|By Dana Gardner||
|December 28, 2016 02:00 PM EST||
Big Data Analytics Spur Growth in Gaming Company Merger
The next BriefingsDirect Voice of the Customer digital transformation case study highlights how newly combined Finnish national gaming company, Veikkaus, is managing a complex merger process while also bringing more of a digital advantage to both its operations and business model. We'll now explore how Veikkaus uses a power big-data analytics platform to respond rapidly to the challenges of digitization.
To learn how a culture of IT innovation is helping to establish a single wholly nationally-owned company to operate gaming and gambling in Finland, we're joined by Harri Räsänen, Information and Communications Technology Architect at Veikkaus in Helsinki. The discussion is moderated by BriefingsDirect's Dana Gardner, Principal Analyst at Interarbor Solutions.
Here are some excerpts:
Gardner: Why has Veikkaus reinvented its data infrastructure technology?
Räsänen: Our data warehouse solution was a traditional data warehouse, and had been around for 10 years. Different things had gone wrong. One of the key issues we faced was that our data wasn’t real-time. It was far from real time -- it was data that was one or two days old.
We decided that we need to get data quicker and in more detail because we now had aggregate data.
Gardner: What were some of your top requirements technically in order to accomplish that?
Räsänen: As I said, we had quite a old-fashioned data warehouse. Initially, we needed our game-service provider to feed us data more in real-time. They needed to build up a mechanism to complete data, and we needed to build out capabilities to gather it. We needed to rethink the information structure -- totally from scratch.
Gardner: When we think about gambling, gaming, or lotteries, in many cases, this is an awful lot of data, a very big undertaking. Give us a sense of the size of the data and the disparity of the three organizations that came together including the Finnish national football gaming reorganization.
Räsänen: I'll talk about our current-situation records, for the new combined company we are starting up in 2017.
We have a big company from a customer point of view. We have 1.8 million consumers. Finland has a population of 5.5 million. So, we have a quite a lot of Finnish consumers. When it comes to transactions, we get one to three million transactions per day. So it’s quite large, if you think about the transactional data.
In addition to that, we gather different kinds of information about our web store; it’s one of the biggest retail web stores in Finland.
Gardner: It’s one thing to put in a new platform, but it’s another to then change the culture and the organization -- and transform into a digital business. How is the implementation of your new data environment aiding in your cultural shift?
Räsänen: Luckily, Veikkaus has a background of doing things quite analytically. If you think about a web store, there is a culture that we need to be able to monitor what we're doing if we're running some changes in our web store -- whether it works or not. That’s a good thing.
But, we are redoing our whole data technology. We added the Apache Kafka integration point and then, Cloudera, the Hadoop system. Then, we added a new ETL tool for us, Pentaho, and last but not least, HPE Vertica. It's been really challenging for us, with lots of different things to consider and learn.
Luckily, we've been able to use good external consultants to help us out, but as you said, we can always make the technology work better. In transforming the culture of doing things, we're still definitely in the middle of our journey.
Gardner: I imagine you'll want to better analyze what takes place within your organization so it’s not just serving the data and managing the transactions. There's an opportunity to have a secondary benefit, which is more control of your data. The more insight you have allows you to adapt and improve your customer experience and customer service. Have you been able to start down that path of that secondary analysis of what goes on internally?
New level of data
Räsänen: Some of our key data was even out of our hands in our service-provider environments. We wanted to get all the relevant data with us, and now we've been working on that new level of data access. We have analysts working on that, both IT and business people, browsing the data. They already have some findings on things that previously they could have asked or even thought about. So, we have been getting our information up-to-date.
Gardner: Can you give us more specific examples of how you've been able to benefit from this new digital environment?
Räsänen: Yeah, consumer communication on CRM is one of the key successes, things we needed to have in place. We've been able to constantly improve on that. Before, we had data that was too old, but now, we have near real-time data. We get one-minute-old data, so we can communicate with the consumers better. We know whether they've been playing their lotteries or betting on football matches.
We can say, "It’s time for football today, and you haven’t yet placed a bet." We can communicate, and on the other hand, we can avoid disturbing customers by sending out e-mails or SMS messages about things they've already done.
Gardner: Yes, less spam, but more help. It’s important, of course, with any organization like this in a government environment, for trust and safety to be involved. I should think that there's some analysis to help keep people from overdoing it and managing the gaming for a positive outcome.
Räsänen: Definitely. That’s one of the key metrics we're measuring with our consumer so that gaming is responsible. We need to see that all things they do can be thought of as good, because as you said, we're a national company, it’s a very regulated market, and that kind of thing.
Gardner: But a great deal of good comes from this. I understand that more than 1 billion euros a year go to the common good of people living in Finland. So, there are a lot of benefits when this is done properly.
Now that you've gone quite a ways into this, and you're going to need to be going to the new form and new organization the first of 2017, what advice would you be able to give to someone who is beginning a big data consolidation and modernization journey? What lessons have you learned that you might share?
