OPTIMA CEO Jacob Lopez Curciel discusses the development of his firm into an Multi-Channel supplier in a constantly evolving industry.
SBC: Your iSHOP product really turned a few heads when it was presented at the Bookmakers Trade Fair in October – why do you think it was so warmly received?
JLC: Our product is a neat piece of technology, and also a carefully designed interface and user journey for the customer combined with a new revenue channel for the bookmakers.
Use your own device (UYOD) is found everywhere, these days, from internet use to paying your bills. How the punters engage at the retail venues, is changing merging the millennial’s inbuilt link to using their own devices for absolutely everything, to the social experience only achievable at the bricks-and-mortar high street presence. iSHOP is a unique experience of betting in play instantly, on what you see on the screens, without waiting in a queue or getting the next slot on an SSBT.
SBC: How long has it taken you to develop this solution – will it work in other markets?
JLC: The solution has gone over a few iterations until the interface and journey were perfected. Finally the current version ticks all the boxes and we can see from the interest generated that the time, effort and investment is completely justified.
SBC: OPTIMA has a well renowned expertise in the retail sector, but your online product range is also impressive – what’s stands you out from the crowd here?
JLC: Just look at the numbers numbers, for a mid-range system and single bookmaker platform, 65.000 operations per second, 2.500 data transactions per second, over 300 simultaneous live events with sub-second processing; when getting to these numbers we know it is enough-power under the operator’s control. We have yet to see the limit of our platform in a real situation.
SBC: Is the Multi-Channel solution now available to all bookmakers, regardless of size?
JLC: Yes it is, OPTIMA’s partners offer solutions to bookmakers that will not be able to normally afford the costs of running a multi-channel operation. The ability to segment the access to the reporting and controlling tools by operator, allows our partner to run big B2B operations, also multi-channel, using a single bookmaker instance of our platform.
SBC: Can bookmakers afford not to have all these touch points with their customers?
JLC: It has been clear to us for many years ago, that an operator must be Multi-Channel present, round the clock and under a single brand. The adjusted margins, taxes and marketing costs make it a luxury not to service the customers on all their demands, and it has to be done professionally and with the guarantee of success.
SBC: How pleased are you to be recognised for your expertise with the Best Retail Betting Product at the SBC Awards?
JLC: I’m very pleased, it is definitely a recognition of a lot of hard work, but this result is not the work of a single person, even not from our own team which I adore and that have to be in bold and capitals named here together with my family who allows me relentless dedication to my passion.
The collaboration of our partners, some of them pioneers and well recognized by the UK industry, the Fishers, Peter and Steve, the guys from the BTC who trusted us and believed in our project, Howard, Paul, Julian, Michael, David and many others who shared the passion for sports betting, they all have the betting blood running through their veins.
Also those who I have managed to closely work with in other markets like Joan, Tzvetomir, Boyan, Akin and Dammy, Alexey, Chris, Mark and Ian, who through their extensive product knowledge, every day give us the opportunity to innovate in those markets where we had to work hard in our products, to adapt, to transform and localize to their expectations, to work with them in their markets helping them leading the industry. A big thank for their trust in us.
I cannot forget those industry suppliers that work with us in close harmony and believed in the iSHOP potential, thanks a lot to them as well.
Also I have to thank the industry media for the exposure they give to every new innovation or highlight we make them aware of, it Is not only producing the products, is also how to reach the audience with the right message.