As explored below there are many aspects that make the online gaming community successful and sustainable, but an effective partnership for network security, performance and server positioning is often overlooked. What good is a perfectly adapted, feature-rich user interface if effective delivery to end-users is unachievable? The impact on revenue can be substantial in addition to inevitable client retention challenges.
REGULATORY AND COMPLIANCE
Choose a partner that understands your business. This is essential as igaming is a volatile industry with ever-changing landscapes. Influences beyond the control of your business can dictate a requirement for relocation or extension of services to alternative locations.
FLEXIBLE SERVICE PROPOSITION
Partner solutions should map to the igaming industry. Often, global players serve all verticals and have inflexible services. Gaming companies require flexibility – colocating primary services in specific locations to meet regulatory needs, but with integration to private and public clouds to use in disaster scenarios. Management of niche network routes and performance is key, especially in Asia where consistency is a major challenge. The network partner should have an understanding of the markets you serve, your latency tolerance thresholds, and be in a position to back this up with a service level agreement.
Download time is a key component of the end-user experience. If a site takes too long, users will go elsewhere. According to Kissmetrics a one-second delay in page response can result in a 7% reduction in conversions. A site making $100,000 a day could see $2.5m lost revenue each year. Map this to igaming, where loyalty is low and choice is high, and the results would be far more damaging to the bottom line. To provide a consistent experience your network partner should have sufficient capacity and diversity to ensure network performance is consistent.
Application and DDoS attacks come in many forms. Successful attacks can sink your business and poor defence comes at a huge cost. Your security partner should have sufficient capacity and effective tools to deal with attacks in real time. They should understand your traffic profile and mitigate without impacting end-users.
Finally, partners should have extensive global reach to places you need to be, which therefore allows expansion or relocation under a single partner agreement. They should have sufficient overhead to allow for unforeseen growth and volume spikes that occur during major sporting events.
In summary, selection should concentrate on flexibility, global reach, a service suite designed to meet requirements of igaming, and have ample overhead for growth.
PETER WILLIAMS is managing director, Asia Pacific at Continent 8. Peter has a wealth of experience with over 20 years in senior commercial roles in the global communications sector. Before joining Continent 8 he was with Telefónica O2 Ireland where he led a team in the setting of the ICT strategy.