May 19, 2020

How can adding a little color help your business grow?

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2 min
How can adding a little color help your business grow?

Depending on your age, you may have entered the business world during a time where executives relied on business cards to exchange important information regarding job titles, positions and how to stay in contact. Do you remember? Go back several years when smartphones and LinkedIn didn’t exist. Perhaps networking and attending events wasn’t as necessary then, but you still most likely never left the office without a card or two to give to potential colleges, right? If you still enjoy the old school ways of staying in touch, then we have good news for you: business cars aren’t dead yet!

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Dorota Pankowska, a Toronto-based photographer, artist and designer has created a new and fun tool that you may want to consider taking with you to your next networking event: Crayon Business Cards. That’s right, adding a little bit of color could just be the edge you need to help you and your company standout from the competition.

Pankowska’s Crayon Business Cards only took a month to create. Each card is made from four or five crayons; the card itself can even be used to draw and color. But these new and improved business cards aren’t the only cards putting up a healthy fight.

Even though we (clearly) live in a digital age, it seems that business cards are still rather relevant. In fact, when a new smartphone app launched last year that allowed the sharing of contact information between phones with a simple touch of the hand, business cards were still believed to be a huge competitor. After all, business cards have been around for quite some time and even hold their own against sites like Facebook and LinkedIn.   

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When contemplating the business card versus an app or site to share contact info debacle, a similar war comes to mind: books versus Kindles, e-book, iPads, etc. Sure, the sales of printed books has gone down due to the popularity of the various devices that has made reading a more opportune experience, but physical copies of books are still around—they haven’t become obsolete.

The point can be argued that while people do appreciate convenience, there are still plenty of those around who like to hold copies of business cards, books, etc. in their hand instead of getting the information via their phone or some other tool.  

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Jun 21, 2021

How AWS helps NASCAR delight its fans

3 min
Customer obsession and working backwards from the customer is a mantra of Amazon Web Services (AWS), epitomizing its partnership with NASCAR

AWS needs no introduction to readers of Technology Magazine but we rarely get an opportunity to look closely at how it serves the sports sector. All major sports draw in a huge supporter base that they want to nurture and support. Technology is the key to every major sports organization and enabling this is the driving force for AWS, says Matt Hurst, Head of Global Sports Marketing and Communications for AWS. “In sports, as in every industry, machine learning and artificial intelligence and high performance computing are helping to usher in the next wave of technical sports innovation.”

AWS approaches sports in three principal areas. “The first is unlocking data’s potential: leagues and teams hold vast amounts of data and AWS is enabling them to analyze that data at scale and make better, more informed decisions. The second is engaging and delighting fans: with AWS fans are getting deeper insights through visually compelling on-screen graphics and interactive Second Screen experiences. And the third is rapidly improving sports performance: leagues and teams are using AWS to innovate like never before.”

Among the many global brands that partner with AWS are Germany's Bundesliga, the NFL, F1, the NHL, the PGA Tour and of course NASCAR. NASCAR has worked with AWS on its digital transformation (migrating it's 18 petabyte video archive containing 70 years of historical footage to AWS), to optimize its cloud data center operations and to enable its global brand expansion. AWS Media Services powers the NASCAR Drive mobile app, delivering broadcast-quality content for more than 80 million fans worldwide. The platform, including AWS Elemental MediaLive and AWS Elemental MediaStore, helps NASCAR provide fans instant access to the driver’s view of the race track during races, augmented by audio and a continually updated leaderboard. “And NASCAR will use our flagship machine learning service Amazon SageMaker to train deep learning models to enhance metadata and video analytics.”

Using AWS artificial intelligence and machine learning, NASCAR aims to deliver even more fan experiences that they'd never have anticipated. “Just imagine a race between Dale Earnhardt Sr and Dale Jr at Talladega! There's a bright future, and we're looking forward to working with NASCAR, helping them tap into AWS technology to continue to digitally transform, innovate and create even more fan experiences.”

Just as AWS is helping NASCAR bridge that historical gap between the legacy architecture and new technology, more customers are using AWS for machine learning than any other provider. As an example, who would have thought five years ago that NFL would be using  ML to predict and prevent injury to its players? Since 2017, the league has utilized AWS as its official cloud and ML provider for the NFL Next Gen Stats (NGS) platform, which provides real-time location data, speed, and acceleration for every player during every play on every inch of the field. “One of the most potentially revolutionary components of the NFL-AWS partnership,” says Matt Hurst, “is the development of the 'Digital Athlete,' a computer simulation model that can be used to replicate infinite scenarios within the game environment—including variations by position and environmental factors, emphasizing the league's commitment to player safety.”

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