Suren Khachatryan, Digitain: Focusing development on the customer’s need for speed

Digitain CCO Suren Khachatryan discusses the company’s new set of offices, why African operators are switching platform providers to meet new local market demands and how its own sportsbook solution stood up to the World Cup challenge, as well as why page load, scroll and click speeds remain fundamental to the success of its partners.

SBC: The company is preparing to open a set of new offices around the world; do these office placements provide a clue as to new target markets for Digitain?

SK: Digitain has experienced substantial growth in several international markets. Strategically to accommodate this expansion, we shall be opening sales and business development offices in the United Kingdom, Philippines, South Africa and South America. These offices shall locally service existing clients and partner needs as well as increasing our inquiry pipeline.

SBC: So it reflects your bid for expansion in football-mad Africa?

SK: Absolutely, yes is the answer. We have attended several trade shows specifically at the African continent, with solid responses from both incumbent operators looking to switch platform providers in order that their retail and online businesses can scale quicker to local market demands.

And likewise new entrants into the market, which is still in an overall growth phase with margins on football markets being much healthier in comparison to European or North America geos.  

SBC: Mobile compatibility has been at the forefront of development for the latest versions of your sportsbook solution; can you disclose any new mobile-first features, either already launched or those in the works for 2019?

SK: Our business has product teams just for mobile, both mobile web and native applications. We are in the process within the next few weeks, of releasing more functionality. The core focus for Digitain is speed, especially in today’s digital economy, all mobile consumers, now measure a brands experience in seconds.

If the app or mobile site doesn’t load quickly, you could create a negative customer experience and the user clicks or visits a competitor. Therefore of course functionality and user journey are critical, but constant optimisation of page load, scroll and click speeds are fundamental attributes and KPI’s for our partners.      

SBC: What percentage of bets are Digitain customers now taking through mobile devices?

SK: There are some geographical variations between desktop and mobile devices. Generally, the trend is mobile engagement and transactions with up to 70 per cent of volume coming via mobile channels.

SBC: As a provider with a significant CIS-based portfolio, last summer’s World Cup was a big deal for Digitain; what did you learn about your sportsbook solution, both in terms of standing up to the highest demand and being agile enough to push the right product features to different territories?

SK: Our platform had a 99.99% available uptime and accommodated peak demands which generally come prior to match kick-off and of course in-play.

We are pleased to say, we have a very robust and stable platform, and a roster of analysts constantly monitoring traffic flows, that allow us to consider capacity models and plan accordingly for our clients peaks and indeed lulls. Product wise, the largest volumes are live betting, as our sportsbook product covers 30,000 live events each month, across 65 sports taking in 7,500 leagues, and more than 3,000 betting markets.

From a learning perspective, businesses like us are always learning or should be always learning. The key is open communication and open dialogue with our operator brands and that includes understanding their acquisition marketing campaigns to ensure the system is responsive and call handle large volumes of concurrent connections.

Therefore forward ‘planning’ is critical around key sporting or marketing events. As no brand wants to invest in an expensive TV campaign and for the site to become unavailable or unresponsive.  

SBC: Two predictions to finish; what will be the biggest challenge for your company this year, and what is your biggest target for 2019?   

SK: Good questions. The biggest challenge for many businesses is people, especially in the digital technology sector. Internally we have invested a lot in our people and ensuring it’s not only about the conditions, both how we support and develop our teams.  

We have early on recognised this is a must for our continued global expansion, and are constantly improving how our brand recruits, on boards and provides an environment for the best talent.

The biggest target for 2019 and beyond is actually simple, to ensure we as Digitain offer our partners the best customer service and experience possible. Our brand values include customer experience with open transparency in regards to all the client’s needs. We shall continue to focus heavily on this area.

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