Microsoft Azure lays platform for BetKing’s gaming success
Microsoft is not simply the supplier of BetKing’s tech infrastructure, but also provides guidance and support for important stages of its digital transformation, including migrating to the cloud, and utilising tools and services such as Synapse Analytics, Azure Databricks and Azure Data Factory.
The Microsoft account team’s relationship with BetKing and the team behind their platform began in Summer 2019, while before that time BetKing worked primarily with Microsoft partners, said Adrian Gatt, iGaming Business Development Manager.
Eva Angelopoulou, who is responsible for Azure and its Data and AI technologies, said: “Initially we migrated the whole infrastructure onto Azure, to ensure agility with minimum maintenance and administration, and they maintained their own on-premise data center as Disaster Recovery site. In the second phase, we moved that over as well.”
Microsoft provided BetKing with technical guidance, governance and best practices, and involved a team of Azure engineers to ensure a smooth transition. “We have invested a lot of effort in streamlining the support experience and discussed their concerns with regards to regulation and potential hybrid approach to cover data sovereignty needs, as iGaming is a highly regulated industry,” she added.
Gatt said its primary focus is to support the organisation as it goes through its M&A cycle, and enhance the platform’s monitoring. “We are making sure the customer’s Azure platform is more resilient in view of expansion into new markets, helping modernise applications and infrastructure, develop and infuse AI into their platform, and enhance Azure skills of BetKing’s technical team through our skilling initiatives,” he said.
“BetKing now has a cloud-only Azure set up but this is an ongoing journey, with more cloud services and continuous modernisation of applications and infrastructure.”
Microsoft ensures that all capabilities that can bring value are recommended and adopted – a case in point being the use of Azure Synapse, an integrated analytics service that can be implemented across data warehouses and big data systems.
Angelopoulou said BetKing has identified that data is the future and will be channelling investment into reporting, insights and machine learning.
“Big data analytics has been discussed throughout many workshops and it is our plan to support them with core investment in piloting new AI technologies to achieve personalised recommendations, fraud detection, VIP prediction, bonus recommendations, churn predictions and digital agents to help users through the platform, and any other AI tools which can help them gain market share and grow their business.”
Consultative services are also a part of Microsoft’s armoury, such as sharing best practice, ideas and trends in the gaming industry, and discussing ready Microsoft partners’ solutions that can be used to improve end users’ experience or grow the platform, thereby improving time-to-market and innovation journeys.
“Our mission is to ensure that we’re seen as a partner that enables BetKing to make an increased impact in their markets – we don’t want to be seen as just a vendor, and our customers to be dependent on us. We want them to be independent with us,” said Gatt.
BME and BBF Fintech to stage sustainable finance hackathon
The first hackathon focused on the fintech and insurtech world at an international level, concentrating on sustainable finance, will be hosted in Bilbao.
The ‘Hack & Disrupt!’ event will take place on 25, 26 and 27 June, and is organised by BME and BBF Fintech. The event aims to bring together companies, entrepreneurs and startups to solve global technological challenges as a team.
The event, which is sponsored by BBK, Plaza Financiera Bilbao and SIX's startup accelerator, F10, wants to connect entrepreneurs and businesses to re-imagine finance and insurance through digitalisation. The challenges that participants will be facing are geared towards innovation and sustainable finance.
Due to the pandemic, the event will be held in a hybrid format, combining a face-to-face part, at the BBF Bilbao Berrikuntza Faktoria, and through a technological platform, which will feature different stands, chats and workrooms. The opening and closing ceremonies, as well as various panels related to the entrepreneurial world and the fintech and insurtech ecosystem, will be streamed from the platform.
What will happen at the event?
The opening will reflect on innovation in the securities markets and then afterwards there will be a panel discussion on sustainability. Challenges will be introduced on Friday evening, and the teams will start working on their resolution until Sunday 27th. Saturday 26th features presentations by several experts, including Berta Ares, General Manager of BME Inntech, and Manuel Ardanza, Chairman of the Bilbao stock exchange.
The winners, which will be announced on Sunday, will be eligible for three prizes: a prospection trip to Switzerland, where they will be able to get to know its fintech ecosystem in detail, the possibility of participating in the incubation Programme and in BBF Fintech’s II Open Innovation Programme, the public-private fintech incubator promoted by Bizkaia’s provincial council, Bilbao’s City Hall, the University of Mondragón and Dominion, as well as direct access to the final interview to participate in the F10 incubation and acceleration programme.
Javier Hernani, CEO of BME, believes that BME's presence at this event reaffirms the company's commitment to digitalisation, innovation and the promotion of SMEs and disruptive startups, which adds to other initiatives, such as the Pre-Market Environment. "Today's startups can be tomorrow's stock market blue chips," he stated. “We also reiterate our support for Bilbao as an innovative financial centre, where BME closely follows the entrepreneurial ecosystem”, he added.