t is no news to the industry that ICE is a must-attend event in the gaming calendar, for it sets the trends that will determine the future of the sector. What's been your overall impression of ICE Totally Gaming 2017 and when do you expect to reap the benefits of your participation in the international exhibition?
Once again ICE Totally Gaming was a great opportunity for Intralot to demonstrate to leading gaming professionals from all around the globe a greater than ever suite of novel, best-of-breed solutions “born” in our Innovation Center. This year we were extremely thrilled to present our player-centric approach, themed “all about the player” that represents Intralot’s strategy to drive player engagement through personalized and entertaining offerings. Our groundbreaking product portfolio was hosted at our impressive, award-wining 650 sqm booth branded “Intralot Iconic Pavilion”, with a design that reflects our vision for the evolution in our industry. This year we had a record number of visitors excited with our propositions, as well a large number of productive business meetings held, hence we are really confident that 2017 will be another successful year for Intralot.
Do you anticipate any major changes or hope to see any changes to the gaming industry in 2017 that are going to have an effect on the company's operations?
Great developments are taking place across geographies; legislative changes, opening of new markets and new regulation in existing ones, players’ new habits, and disruptive technologies, to name a few. Within this framework, lotteries are in a transformational phase, aiming to modernize their operations and advance their gaming offering, adopting new technologies in better serving their customers.
Lotteries have a lot to achieve; innovate at Retail, integrate Mobile into the retail playing experience, attract players from diversified demographics, increase players’ loyalty, apply best-practices from outside the lottery industry thus in the end achieving a seamless player journey. At Intralot we are concentrating our efforts on supporting our lottery customers to successfully address these needs and optimize the playing experience offered to their current and future players, both from a technological and an operational point of view, as well as offering them flexibility through open and modular central systems that are fully vetted for stability and security.
One of the hot topics at this year's ICE was Multichannel Convergence. What is your approach towards the cross-channel experience and why is this a key revenue driver for businesses? What are the main barriers to multichannel success and what is the importance of data?
The challenge for the lottery industry is to offer to players a much anticipated, truly personalized and seamless experience across all channels. Intralot has developed a product portfolio that supports our customers to reach players through all available touch-points in the most efficient way, thus adding value not only to the end-customer but also to every stakeholder involved in the process.
At the center of Intralot’s omni-channel strategy is Canvas, a content management system designed to deliver a unified customer experience combined with the flexibility of supporting multiple gaming verticals through different channels, centrally managed through only one platform. Canvas provides the operators with the right tools to adapt the content based firstly on visitor’s profile or his past behavior within the portal, so that the player can receive a personalized and contextually rich experience. In addition, with the ever-increasing usage of mobile and tablet devices, Canvas supports an intuitive navigation among channels and delivers the best player experience according to the portal’s accessing channel.
Moreover, data selection and its intelligent processing is another key factor for efficiently offering personalized content. To this end, an efficient and lottery-focused CRM system is crucial. At ICE we presented the INTRALOT Pulse family of customer engagement products designed to manage all the aspects of the “gaming ecosystem”. Player Pulse is the cutting-edge Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tool designed to manage player activity and increase their lifetime value. A platform that advances the player’s card to bridge the online gaming with the brick & mortar experience, enabling true understanding and connection with players. Retailer Pulse on the other hand, enables retail operators to leverage technology and strategically align their operations. And while retailers’ club/loyalty programs strengthen commitment, a promotions mechanism that synchronously motivates retailers, employees and players in order to create a profound in-store experience for the player.
What can both operators and players alike expect to see from you in terms of product development and what are your aims for the year?
Intralot is a trend-setter. We focus on developing revolutionary, industry - firsts that move our sector forward. This is the result of a well-built, market- and experience-driven R&D mechanism. At this year’s edition of ICE, we were able to navigate our visitors through an inspiring customer journey that streamed through four main areas which demonstrated the progression of our comprehensive portfolio. With real life end-to-end scenarios setup in the Interactive, Retail, Systems, and VLT areas, we presented efficient ways to address player needs through advanced hardware and software offerings.
We illustrated the player’s journeys this year through the use of a Player Card (for both anonymous as well as registered players) that allows universal access to the entire customer journey. A lot of emphasis was also placed on the registered players database. Our CRM, Pulse, and our Content Management System, Canvas are the two pillars for an efficient Lottery product Digital strategy.
In addition, this year we expect to launch new, modern functionalities of our central management system and evolve our betting platform to an omni-channel oriented tool.