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Programme manager Mark Jones on how Playtech is diversifying its offering via third-party partnerships

As the world’s leading gambling technology company, innovation has always been central to Playtech’s ethos and strategy. Our ultimate goal is to develop and deliver industry-leading technology, services and content; to address and even anticipate key challenges for our customers in markets worldwide. While we always aim to create this in-house, we also recognise the value that external specialists can bring to our clients – and the rich, complementary functionality their software can bring to our systems. This is the strategy behind Playtech’s Software as a Service (SAAS) programme.

Alongside innovation, versatility and flexibility are central to Playtech’s offering – and our SAAS programme is a core part of delivering this. Thanks to the Playtech Open Platform (POP), we can directly integrate external software and services with our IMS platform, instantly expanding its capabilities. The SAAS programme not only allows us to offer our customers highly specialised, expert services, but also to do so in a seamless way, with little or no external integration required much of the time.


Our partners and their products

Selecting and integrating a SAAS partner is rarely an overnight process. Whilst we have consistently expanded the programme over the last three years, we do not add new partners for the sake of growth alone. We give extensive consideration to every new partner and what their product/s or service/s can add to the wider Playtech offering, and how this will benefit our customers. 

Partners may be specialists in the gambling industry, but in other cases, they may offer expertise from the wider technology, finance, marketing or compliance sectors. Our customers may not have considered working with such partners before; yet their services and technology have a clear, valuable application for our industry.


Compliance and Regulatory
When it comes to the gambling industry, few areas require the same level of vigilance and adaptability as compliance. A core SAAS partner in this space, signed in 2020, is TruNarrative. Directly integrated with Playtech’s IMS platform, TruNarrative supports our core strategy on safer gambling, bringing together a unique range of services on a single platform, including age and identity verification, eKYC, fraud detection and AML compliance.

As an expandable platform, TruNarrative can also offer a route to market for other SAAS partners, such as ID&VA specialist IDentt. Recently signed by Playtech, IDentt’s Vision platform and international database, already integrated with IMS, will also be available via TruNarrative, offering additional flexibility for our customers. 

In addition to shifting requirements in established markets, our SAAS programme has been developed with international expansion and future markets in mind. Specifically, biometrics-driven ID&VA specialist Jumio, and device-based fraud prevention experts FeatureSpace, both offer an established presence in the US – one of the most exciting opportunities for the development of new regulated markets.


Personalised player engagement and communication is a key priority for our customers, so is naturally a core focus of the SAAS programme. Engagement and retention specialist CaptainUp focuses on building player loyalty through creating a personalised, social play feel, while Thunderbite offers a complete set of customisable promotional mechanics built around gamification. Longer-term, we are looking at expanding our experience-led offering via partners in areas such as physical gift delivery, additional content creation and delivery, and dynamic advertising.


Our partnerships with communication specialists allow us to support and expand on the capabilities of our in-house engagement tools. A key recent addition to the programme from this sector is Purple Square, whose Acoustic platform gives operators all the tools they need to take Playtech’s data-rich player insights to create and manage dynamic email and SMS campaigns. Elsewhere, new signing Airship offers a single solution to create a coordinated multi-channel marketing strategy.


The most recent addition to our programme is Zendesk a collaboration that offers significant opportunities from a customer service platform perspective. Available integrated into IMS, Zendesk gives operators everything they need to deliver fully branded personalised player support.


Affiliate marketing offers both excellent potential and unique challenges. SAAS partner Rightlander offers easy, effective automated affiliate compliance monitoring, with specialist software scanning over eight million web pages and more than 100 million links scanned every month. Developed specifically for the gambling industry, Rightlander’s software scans sites across multiple territories and languages to build a detailed affiliate map for each operator; its Site Discovery Tool working alongside an extensive database to flag and monitor new sites alongside established ones.

While this article provides a flavour of the breadth of partners in the SAAS programme, there are several other key partners either already on board or under negotiation – you can learn more here. With over 20 different companies currently in discussions to join, the potential of the SAAS programme, both for Playtech and our clients, is only just beginning to be realised.