To deliver a localised and personalised player experience, operators are having to take their products and propositions to the next level. This has seen many look to third party providers that specialise in areas such as content, payments, gamification and loyalty and reward schemes. 

But with a high level of specialism required in each area, and new depths of complexity and technicality being explored as companies continue to push the boundaries, we are starting to see these third party providers also join forces to enhance their products and services. 

Incentive Games and Captain Up are two such companies that have recently collaborated for the first time, and CasinoBeats sat down with Victor Pronk, CCO of Incentive Games, and Uri Admon, founder and CEO of Captain Up, to learn more. 

CasinoBeats: Why are we seeing a growing number of operators use third party specialists to help with key areas of their business?

UA: Our industry includes various aspects, technologies and expertise. Like any healthy ecosystem, the gaming industry has matured and embraced new tools, tech and approaches, aiming to provide the best experience to the player. 

But as my grandfather always says, “concentration of effort is the key to success”. Acquisition, onboarding, security, payments, engagement, retention, marketing and compliance all require unique skill sets, specific methodologies and best practices. 

This means operators have their hands full just when it comes to the day to day running of their business, let alone when it comes to creating cutting-edge products, games, loyalty schemes and rewards systems. 

Operators achieve the best results by focusing on their core expertise while enriching their offering with specialised strategic partners that deliver advanced products, features and tools. In short, collaboration is absolutely key. 

How can operators and suppliers identify their competencies and what they should look to outsource?

UA: Most operators already know what their core competencies are, so it is more a question of how they can identify areas for growth, how they can drive growth and which parts of that process will require the help and support of a third party.  

When aiming to increase KPIs, brands are faced with various strategic decisions:

  • What KPIs do we aim to improve, what are the priorities?
  • How can we achieve these goals?
  • Should we build or buy a solution?
  • What is the priority of the project?
  • How long will it take?
  • Should we maintain a new tech solution in house or outsource?
  • How much will it cost?
  • Do we have any experience in this area?

It must be remembered that any new solution requires ongoing support and maintenance, the challenge of constant innovation and the need to keep adding features. When considering their options, top brands choose the right partner for each area based on their expertise. 

VP: I would just add that when a business is looking to distinguish itself from others in the market, it is important to do so in a way that does not eat into its profit margin. It’s very easy to lower margin or give away more and bigger bonuses, but that is not sustainable. 

This is where both Captain Up and Incentive Games excel, providing solutions that set the operator apart without lowering their margins. But again, this requires the operator to understand where their expertise lies, and to then collaborate with other businesses that specialise in certain areas. 

What would you say your competencies are?

UA: Captain Up enables brands to offer a new customer experience, enriching the user journey with challenges, badges, tournaments, jackpots, leaderboards, personal promotions, shop and more. 

Regulatory developments highlight the need for innovation and creativity, circumventing the use of bonuses. We are empowering brands with personal gamified marketing tools, while also adhering to dynamic regulatory guidelines. 

With Captain Up, brands create scheduled targeted campaigns, segmented according to user behaviour, and then link a reward with an action. They can also offer personalised missions, promotions and events.  

This is all powered by unified customer data from various sources such as CRM, service clouds and data warehouses. 

We are all about driving business growth, rewarding loyalty, building personalised journeys, monitoring costs and promoting responsible gaming. 

VP: We provide games that combine something that people are passionate about (sports) with an opportunity to compare their knowledge and skills of the game with others, while also having a chance to win a prize. We then combine these with the latest science in gamification and human behaviour and bring them together in our free to play games. 

Our games help our clients to effectively acquire new users at unprecedented rates, retain those users by maximising consumer engagement and finally monetise them to create the crucial thing – revenue.

Is the nature of the industry, and the need for companies to specialise in key areas, leading to more suppliers collaborating? Why?

UA: As the gaming industry becomes more sophisticated, data driven and agile, we are seeing the need for smart, robust solutions that empower the huge growth in demand and performance across many geographies. Collaboration allows us to offer the best of breed solutions in one package. 

A perfect game lobby consists of many types of games by many suppliers. The backend is the same, it consists of many specialised technologies compiled together into one optimal player experience.

VP: Since we are specialised in a specific area, like engagement and retention, we are very likely to achieve better results than when an operator decides to do this themselves. We can fine tune our games and gamification techniques based on experiences with multiple operators in multiple jurisdictions. 

Although our games are plug and play solutions, to achieve maximum results they need to be part of customer approach that strengthens their goals: increased repeat visits and monetisation of these visits. We quickly realised that the vision and goals from Captain Up matched ours and that using our products together would create synergy for our clients.

What challenges are faced when two suppliers collaborate and how can they be overcome?

UA: The focus of the collaboration is to create more value to our customers. The operators that work with us don’t want more tech headaches, more agreements, more support and more configurations – they want better results, improved performance, fast deployment and measurable KPIs. We provide a unified approach – embedding our solutions together and providing an enhanced experience to the brand from day one. 

VP: When you decide to partner up with another solution provider there needs to be a common vision for your products and there needs to be a cultural match as well. We both took the time to get to know each other and how we see this industry and our role in it. 

After that we needed to match our commercial offering and make sure that the combined pricing would make sense for both us and the client. In the end that is what counts; if we, together, are providing value for the client. 

Last, we share our expectations for the partnership. Both in our responsibilities towards the clients, but also in what constitutes a successful partnership.

How does supplier collaboration ultimately lead to an improved product/service for the operator?

UA: When experts in different aspects of the industry collaborate, the joint value of years of dedicated, specialised work is multiplied by an exponent factor. The experience is richer, deeper. That is our goal and that is the main challenge when connecting two complimentary solutions into one strategic offer. We provide an enhanced offer to all our clients, without the need for further tech work. 

VP: By integrating products the collaboration can provide a better experience for the client as they will not have to deal with multiple parties during integration. It will also provide a better result as the products work together seamlessly and it guarantees that both suppliers will have aligned their goals and effort.