Mark Woolard, Business Development Director at Pragmatic Solutions, talked to IGB TV about the challenges operators are facing and our plans for the next 2 years.
1. What are some of the biggest challenges that operators are currently facing, and what are the attributes they need to succeed?
I think operators want much more control over their business, given that both businesses and the environment are changing very quickly. If they don’t have that control, they can’t change the market conditions and they may lose out to other competitors. In the online gaming space, lots of people are doing very similar things to each other, so when people have the same content, similar kind of marketing and similar targeted countries, it’s hard to differentiate themselves in the space. One of the ways that we think they can differentiate is by having a platform that they have much more control over.
At Pragmatic Solutions we don’t make people go into long contracts and we don’t force our home products onto clients either. That means that if you want to change your bingo supplier, your casino supplier, your sports supplier, we allow you to do that and I think that gives operators much more control.
2. What are the key markets you are focused on currently, and why?
We are focusing on European Regulated Markets at the moment, looking to expand that into UK, Spain, Italy. We currently have licenses in Malta, Curacao, Sweden, so those are the targets at this point. We are definitely looking to expand into the US soon. I think our product is a core platform product, something which is suited to all markets, but we’ve decided to be strategic with the ones that we go after first, given what the clients want.
The UK as a whole is a very busy marketplace, with a lot of mature businesses. However, we’re again finding that businesses with the need to have more control over what they do are sometimes moving across from their core platform in the UK to others, so that’s why we’re doing the GLI – UK certification at the moment.
3. What comes next for Pragmatic Solutions in 2019/2020?
I think we are going to be much more focused on our marketing. We are getting the message out there that we are a flexible platform. Even if you’ve been in a long contract with the previous platform supplier and there is a lot of trust there, maybe you want to be taking a different approach, something which you can have much more control over in the future. The message is that you can allow your business to expand and flourish as you want. If you, for example, went out on one route with a business for year and that does not work out and you want to change your product, this is not an issue for us. We’re happy to change products and move as you move. The other thing is that we have a very different business model to what people have at the moment: a core platform functionality- which is great, but also, all these home products which are forced upon them. This is something we never do. With our sister business Pragmatic Play, we do have products that we can offer to clients, but that’s never forced upon clients, it’s upon to them to choose their own destinies. The next 1- 2 years is about pushing that message and then get more clients on board.
4. How are you meeting the demands for technology innovations?
At the moment, the market is quite focused on AI and cryptocurrency, as the current, new generation of technology. We’re a platform that can easily integrate those solutions. It’s always up to the clients what they want to do it and how they want to do it.
For example, if you have cryptocurrency payments or AI technology in your business intelligence tools, with our API you could plug that into your platform. We usually take typically 3 weeks per integration, which is extremely quick. That’s because the way in which the platform was built is that we build the core, the source code of the platform, then it becomes more modular. What that means is that we have 250 + APIs and when we want to change a certain technology or update it, we don’t have to go to the core to do that. Instead, we can integrate very quickly, in 3 weeks, depending on what the client needs. Our roadmap is entirely client focused, so if a client wants a specific technology, we would do that. We wouldn’t integrate that if the client weren’t asking for it, which means that you’ll not get stuck in a roadmap against our own technology being built.
Let’s say you want to add a new BI tool and you don’t want to use ours, you want to use your own. You can do that, and we’ll integrate it quickly. You won’t be competing with our own resource; we won’t say that we’re developing our own BI tool and do yours in 3 months. Instead, we’ll do yours straight way, because we are purely client-led and focused.