Out of the box
Räsänen: If you're experimenting, you need to start to think a little bit out of the box. Integration is one of crucial part, and avoid all direct integration as much as possible.
We're utilizing Apache Kafka as an integration point, and that’s one of the crucial things, because then you can "appify" everything. You're going to provide an application interface for integrating systems and that will help those of us in gaming companies.
Gardner: A lot of services-orientation?
Räsänen: That’s one of the components of our data architecture. We have been using our Cloudera Hadoop system for archiving and we are building our capabilities on top of that. In addition, of course, we have HPE Vertica. It’s one of our most crucial things in our data ecosystem because it’s a traditional enterprise data warehousing in that sense it is a SQL database. Users can take a benefit out of that, and it’s lightning-fast. You need to design all the components and make those work on that role that they are based at.
Gardner: And of course SQL is very commonly understood as the query language. There's no great change there, but it's really putting it into the hands of more people.
Räsänen: I've been writing or talking in SQL since the beginning of the ’90s, and it’s actually a pretty easy language to communicate, even between business and IT, because at least, at some level, it’s self-explanatory. That’s where the communication matters.
Gardner: Just a much better engine under the hood, right?
Räsänen: Yeah, exactly.
You may also be interested in:
- WWT took an enterprise Tower of Babel and delivered comprehensive intelligent search
- How Software-defined Storage Translates into Just-In-Time Data Center Scaling
- Big data enables top user experiences and extreme personalization for Intuit TurboTax
- Feedback loops: The confluence of DevOps and big data
- Spirent leverages big data to keep user experience quality a winning factor for telcos
- Powerful reporting from YP's data warehouse helps SMBs deliver the best ad campaigns
- IoT brings on development demands that DevOps manages best, say experts
- Big data generates new insights into what’s happening in the world's tropical ecosystems
- DevOps and security, a match made in heaven
- How Sprint employs orchestration and automation to bring IT into DevOps readiness
- How fast analytics changes the game and expands the market for big data value
- How HTC centralizes storage management to gain visibility and IT disaster avoidance
- Big data, risk, and predictive analysis drive use of cloud-based ITSM, says panel
- Rolta AdvizeX experts on hastening big data analytics in healthcare and retail
- The future of business intelligence as a service with GoodData and HP Vertica
SYS-CON Events announced today that Hitachi, the leading provider the Internet of Things and Digital Transformation, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Hitachi Data Systems, a wholly owned subsidiary of Hitachi, Ltd., offers an integrated portfolio of services and solutions that enable digital transformation through enhanced data management, governance, mobility and analytics. We help globa...
Apr. 29, 2017 01:15 PM EDT Reads: 1,514
@GonzalezCarmen has been ranked the Number One Influencer and @ThingsExpo has been named the Number One Brand in the “M2M 2016: Top 100 Influencers and Brands” by Analytic. Onalytica analyzed tweets over the last 6 months mentioning the keywords M2M OR “Machine to Machine.” They then identified the top 100 most influential brands and individuals leading the discussion on Twitter.
Apr. 29, 2017 01:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,497
Apr. 29, 2017 12:45 PM EDT Reads: 2,630
Most technology leaders, contemporary and from the hardware era, are reshaping their businesses to do software in the hope of capturing value in IoT. Although IoT is relatively new in the market, it has already gone through many promotional terms such as IoE, IoX, SDX, Edge/Fog, Mist Compute, etc. Ultimately, irrespective of the name, it is about deriving value from independent software assets participating in an ecosystem as one comprehensive solution.
Apr. 29, 2017 12:15 PM EDT Reads: 697
The explosion of new web/cloud/IoT-based applications and the data they generate are transforming our world right before our eyes. In this rush to adopt these new technologies, organizations are often ignoring fundamental questions concerning who owns the data and failing to ask for permission to conduct invasive surveillance of their customers. Organizations that are not transparent about how their systems gather data telemetry without offering shared data ownership risk product rejection, regu...
Apr. 29, 2017 11:45 AM EDT Reads: 1,850
NHK, Japan Broadcasting, will feature the upcoming @ThingsExpo Silicon Valley in a special 'Internet of Things' and smart technology documentary that will be filmed on the expo floor between November 3 to 5, 2015, in Santa Clara. NHK is the sole public TV network in Japan equivalent to the BBC in the UK and the largest in Asia with many award-winning science and technology programs. Japanese TV is producing a documentary about IoT and Smart technology and will be covering @ThingsExpo Silicon Val...
Apr. 29, 2017 11:45 AM EDT Reads: 933
SYS-CON Events announced today that SoftLayer, an IBM Company, has been named “Gold Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York, New York. SoftLayer, an IBM Company, provides cloud infrastructure as a service from a growing number of data centers and network points of presence around the world. SoftLayer’s customers range from Web startups to global enterprises.
