Vermantia CEO Menelaos Ladopoulos

Menelaos Ladopoulos: Vermantia leading the way on innovation and customer service

Menelaos Ladopoulos marks his promotion from Technical Director to Chief Technology Officer (CTO) at Vermantia by telling SBC News about his new role and what lotteries, gaming and betting operators can expect from the specialist content solutions supplier in the near future.

In the interview, the newly-appointed CTO discusses his journey to this leadership role, the company’s commitment to delivering high-level services, and the technical challenges of delivering live data and content to customers around the world. 

He also sheds light on Vermantia’s approach to developing omnichannel solutions and the exciting innovations that have the potential to reshape the retail sector.

SBC: Congratulations on your promotion to Chief Technology Officer. Could you tell us about your career journey to get to this point?

Menelaos Ladopoulos: I am thrilled to have been promoted to the position of CTO at Vermantia! Since joining the company in 2018, I have held the role of Technical Director and have been able to use my extensive expertise, built up over 20 years in the broadcast media industry, to contribute to Vermantia’s success.

Throughout my career, I have had the privilege of working in senior positions for some of the most innovative and transformational technology companies in the broadcast industry. This experience has enabled me to develop a high level of know-how and technical skills, which I have leveraged to deliver several turn-key projects nationally and worldwide.

In my current role as CTO, I am overseeing a wide spectrum including broadcast engineering, systems integration, content delivery, new products and technologies development process and R&D. By recording the technical specifications of the products and services we use, I ensure that consistency is maintained throughout the production and delivery process.

I am excited about the opportunity to lead Vermantia’s technology efforts and drive the company’s continued growth and success. At Vermantia our goal is to stay at the forefront of innovation in the industry and deliver high-quality solutions to our customers, and this is my key responsibility.

SBC: How does your background of working for some of the most innovative companies in the broadcast industry help you to deliver a high-level service to Vermantia’s customers?

ML: Working in such a diverse and constantly evolving industry for over 20 years has taught me the importance of being adaptable and proactive in problem solving. I have learned to stay ahead of the curve by keeping up with market trends and using my technical expertise to enhance existing products and services.

At Vermantia, we pride ourselves on delivering high-level services that go beyond just having cutting-edge technology. Our team is made up of hand-picked experts who understand the needs of our customers and are dedicated to providing solutions that exceed their expectations. We make it our mission to anticipate potential challenges and offer innovative solutions that not only make our customers’ lives easier but also enhance the user experience for their end-users.

Our success lies in our ability to foster strong relationships with our customers and truly understand their needs. By doing so, we can tailor our approach to each client and ensure that we provide a service that is second to none. 

Ultimately, our goal is to deliver products and services that not only meet but exceed our customers’ expectations, and we strive to achieve this every day through a combination of technical excellence and exceptional customer service.

SBC: Much of Vermantia’s product offering relies on speed. What are the major technical challenges you face to deliver live data and content to customers around the world? and how do you overcome them?

ML: In the early to mid-90s research was a much more challenging task and technology was not as advanced as it is today. Nowadays, with information overload, filtering and identifying what is truly useful is critical for professionals doing market research or launching a new product.

As technology continues to evolve, technical challenges become more complex and it is our responsibility to identify and address these challenges before a product reaches the market. We achieve this through extensive research and development, and rigorous testing of each solution before launch. 

Our long-term relationships with customers are integral to this process. By building strong connections over the years, we have sought their assistance in testing several of our offerings that fit their needs. Looking into the solution through the eyes of the customer in real-time environments allows us to evaluate it differently and overcome all difficulties before going live.

SBC: Systems that work effectively in both retail and online environments are notoriously difficult to get right. What has Vermantia’s technical team done differently to develop omnichannel solutions that really work? 

ML: When it comes to omnichannel solutions, it’s not just about having the right technology and experience, but also about understanding the customer and their journey. We focus on creating a seamless customer experience across all channels, from online to in-store. We do this by analysing customer data and behaviour, and we tailor our solutions to their needs.

In addition, we believe that ongoing innovation is essential to staying ahead in this constantly evolving industry. We are always exploring new technologies and strategies to improve our solutions and provide our customers with the best possible experience. Our goal is to not only meet customer expectations but exceed them, and we achieve this by staying ahead of the curve and anticipating future trends.

SBC: Retail bookmakers are almost unrecognisable from 20 years ago due to the adoption of increasing levels of technology. Are there still further innovations to come in the retail industry and what products can customers look forward to seeing in betting shops in the coming years?  

ML: The evolution of technology has revolutionised the betting industry, creating a more tech-friendly and user-friendly betting experience. As a tech-driven person due to my role, I believe that we have only scratched the surface of what is possible. 

We are constantly exploring new technologies such as ultra-low latency streaming, advanced CRM systems, and cashier services to name a few. Our goal is to create a more understandable back office and seamless user experience.

One of the most exciting aspects of my job is the limitless possibilities of technology. We are constantly pushing the boundaries and exploring new solutions to perfect the industry. Some of the solutions we are currently working on include content management solutions, content delivery over IP, automated channels playout, data and live data screens, and many more. Automation and customisation are the keywords here.

With the right expertise and utilisation of technology, we can pioneer solutions that will not only move the entire retail market forward but also create new offerings that will amaze the end customer. I am excited to see where this technology journey will take us.

SBC: The fast pace of technological change in recent years has given consumers access to a huge choice of entertainment at the touch of a button and the expectation of a great user experience. How has that new landscape influenced the thinking for Vermantia’s product development?

ML: I have had the privilege to witness the success of many of our products, which are still thriving in the market today. We take pride in providing live sports and racing content with less than two seconds of latency streaming, bringing the action almost in real-time to our customers. This has been one of our greatest achievements. Our focus on ultra-low latency streaming has already positioned us as leaders in the market. 

We realised early on that multifunctional solutions that are easily customisable through mobile devices are the future of this industry, and we are relentlessly pursuing this path.

As a high-tech company that provides turnkey solutions, our primary goal is to develop products that not only make the lives of retail companies easier but also offer the best possible user experience. Our experience has enabled us to stay ahead of the curve and even shape the landscape of this industry.

SBC: And finally, do you have any new products in development that you can tell us about?

ML: It’s great to have the freedom to be creative at Vermantia, this is a core value! It sounds like the team is dedicated to constantly improving and developing new products.

Regarding the new projects you mentioned, we are focusing now to further enhance the user experience for retail customers, which simultaneously gives flexibility to operators for easy control of their operations. 

The ability to remotely control all monitors and content in a retail network, and add live odds and data to preferred live events, is a valuable feature that can make a big difference for operators. It will be interesting to see how this project progresses and how it is received by the market.

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