Glyn Thomas catches up with François Bourlier, Western Europe Sales Director, Win Systems
For those of our readers who may not be familiar with Win Systems, can we commence this interview with a brief history of the company?
Win Systems has its roots in lottery systems where we originated almost 20 years ago. At the end of the 2000s, the Company decided to move into the Casino Management Systems (CMS) market using the robust infrastructures developed in previous products. WIGOS™ CMS was launched in 2010 and today connects more than 50,000 terminals in 184 casinos worldwide. Those numbers make us the #4 CMS provider worldwide in terms of machines connected.
Recent months have seen a lot of new personnel along with International offices. Is that part of a continued investment and development strategy? And if so, is that set to continue World Wide?
We hold a very significant market share in the LATAM region that gave us the first place in connected machines in this area. At the end of 2014, the company came to the natural conclusion it had to expand: in North American markets of course, but also in Europe, which hosts our Headquarters in Barcelona, as well as starting to explore opportunities along the dynamic markets of Asia and Africa. In order to support this expansion, Alexander Alemany joined our ranks in 2014 assuming the challenge of growth in the North American region, Mariano Sosa is in charge of the Central and South America region, and I recently was appointed to handle the European markets.
The major slot and games manufacturers all pride themselves on having the best Slot Accounting Systems and Casino Management Systems, and can pack in eye-watering deals. How does Win Systems compare and how can you compete?
We think that developing a CMS is a very specific task requiring skills quite different in comparison with developing slot games or their bonuses. Our team in Barcelona is composed of experienced engineers who understand the needs of the operators, whereas slot and games manufacturers have an in-depth knowledge of players. A CMS is mostly dedicated to the operator, while games are oriented towards end-users. There is consequently a completely different perspective on how our system is conceived and, in consequence, developed.
Secondly, we pride ourselves on our independence: we do not operate casinos, we do not manufacture games, we only develop software free of errors to serve our customers best. We learn and implement fresh ideas from customers that helps keep growing and strengthening our product. These new ideas are shared across all of our clients through the installation of new releases of free updates. This creates a circle of collaboration in which everyone is benefiting.
We are proud we have an amazing customer support service; our 100% customer retention rate proves it. This enables us to improve our systems solutions thanks to our team of experienced engineers, focusing purely on systems development and its enhancements. In addition, the upgrade process helps the operator to reduce the costs of resource on site. This is particularity true of our WIGOS solution™: all our customers always run the latest version of the software.
WIGOS™ is also unique in the way we commercialise the system’s functionalities. We do not offer modules like our competitors, but all our features (Reports and Analysis, CRM, Loyalty programme, Player tracking, Jackpots and Business Intelligence) are included as a solution package. The most important payments environments (TITO, Cashless, MICO) are supported by the system from the beginning. Our 24/7/365 Multilingual Help-desk is always there to help whatever size the customer is and covers all aspects of using WIGOS™ and its infrastructure.
Why should a Casino operator change their system to Win Systems?
Last year started a massive concentration of the major CMS providers and most operators are unsure whether the support of their current CMS will continue. Some of them will also need costly upgrades due to parts of their systems or the platform used reaching the product end-of-life or, as part of the mergers, systems solution overlaps in the same Company.
There are some other concerns regarding how the previous chosen provider decided to make their solution evolve, making it unstable and unreliable at the end, or simply unfit to the business today. These reasons bring additional risks to the operation and most of the time hidden costs in the process.
These are the major reasons why we start discussing the change.
So why change to WIGOS™?
Well, the main reason is that it works great. It seems to be an understatement for any CMS, but we all know that is not always true.
Indeed, because of its background in lottery systems, WIGOS™ foundations are rock solid. If you add the fact that all the features were developed by the same teams on the same platform, you get in the end a strong system very optimised, very reliable, and fully integrated.
The second reason is support and flexibility. I know I repeat it but our Help-Desk is available 24/7/365 with very experienced and qualified engineers to help our customers make the most of their CMS. Our customers and us are really partners: we help them grow and improve their revenues, and they help us stay on top of the market with new features they want and we provide.
The final reason is of course cost-benefit factor. In the current climate of reduced budgets, it is indeed an important aspect. Not only can WIGOS™ run on average servers but also in most cases, we can use hardware in-situ. This does greatly reduce the migration costs. Our daily fee is also one of the best in the industry in terms of value for money.
How was the Slot Summit Bucharest for Win Systems and where next can readers meet you and find out more about the organisation?
The Slot Summit Bucharest has been our first experience of sponsoring in Europe. It is the illustration of our will to expand not only in Central Europe but also on the whole extended continent. Our goals at the Summit were to develop current relationships and create new ones. We also wanted attendees and their network to be aware that a main player in the industry is now entering the markets. I have to say this has been above our expectations.