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Exclusive Q&A with Dario Jurcic, Chief Business Officer at NSoft

George Miller

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Exclusive Q&A with Dario Jurcic, Chief Business Officer at NSoft
Reading Time: 4 minutes

 

Let’s begin with a few words about yourself and the company, NSoft. Our readers love to hear confident, top-class professionals say something about themselves and their job.

My name is Dario Jurcic, and I’m a Board member (Chief Business Officer) at NSoft company. I have been performing this role for the past 1.5 year. Prior to joining NSoft, I have been working in the banking industry, and my background is in IT/BI. NSoft is a leading software solutions provider hailing from Bosnia & Herzegovina, with its core business in entertainment, but recently we have also expanded our portfolio to security and health. We pride ourselves for being one of the few truly multi-vertical omni-channel solution providers with a wide range of products, such as Platform, Sportsbook, Virtual and Draw based games, Casino but also in-house terminal/ssbt production.

The year 2019 was a crucial year for NSoft. You had planned global expansion as the main mission for the year? Looking back, how did it go?

Prior to 2019 we knew we had the right products and services, but in 2019 we decided to go more aggressively on advocating our portfolio to a much wider audience. The campaign included heavy digital marketing efforts, but also increasing our business team in Africa, Asia and Latin America. This resulted in significant revenue growth and new market penetrations, however, the best is yet to come as the onboarding process has passed and the team is pressing on.

You have recently signed a big deal in Haiti. Could you tell us more about your progress in Haiti?

The reception of our solutions in Haiti was beyond our expectations. The punters really love the products, especially the virtuals, and the partners are enjoying steady business growth. Nevertheless, the whole Latin America is really interesting for us and as I mentioned before we do have our representatives in the region now. It is really important to understand the needs of this market and we’re doing our best to understand and adapt to customer needs. I can only see more success for NSoft in this area, especially now since Brazil is opening its doors.

NSoft started offering Betradar’s Virtual Football League to Fortuna Romania’s customers in December. How has been the customers’ response towards the game so far?

That’s an interesting trifecta you mentioned: Romania, Betradar and Fortuna Group.
Romania is one of our key markets, Betradar is our partner of choice while Fortuna Group is one of our largest and most renowned partners. Doing business in Romania, partnering with Betradar and Fortuna have brought us much success so it’s no wonder that introducing a new product with the three ingredients combined was a complete success.

NSoft now has offices in Croatia, Asia, and Costa Rica, apart from headquarters in Bosnia and Herzegovina.  What are your expansion plans?

We do not plan to stop there. Africa is actually the continent we’re investing the most, and where we have expanded our team the most. The opportunities there are vast, and the development of the industry is as exciting as it was in Europe 10 years ago. Apart from that, we’ve just established our Business Development Department with a goal to tackle untapped opportunities with a bit different approach. The synergy between our gaming solutions and our security solutions will bring even more USP’s – but we’ll talk about when time is due.

The US gaming industry is undergoing tremendous changes. Tell us more about your US-specific products. How different is the US gaming sector from Europe’s?

Currently we are not so much focused on the US, but it, definitely, is on our roadmap. I believe that retail will be strong in the US, and I don’t think there is a better solutions provider for retail in the world thanus. We did see a growing interest for our SSBT’s in this market and I think STARK terminals will open many doors for us there. We need to be careful though, and we need to meet the needs of the markets we just expanded to. Losing focus and understanding of customer’s needs might backfire – so we’re taking one step at a time.

Now we can about some of your products. What set apart your betting platform, Seven, from the competition?

The Seven platform was built from code line 1 for the cloud, no legacy code. It is both horizontally and vertically scalable and built on modern technologies. This means that the needs for any size of operator could be met – and scalability is really something operators struggle nowadays. When you add to that its omnichannel capabilities, seamless product and payment methods integrations combined with clean UI you do have a winner. Our extensive device management makes us second to none when it comes to retail, you can install and operate thousands of devices from a single point and that is really remarkable and very much needed in the fast moving world where you don’t have the time to sit in the car and go to the shop to install a device.

