May 19, 2020

J.C. Penney hires Apple exec for retail revamp

Apple
Steve Jobs
Ron Johnson
J.C. Penney
Bizclik Editor
2 min
J.C. Penney hires Apple exec for retail revamp

 

We all know the genius efforts behind Apple’s lifestyle branding and uniqueness in its retail stores. The retail executive behind Apple’s reincarnation, Ron Johnson, is now leaving the company to take over as CEO for J.C. Penney with the hopes that he can revamp the retail apparel brand. Johnson came onto Apple’s board in 2001 when there were only two Apple retail stores. Today, Johnson has assisted in the opening of Apple’s more than 300 locations worldwide.

Johnson was quoted saying the following when he opened Apple’s ninth location in Palo Alto: “If we do great stores in the right places where people gather … if we have phenomenally well-trained people, we think our market-share will grow dramatically.”

Steve Jobs had original mock ups of the retail design for Apple’s stores and Johnson, along with other Apple executives, fine tuned the design to come up with the image of the retail outlets we see today. Johnson advocated for Apple stores to have iconic features and also came up with the Genius Bar. While Jobs was worried that the general employee base wouldn’t have the knowledge about technology and dealing with customer service, Johnson took it upon himself to persuade him into hiring younger people familiar with the brand and all of its products’ capabilities.

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J.C. Penney is focusing on revamping its retail stores but also lowering its overall expenses to compensate for its rising costs in materials. Johnson spent years working as an executive for Target before joining the Apple team, so this career move will definitely be a return back to his retail experience.

Johnson brought a clean, minimalistic image with chrome accents from Apple’s devices into its retail stores. We’re excited to see how this clothing store will change shape and appearance over the next few years.

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Jun 21, 2021

How AWS helps NASCAR delight its fans

AWS
NASCAR
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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