May 19, 2020

Research in Motion's Strategy to Move out of Apple's Shadow

Research In Motion
Bizclik Editor
3 min
Research in Motion's Strategy to Move out of Apple's Shadow


Happy Holidays readers! Check out, this week, Business Review Canada's top daily stories of the year. We'll be featuring one story a day that reader's like the most. Today we feature Marketing 2.0's top story: Research in Motion's Strategy to Move out of Apple's Shadow

Written by: Sharise Cruz
Times have been tough for Ontario-based Research in Motion.
While the BlackBerry developer has been able to maintain its popularity in Canada and lead that smartphone market with a significant 42 per cent of the 6.6 million Canadian smartphone users, RIM’s global presence is much more dismal.
The American smartphone market is almost ten times larger than Canada’s, and a comScore report shows that BlackBerry is trailing its competitors in the U.S. With only 25.7 per cent of the market share BlackBerry is behind Android’s 36.4 per cent and iPhone’s 26 per cent share.
In June and July, RIM experienced its first drop in revenue in nine years and was forced to cut 2,000 jobs. RIM’s stock prices haven’t been this low since 2006.
To make matters worse, a reportedly high-ranking RIM employee wrote an open letter to the company’s senior management, urging CEOs Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie to refocus and regain its leading position. The author of the letter appears to have RIM’s best interests at heart, but the letter is ultimately a very public shaming of a company in danger of losing its global grip.
Apparently, even RIM’s employees are aware the company has lost touch with what the market craves.
“While I hide it at work, my passion has been sapped. I know I am not alone—the sentiment is widespread and it includes people within your own teams,” the introduction to the anonymous letter read. “Our carriers, distributors, alliance partners, enterprise customers, and our loyal end users all want the same thing…for BlackBerry to once again be leading the pack.”
RIM has yet to respond to inquiries concerning the letter, but there’s a possibility the entire incident could soon be forgotten, considering the company’s recent steps in the direction of a PR boost.
RIM hasn’t launched a new device in 12 months, but the company has just released the latest version of BlackBerry Messenger, and has unveiled plans to launch the BlackBerry Bold 9900, BlackBerry Torch 9810 and the BlackBerry Torch 9860 later this year, but crucially—before the back-to-school and holiday buying seasons.
On the heels of those announcements, PRWeek has reported that RIM has been holding meetings with a number of PR agencies and will possibly be parting ways with Edelman, its social media agency, and Razorfish, which handles its digital marketing.
“The recent launch of BBM 6 shows that RIM is moving towards the development of more sophisticated social apps,” said Lucre Social Senior Account Director Chris Norton. “This will help differentiate its smartphones and keep up with Apple. The Google Android market is pretty worried about the new iPhone, with some predicting a drop-off in sales of up to 40 per cent. The news is even worse for BlackBerry, with 67 per cent of its users saying they’re moving to the iPhone with their next purchase.”
“BlackBerry has lost its way over recent years, and its stranglehold on the business market has eroded. Apple and Android are growing very quickly and have evangelical supporters,” Debby Penton, Director of global tech PR firm EML Wildfire, told PRWeek. “BlackBerry needs to focus on building a community of loyal brand ambassadors to help raise the perception of its brand against the competition.”

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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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