Could you tell us about your upcoming products and games?

During ICE 2020 we will be displaying our two new virtuals: Virtual Drag Races and Virtual Penalty Shootout. I wouldn’t want to spoil it now, but both games are very much unique, and I’m eager to see the reception during the expo. Apart from that, we will be displaying our brand new T-800 terminal which is a bit more robust version of the ultra slim and popular T-1000 terminal. Also, something we’re really proud of are the synergies of our products so you’ll be able to see Vision AI surveillance system integrated on our terminals or even on Seven platform. Later, during the year we will be presenting our new Casino vertical products, but also products that belong to the health industry.

Now on to the final question. It is perhaps more cultural than technological. NSoft grew from a city that is not too well known for its software products. How difficult is it for a company from a Balkan or Eastern European country to scale new heights in the global technological front?

I think the hardest part is behind us, we have conquered the region we came from and we already see the good results in the new markets. Having the best company culture and the best team does help. When you add to that the variety and maturity of product portfolio, how could we go wrong?
No matter where we do business, or where we onboard new colleagues, the reception of NSoft is amazing and we are humbled and thankful for this. The best is yet to come.

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Interviews

Exclusive Q&A with Ruben Loeches, CMO at R. Franco Group

George Miller

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Exclusive Q&A with Ruben Loeches, CMO at R. Franco Group
Reading Time: 2 minutes

 

After another ICE success and 2020 fully underway, we sat down with the R. Franco Group’s CMO, Rubén Loeches, to talk about the show, product highlights and key goals for Spain’s legendary gaming provider.

Now that ICE is firmly in the rear-view mirror, how would you sum up R. Franco’s targets for the show?

It was a pleasure catching up with existing and prospective clients to discuss our exciting plans for the year ahead. With our digital arm founded only a few years ago, we’re taking our five decades of excellence in land-based gaming and using it to stake our claim in the online sector.

Promoting our deeply knowledgeable and capable team was a key goal for the show as we are a company boasting some of the brightest tech talent around. These are the minds behind the state-of-the-art product offering we proudly displayed at the conference, and our key goal to show off their abilities was more than surpassed.

R. Franco’s stand was certainly impressive, any particular highlights from your product showcase? What were attendees most excited about?

Our burgeoning game development catalogue drew strong interest, with premium quality reel, video-poker, video-bingo, roulette, casino and mini-games. These are fully customisable for both the online and land-based markets using our RF OnMix terminal, a touch screen multi-game machine able to integrate different games and connect to different peripherals while setting networks with other gaming terminals.

Attendees were clearly excited by the rapidly growing Latin American market – with good reason. Another aspect of our portfolio that we were therefore particularly keen to highly was our digital flagship IRIS Open Omnichannel Platform, a crucial tool for companies looking to make their mark on the fast-growing Spanish and LatAm markets as it powers many of the region’s largest operators.

What’s R. Franco Digital’s plan for 2020?

We have an exciting and action-packed roadmap for the year ahead, with a target of releasing a new game each month in 2020 under Maltese, Spanish, Portuguese and Colombian regulatory approval.

International expansion is another critical aspect of our 2020 agenda. Malta in particular will be central to our plans, having recently established our presence on the island. The territory’s regulatory environment is conducive to innovation, with the recent change in framework an especially pleasing development.

Elsewhere, the LatAm market is evolving at an incredible pace, with a wealth of tier one operators flocking to take advantage of the region’s amazing growth. We have a bespoke product range ready to help partners take their Latin American offering to the next level, and we intend to continue doing so in the year ahead.

What’s R. Franco Digital’s outlook for the gaming industry in 2020? Any key strategies for the year?

Moving away from international expansion, one area we’re particularly excited about is our home market of Spain. Not only is it proving to be an exciting prospect for the industry, but we also anticipate the region becoming even more desirable in the year ahead and are well placed to help our partners there deliver. The market is still developing, and we expect to see a surge in activity during 2020, with operators showing a strong interest in spite of the advertising ban.

