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How to break free from the shackles of legacy technology

Ahead of this month’s EGR Breakfast Briefing, Michael Brady of Bede Gaming explains why established operators need to embrace new technologies if they are to hold on to their share of the market

Around this time of year, industry insiders like to predict what trends will emerge over the coming twelve months and how they will shape the sector.

Online gaming is still a very exciting sector to work in. It continues to generate double-digit growth despite increasing pressure from the economic landscape, increased regulation and higher taxes. We just hope that regulators work together, and with operators, to take a pragmatic approach to new regulations.

As we move into 2017 there is an emerging need for operators to make their businesses more efficient and scalable in order to absorb these costs, and to be capable of entering newly regulated markets as they open on a global basis. However, to do that operators need a modern, flexible platform or risk being left behind.

Modern technology and thinking, and specifically, how younger firms are embracing it and leveraging its power, is enabling them to accelerate past the more established operators. These previous start-ups have entered the market with a digital-first mind-set, with their platform at the core of their IT strategy.

By doing so, they have grown exponentially and rapidly, with the potential to change the established order.

Be bold and brave

The new year should bring about a new way of thinking for established operators. They need to be bold and brave, and break free from the shackles and limitations of their legacy technology.

They have the knowledge, experience and might to push the boundaries in ways that many smaller operators can only dream of, but at present many are simply resting on their laurels. Instead they must invest in technology and bang the drum of innovation, not just to remain ahead of the curve but to improve the player experience.

Taking an omni-channel approach is vital, but many have yet to crack the code when it comes to offering a seamless experience across retail, desktop and mobile.

Retail should be considered in the same way as digital channels; a single account, one universal wallet, one multi-channel loyalty programme and promotions should link seamlessly across land-based and online play. It is also key for operators to have a 360-degree view of the player, and to harvest information regardless of what platform they are using to access their sites and products.

A numbers game  

Big data has been a big topic over the past two to three years, with the conversation set to continue long into 2017. Operators  understand they need granular level customer data, but struggle to get access to it, to transform it into usable insight, or put it at the centre of their customer communication and management.

That is why it is important to choose the right technology platform, ideally one that uses real-time data and messaging to target players with the right offer at the right time, automatically.

When it comes to the platform we recommend using a single code base and modern architecture to enable scalability. Here at Bede, we give our operator partners even greater control by allowing them access to open APIs for all platform functionality and tooling.

The next level

Technology has always been a driving force behind industry growth, but following recent M&A activity, many continue to rely  on their legacy platforms to keep things running smoothly under the hood.

With huge integration processes and procedures to manage and oversee, it is only natural that the day-to-day running of the business takes a back seat. But 2017 should be all about operators and suppliers getting their heads down, and driving our industry forward.

Smaller firms are already taking advantage, dialling in on new technologies and leveraging their vastly superior capabilities to make strides.

Some of the established firms certainly have some catching up to do, but choosing the right platform and infrastructure will go a long way to fending off the competition and cementing their position in the top tier.

If they don’t, 2017 could see in the introduction of a new world order in the gaming industry, one where smaller, more nimble operators lead the charge.

Click here to find out more information about EGR’s Breakfast Briefing in association with Bede Gaming on 19 January

Bede Gaming has been named Bingo Supplier of the Year 2016 in the prestigious EGaming Review B2B Awards

Judges chose Bede Gaming’s bingo solution on the basis of its substantial growth over the past 12 months, its flexibility that allows clients to provide a differentiated solution in a crowded bingo market and for the regular product refreshes on a fortnightly release cycle which keeps the Bede bingo product fresh for its many customers.

Sarah Hitchcock, Bede’s head of product, said: “We are delighted the judges recognised the strength of the Bede bingo product and the huge advances we have made over the past year. It is a credit to our entire team and we are very grateful for the recognition in what is undoubtedly the online gambling industry’s most important awards.”

Bede’s bingo software powers leading UK sites such as Bingo Stars and Bingo Godz.

Other shortlisted suppliers included Playtech, Dragonfish, Microgaming, NYX and Relax Gaming.

Bede Gaming also won the 2014 EGaming Review Bingo Supplier of the Year Award.

Alistair Boston-Smith joins Bede success story

Bede Gaming, a leading supplier of software to the online gambling and social gaming industries, has announced the appointment of Alistair Boston-Smith to the role of Business Development Director.

His role includes managing Bede’s partners, developing key commercial opportunities and leading the company’s new development services business unit, as well as providing strategic guidance on product development.

Having cut his teeth in the emerging world of ecommerce with Tesco in 2001, where he led marketing and product teams, Alistair entered the gambling space with Sportingbet in 2008, and as Head of Gaming ran the casino, games and poker business units.

He went on to join GAN in 2013 as Corporate Development Director, leading the company’s market entry into the US social and real money gaming spaces, and helped to take the business public.

Bede has enjoyed rapid growth since its formation by a group of industry veterans in 2012. Today, the company employs around 150 in its offices in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne and London and further recruitment is planned. Bede continues to secure high profile deals to supply its modern technology and products to operators in the Lottery, Digital and Retail sectors of online gaming.

“I’m really excited about the potential of Bede, to really shake up the market” said Alistair. “It has great tech and products, knowledgeable driven people and the appetite to make a difference. I look forward to playing my own part, and to a great 2016.”

Joe Saumarez-Smith, Chairman said, “Alistair is a great addition to our senior team and his skills and experience complement the founders. 2016 promises to be a pivotal year in Bede’s evolution and Alistair will help us achieve our goals.”

Gosforth-based Bede Gaming was set up a little over two years ago by Daniel Smyth, but the software business is already beating global players to big contracts.
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Bede Gaming is relocating from its base in Gosforth to significantly larger premises at Newcastle Great Park to facilitate its rapid growth.
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