As 2023 comes to an end, Yogonet spoke with Yana Mareva, Head of PMO & Account Management at Uplatform, who shared the company’s highlights for the year, and its plans for the future.
Mareva also gave us her opinion on the uses of AI, sustaining that it is a “valuable tool to assist us in our daily tasks rather than as complete replacements for human capabilities.”
What is your assessment of the year? What are your main takeaways and highlights from 2023?
It has been a challenging but very productive year for our team. We managed to pull off a whopping 70% increase in our client base and doubled the size of our internal team. These impressive results were achieved despite the significant challenges of scaling rapidly. This success can be attributed to the effective coordination of work, a built-in system of training and onboarding staff, and continuous improvement of processes.
The year 2023 also boasts interesting partnerships. We are working very closely with Asian partners, and I think this collaboration will yield an interesting result for all of us. Additionally, we remain attentive to critical aspects such as Know Your Customer (KYC) and user verification services. The escalating regulatory landscape in various markets necessitates our commitment to providing customers with optimal flexibility in configuring their Customer Journey Maps. This strategic approach reflects our dedication to staying at the forefront of industry developments.
Do you believe that emerging technologies like AI will play a key role in developing products and services in the gaming industry in the next year?
We should view AI technologies as valuable tools to assist us in our daily tasks rather than as complete replacements for human capabilities. In specific domains, integrating such technologies can result in significant advancements, particularly in cost reduction and accelerating processes such as decision-making, text recognition, and image processing. Special areas like Customer Support, Support Quality Control, Risk Management, Sports Data Capture, and Player Behavior Evaluation are standout examples.
It’s important to recognize that the current landscape requires substantial computing capacities to effectively work with these technologies, particularly in developing and training large language models (LLM). Unfortunately, such resources are globally scarce, even within cloud service providers. But if you have them and a strong, experienced team, you will definitely be able to build an effective business and become a high-flyer in the market.
Which other trends do you see gaining momentum?
We’re observing a plethora of experiments with virtual reality, particularly in the realm of live casinos. These innovations focus on providing players with a distinctive gaming experience, allowing them to tailor their environment, mood, and company in virtual reality.
What’s particularly intriguing is the ability to deliver this unique experience without hefty investments in the physical infrastructure of a live studio. Admittedly, not everyone is currently inclined to use specialized equipment or has the means to acquire it. It’ll be intriguing to see where these developments take us in the future.
What markets and verticals surprised you the most in how they developed this year? Which markets do you expect to gain momentum in next year?
This year, the sports betting and casino industry has seen some unexpected developments in various markets and verticals. The surprise lies in the incredible growth and acceptance of sports betting and casino gaming in traditionally conservative markets, reflecting a changing landscape and a broader societal acceptance of these forms of entertainment.
Brazil, which has just recently gone through the process of industry regulation, is one of the vivid examples. Moreover, Asian markets, particularly those embracing innovative technologies and online platforms, are poised for significant advancements. The potential for partnerships and collaborations between the gaming industry and tech companies in these regions adds an exciting dynamic to the future landscape.
What can you tell us about the upcoming year? Are there any new plans or announcements you could share with us?
I can confidently affirm our commitment to enhancing our product to better meet the specific needs of businesses. We’re working to make it adaptable for extensive global reach and functional for independent business management. We have substantial plans in the pipeline to optimize our payment aggregator, along with a strong focus on developing and improving mobile applications.