GPWA Times Magazine - Issue 27 - February 2014

Creating a better back office – the holistic approach T he back office is the nerve center for any online gaming operation. It’s where online operators manage player retention and bonuses, enable cross-mar- keting, provide affiliate services and over- see responsible gaming – including pay- ment limits and self-exclusions. Yet very few people actually get a chance to see a back office in action, or see the thought process behind why it was built in a particular way. But at EiG in October, Amaya Gaming gave GPWA Editor-in-chief Vin Narayanan a peek behind the cur- tain with a special tour of Game Office, Amaya’s player management platform and back office. Vin spoke with Fredrik Kjell, Amaya’s di- rector of product, and Karl Ask, Amaya’s head of platform. VN: What is the Game Office? Amaya: The Game Office is Amaya’s gam- ing platform to host and support different gaming verticals, from casino to poker to bingo and other games. We’ve been work- ing with this for a little bit over a year and a half and we released our first version in the spring (2013) to a number of brands in the global market and we’re now working in tight cooperation with Caesars to pro- vide them with the Game Office for their New Jersey efforts. VN: And you’re working with Caesars all over? Amaya: We’re working with them in New Jersey for the brand We’re providing them with the Game Office to support all of the administration and management of the games as well as casino content. VN: Does it have to interact with their brand as well? Amaya: These are separate back offices. But our Game Office is designed to support several verticals, so in the event of them wanting to take on our poker (Ongame) or running other brands of poker, we can easily add that on top of our Game Office. VN: What’s new and interesting with this product? Amaya: It goes all the way through from the user (player) interface and experience down to the back office. So we’re not treat- ing them necessarily as totally separate products. But we have a thought of how the whole customer flow goes through these systems. Starting out, this system is totally built us- ing responsive design. You’ll see the same interface on your phone and on your tab- let. This is not two different sites, or a dif- ferent app. It’s the exact same product. It works from the desktop and then adapts to the resolution of your smaller screens. VN: And that’s for both the client/player side and the back office? Amaya: For the back office, we have a responsive design, but we don’t see that neces- sarily as that big of a require- ment. Maybe you want to work down to an iPad when you want to look at results or you want to administrate. But there’s a lot of information in there so you often want to use a lot of your screen real estate when you do that. But all of the products in there as well as our report- ing format are adapting to smaller screens. VN: So the casino is going to be an adaptive design where you can play it on the mobile and on the tablet? Amaya: The casino will be produced in HTML 5, so it will be the same thing there (adaptive design). You can ro- tate it and play it on landscape mode as well. From a basic point of view, we’re asking, “What’s the mobile device?” We’ve seen and heard from a lot of operators that mobile has already taken over the desk- top usage. That’s why when we look at design, you look to prioritize information. You make things visible so you can use it with your fingers. And you can easily understand what’s important. With hardware-enhanced CSS 3, it makes the (experience) app-like, so it’s no longer loading new pages. It makes it flow very smooth, almost like an app. VN: So you’re bringing an app experience to the desktop and then you’re keeping that experience on the mobile devices? 60 Creating a better back office