BUSINESS

Frank Schuengel: Gaming industry too lazy to innovate

TAGs: CAI, Frank Schuengel

In this interview with CalvinAyre.com’s Stephanie Raquel, iGaming Consultant Frank Schuengel explains why the industry needs to shake things up when it comes to their offerings.

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When Eastman Kodak Company filed for bankruptcy five years ago, people started wondering what could have possibly gone wrong in the 131-year-old firm. Kodak has been a stalwart of American photography and its name was synonymous with taking pictures.

Experts agree that Kodak’s failure to innovate led to its demise after lording over the industry for more than a century. Kodak held the elixir of its business life when it invented the digital camera, but the photography juggernaut let that slip out its palms when it tried to suppress the technology instead of enhancing it.

Ironically, experts called its downfall ‘The Kodak Moment’ as it captures of what lack of innovation can do to a company or even in an industry in general. Somehow, the online gambling industry is facing the same ‘Kodak moment’ as operators seem so comfortable in strictly adhering to their original vision.

IGaming Consultant Frank Schuengel was blunt in saying that there had not been much innovation in the gambling industry as there should have been. He pushed the button further when he declared that is “a lazy industry” when it comes to innovating.

Most developers, according to Schuengel, are finding it hard to come up with the so-called “next big thing” for online gambling because operators don’t give them space and freedom to work on their ideas.

Frank Schuengel: gaming industry too lazy to innovate“It is hard to get resources for your new idea. You know it’s going to work, you know it might be disruptive but if you go to your boss and you say ‘I have this idea,’ your boss will say ‘how much it is going to make me’ and ‘what’s the market,’” Schuengel told CalvinAyre.com. “If you cannot ask those two things because it is a new product, it going to be killed off. So, you must create an ecosystem or a set-up for this to give people the freedom and space to work on their own little things. I think that is the big reason.”

Schuengel also pointed out that most operators tend to look in the wrong places for new innovations. The trend among operators was to look at other operators’ offerings, which Schuengel believes promotes copying rather than innovation.

He said now is the time for operators to look beyond gambling for innovation. The iGaming expert cited German bank called N26 as an example of where to look for innovations.

Schuengel said that operators may learn something from the bank’s KYC mechanism wherein the financial institution introduces an app that will speed up the opening of bank accounts in eight minutes.

“One particular example I can give you is if I’m with pretty much any bookmaker and I have to make KYC (know your customer), send my passport and things, a lot of them still ask ‘please send me an e-mail with attachment’ or ‘please upload it.’ That’s old school rubbish,” he explained. “If you go to a German bank called N26, they advertise as open your account in 8 minutes. With their KYC, they have an app. They have video KYC, someone phones you, you hold up your passport, you verify it and you’re a customer in eight minutes. That’s their promise. That’s how you do it.”

Schuengel also reminded operators that people will not be able to create innovative products if they are so focused on improving an old product. He suggested that operators may adapt Google’s work policy, which allows employees to work on their own projects every Friday.

“Just don’t expect the people you have to come up with the next big thing while they are working on everyday features and changes that will create pressure. Don’t expect these people to invent the next big thing,” he said. “Because they might have the next big thing in the drawing board but you just don’t have the time or resource to do it. Think of it like a start-up outside your normal product cycle. Give them a little budget, give them the time and the freedom.”

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