SBTech CEO Richard Carter said it is unlikely that operators will move all product development in-house, after suggesting that it only “makes financial sense in the board room”.
The session featured a discussion around the increasingly consolidated market place. Baloulian suggested that the wave of M&A can have a negative impact on product innovation, as “big companies tend to swallow” their smaller, more innovation-focused counterparts, while Zafirovska agreed that merged companies will only remain attractive to suppliers if they are receptive to innovation.
However, Lopez countered that it “creates more of a performance requirement for the supplier”, with the opportunity to work for bigger companies at double capacity.
There was a healthy debate over the use of open source front-end code, with Lopez and Baloulian talking through the BetConstruct approach of giving its customers more flexibility over products, and what that means for security and the publication of code that could be exploited by hackers.
By contrast, Lopez described the OPTIMA approach as “providing building blocks for operators to differentiate themselves”, who can then define roadmap and differentiate on the frontend, while taking control of new promotions and content integration.
The #bofcon2017 session, moderated by Square in the Air Director Robin Hutchison, also featured a debate around artificial intelligence (AI), described by Carter as a “technology enabler to innovation”.
Finally, the panelists compared the “one-stop shop” supplier demands from operators looking for speed to market at the probable expense of product innovation, with those seeking a “boutique supplier” to help them excel in one specific area.