Comtrade Gaming’s Director of Interactive, Steven Valentine, explains why it is so important for online gaming companies to choose wisely when considering platform migration.
By Steven Valentine
When the term “platform migration” is first touted inside an operator’s business, they are typically in one of two types of crisis. Either the business is doing so well that the current software can’t handle the demands placed upon it or the business is falling behind its competitors and the legacy technology is playing a big part in its demise.
When it is the latter, the decision to migrate to another platform is typically easier than when a business is flourishing, but in both cases the stakes are as high as they get! There are many highly public cases where platform migrations, rather than having a positive effect on the business, have actually reduced revenues and the business has taken much longer to recover than expected.
The first priority for any migration should be mitigating as many risks to current revenues as possible so the business can then grow off the back of that. Any credible vendor should be able to clearly demonstrate a track record in successful migrations and positive impact on player revenues.
Online operators looking to evolve within a dynamic gaming market naturally depend on technologies that support their business, marketing and financial objectives and a legacy platform sometimes limits their ability to introduce innovations and business-supported functions. Operators demand a particular level of functionality with their platforms and their requirements provide a scope to which platforms refine their capabilities. A valuable platform should not only provide operators with data to make the right decisions for their players’ needs, but the features to do so.
Technology providers that spearhead gaming innovation rest their credibility on platform migrations and the standards to which they are performed. While competition remains the basis of all technology adjustments, there are three scenarios that stand out as reoccurring cases when online operators are positioned to change their online casino platforms:
- Advance player engagement with the introduction of advanced, automated and real-time bonusing. Operators are on the lookout for a bonusing solution that allows them to efficiently incentivize players, engage them with new products and improve their total lifetime value. Leading market platforms contain micro-segmentation properties that create specific engagement strategies for acquisition and retention campaigns for personalized promotions, bonuses and loyalty benefits. Through these features, operators are able to plan, launch and monitor multi-channel and product promotions and rely on a responsive system that self-adjusts campaign properties according to responses.
- Improve player experience by introducing a seamless wallet that would allow players to try new products without having to transfer funds from one product to another. Operators also look for a seamless wallet to facilitate cross-product bonusing. Promotions, bonuses and loyalty should run across any product and supplier with multi-channel messaging support and create targeted incentives to influence player acquisition, retention and migration.
- The ability to quickly introduce new products and innovation. A new platform needs to be open and flexible, but also with a set of pre-integrated products for a specific market demographic. Bonusing and marketing dashboards emphasize the ways in which online channels can implement new strategies to reinforce more competitive positions, while reporting modules provide the data to implement platform features to drive business performance.
“Migrating your whole back-end platform whilst running a business of our scale involves massive risks if not done correctly,” explains Dimi Karatzas, CEO of Dafabet. “Comtrade Gaming was able to manage the process for us seamlessly and the transition has had an instant positive effect on our business. The new platform will help us continue to grow and meet the demands of the business as the market becomes more competitive.”
Whether done in a big bang or our preferred multi-stage approach, our experience shows that within days of successful migration there is a positive impact on player retention and GGR.
With this caliber of platform technology, operators with previous system limitations are no longer constrained by their strategy, especially in regards to driving their market share. Unlike the game itself, our industry is only about holding good cards and not about playing a poor hand well.