A leap to success

| By Elena Carruthers
IGB speaks with CEO of SoftSwiss Ivan Montik as he details his professional journey towards founding the gambling software company, and lessons learned along the way about driving innovation in the igaming industry…

For a company that is no stranger to innovation in areas such as cryptocurrency since debuting its first casino platform at ICE London 2013, it might come as a surprise that SoftSwiss’ entry into the gaming space under CEO Ivan Montik was anything but planned. 

“I actually got into igaming by chance, but chance favours the prepared. I’m not the kind of person who plans his career ten years in advance, and I’m always open to new opportunities, but I do have a certain understanding of where I’d like to be in a couple of years and am working on things that help me get there,” he said.

Starting out in software development, Montik founded an outsourcing company focusing on custom software development projects. One of these projects evolved into what would become SoftSwiss’ online casino platform which they presented at ICE London in 2013.

Montik admits he has since learned a few important lessons on the risks and opportunities to take note of when establishing a successful igaming software company.

“We took the risk of entering an industry we didn’t know well. We had profound expertise in software engineering, a small but strong team of like-minded people, and a huge desire to succeed,” said Montik. 

Play to your strengths

As SoftSwiss developed, the company made its mark on the industry through its innovative approach to igaming technology. 

Montik cited the company’s cryptocurrency casino as an example of this, which came at a time where bitcoin was starting to take off.

“At SoftSwiss, we strive to predict such trends or, what is even better, make our own ones. The development of our cryptocurrency payment solution is a good example. We were the first to introduce an online bitcoin casino to the market. Today, during the real bitcoin boom, we have a stable solution to satisfy growing demand.”

Keeping a close eye on the market and aligning tech with current trends is a way to work smarter and not harder, he continues.

“Basically, we showed the market that technical innovation can be more important than industry expertise and turned our weakness of not belonging to the gaming world into a competitive advantage.”  

Keep it agile

Montik explained the power of agility in elevating business success. A flexible approach to meeting business objectives unlocks new opportunities to innovate. While the gaming industry poses many challenges due to its rapidly evolving nature, it also brings many opportunities.

“In igaming, like in every fast-changing business, we need to quickly react to new changes and address industry challenges in a timely manner. At SoftSwiss, we empower and encourage our employees to make quick decisions and act.”

A reactive approach is what takes success to the next level. To overlook market trends is to remain static, explains Montik.

“Igaming is fully based on information technology, and IT is synonymous with innovation. There’s been a lot of exciting stuff happening in our industry lately. For example, the role of mobile gaming has grown immensely because the whole world is going mobile. If a software provider doesn’t adapt their technology to meet the needs of the new mobile generation, they can no longer compete.”            

 Unsurprisingly for a company that has got ahead under Montik’s agile approach and expertise, he remains acutely in touch with tech opportunities both within gaming and outside of it. 

“A promising sector is medicine, especially when it’s combined with high tech. I noticed that people are now more willing to learn about their health, the food they eat, how their genetics impacts health.  

“Finally, online entertainment will remain a trending subject, but the focus might shift

from gambling to pure gaming, like mobile and social games, live video streaming, etc.”

But with a minefield of data and trends out there, it’s crucial to tap into the right ones. This is a matter of research, says Montik: “We analyse the market to see what’s in demand and of course take a look at what the competitors are doing. If a product or a particular functionality seems to be important for clients and generates profit, then it’s a worthy investment.”

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