May 19, 2020

Spotify, Welcome to Canada

Canada
Technology
Spotify
music
Melissa Martinez
2 min
Spotify, Welcome to Canada

After years of waiting, Canada has finally allowed Spotify to join the ranks of competitors like Deezer, Rara, Rdio, Slacker and Google Play. The introduction to Canadian market began September 30, five years after the Swedish company decided to expand globally.

Discovering new music has never been easier, and with all the features that Spotify offers, it is simple to organize playlists and share with friends. Spotify currently offers over 200 million songs from around the globe, and allows users to enjoy the music they specifically choose without worrying about wasting skips on artists they do not enjoy. 

Over the years, Spotify has reduced the numbers for illegal downloading by providing ad-free service for premium users at an affordable price, even furthering the hassle-free, enjoyable customer experience. 

“We spent a lot of time studying the market in Canada, and we know that Canada in terms of a music market is one of the most vibrant in the world, so we were really keen to treat this as not just another launch,” said Ken Parks, chief content and managing director, Spotify, in an intervie. “We’re going to be launching with the most comprehensive Canadian music catalogue in the world.”

Though there is criticism for music streaming companies—some pay between $0.006 and $0.004 for a single play of a track—Spotify reports that the company has paid over $1 billion (U.S.) to artists, while 70 percent of its total revenue goes to royalty payments.

“We think we have a great value proposition—all of the music in the world with you, anywhere on any device — for what is really the price of couple of pints. At the same time, we do live in a world where there is an infinite supply of music and where you can get it for free, be it radio, online or YouTube, or certainly, pirate sites,” said Parks. “But we want to make sure that we are providing value-add features and pricing this in way that entices people away from those bad places, so whether that is $10 U.S. or Canadian is an open question.”

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Jun 14, 2021

Giving efficiency the full throttle at NASCAR

CDW
NASCAR
3 min
CDW is a leading provider of information technology solutions, optimized business workflow and data capture systems for the auto racing company.

The NASCAR organization has long been synonymous with speed, agility and innovation. And so by extension, partnerships at NASCAR hold a similar reputation. One such partner for the organization has been CDW – a leading multi-brand provider of information technology solutions to businesses, government, education and healthcare customers in the United States, the United Kingdom and Canada. CDW provides a broad array of products and services ranging from hardware and software to integrated IT solutions such as security cloud hybrid infrastructure and digital experience. Customer need is the driving force at CDW, and the company helps clients by delivering integrated services solutions that maximize their technology investment. So how does CDW help their customers achieve their business goals? Troy Okerberg, Field Sales Manager - North Florida at CDW adds “We strive to provide our customers with full stack expertise, helping them design, orchestrate and manage technologies that drive their business outcomes.” 

NASCAR acquired International Speedway Corporation (ISC) in 2019, merging its operations into one, new company moving forward. The merger represents an important step forward for NASCAR as the sport creates a unified vision to embrace its long history of exciting, family-oriented racing experiences while developing strategic growth initiatives that will drive the passion of core fans and attract the next generation of race fans. CDW has been instrumental in bringing the two technology environments together to enable collaboration and efficiency as one organization. Starting with a comprehensive analysis of all of NASCAR’s vendors, CDW created a uniform data platform for the data center environment across the NASCAR-ISC organization. The IT partner has also successfully merged the two native infrastructure systems together, while analyzing, consulting and providing an opportunity to merge Microsoft software licenses as well. 

2020 turned into a tactical year for both organizations with the onset of the pandemic and CDW has had to react quickly to the changing scenario. Most of the initial change included building efficiencies around logistics, like equipment needing to be delivered into the hands of end users who switched to a virtual working environment almost overnight. CDW’s distribution team worked tirelessly to ensure that all customers could still access the products that they were purchasing and needed for their organizations throughout the COVID timeframe. Okerberg adds that today, CDW continues to optimize their offering by hyper-localizing resources as well as providing need-based support based on the size and complexity of their accounts. Although CDW still operates remotely, the company commits to adapting to the changing needs of their clients, NASCAR in particular. Apart from the challenges that COVID-19 brought to the organization, another task that CDW had been handed was to identify gaps and duplicates in vendor agreements that the two former single-entity organizations had in place and align them based on services offered. CDW further helps identify and provide the best solution from a consolidation standpoint of both hardware and software clients so that the new merged organization is equipped with the best of what the industry has to offer. 

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