Apr. 29, 2017 11:15 AM EDT Reads: 2,364
Five years ago development was seen as a dead-end career, now it’s anything but – with an explosion in mobile and IoT initiatives increasing the demand for skilled engineers. But apart from having a ready supply of great coders, what constitutes true ‘DevOps Royalty’? It’ll be the ability to craft resilient architectures, supportability, security everywhere across the software lifecycle. In his keynote at @DevOpsSummit at 20th Cloud Expo, Jeffrey Scheaffer, GM and SVP, Continuous Delivery Busine...
Apr. 29, 2017 08:45 AM EDT Reads: 1,301
SYS-CON Events announced today that Juniper Networks (NYSE: JNPR), an industry leader in automated, scalable and secure networks, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Juniper Networks challenges the status quo with products, solutions and services that transform the economics of networking. The company co-innovates with customers and partners to deliver automated, scalable and secure network...
Apr. 29, 2017 08:45 AM EDT Reads: 1,785
Bert Loomis was a visionary. This general session will highlight how Bert Loomis and people like him inspire us to build great things with small inventions. In their general session at 19th Cloud Expo, Harold Hannon, Architect at IBM Bluemix, and Michael O'Neill, Strategic Business Development at Nvidia, discussed the accelerating pace of AI development and how IBM Cloud and NVIDIA are partnering to bring AI capabilities to "every day," on-demand. They also reviewed two "free infrastructure" pr...
Apr. 29, 2017 07:15 AM EDT Reads: 1,763
SYS-CON Events announced today that T-Mobile will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. As America's Un-carrier, T-Mobile US, Inc., is redefining the way consumers and businesses buy wireless services through leading product and service innovation. The Company's advanced nationwide 4G LTE network delivers outstanding wireless experiences to 67.4 million customers who are unwilling to compromise on ...
Apr. 29, 2017 07:15 AM EDT Reads: 1,544
SYS-CON Events announced today that Super Micro Computer, Inc., a global leader in compute, storage and networking technologies, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Supermicro (NASDAQ: SMCI), the leading innovator in high-performance, high-efficiency server technology, is a premier provider of advanced server Building Block Solutions® for Data Center, Cloud Computing, Enterprise IT, Hadoop/...
Apr. 29, 2017 05:30 AM EDT Reads: 2,587
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing IoT strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @ThingsExpo 2016 in New York. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is as "IoT-Ready" as it can be! Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York, is co-located with 20th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry p...
Apr. 29, 2017 05:00 AM EDT Reads: 1,612
Judith Hurwitz is president and CEO of Hurwitz & Associates, a Needham, Mass., research and consulting firm focused on emerging technology, including big data, cognitive computing and governance. She is co-author of the book Cognitive Computing and Big Data Analytics, published in 2015. Her Cloud Expo session, "What Is the Business Imperative for Cognitive Computing?" is scheduled for Wednesday, June 8, at 8:40 a.m. In it, she puts cognitive computing into perspective with its value to the busin...
Apr. 29, 2017 04:00 AM EDT Reads: 3,865
Apr. 29, 2017 02:30 AM EDT Reads: 9,405
SYS-CON Events announced today that CollabNet, a global leader in enterprise software development, release automation and DevOps solutions, will be a Bronze Sponsor of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, taking place from June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. CollabNet offers a broad range of solutions with the mission of helping modern organizations deliver quality software at speed. The company’s latest innovation, the DevOps Lifecycle Manager (DLM), supports Value S...
Apr. 29, 2017 01:45 AM EDT Reads: 1,371
The 20th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo, to be held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, brings together Cloud Computing, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Containers, Microservices and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding business opportunity. Submit your speaking proposal ...
Apr. 29, 2017 01:45 AM EDT Reads: 1,679
The age of Digital Disruption is evolving into the next era – Digital Cohesion, an age in which applications securely self-assemble and deliver predictive services that continuously adapt to user behavior. Information from devices, sensors and applications around us will drive services seamlessly across mobile and fixed devices/infrastructure. This evolution is happening now in software defined services and secure networking. Four key drivers – Performance, Economics, Interoperability and Trust ...
Apr. 29, 2017 12:30 AM EDT Reads: 1,017
With billions of sensors deployed worldwide, the amount of machine-generated data will soon exceed what our networks can handle. But consumers and businesses will expect seamless experiences and real-time responsiveness. What does this mean for IoT devices and the infrastructure that supports them? More of the data will need to be handled at - or closer to - the devices themselves.
Apr. 29, 2017 12:00 AM EDT Reads: 1,143
Grape Up is a software company, specialized in cloud native application development and professional services related to Cloud Foundry PaaS. With five expert teams that operate in various sectors of the market across the USA and Europe, we work with a variety of customers from emerging startups to Fortune 1000 companies.
Apr. 28, 2017 10:30 PM EDT Reads: 2,564