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Zendesk updates mobile gaming potential with next-gen messaging platform

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Zendesk updates mobile gaming potential with next-gen messaging platform
Mikkel Svane, Zendesk’s CEO and chairman.
Reading Time: 3 minutes

Zendesk, the leading customer service and engagement platform across hundreds of industries including iGaming, mobile, land-based and hospitality, has expanded its omnichannel presence with WhatsApp support integrations following the company’s latest acquisition, as well as an integration with Slack.

Launching the next generation of conversational messaging experiences, Zendesk has acquired Smooch, the Montreal-based messaging platform connecting companies with customers to power more personalized and human conversations.

According to the company’s founder, CEO and chairman, Mikkel Svane: “We live in a messaging-centric world, and customers expect the convenience and interactivity of messaging to be part of their experiences. As long-time partners with Smooch, we know first hand how much they have advanced the conversational experience to bring together all forms of messaging and create a continuous conversation between customers and businesses.”

The acquisition marks Zendesk’s next step in delivering the best omnichannel experiences by connecting conversations between businesses and customers on any messaging channel–from websites and mobile apps to the world’s leading messaging apps like WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger. More than 75 percent of all smartphone users now use messaging apps such as WhatsApp. Smooch is one of the largest providers of WhatsApp Business integration, and through Zendesk’s early access program, companies can now reach WhatsApp’s 1.5 billion users to manage service interactions and engage with customers directly through Zendesk Chat. This marks the continued expansion of Zendesk’s integration with the WhatsApp Business API into The Zendesk Suite.

“With their launch of Sunshine last year, Zendesk took the bold and disruptive step required to compete for and win the future of CRM,” said Warren Levitan, co-founder and CEO of Smooch  “The decision to combine forces with Zendesk and help further their CRM strategy will allow us to supercharge our existing mission for building the best customer experiences. We are thrilled to be joining the entire Zendesk team, so many of whom we have had the pleasure to work with over the past three-and-a-half years.”

Zendesk provides omnichannel service and CRM expertise to more than 145,000 paid customer accounts offering support in over 30 languages and is committed to the gaming landscape with an emphasis on creating a consistent conversational experience for omnichannel providers.

Businesses struggle to manage the rapidly increasing number of customer inquiries across a variety of disparate channels. Smooch is the only messaging solution pulling in all customer conversations across web, mobile, and social messaging into a cohesive interface no matter what the channel is. This acquisition furthers Zendesk’s commitment to an open, flexible CRM that businesses can harness to build and offer differentiated customer experiences.

Together, Zendesk and Smooch will drive the next wave of connected conversations on a variety of messaging channels, including WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, LINE, WeChat, Telegram, Twitter DM, Viber, Kakao Talk, SMS text, RCS and through native web apps, as well as over iOS and Android mobile apps.

Zendesk is headquartered in San Francisco, and operates worldwide with 17 offices in North America, Europe, Asia, Australia, and South America providing crucial footholds into established and emerging markets across the global gaming industry. In fact, just last year, Zendesk also announced an integration with Discord that makes it easier for game developers and publishers to solve customer service issues directly in Discord without interrupting game time.

Following the Smooch acquisition and product enhancements, Zendesk is also launching a Conversation Solutions Team, which will support businesses seeking to leverage Smooch’s best-in-class conversation platform to craft personalized messaging experiences.

“This team can deliver customized messaging applications such as a global hotel brand that provides customers with a premium, omnichannel guest experience through the ability to message hotel staff on property in real-time for any needs across a range of messaging platforms,” added Prelini Udayan-Chiechi, VP Marketing, EMEA at Zendesk. “To make great customer experience accessible to everyone, Zendesk is also continuing to develop The Zendesk Suite which was launched in 2018 and has quickly become our most successful product launch. Since its launch it has driven a 400 percent increase in our customers adopting omnichannel solutions chiefly through its robust and growing Zendesk App Marketplace, which is expanding with the addition of new Suite Ready partners including Atlassian Statuspage, Lessonly, Maestro, Stella, Tymeshift, Geckoboard, and Ada. These integrations help businesses improve their customer experience (CX) operations in a variety of ways, including training and managing their workforce, tracking KPIs and goals, and monitoring their tickets for quality assurance. We are excited about how all of these innovations will pave the way for new possibilities across the gaming industry with regards to customer experience, omnichannel growth and of course, revenue.”

To find out more about Zendesk and Smooch’s messaging solutions, available directly to new customers, the Conversation Solutions Team or to sign up for the WhatsApp EAP with Zendesk Chat, visit zendesk.com/message.

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Hensel Grad Law Firm Joins All-in Diversity Project as Strategic Partner

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The All-in Diversity Project has strengthened its network by signing the Hensel Grad Law Firm as its first strategic partner of 2022.

