Daniel Graetzer Executive Director of Mediatech Solutions speaks to SBC on the realities of creating industry platform services and provisions for effective international expansion.
Focusing on delivering a tailored product for each individual market, Mediatech Solutions has won a number of new international clients. Graetzer who heads up strategy for the platform provider details what core factors stakeholders must asses when delivering gambling services to new and developing markets.
SBC: Hi Daniel, great to catch up. Mediatech Solutions (MTS) has won a number of international platform contracts in 2016. How has your team achieved these wins?
Daniel Graetzer : Through a combination of hard work and offering the best product on the market. Our next-generation IRIS platform is a genuine game-changer, and operators all over the world are realising its potential. They are particularly drawn to its flexibility and we make sure we offer a tailored product for each market.
It has also been about building strong relationships in markets across the world. In recent weeks I’ve been to Panama, Romania, Philippines, Peru, Nigeria and a number of other emerging markets. There is really no substitute for talking to customers in these jurisdictions and gaining an understanding of each region’s unique challenges and demands.
SBC: MTS has placed a high emphasis on extending its services in developing betting/igaming markets. When entering these markets, what factors did you have to consider in terms of MTS services and capabilities for developing markets?
DG: Many of the emerging markets that are beginning to regulate online gaming already have a strong land-based heritage. So, our omni-channel expertise, combined with our partners at R Franco who have more than 50 years of experience in land-based supply, is a really strong selling point. Omni-channel often provides a good entry into these markets so we continue to focus on that side of the product.
SBC: How has your experience in MTS home market of Spain, helped you extend your platform provisions within developing markets?
DG: Spain is an extremely interesting market. It is emerging as one of the most important in Europe now, but I think it is fair to say it has taken some time to reach this stage. It was only last year that online slots could be offered for the first time, and now online revenues are growing impressively. Our experience in Spain is definitely helping us in developing markets elsewhere. Latin America is an obvious target, but we find that the regulatory challenge posed in Spain also puts us in a strong position to pitch in many emerging markets.
SBC: From a commercial perspective what are developing market operators valuing in terms of platform services and provisions?
DG: It is all about flexibility. If you look at a lot of the emerging markets which are beginning to introduce online regulation, operators face very different challenges to those they face in the major European jurisdictions. Product is often heavily restricted in these regions, regulation is massively complex and customer preferences are very different. Operators understand that an out-of-the-box solution designed for Western Europe will not work for them. Our job is to provide them with the tools to create the kind of offer which can succeed.
SBC: Looking at industry technology, are current industry platform provisions too structured to provide effective services for developing markets such as Africa and South America?
DG: I would say so. Africa and South America are developing extremely quickly. It isn’t just the regulation, it is the technology and player preferences too. Take Nigeria as an example: retail pool-betting dominated for many years, but now new verticals including sports betting, virtual sports and lottery are challenging the old order. Any operator locked into a turn-key provider is not going to survive if it cannot adapt to the new market reality.
SBC: Finally, how do you see MTS services for developing markets progressing in the coming months?
DG: We will continue to develop our flagship IRIS platform and the accompanying land-based project, Candy. We’ll have some exciting new deals to talk about later in the year. IRIS’s modules are decoupled and all our APIs are available for integration, so as well as offering total flexibility to operators, we are also in a position to adapt the platform as technology progresses. We don’t see IRIS as a static platform – it is always evolving and improving, and that is absolutely vital in emerging markets.
Daniel Graetzer Mediatech Solutions Executive Director