In 2019, Adrian Gatt was appointed Microsoft’s Business Development Manager for Greece, Malta, and Cyprus with a specific focus on the iGaming industry, a position that signified Microsoft’s resolve to increase its focus and resources on the growing iGaming industry.
“Two years down the line, our focused effort has helped us more than double our customer base on our Azure cloud platform and we have the ambition to re-double that amount within a shorter period,” he says.
Where do you see the iGaming industry going?
The iGaming industry has come a long way since its inception. With increasing regulated markets that have a major focus on player protection this industry can now back its claim of being part of the global entertainment industry vying for consumer airtime with more ‘traditional’ forms of digital entertainment, be it watching a favourite series on Netflix, playing your favourite games on your home console, or creating some content on TikTok.
This in turn fuels more growth while the industry is going global.
How can Microsoft facilitate the evolution of the industry?
Microsoft has positioned itself globally as the leading platform provider with its cloud services that act as an enabler to any individual or organisation to achieve more.
This means that leveraging the Azure platform allows organisations to focus their efforts on the core competencies without ‘wasting’ time on creating and managing the systems that enable them to build their customer value propositions.
Our messaging to the industry over the past two-three years has been consistent, whereby we are, and can be, a strategic partner to these organisations. We do not want to be seen simply as a supplier – a cost centre. We want organisations to become independent with us not dependant on us.
We are supporting organisations in their infrastructure and application development requirements, building, or enhancing their data-driven business model and strategy and also ensuring business continuity even from an operational perspective especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.
What are the main trends that you are seeing in the industry currently and what has changed over the past months?
With its increased market regulation, the industry has experienced some major impacts, such as a drive to expand their operations to newly regulated and attractive markets, top of that list I would say is US, but also the increased operational cost and consequentially squeezed profit margins to maintain their compliance in the regulated markets they operate it.
These trends have been a major driver for the increase in Mergers & Acquisitions to benefit from each other’s licensing position, product offering and also economies of scale. Other trends in the industry are the enhanced focus by organisations to build a data-driven business model and strategy, leveraging the millions of transactions each organisation likely processes on a monthly basis.
On a final note, the industry is also leveraging technical trends around modernising ones’ infrastructure that makes that key component more resilient and agile in the face of increased market demands.
How does Microsoft work with customers to develop solutions?
Microsoft offers its customers flexibility to develop their solutions on their own terms. Customers have choices. With our commitment to open source, and support for all languages and frameworks, customers can build their applications how they want, and deploy them where they need them.
This applies to all businesses, from large enterprises to smaller entities and start-ups. As a partner-led organisation, we work with our partners to help customers build their solutions including availing of specialised technical resources and architects.
Moreover, we also have partners who have built ready-made solutions that a customer can also simply buy rather than build, depending on the customers’ resources and exigencies.
What are your ambitions for Microsoft’s role in the iGaming industry?
Over the past two years we have gotten closer to the iGaming community and yet we are aiming to get even closer.
To this effect, in the beginning of 2021, we rolled out an outreach program to speak to as many iGaming organisations, get to know them and their strategic objectives better, and discuss how Microsoft can be a partner to them in their quest to meet those objectives.
Since our focused effort working with the industry, we have more than doubled our customer base on our Azure cloud platform and we have the ambition to re-double that amount within a shorter period.
How does your experience in Malta help you personally to move Microsoft’s strategy forward?
Leading Microsoft’s investment to get closer and supporting the iGaming community from Malta allows us to strategically be as close to the community as possible with the density of organisations and business decision-makers based on the island.
I am supported by a team that is spread across the entire Central and Eastern European region and beyond, so organisations still get the full experience of working with a leading global technology company but has a local presence on the ground that other large hyperscale cloud vendors do not.
Moreover, the power of the local professional network is a great asset for me to get in touch with the many organisations and I have had the pleasure to meet many new faces over the past two years and look forward to meeting many more!
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