With more than 20 years of experience as gaming regulators and a thorough comprehension of how gaming laws are implemented and enforced, Hensel Grad is a gaming law and advisory firm positioned to serve an explosive gaming and sports betting industry in the US. Susan Hensel, one of the firm’s founders, is also a long-standing member of the All-in Diversity Project Advisory Board.

As the central global resource for diversity, equality and inclusion, the All-in Diversity Project is a nonprofit committed to helping businesses around the world to become better companies through their DEI efforts.

“2022 is a key year for All-in. Not only does it mark the release of the third All-Index, which this year will include early insights into the impact of COVID and includes more big names than ever before, it is also the year that we start to step out of betting, gambling and gaming through our partnership with the British Standards Institute and launch of the first ever formally recognised Code of Practice for Diversity, Equality and Inclusion in the Workplace. At a time when the industry faces greater pressures than ever before, this offers us a unique opportunity to position the sector as a global leader in DEI. Our success has, and continues to be, driven by organizations and individuals committed to change. In Hensel Grad we get both,” Christina Thakor-Rankin, co-founder of All-in Diversity Project, said.

“Hensel Grad is honored to join All-in as a strategic partner. What All-in has been able to accomplish in its first three years is impressive, and we look forward to being at the organization’s side as it continues trailblazing for diversity, equality and inclusion in an industry where such growth is not only under a spotlight but also overdue. We are excited to help the organization reach even greater heights in the years ahead,” Susan Hensel said.

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WorldMatch Strengthens Partnership with Cristaltec

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WorldMatch Strengthens Partnership with Cristaltec
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WorldMatch has strengthened its partnership with Cristaltec by agreeing to distribute Cristaltec’s newest games to the Italian market.

WorldMatch is a pioneer and leader in the online market, an ever-expanding B2B provider who has provided for over twenty years what customers and players value the most: security, creative content, operational efficiency and innovative technology.

In addition to self-made slots, known and appreciated by operators around the world, WorldMatch will now also distribute products developed by third parties on the market.

After porting the most popular AWP / VLT Cristaltec games for the online market, WorldMatch will distribute Gallina d’Egitto Classic, Ghost Castle Classic, Blackout Classic, Egyptian Mythology, Vampire, Arizona, 7 Diamonds and Genius, for key customers in the Italian market.

“Cristaltec is a very important partner for us. We are excited to continue working together towards new goals. We are ready to enrich our gaming offer with these titles and we are honored to be able to present the new Cristaltec products to our customers. With this agreement we will further improve both the variety and the quality of our portfolio,” Andrea Boratto, CEO of WorldMatch, said.

“We intended to invest and capitalize on our experience and ability to diversify and expand the gaming offer that has seen us and sees us as leaders in the AWP sector. After the acquisition of the Italian branch of the Inspired multinational for the VLT market, we are strongly committed to the online to bring our gaming philosophy to customers in this sector as well. The collaboration with WorldMatch, leader in the reference market, constitutes an important step for Cristaltec to carry out its goals of growth and consolidation to the online,” Giovanni Agliata, CEO of Cristaltec, said.

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888 Reports Record Revenues in 2021

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888, one of the world’s leading online betting and gaming companies, has announced “another record year”, with revenue growth of 14% driven by expansion in regulated markets.

In its post-close trading update, the betting giant reported growth driven by regulated and taxed markets, which contributed 74% of revenue, with strong performances in the UK, Italy, Romania and Portugal, partially offset by a decline in Germany.

B2C revenue increased 15% to $934 million, led by casino (up 24%), with sports growth of (up 4%) reflecting the greater impact of regulatory changes on the sport business, in particular the exit from the Netherlands.

Fourth quarter revenue hit $214m, down 16% from 2020 in-line with 888 expectations.

The update also highlighted the acquisition of William Hill International, which is expected to complete in the second quarter of 2022.

During the period, 888 also made a “strategic” sale of B2C and B2B bingo business for up to $50m, increasing the focus on core B2C platform and US growth strategies.

Itai Pazner, Chief Executive Officer at 888 Holdings, said: “2021 was a year of outstanding strategic progress for 888 as we announced the transformational acquisition of William Hill International, and reached an agreement to sell our bingo business to increase our focus on our B2C and US growth plans, as we continue to execute our plan to build a global online betting and gaming leader.”

“In addition, we successfully launched SI Sportsbook in the US shortly after signing a long-term brand partnership and began operating 888sport under a new licence in Germany, all using our in house sports platform.”

“I am pleased to report another year of record revenues alongside these important strategic milestones, delivering double-digit revenue growth despite a very tough comparative period. This performance reflects the continued success of our data-driven investments and execution against our product-leadership focus that delivers ongoing improvements in the usability, quality and safety of our sports betting and gaming products.”

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