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A Year in the Life at Bede.

Rank’s migration to Bede over 2 years ago has been a well documented affair. Watched closely by the industry, it is no secret that it has been a hugely successful partnership with significant digital revenue gains enjoyed by the operator, across its brands. And while we are very proud of these achievements, there is a lot more to Bede than just one of our favourite clients!

Now that ICE is over and the year is getting into full swing, we took the opportunity to reflect on last year and what we’ve done to ready our business for a bumper 2018.

With two EGR Power 50 clients, buzzing interest and a huge USP in the modernity of the Bede platform, our absolute main and paramount focus is on our tech. It is the developing, building and securing of new ways and solutions for our clients to create outstanding experiences for their players that drives us. We want to support them in smashing their digital targets and ambitions.

So what have we done?

What is our motivation for 2018?

How are we going about achieving our mission of becoming the first choice gaming platform in regulated markets?

Firstly, a look back on 2017.

Last year, we concentrated on 4 areas with the aim of streamlining processes and improving environments for the business and our customers, so all stakeholders would benefit from better operational efficiency and smoother workflows. We also took into consideration what we thought would be the hot topics for 2018 and focused on developing a platform ready for the future.

Those four areas are Scalability, Delivery, Partnership and Compliance.

Scalability: Scaling for the Future

Continuing to find ambitious digital solutions for our high profile clients and becoming Sun International Group’s preferred technology partner, makes it impossible to sit still, particularly where our technical team is concerned.

Tech companies can face unnecessary roadblocks by accidentally creating silos of knowledge by having specific teams for specific jobs. All that does is ring fence information rather than empower solutions.

In light of this, Bede made the decision to restructure staff into Feature Teams to create cross product knowledge and encourage a “hive” mind. This means no disruption in the face of sickness, holidays, movement and actively encourages innovation and flexibility across the board, providing an army of adaptable engineers.

Understanding that management of change is just as important to ensure process efficiency and stickiness, we introduced a Timebox methodology. Timebox takes an holistic view of a project and employs an agile approach as opposed to a linear schedule, thus identifying the most important part of the project at the beginning – is it the deadline? Is it a feature? What part is non-negotiable and is it possible to deliver all requirements, on time and on budget? If not, what can be pushed from the sprint, to make sure it happens?

These important activities, to be identified at the beginning of a project by our rapidly growing solutions team and upheld throughout its lifestyle, are vital to managing expectations and delivering projects on time and on scope.

It’s the 21st Century way of making sure tech processes flow, making it a perfect fit for Bede values and providing our operators with a swift and accurate route to Go-Live.

Delivery: Delivering Demand

So it’s all very well restructuring teams and introducing processes to manage transition but how effective is it? What impact has it had on project delivery?

Well, as it turns out, quite a lot. Not only as a business – billing and timesheets have nowhere to hide – but it also means that clients see more projects and more features delivered.

The numbers

  • Projects delivered:  41
  • Av. sprint overage: 1
  • Games: 3000+
  • Supplier integrations: 6
  • Av. set up time: 8 weeks
  • Platform development time: 44%

We delivered 41 projects in 2017, with those missing the deadline averaging being over by just 1 sprint (2 weeks). Over 3000 games now run on our platform and we delivered 6 supplier integrations in 2017 – that is an average of 8 weeks set up time, the fastest in the industry.

We spent a whopping 44% of our time on self-investment and developing our own platform, the results of which, all our customers are free to use and enjoy. This is a really important statistic, it means that as well as performing bespoke projects at the request of our clients, we are fully committed to ensuring our platform is the best it can be for our operators, for marketing, operations and compliance.

Highlights of features and projects that can now be used cross-clients:

Player Summary in PAM (Player Account Management)

  • Social responsibility monitoring
  • Behaviour patterns can be flagged.
  • Customers can be managed based on history and LTV.
  • Strategic bonusing introduced.

Bonus Tool

  • Alternative bonus staking strategy
  • Free Spins integration (Netent and IGT)

Games Management System

  • Improvements made to empower customers to further differentiate their offers.

Transaction History

  • One of the fastest system in the industry – data possible in seconds rather than minutes.
  • Now possible to view transaction history up to 12 months.

Fairness to Customer

  • Bonus and Campaign Manager have been upgraded to support various differing customer strategies and responsible gaming solutions, i.e. friendly bonusing.
  • Tools aligned with new  and upcoming regulations, like CMA, to be introduced throughout 2018.

Deep Integrations

  • Customers can enjoy deeper integrations with major content suppliers
    • Evolution
    • NetEnt
    • IGT
    • Kambi

Single Customer Journeys

  • Working with suppliers and customers, Bede’s technology now connects retail and digital through single accounts and wallets, creating a seamless player experience across multiple channels.
  • Fund sources and multi-factor authentication methods have all been addressed to put player experience and security at the heart of this feature.

Partnership: Becoming BFFs

One of the fantastic initiatives to come out of 2017 was our Bede Feedback Forums, given the maddeningly catchy moniker BFFs. The BFFs are conducted quarterly by our product team, who visit every customer office to carry out platform workshops.

These forums are so valuable to both parties as we receive real feedback on our products and develop a genuine knowledge of our customers’ needs and requirements. It means our clients gain instant confirmation that their requests have been heard and receive first hand demonstrations of new features and how to use them in conjunction with their marketing strategies.

The workshops also generate common themes, as well as customer specific requirements, which are fed into the product roadmap, giving operators direct access and influence to developing a platform that is essential to their digital offering.

Putting partnerships at the heart of Bede is a vital part of our strategy. Our customers are active members of Bede, not passive recipients of a product; we’re all working together for a shared roadmap.

Compliance: To Compliance and Beyond

2018 is the year of responsible gaming and we’re bringing together industry leading operators to drive excellence in platform level compliance. We’re taking it above and beyond minimum regulatory requirements to provide our customers with the most robust and fair gaming platform in the market.

We’ve already made several changes to features, which go further than is needed to keep operators ahead of the curve and we are introducing more improvements to the roadmap for 2018.

Get excited for requirements to come

In depth view of player summary and applying more security and scrutiny to accounts for enhanced player protection are all on the agenda.

GAMstop, UKGC RTS, GDPR and CMA requirements will all be part of the platform as standard facilitating processes for operators to maximise experiences for players in a safe and secure way.

Sarah Hitchcock, Product Director at Bede, comments, “In 2017 we prioritised shifting the way we work to focus on strategic demand and preparing ourselves to scale in various ways. We now have three high performing, world class products to take to market in omni, PLAY and platform and are committed to becoming the first choice platform in every way.

“I’m excited for 2018, as we look to lead the way in compliance and regulation, going above and beyond what is required. We’re not sitting still, we’re building up to set the new standard in game playing platform. 2017 was a big year for Bede but 2018 will be bigger and better. it’s a great time to be a part of it.”