2020 and 2021 saw pressures increase on operators’ ability to modify platforms to match market and regulatory demands. Observing arising complexities across the industry’s value chain, James King leads the development of Flows, an industry-tailored innovation platform designed to turbocharge delivery, automate workflows and reduce reliance on technical teams.
SBC: Hi James, thanks for this interview. Your new venture Flows states that it will ‘liberalise innovation and accelerate delivery’… A mandate that is enticing but what does it mean?
James King (Chief Executive @ Flows): My pleasure SBC and thank you for taking the time to chat with me. To expand on the above quote, the first part “liberalising innovation” is because Flows empowers more within your organization with the ability to deliver technical change.
Right now, all technical change, be it new features, new workflows etc is delivered by your tech teams and more often than not, these teams already have a heavy, overcrowded roadmap to deliver, from new market certifications to integrations and more.
With Flows no-code interface we elevate the pressure on those teams by enabling non-technical employees to drive change themselves. You could be in a team meeting, have a great idea and act on that there and then, in real-time, before ever having to enter a product roadmap. For the second part “accelerate delivery” (beyond the above), is that Flows is also a tool to be utilised by tech teams too.
Flows will enable teams to fast track their development from omnichannel projects, new regulatory workflows through to integrations and more as a lot of the complexity in coding this change is no longer needed thanks to the Flows platform. Flows agnostically supports all channels within your business. If you think it, you can Flows it.
SBC: Launching Flows… what are the challenges facing operators in expanding their platforms effectively?
JK: I can’t speak for operators individually, but across the wider piece, limited technical resources are one challenge as well as legacy technologies being another. These are probably the two most common challenges facing operators and two (of many) examples that can be mitigated through Flows without having to do any heavy (technical) lifting.
There is so much opportunity in Gaming at the moment and businesses are having to prioritise which to go after in accordance with their resources. With Flows, we expand that for you without the need to hire more or invest heavily.
SBC: Reflecting on your background as an igaming tech and commercial executive. How should operators be rethinking their processes and procedures with regards to delivering products and applications?
JK: It’s a tough one as for a lot of operators their processes and procedures are driven by their platform provider. This is an area we really want to support both the operators and the providers in accelerating their ability to deliver change. For the operator, we empower them to drive their own change without having to rely solely on their provider and then in doing this, you elevate the pressure on the providers who can concentrate on heavier tech lifts like certifying their platform into a new market for example.
Currently, a lot of the processes and procedures have followed the same pattern for over a decade, have an idea (or need for change) write a request, wait for that to be prioritised, it then gets investigated and weeks or months later you may or may not get a delivery date (and if it’s not your own technology then you may also get a price for delivering said new functionality/feature or integration etc).
In the new age of digital this is not sustainable and doesn’t allow operators to stay competitive against new entrants and disruptors who are really agile. Flows delivers an accelerated process and agility to all, have an idea, build a Flow, test your Flow, show your team, put the Flow live.
SBC: As CEO of Flows, why are you confident that operators will accept your delivery platform when clients have spent significant investment and resources modifying their own systems and internal resources to meet their unique commercial demands?
JK: Firstly, we’re not here to replace anything that’s already been built, in fact, quite the opposite. We’ve built Flows to be one of the most agnostic pieces of software on the market, that is able to sit alongside any other piece of technology that you have or use. Flows plugs into supercharge what you already have in place and what you don’t have, Flows allows you to build.
Secondly, demands change as well, consumer behaviour changes, regulation changes, new markets open up, old ones close and there’s continued innovation from new content through to payment providers and more. So even if you’re performing well today, you need to be in a position where you can quickly react tomorrow. So whether its a new integration you want (we can also sit as an agnostic integrations layer) or need to create new player safety features to abide by new regulations or certify for a new market then Flows is your partner in change.
We are just starting up, but we have so many use cases for Flows (and many more we’re yet to uncover with partners) that it’s impossible to give just one point. A final note would be to add that our commercial set-up is true SaaS and therefore a financial model that works for operators as they only need to pay for what they put live. We do not charge any set up fees or limit partners to the number of people within their team that gets access to innovate, we really want to allow everyone to Flow.
SBC: Not all apps are created equal, Can Flows therefore integrate all third-party integration under the industry current make-up?
JK: The short answer is yes. Obviously, there’s a whole bunch of different ways people are passing data through their businesses from simple APi;s through to Kafka, RabbitMQ and so on. Flows is built in such a way that we can securely ingest any type of feed, learn it and then translate the payload into the no code Flows builder (and from there you innovate).
What’s really cool is that you can have multiple data points all interacting with each other within a Flow from your PAM and sports feed through to third party API’s like the weather. This enables you to build such rich features and new functionality as well as solve issues like omnichannel connectivity between your systems.
SBC: As we head into 2022, why should all technology stakeholders be paying attention to Flows development… Please sell yourself to our audience!
JK: Honestly, because we’re here to support the industry and empower its businesses and stakeholders. We can also see a wave of new disruptors entering our space (like Disney), so if we’re to compete, defend our position, we must get better together and improve our delivery and ability to innovate.
We need to be more agile, more open with each other and this is where Flows can help. We’ll also have a ton of new features being released throughout the year and so as not to waffle on, I’d just say that if you can spare a little time then get in touch and let us give you a demo of Flows.