Of course, a new generation of punters bring a new generation of demands. For instance, almost 10% of the country’s population are passionate eSports fans, so Spain will be a valuable test ground for a young and fast-growing betting vertical that is full of potential.

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Interviews

Evoplay Entertainment: “ICE is one of the year’s hottest fixtures – you’d be hard-pressed to find another event with so many operators and suppliers under one roof!”

George Miller

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Evoplay Entertainment: “ICE is one of the year’s hottest fixtures – you’d be hard-pressed to find another event with so many operators and suppliers under one roof!”
Reading Time: 3 minutes

 

We caught up with some of our favourite Eastern European suppliers to get the low down on what they’ll be bringing to the show this year.

Next up is Ivan Kravchuk, CEO of Evoplay Entertainment

Another year, another ICE! What’s Evoplay Entertainment excited about this year?

ICE is one of the year’s hottest fixtures – you’d be hard-pressed to find another event with so many operators and suppliers under one roof. No doubt, this year as ever will prove to be crammed with fantastic business opportunities, highlight announcements, a million new trends, and of course my personal favourite … the latest tech!

Anything in particular we can look forward to at the Evoplay Entertainment stand?

Our founding goal has been to revolutionise gaming development with some of the best tech innovation that’s out there, and when it comes to our stand, I can promise you this year will be no different.

We’ll be kicking off with our 2020 portfolio, which has some fantastically engaging games that I’m excited to be showcasing. However, our main fixture that will grab the limelight will no doubt be Dungeon: Immortal Evil. As the industry’s first RPG (think first-person adventure) slot, we’ve had to start from scratch when it comes to building it from the ground up. Everything from design to the game’s mechanics – it has literally been a labour of love for our stellar development team, and I’m absolutely blown away with the result.

We’ve designed this game to give our operators a serious leading edge when it comes to capturing the attention of the millennial generation. The latest generation of customer is looking content not only for them – but also action-packed gaming that can be shared across their online communities; from streaming on Twitch to sharing on TikTok. Smartphones lie at the core of this gaming community ecosystem, and the next 10 years are going to be all about mobile-adaptive content.

We’re seeing an ever-growing list of CEE companies getting in on the action at ICE – what’s your take?

I’m not exaggerating when I say that CEE is now moving as fast as Silicon Valley. From Estonia to Ukraine, the region is crammed with fast-growing start-ups, groundbreaking new tech – and of course, some truly bright minds. The level of technical education at the majority of CEE universities is outstanding, and our talent pool is arguably one of the world’s best. We’re proud to be part of such an exciting, fast growing region.

And for the show – any predictions for hottest topics?

When it comes to slots, I expect it to be all about merging the lines between gaming and entertainment. In such a competitive market, it’s imperative to capture the user’s attention as quickly as possible. We can see the same outside of our industry with the current showdown between Netflix and HBO as they battle it out to offer the best content; and the same will no doubt happen in our industry. The US slots market, which is in many ways still untapped, is also going to be hot this year – and I’m very much looking forward to talking to our partners about their business roadmaps and vision for the market.

Any advice for first-timers?

Everyone will tell you about the importance of networking – but I think ICE offers far more than this. The speaking tracks are always fantastically educational, and I’d advise first-timers to look at taking advantage of the wealth of information on offer; especially when it comes to exploring trends outside of your gaming vertical.

With 10 sectors available I would advise my industry friends to think outside the box and learn something new and evaluate how it can benefit from your product or solution. Knowledge after all, is power!

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Interviews

Digitain: “Innovation, personalisation and gamification are definitely going to be the most exciting for us this year”.

George Miller

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Digitain: “Innovation, personalisation and gamification are definitely going to be the most exciting for us this year”.
Reading Time: 3 minutes

 

With ICE only a day away, we caught up with some of our favourite Eastern European suppliers to get the low down on what they’ll be bringing to the show this year.

First up is Simon Westbury, Head of International Development at Digitain.

