was not only able to successfully upgrade with minimal impact on workplace productivity, but also improve the overall level of staff skill within the Microsoft suite of Office applications.

Standardised Skills

By delivering a series of dedicated training sessions across their Australian offices, Red Bull has been able to provide a nationally consistent set of baseline Microsoft Office skills that each and every employee possesses.

Peace of Mind

Leveraging New Horizons’ extensive expertise as a training provider, Red Bull was able to experience an enhanced ease of training management and peace of mind throughout the project. Steve Soloman stated “Red Bull is a very lean organisation so being able to hand the project off to New Horizons and not have to be heavily involved throughout the delivery of the training was a perfect fit.”