How Veikkaus Digitally Transforms as it Emerges as the New Combined Finnish National Gaming Company

111 views

Published on

Transcript of a discussion on how a culture of IT innovation is helping to establish a single wholly nationally owned company to operate gaming in Finland.

Published in: Technology
0 Comments
0 Likes
Statistics
Notes
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Views
Total views
111
On SlideShare
0
From Embeds
0
Number of Embeds
0
Actions
Shares
0
Downloads
0
Comments
0
Likes
0
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

How Veikkaus Digitally Transforms as it Emerges as the New Combined Finnish National Gaming Company

  1. 1. How Veikkaus Digitally Transforms as it Emerges as the New Combined Finnish National Gaming Company Transcript of a discussion on how a culture of IT innovation is helping to establish a single wholly nationally owned company to operate gaming in Finland. Listen to the podcast. Find it on iTunes. Get the mobile app. Download the transcript. Sponsor: Hewlett Packard Enterprise. Dana Gardner: Hello, and welcome to the next edition to the Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) Voice of the Customer podcast series. I’m Dana Gardner, Principal Analyst at Interarbor Solutions, your host and moderator for this ongoing discussion on digital transformation. Stay with us now to learn how agile businesses are fending off disruption in favor of innovation. Our next case study highlights how 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 explore how Veikkaus uses a power big-data analytics platform to respond rapidly to the challenges of digitization. So join us, as we learn how a culture of IT innovation is helping to establish a single wholly nationally-owned company to operate gaming and gambling in Finland. To describe how Veikkaus is transforming itself for better customer experience from the core to the edge, we're joined by Harri Räsänen, Information and Communications Technology Architect at Veikkaus in Helsinki. Welcome, Harri. Harri Räsänen: Thank you. It’s nice to be here. Join myVertica To Get The Free HPE Vertica Community Edition Gardner: Let’s hear a bit about why Veikkaus has to reinvent or reestablish some core technology. You have a big undertaking of bringing several different gaming organizations together and also to provide as good user experience as possible. Tell us your story. Räsänen: With our data infrastructure development during the last two to three years, we didn’t have any clues to whether the gaming companies would merge or not. 1 Gardner
  2. 2. So, we just started the development by our own company. Our data warehouse solution was a quite 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 enough. It was far from real time -- data that was one or two days old. We decided that we need to get data quicker and in more detail because we had aggregate data level and that sort of thing. Gardner: What were some of your top requirements technically in order to accomplish that? Real-time data 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 think about 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. Maybe you could give us some sense of the size of the data and the disparity of the three organizations that came together including the football organization. We want to hear more about the size and variety of the data. Räsänen: I'll talk about our current situation records. The new company we are starting up next year. 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 more of 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 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. 2 Räsänen
  3. 3. 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. 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. 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. Join myVertica To Get The Free HPE Vertica Community Edition 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. 3
  4. 4. 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 a billion euros a year go to the common good of people living in Finland, and of course, some 2,000 people are employed at Veikkaus. So, there are a lot of benefits when this is done properly. Räsänen: You said 2,000 people employees, but that will be after we merge. Currently, we have something like 350 people. So, it's a quite small company as of today. Gardner: 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 apify 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 a 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. 4
  5. 5. Gardner: I am afraid we'll have to leave it there. We've been exploring how combined Finnish State Gaming Company, Veikkaus, is managing a complex merger process, while also bringing more of a digital advantage to its operations in business. And we've learned how a culture of IT innovation is helping to establish a single wholly owned state company to operate gaming in Finland. Please join me in thanking our guest. We've been here with Harri Räsänen, Information and Communications Technology Architect at Veikkaus in Helsinki. Thank you Harri. Join myVertica To Get The Free HPE Vertica Community Edition Räsänen: Thank you. Gardner: And a big thank you as well to our audience for joining us for this Hewlett Packard Enterprise Voice of the Customer digital transformation discussion. I'm Dana Gardner, Principal Analyst at Interarbor Solutions, your host for this ongoing series of HPE-sponsored interviews. Thanks again for listening, and please do come back next time. Listen to the podcast. Find it on iTunes. Get the mobile app. Download the transcript. Sponsor: Hewlett Packard Enterprise. Transcript of a discussion on how a culture of IT innovation is helping to establish a single wholly owned state company to operate gaming in Finland. Copyright Interarbor Solutions, LLC, 2005-2016. All rights reserved. You may also be interested in: • 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  5

×