Another year, another ICE! What’s Digitain excited about this year?

As a tech company at heart, innovation, personalisation and gamification are definitely going to be the most exciting for us this year.

Innovation for Digitain is all about keeping our partners ahead of their rivals, as well as attracting and engaging the end-user. I’m thrilled to be showcasing our latest predictive AI modelling tools; able to personalise offerings and ensure that when players log on, they are able to immediately interact with the content they are looking for.

AI and predictive modelling can also go the other way too – our latest automatic match allocation program uses algorithms to automatically identify which traders are most optimal for each betting market – ensuring the most efficient pricing model is delivered to each of our partners.

Elsewhere, gamification, when integrated into a segmentation and customer retention strategy, is going to work wonders in the year ahead, and I’m excited to be taking our friends and partners through our latest strategies. A gamified experience – when merged with the right segmented customer, can drive players towards desired content at key times like never before. Combined with bonus rewards, competition against other players and other social elements, and you have an incredibly powerful tool on your hands for the year ahead.

Anything in particular we can look forward to at the Digitain stand?

Front and centre will be our comprehensive gaming and sportsbook platform. Providing operators with a one-stop-shop for success, it offers our proprietary, action-packed bonusing systems that will keep any player coming back for more.

At last count, we service over 100 partners around the globe with a user-friendly multi-lingual, multi-currency, customisable interface that can be easily integrated on any platform for both online and land-based operators, and I’m sure we’ll have plenty more to add to that list by the time ICE has passed by.

As the industry’s most flexible, scalable and modular sports betting platform, our sportsbook is serviced by more than 700 of Armenia’s brightest trading minds, covering more than 35,000 monthly live events, 7000 leagues and 3000 betting markets. Stretching across every touchpoint imaginable, we cater for website, mobile, apps, terminals and the betting shops. Our gaming offering is also one of the industry’s best, providing operators with a comprehensive package that totals more than 3000 slots, bingo and table games complete with live dealers.

As a global platform supplier, what would you advise operators to focus on at ICE this year?

If you want to stay ahead in 2020, focus on AI and deep data analytics. Having a toolkit that elevates the customer experience should be at the top of every operators’ ICE shopping list, and those who don’t take advantage of the latest tech are going to miss out on a lot of market share come ICE 2021.

In an increasingly crowded brand landscape, personalised Customer Relationship Marketing (CRM) powered by AI and data analytics is key to this. As competition increases, and customer bases and markets grow larger, it is becoming increasingly important for gaming operators to get more information about their customers in order to maintain, not to mention grow, their market share and build customer lifetime value.

While the gaming industry has championed the practice of customer relationship management already – CRM coupled with Digitain’s data insights will ensure 2020 will see a whole new level of delivery thanks to our market leading tech – and that’s before we even get into the cross-sell potential between sportsbook and casino.

And finally – are there any changes you’d like to see at ICE this year?

I’d like to do more to throw a light on markets outside of Western Europe and the US. I feel that sometimes as an industry we risk being too insular, and would argue that if you’re not awake to fast-developing markets such as LatAm (and, by all means, throw in the likes of India, Japan and Africa), then any you’re going to fall behind. The volumes in these jurisdictions are too consequential to be ignored.

Eastern Europe is a great example of this; with markets coming online at an exponential pace. In line with that, we’re seeing some fantastic gaming conferences and summits being set up to cater to this fast-developing region; with the Prague Gaming Summit and Central Eastern European Gaming Conference being real standouts. Operators would do well to keep an eye an eye on this dynamic part of the world.

Moving further abroad, Latin America is another excellent market to consider; as well as its steady growth, not to mention its largely untapped status, operators can easily make big returns if they target the region with localised solutions. Furthermore, it is vital to acknowledge that this new wave rides on the crest of mobile – just witness the 19% year-on-year growth for mobile platforms in the region. These predictions project that there will be some 235m-plus smartphone users by 2021, and anybody looking to capitalise on the region’s exponential growth would do well to get in on the ground floor.

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