The platform gamble
The key words that leap out at me whenever I read about the big UK operator that chose to partner with someone other than the established providers are “emerging platform supplier”. To me, iGaming has always been constantly emerging – one only has to look at the progression down the years, from download casinos, to open-platform instant play casinos, PC to mobile, bonuses to full-on gamification. Therefore, any operator, new or established, should evaluate if the platform that they are considering is technically emerging and in tune with this constantly evolving landscape, as opposed to just sitting with its head buried in the sand.
iGaming Cloud (IGC) is an emerging platform, as we are constantly evolving not only in a technical sense, but also from a business perspective. When we laid down the first line of code for IGC, we had the vision of making the iGaming industry leaner, by offering a cloud-based solution that maximised uptime and alleviated the need of down time to upgrade the platform. We also wanted to ensure our platform was open to all suppliers, with each and every supplier individually integrated to maximise performance and the player experience.
So, if you’re an operator looking for a new platform, it’s critical during this process to assess if the platforms you are considering are emerging along with the industry. For example, since launching IGC, we have been constantly developing and adding to our APIs, sockets and web hooks to deliver data in real-time, enabling the operator to store and utilize data for proprietary developments such as gamification. IGC also invests heavily into research and development to ensure the platform remains at the forefront of innovation in the iGaming industry.
Regardless if the platform you’re looking at is established or up-and-coming, it is important to investigate if it is staying ahead of the curve. A simple way is to look at the clients the platform is currently powering, and what they offer. Also, ask to see the development roadmap, to have a sneak peak of what lies in the future. If you see in Q3 that they are implementing multi-currency, then perhaps that is not the platform for you!
To quote Warren Buffet: “Risk comes from not knowing what you are doing”. With any migration, there are of course risks, but the level of risk can be reduced, if not almost completely alleviated, with proper planning, testing, more testing, and some further testing leading up to the migration. At IGC, we have successfully migrated many clients, and even though no one migration is the same, the procedures we employ for each migration are, and we have successfully mitigated the risk with each and every migration we have done.
What is important to remember with a migration is that there are many factors to consider. Most importantly, the process is not just about the migration of data and transactions ,but also of the brand. When we perform a migration/integration at IGC, we treat these very separately, as the essentially require different expertise and teams, even though both will work in union during many parts of the migration.
At IGC, we typically develop two roadmaps with the operator, so we are in sync on what needs to be delivered and when, in order to not only hit the go-live date but also to ensure proper testing has taken place.
The first of these roadmaps is the integration roadmap. The integration roadmap focuses on the integration of the website to the platform, and ensures that all boxes are ticked and any new development on the front-end, such as a game layer, is taken into consideration, because after all, there is a reason you are moving to a new platform. You should also consider supplier integrations – is one of your competitive advantages a bespoke game provider that no other operator has? If so, that also needs to be integrated to the platform and needs to be included in the integration roadmap.
The second roadmap which is equally, if not more, important is the migration roadmap. The migration roadmap will detail what data and information will be migrated from the existing platform. Typically, when we migrate an operator to IGC we will outline dates for the migration of data samples to IGC, which increase in frequency as the go-live date gets closer. It is important to QA check the data each and every time it has been migrated to ensure that no errors have come up during the migration.
Again, there is risk with every migration but proper planning and testing will help reduce the sleepless nights, and also ensure a smooth transition to the new platform of your choice.