From chatbots to low latency streaming and adaptive bitrate solutions, iNTERGAMINGi examines the ideas and innovations emerging, showcasing products and services of the future. Our Senior Broadcast Solutions Manager, Menelaos Ladopoulos, reveals at iNTERGAMINGi during the roundtable, how Vermantia is capitalising on the latest in technology to bring real-time streaming, the industry’s paramount addition.
How are you driving innovation through new products and services?
Digital transformation and technological advancements are imperative factors that drive innovation for all businesses across multiple industries. At Vermantia, innovation is a core value. We always adopt the latest in technology to provide our partners with solutions that combine successfully quality and fast−time to market. In previous years, our broadcast hub has been highly investing in R&D efforts to develop the optimum streaming solution, enabling real−time streaming for all online, retail and mobile audiences with less than one second latency − an industry record.
Keeping our fingers at the pulse, we always design solutions that are fully aligned with modern players’ demands for interactive, betting experiences, enabling our partners to increase customer satisfaction in steadily increasing rates.
How important is it to be flexible when providing technological solutions?
Every partner has different needs and requirements and our eagerness to design bespoke services is apparent through every partnership we initiate and in every product we design. By bringing together our knowledge in offering bespoke services according to customers’ needs and demands, we provide solutions that boost any online or retail environment around the world.
Our ultra−low latency streaming service lies in this respect. Designed to tackle one of the most crucial issues of the online and retail betting sector − stream latency − it enables operators to stream content in real−time to any betting shop around the world or online, on a 24ƒ7 basis to keep players engaged and fully satisfied. It goes without saying that allowing players to place bets upon the on−screen action translates into increased revenues and profitability for the operators.
Part of our customer−focused approach is to create industry−specific solutions with all the required components and convert them to bespoke projects. Our streaming service follows that suit, as we are able to customise this service as part of a greater turnkey solution. It consolidates turnkey services, ranging from content sourcing and hosting, bespoke channel production to delivery. Alongside the service can be delivered to our partners either as a SaaS or bundled with our top quality content, as it can be part of a bespoke, end−to−end solution on our Connect platform.
What are the latest innovation trends in your sector?
The world of betting has been changing tremendously during the past months but is now on a quick recovery. Besides the exponential growth of technology, which drives industry trends, other factors like Covid−19 have led to the creation of a new landscape.
With the lack of real−life sporting events for players to bet on, operators had to think of engaging ways to hold their customers’ attention and to provide them with fast−paced betting opportunities. Moving on from traditional sports to virtual and next−gen games, the industry has managed to minimise the losses experienced elsewhere due to the pandemic.
To help our partners achieve that, we gave them access to a single−source collection of unique virtual sports and next gen−games powered by our Connect platform, all delivered through our streaming service or through our satellite broadcasting platform. Thereby, players were granted access to exciting fast−paced content that boosted their satisfaction.
Bettors also crave for around−the−clock engaging betting opportunities that are available through any channel, anytime, in real−time, now more than ever. Our streaming service solution served that demand, delivering content to all retail, online and mobile all year round to compile an exceptional viewing and betting experience.
Has the pandemic had a knock-on impact on innovation in your sector and if so, could you describe this?
On the basis that no industry has been left untouched by the pandemic, the same also applies to ours. With all major leagues postponed or cancelled, we had to quickly adapt to the rapidly evolving landscape and to offer solutions that could satisfy players during the ‘new normal’.
During the lockdown period, we shifted our focus to online oriented products, like our unique portfolio of high performing virtual sports, to meet players’ ever−evolving needs. Delivered through our streaming solution, we offered a complete betting offering that could rise up to our customers’ needs. As online betting keeps thriving, we provide our partners with our services with a sole purpose: to help them grow efficiently in a dynamic environment.
With restrictions now eased − although not fully lifted − and following the resumption of sporting events, analysts and industry insiders expect to see a relatively quick return to normal with a full recovery to follow swiftly.
We are firm believers that behind every crisis lies an opportunity and that things will get better for everyone shortly.
How do you manage to stay ahead of the competition in the markets you are active in?
Versatility and a client−first mindset are at the heart of our business and we manage to design forward−looking betting solutions that are always tailored to our customers’ unique expectations.
Through our extensive know−how, we have seen that what may work in one region won’t certainly work on another. As a case in that point, our ultra−low latency streaming service may be a good fit for all online operators as well as for retail operators in established and emerging locations, for instance in Romania and Spain, but for other locations where the internet connectivity is poor or is under development like in Africa it is not the ideal solution. Instead, a bespoke satellite broadcasting service will do the trick and enable operators to offer engaging betting content to their players.
A tailor−made approach is the name of the game here. We particularly enjoy reaping the customisation reward and that is what keeps us going forward.
What do you believe will become the next steps in the progress of the overall end-user experience?
According to recent research, two out of three customers are willing to switch to a competitor that provides the best user experience. This finding denotes the significantly high importance of customer experience in today’s business landscape.
As I previously mentioned, the betting industry is always on the move and constantly adapts to the latest trends. If businesses want to lead the way for growth, they need to evolve their approach and start delivering solutions that fit their clients’ demands.
To achieve the optimum player experience, we should not leave out of the equation the latest trends of the industry. For instance, nothing can beat the excitement of live sports or live racing events streamed in real−time with less than one second latency in any betting shop across the globe, online or at players’ mobile devices.
Those who understand the shifting dynamics in customers’ behaviour and dare to innovate will be able to provide services that rise to the expectations of the players and ultimately see their revenues go up.
Read the full iNTERGAMINGi roundtable here (pages 28-32).