Selling product, although essential, is still only one part of an effective business formula. Relationship building in today’s global and crowded markets is a major element for long-term success. Enduring partnerships need trust and commitment from both sides, plus a little something else. Erik Köhler, Marketing Manager at Betsoft Gaming and Dejan Jović, CEO at BlueOcean Gaming enjoyed a socially distanced meeting to discuss just what makes their companies’ relationship work.
Erik is a data driven marketer with substantial knowledge of digital marketing, social media exploitation andafiliation within the iGaming world. Over the past decade, Betsoft has earned a reputation as one of the world’s premier producers of high quality igaming products. It offers an unparalleled level of service, backed by a solid and highly experienced team. In addition to the substantial portfolio of cinematic quality games, the product suite also includes a full featured casino management platform. Betsoft’s commitment to excellence has made it a leader in the industry. Independent certifications and licensing in numerous igaming markets have been obtained and, through these efforts, Betsoft has secured a loyal client base throughout Europe, Asia and the Americas.
Dejan comes from a technical background in IT. His career in iGaming spanned product management, strategic development and business development before he became CEO of BlueOcean in 2016. The Slovenian-based business is an independent B2B online gaming software provider. Gamehub – their inhouse gamehub aggregation – allows casino operators to launch multiple game providers with a single API integration. With a business strategy comprising easy-to-use, time saving and efficient all-in-one solutions for online casino businesses, their White Label solution offers the necessary suite of products and services required to start an online casino.
EK: Betsoft and BlueOcean have enjoyed a successful partnership for some time; what made you choose Betsoft originally and what keeps the partnership working?
DJ: ‘Yes, we have been collaborating since 2015. Betsoft was one of the first game providers available within our Game Aggregation solution – GameHub. I would say that the quality of the games was a significant enabler for our growth right from the start. Working with Betsoft was integral to the success of our strategy. By choosing Betsoft products originally, we were able to offer those great games to all of our initial operators. This early success acted as a magnet to bring in more new clients for us. The result today is that almost all of our clients have access to the Betsoft portfolio.
We will definitely keep working together as our success is reflected in the great business growth we have made together. An important factor contributing to the strength of our long-term partnership is the technical side of your games: operationally, the games run smoothly so we never experience any issues. Finally, we have great communication overall and that always makes life easier.’
EK: At Betsoft, we too have been very happy with how our partnership has developed. Your business has grown considerably since you started: can you sustain this growth?
DJ: ‘We are really proud of our effort over the past few years; it required hard work and commitment from the entire team but it has paid off. Our dream is to maintain solid growth, but we are keeping ourselves grounded and accept that it will take some time. Currently our GameHub solution offers more than 5000 games from around 80 game providers, although we are always looking for more.
The strategy is to provide globally accessible games. In addition to our extensive game library, GameHub features an additional set of four features: Automated Game Catalogue, which enables a fully automated release of new content along with extensive game details and icons; FreeRound API, which allows operators to distribute free spins to selected players through single implementation that works with all game providers supporting free rounds; Game History API, which gives our clients access to detailed game history which can then be incorporated into their own back-office and, finally, Unified Jackpot Feed which offers the potential to display jackpot values in real time.
Although we are satisfied with the product as is, we want to take it to the next level. We will offer further additional features to make us stand out from the crowd and to showcase GameHub as something special. But each development requires a lot of time to be perfected. We are currently working on Tournaments and feature triggering – which are both available across most game providers including Betsoft. This is a great tool to offer in terms of player engagement and retention.
Finally, in addition to product development, we have invested in targeted marketing. This, for us, is something new. Previously we never dedicated a team, budget and policy to marketing. Our strategy for this year was to attend all the major iGaming events worldwide; however, due to the covid-19 situation, this has been put on hold. Therefore, we have re-directed our focus on to advertising and marketing online, thus raising brand awareness through this platform – at least until the live events are back in business. So yes, we feel confident that, with our plans in place, we will continue to grow.’
EK: BlueOcean has enabled many start-ups in the industry and encouraged them to showcase the best games on their sites. Which casino operator would you say that you are the most proud of assisting?
DJ: ‘Currently we have more than 100 active clients on our GameHub aggregation and an additional 40 White Label and Turnkey solutions. We work closely with all of them to constantly grow the numbers. This year we hit record volumes which, for us, is a great indicator that our strategy works. Our clients managed to expand their business through a mix of our software solutions and great gaming content.
Originally, we started with B2C business; therefore we have many White Label operators, all of whom we are immensely proud. Together we have a created a successful story. One in particular has been with us right from the beginning in 2012. Universalslots.net is just one of the multiple brands this client has with us and we are impressed by them. Also, a very recently sealed partnership with us is becoming a great success already. Horuscasino.com is another B2C who has managed to grow amazing numbers in the space of just one year, so we are pretty proud of that relationship too.’
EK: Over the years that Betsoft and BlueOcean have been working together, does any one particular moment or event stand out for you?
DJ: ‘Originally, most of our communication went through email and Skype which was a bit impersonal; therefore we arranged to meet in person with the then Betsoft Head of Sales at the Berlin Gaming Show in 2016. We introduced ourselves at the stand and then we went out together. It was a memorable dinner! Judging by our continuing success, we created a mutually supportive relationship from the start. This is something we still maintain as we normally meet regularly at gaming shows, iGaming awards and other events.
From a business point of view, we definitely appreciate the promotions we run together, particularly the personalised ones. These are very well received by our clients and reinforce how much we respect each other as partners.’
EK: Betsoft is renowned for its regular releases of quality games and this is set to continue. Which Betsoft game is your personal favourite and why?
DJ: ‘Correct. Betsoft has a really nice library of games and some outstanding titles. Also, new game releases come out regularly and we are always primed and ready to release them on the exact date of the official launch so we benefit from the great marketing.
Personally, the older, classic games stick in my memory the most. Titles such as Pinocchio, Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde, Sugar Pop and Tiger’s Claw are just such great games. However, I would say that my favourite game is Good Girl Bad Girl. I remember that, at the time of release, this game was highly anticipated. It has some impressive features such as the option for players to choose their side and change the gameplay. I also recall that we recommended the game highly to all our clients at the time and the take up was very strong.’
Clearly long-term relationships benefit from trust, supportive structures and open channels of communication as well as co-ordinated and mutually beneficial direction. After five successful years working together, Betsoft and BlueOcean are very much anticpating many more to come, whatever the circumstances.
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