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The right platform can provide a strategic and competitive advantage for those operators brave enough to modernise.

We are seeing a new breed of agile platform provider challenge gaming’s legacy suppliers and offer a range of solutions that hand power back to operators.

In recent years, several young and agile operators, particularly on the mobile channel, have successfully grabbed market share from more established rivals by tearing up the rulebook and offering a product that reacts to their customers.

Invariably, these products have sat on modern platforms rather than the bloated, industry-standard technology that tends to stunt innovation, personalisation and creativity.

Today’s modern platforms offer all the upsides of more established technology, but with greater agility and choice, and those who have made the switch are already reaping the rewards.

Content is king

We are increasingly seeing operators demanding a platform that can offer a broad choice of content without having to compromise on which suppliers operators can integrate. This is of important to those operators offering an omni-channel proposition which requires matching major land-based content with its online equivalent.

Traditionally, the choice facing operators was to either endure the lengthy process of direct integrations with different suppliers or compromise with a pre-packaged content aggregator that was missing many of the biggest names.

These are no longer the only options. Not only are some operators now using multiple platforms to broaden their offer to consumers, but modern content platforms, such as BedePLAY, can offer a range of content from major suppliers which was not previously available in one place.

Additionally, the right platform can also allow for integrations that can even go deeper than if an operator directly integrates with the content supplier. This might include additional personalisation and functionality that taps into the underlying infrastructure, and the ability to fine tune the player experience or enable more intelligent marketing.

Operators no longer subscribe to the notion that a standardised turnkey offering will suffice; instead they demand a one stop shop that offers best-in-class products and content across the verticals, while still allowing for localisation and customisation.

Data dilemmas

Security is another critical issue when it comes to customer data. Operators are now demanding peace of mind via the highest possible levels of security, and they understand that an information security breach would have a catastrophic impact.

This is even more vital when the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) enters law in May 2018. The GDPR places a greater level of accountability on data processors on issues such as information security breaches, and operators are looking at their platform providers to ensure compliance.

It was with this in mind that Bede recently completed ISO 27001 certification, which is the international standard for information security and is only awarded following a comprehensive audit. Bede is one of just a handful of suppliers to have gained the certification, but we believe it will soon become a central demand of all operators.

The meaning of agility

Combining security, compliance, content and functionality within a single, flexible platform remains the primary challenge for all suppliers, and it is at the heart of everything we do.

While our industry has talked at length about the importance of an agile platform, it is less common to see precise use-cases outlined for exactly how such a platform enables operators to move faster than their competitors and achieve a tangible edge that is felt on the bottom line.

One such example is in emerging and newly-regulating markets, where operators must move quickly to personalise their offering in a manner which remains compliant with local legislation.

Speed is of the essence in these newly-regulated markets; operators who want to make an impact need to be thinking of integrations in terms of weeks rather than months. Otherwise, marketing costs soon spiral as incumbents secure their position.

A second example is adapting to new regulation in an existing market. We will likely see operators facing such a challenge in the UK in 2018, with a potential ban on daytime advertising and new taxes on free spins both on the cards.

Such changes completely transform the way operators need to market their proposition to customers, with the bingo vertical set to be particularly hard hit.

Operators are now demanding a platform provider they can work closely alongside with, to identify, develop and implement effective strategies to mitigate the full effects of the changes.

This could include all manner of new and innovative approaches to bonusing and broader marketing, be those new promotional mechanics or even new gaming products. The only thing that is certain is that those who are stuck on immobile, legacy platforms will not be able to alter their offering quickly enough to capitalise on the opportunity.

Buy or build

Operators are now clear on what it is they need to succeed in the modern gaming environment. The question most face is whether the best way to achieve this is by buying or building the technology themselves.

The arguments against engaging a third-party supplier have weakened considerably in recent years. Provided platforms are no longer one-size-fits-all propositions, and the best are flexible enough to hand true control to the operator anyway.

While switching from a legacy platform is undoubtedly a risky undertaking, we have seen some major players in our industry come unstuck while trying to build new components in-house that paper over the cracks of their existing technology.

And as we are already seeing, those who think the safest option is to do nothing are quickly finding that they can no longer hold ground against more agile competitors.

As seen in the June edition of INTERGAMINGi magazine.

Bede Gaming explores future of bingo and slots innovation

Bede CEO Michael Brady moderated a lively panel looking at innovation in bingo and slots featuring Gary Keaney, Director of Bingo Products at Playtech, Helen Walton, CCO and co-founder at Gamevy, and Simon Collins, founder of Gaming Realms.

The panel debated the key challenges and opportunities for the sector, with a focus on creating more engaging content, differentiating titles and gaining a better understanding of player preferences.

Michael Brady, CEO of Bede Gaming, said: “It was a pleasure to moderate a panel featuring three of the most experienced and innovative minds in the bingo and slots sector.

“Bingo is at something of a crossroads, with changes in regulation, advertising and customer attitudes forcing us to adapt to new market realities.

“Accordingly, it is critical we search for solutions to these challenges by driving innovation and finding new ways to better leverage brands and technology.

“Bede has focused a great deal of resource and energy over the past few years in building a market-leading proposition that gives flexibility and choice to operators to give them the power to create and differentiate, but we are certainly not resting on our laurels.

“There is a lot of growth in bingo and slots to come, particularly in the highly-regulated lottery sector, so we need to be ready to adapt to capitalise on these new opportunities.”

To listen to the panel in full, please visit: https://bingoconference.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/8-Game-Innovation-in-Slots-and-Bingo.mp3

We are delighted to announce that we have been granted ISO 27001 certification by the International Standards Organisation (ISO), in recognition of our continued offering of the most secure platform provision available to operators in regulated markets globally.

ISO 27001 is the international standard for information security, awarded by the ISO after a comprehensive and complete audit. With operators demanding the highest standards of security, Bede undertook the rigorous certification process to display its absolute commitment to best practice and placing security at the heart of the business.

It’s not just operators who are demanding better security, today’s players, who are well aware of the potential of data breaches, are also joining the call. We take this request very seriously and wanted to ensure piece of mind when it comes to the use of our software.

Gaining the certification proves that Bede meets the ISO’s strict requirements when dealing with information security and as one of the only gaming platform providers to be awarded such certification, it confirms our security status is of the highest order.

The independently assessed certification carried out by certification company, eCOGRA, further demonstrates that we are prepared for the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) becoming law in May 2018, which places a greater level of accountability on data processors on issues such as information security breaches.

On our mission to become the industry’s first choice gaming platform, we want to lead the field when it comes to protecting players’ data. This certification shows that our gaming software stands up to the highest level of scrutiny, providing a credible, secure and trustworthy alternative to the market.

If you want to talk to us about our complete gaming platform and how it can transform your business, get in touch: hello@bedegaming.com • +44 (0) 191 280 3730.

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.

Bede Gaming is relocating from its base in Gosforth to significantly larger premises at Newcastle Great Park to facilitate its rapid growth.