Here are three reasons to hedge your bets with flash storage at Melbourne Cup
Whether it’s a once-a-year flutter in a sweepstake or regular wager at the TAB, punters expect a seamless and secure experience when it comes to placing their bets – and most importantly, collecting their winnings. The first Tuesday in November marks Australia’s most prestigious racing event, the Melbourne Cup. As one-off punters join everyday gamblers for their annual fling, Cup Day puts the spotlight on our gaming industry to turn high volumes of data into a remarkable customer experience like never before.
Last year Melbourne Cup saw a turnover of $80 million with the TAB alone. On top of this, digitisation is fuelling a boom in online gambling. Statistics from Gambling in Australia: The State of Play show Australians spent almost $800 million on online gambling over the past six years. With gambling more accessible than ever before, this number is on the rise. Punters are increasingly placing their bets via mobiles, tablets and laptops. As Australia’s gaming industry moves away from paper and embraces digital, the need for secure and efficient data storage grows.
Melbourne Cup challenges betting companies across the nation with accommodating extremely high volumes of monetary transactions and ensuring continuous play. Australians reportedly bet $400 million on the race in 2015. This is an important reminder that customers demand fast response times from any sports entertainment service or application, at any time of the year. Whether it’s at the TAB or on a mobile phone, your customers are relying on IT to deliver a personalised, highly responsive experience. When this happens, customers feel welcome, which encourages them to keep playing.
On the other hand, slow response times frustrate customers and cause them to abandon playing. This will have a significant impact on your business, amounting to lost time and revenue. For this reason, flash storage is being harnessed by Australia’s leading betting and gaming companies to tackle technological challenges. Here are three reasons why flash provides the answer to delivering an exceptional customer experience for organisations looking to stay at the forefront of the sports betting industry:
- Scalability – There’s no better reminder of the importance of scaling to accommodate large sporting events than Melbourne Cup. Successfully dealing with excessive volumes of data is all about pace, and getting new products and features rapidly in front of customers. With traditional spinning disk, it can take three to four months to build a new environment to cope with enormous data stores.
- High Performance – Customers expect instant information and payouts from backing winners. Flash storage enables your system to retrieve data as quickly as possible at peak times, with zero disruption to your customers. This gives you the ability to pay out within five minutes of a race finishing. In addition to increasing system speed, you can perform upgrades, run reports and conduct maintenance without disrupting the user experience. For customers, this translates into less wait time to validate and begin play or check account balances, improving their gaming experience and satisfaction. No more slowdowns lead to no more customer complaints about sluggish response.
- Security – It goes without saying that gamblers take risks. Given you’re working with highly sensitive information, including personal and financial customer details, it’s essential this is stored in a protected environment. This is particularly important for online betting companies where electronic transactions are the backbone of your business. Smart organisations understand that automatically securing the most basic component of any system, the storage medium itself, is the best protective measure to prevent data from slipping into the wrong hands. With flash storage, you can do just that. Everything written to a FlashArray is encrypted, reducing the possible attack surface that a hacker would exploit.
Replacing traditional disk-based storage with all-flash is like removing the handbrake – you can move your application testing and release cycles from daily to hourly, and accommodate virtually any workload. This puts you in position to handle the spike in data during Spring Racing Carnival long before the starting gun fires on the preliminary races. Another benefit of flash is that it can be upgraded as your business and IT needs grow and change, without disrupting performance or uptime.
In our evolving digital era, the stakes are high for Australia’s gaming industry. As you look to grow revenue and increase customer participation, the amount of data is only going to escalate, as is the need to store it securely and ensure fast response times. Organisations are looking for every opportunity to drive inefficiency out of their business, stay modern and deliver an outstanding customer experience. So, if you’re looking to place a winning bet this Melbourne Cup – and all year round – it’s time to embrace flash as the next evolution in data storage.
Mike Sakalas is Managing Director, Australia and New Zealand, Pure Storage