Customer Stories / Software & Internet
Canva Helps Enterprises Redefine Brand Management and Collaboration with Design Tools Powered by AWS
Creating presentations, brochures, or logos used to mean relying on a graphic designer, marketing department, or expensive, complex software application. Canva has changed the game. The visual communications platform, used by 65 million people in 190 countries, allows anyone to design. Taking advantage of a simple user interface, people can quickly drag and drop items from a content library containing thousands of templates and build their own custom-designed presentation, logo, or even T-shirt. “We are rooted in the idea of making design accessible to everyday people, which is why we created a simple and easy-to-use platform,” says John Eitel, global vice president of sales and success at Canva.
Canva has always offered a free version of its software, but in 2015 the company introduced Canva Pro, a subscription version for small and medium businesses and entrepreneurs. “Most small and medium businesses can’t afford designers and access to expensive design tools,” Eitel says. “Canva Pro provides access to an extensive range of design tools and templates, as well as a wide range of creative elements to help small businesses do their work more effectively.”
Opportunity | Launches Canva for Enterprise on AWS
After launching Canva Pro, Canva sought to respond to the needs of larger enterprises. “We found that enterprises had a lot of design projects in their pipeline, but their sales and marketing teams were waiting up to eight weeks for simple edits and changes to be implemented by designers,” says Eitel. “That gave us the idea to offer a new enterprise solution.”
As Canva began to develop Canva for Enterprise, the company sharpened its focus on reliability, security, and scalability. “Those are the three main things enterprises are looking for,” Eitel says. “They need to ensure their distributed global teams can access designs at all times, and we need to assure users that they can scale as their teams grow, in a secure way.”
To meet these needs, Canva knew it would run Canva for Enterprise on Amazon Web Services (AWS) Cloud, which has been the company’s preferred cloud for its free and Pro versions since its inception. Canva uses AWS services including Amazon Elastic Container Service (Amazon ECS) for image processing and Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) for data storage. Additionally, it relies on Amazon SageMaker and Amazon Personalize for personalization of the user experience and Amazon Inspector for security assessments. “AWS has always provided scalability, enhanced security, and high availability,” says Jim Tyrrell, head of Infrastructure at Canva.
Being on AWS gives us credibility in the enterprise space by enabling us to check every box and answer our users’ security questions confidently.”
Global Vice President of Sales and Success, Canva
Solution | Drives Scalability and Doubles Business Growth
Canva launched Canva for Enterprise in November 2019, offering an enterprise platform designed to help large teams collaborate more effectively. Brands using Canva for Enterprise include HubSpot, PayPal, Danone, and Warner Music Group. Using this version of the platform, teams of up to thousands of users can share designs and create together seamlessly no matter where they are located. Teams using Canva have tripled the number of presentations in the past year, and teams create more than 6 million presentations in Canva each week. Jenn Proud, head of Global Marketing Design for HubSpot, says, “There's so much rapid scaling happening, the only way for a design team to keep up is to create infrastructure around design. Canva has been the perfect solution for that without having to build something custom on our own.”
By running Canva for Enterprise on AWS, Canva is confident the platform can easily expand. “We’ve recently launched innovative new features around presentations and video, which led to increased requirements for computational power and storage. We would never have been able to scale this solution without AWS,” Tyrrell says. That scalability has also enabled Canva to rapidly grow its business. The company has doubled in size by employees and revenue every year since its launch, and has seen a 320 percent increase in both paid and freemium users of the online platform over the past year. “We’re seeing a lot of success for Canva for Enterprise in verticals such as real estate, media & entertainment, consumer packaged goods, and technology,” says Eitel. “We’re currently onboarding our largest team and largest user so far, and we have no concerns about scaling to support that.”
Outcome | Ensures Reliable Collaboration and Performance for Enterprises
Canva ensures a seamless experience for its Canva Pro and Enterprise users by running on multiple AWS Regions and Availability Zones for high availability. “Our users depend on our solution to collaborate, and we have to make sure our users are not getting locked out of the system,” says Eitel. “We’ve tested our Enterprise platform with teams of tens of thousands of users and never encountered issues.”
This reliability also enhances the performance needs of the company’s design users. “If users can’t access their designs or the platform is lagging or slow to respond, they will find another solution. But because of the way we have architected our solution on AWS, our users can easily share designs and collaborate” says Tyrrell.
Meets Enterprises Security and Compliance Requirements
To offer Canva for Enterprise as a secure platform, the business uses AWS Identity and Access Management (AWS IAM) to securely manage access to AWS services and AWS Key Management Service (AWS KMS) to encrypt data. “Enterprises have compliance teams and tight regulatory requirements, and they can’t purchase a tool like ours if we don’t meet their expectations,” Eitel says. “Being on AWS gives us credibility in the enterprise space by enabling us to check every box and answer our users’ security questions confidently.”
Additionally, Canva ensures compliance by taking advantage of AWS Regions. “We have sales teams for Canva for Enterprise in Australia, the United States, and China. We’ll also be launching in Europe and Latin America soon,” says Eitel. “Knowing we can expand our business with AWS Global Infrastructure, especially if we need to comply with different data privacy regulations, eases my mind.”
Looking ahead, Canva plans to introduce new video editing capabilities, such as a background remover for online videos. Eitel says, “We’ll continue to help our global users collaborate on video while performing complex editing tasks, supporting these capabilities with the power of our platform on AWS.”
To learn more, visit aws.amazon.com/websites.
Based in Australia, Canva is a global visual communication platform that empowers the world to design. Its Canva Pro and Canva for Enterprise solutions empower millions of businesses to unlock their creativity and achieve their goals.
AWS Services Used
Amazon Elastic Container Service
Amazon ECS is a fully managed container orchestration service that makes it easy for you to deploy, manage, and scale containerized applications.
Amazon Simple Storage Service
Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) is an object storage service offering industry-leading scalability, data availability, security, and performance.
AWS Identity and Access Management
AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM) provides fine-grained access control across all of AWS. With IAM, you can specify who can access which services and resources, and under which conditions.
AWS Key Management Service
AWS Key Management Service (KMS) makes it easy for you to create and manage cryptographic keys and control their use across a wide range of AWS services and in your applications.
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