Thursday, May 16, 2013

Meet Our Partners: Wirex

A short interview with Alessandro Negro, CTO at Wirex, an Italian software house providing platforms for gaming, betting and gambling operations.
Let’s talk about your organization. What is your core business?

"Wirex was founded in 2002 and its products cover the whole spectrum of the iGaming industry with a wide offer of internally developed software, including a players management platform, a live casino, a RNG Casino, and a sports betting platform, all of which are easy to integrate among one another to provide maximum flexibility".

Could you let us know any further information? (Number of customers, covered regions, revenues..)

"Our company has two offices in Italy, each of them with specific specializations, and a fully owned business development unit in Malta. The company reached a significant penetration in the Italian and Maltese markets, is approaching new targets including Greece, Austria, and Spain, and has recently started to consider US, India and Southeast Asia as approachable markets".

Who is the typical user of your product or service?

"Our portfolio comprehends land casinos and gaming operators of every size, including companies listed in the London Stock Exchange and several others with an international prominence. Our customers include Sportingbet, PKR, Playbet, and Mybet".

What do you do for Wirex and what are you responsible for?

"As a Chief Technology Officer, I manage and supervise several aspects in software development, including architecture, design, middlewares selection, and coding best practises".

Which applications or services are currently powered by Lightstreamer within your offer?

"Within our Live Casino offer, Lightstreamer is currently powering a specific variant of the popular BlackJack game, called ‘BlackJack Studio’, which is based on a 1-on-1 interaction between player and dealer. This game features a high level of interactivity, and requires a high performance, bi-directional data push server. Furthermore, Lightstreamer is also part of the entire gaming back-end infrastructure, including a number of real-time monitoring systems, and the whole chat system between players and with croupiers. We just completed a Live Casino project that included Lightstreamer for Portomaso, a famous Maltese land-based casino".

How many players are, on average, in a Live Casino platform?

"Live casino platforms offer video streams of real persons as dealers, and require to handle a large amount of frequently updated data, in order to keep the user interface responsive and offer the players a pervasive, truly ‘live’ gaming experience. Thus, it’s not hard to understand that the overall complexities are drastically higher comparing to a standard, even big sized RNG online casino. Giving some numbers, a mid-sized live casino holds 4 to 20 BlackJack Studio tables, with up to 10/20 players/users per table. Roulette and Punto Banco have different numbers; for example, 3 real roulettes are enough to power up to hundreds of virtual tables. Our platform also features a queue management system if tables are full, to keep the whole gaming experience enjoyable even in case of players’ overcrowding".

Is your main application based on HTML or other front-end technologies?

"On the client side our applications are mostly written in HTML and JavaScript, with a solid Java core on the server side".

Do you provide any native apps for smartphones and tablets?

"We did not developed any native apps for mobile and tablets yet, but we made web-based, ‘lite’ version of some of our products to be available on smartphones. As Wirex decided to dismiss RTP for its iOS compatibility issues, Lightstreamer has been chosen as the unique, efficient real-time server to allow any desktop and mobile clients to join the same platform seamlessly".

Do you use Lightstreamer for bi-directional data push (that is, also for sending messages from the client to the server)?

"Yes, Lightstreamer has been implemented for bi-directional data push from the beginning. iGaming platforms usually feature a big number of sources that send and receive data for a relatively high number of items (which include, for example, data from the game, players’ decisions and messages, and a bunch of real-time monitoring information). Most of them require high update frequencies both in the front-end side, to offer a reactive, enjoyable gaming experience, both in the back-end side, to power it with useful tools such as real-time alerts".

What other features of Lightstreamer are you taking benefit from (e.g. data throttling, low latency, bandwidth management, security, smart proxy traversal, etc.)?

"No one at the moment, but we are going to evaluate them in the next future as we are planning to do another intensive session of tests and optimizations. We definitely appreciated the Lightstreamer Client APIs, which allowed us to push key gaming information in real-time with just a tiny coding effort on our side".

Is Lightstreamer currently deployed in any other Wirex projects? If not, will it be included in any future projects?

"Lightstreamer will be progressively deployed in other games, including Roulette and Punto Banco (a close relative of the more known game Baccarat). We are currently working on another online project for an Italian land-based casino, and we are exploring the deploying of Lightstreamer in other scenarios, including in-run betting platforms, in which players are allowed to join the action and place bets on events occurring during a sport match (e.g the outcome of a penalty kick in soccer). Our current roadmap include a progressive migration from WOWZA as a streaming server (keeping it as a video streaming server in any case), and the adoption of HTML5 as a front-end technology with Websocket as a client-server protocol. We have chosen Lightstreamer to handle its complexities swiftly".

We would be very grateful if you would like to provide a short recommendation to testify your experience with Lightstreamer technology and its support team.

"After several months of use, we can state that Lightstreamer has been a winning choice, helping us to simplify the overall software architecture for real-time data transfers. The quality of the support we received was impressive, allowing us to rapidly overcome the few problems we encountered, and move ahead with a smooth integration. We managed to release a sturdy, Lightstreamer powered iGaming application in a truly short time, as everything worked like a charm since the beginning".

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