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Palmerbet punts on cloud and AI for winning streak

There aren’t many other sectors that experience the sort of usage spikes faced by online bookmakers, where customers wait until the last few minutes before a race is run to place a bet.

And come the first Tuesday in November, when the Melbourne Cup is run, the spike goes off the chart.

Melbourne Cup Day was always a fraught time for Palmerbet.Not any more.

Since implemented, Bet Technology’s Azure based platform has experienced zero downtime associated with betting spikes, thanks to being scalable-by-design and the organisation also has access to an array of Azure tools that will allow it to develop next generation AI-infused products.

Palmerbet is an online bookmaker in business since 2013, with a significant customer base– currently only in Australia, though director and CEO Grant Palmer acknowledges that the business has international ambitions for the long-term.

Even without international customers, domestic demand has risen through the pandemic, as people who might once have attended the track, turned to online sites.

Until 2017 Palmerbet used third party software to run the business, but then engaged Bet Technology in 2017 to develop its own bookmaking platform and front-end customer facing applications.

Aboo Azarnoush, chief technology officer, Bet Technology

Aboo Azarnoush, chief technology officer of Bet Technology explains that the company has always had a Microsoft focus, though its move to the cloud is more recent.

“It started with a lift and shift – we had to move the current systems from data centres to cloud. So, that was the first step. Then we realised that in order to utilise the full capability of the cloud, our applications need to be cloud friendly.

“That started the idea of building a new system from scratch. The new app that we built follows the Micro Service Architecture, is fully integrated with Azure and with the capacity to scale. Our goal is to be able to offer a multi-tenant SaaS using all the capabilities of cloud.”

Bet Technology has developed and deployed its Micro Service Architecture with 30-40 elements that can be deployed, scaled and maintained independently alongside the 10-15 core services that underpin the platform, all utilising Azure’s Service Fabric that delivers an average of 65 milliseconds response time.

AI-infused innovation

Bet Technology is now exploring opportunities to use artificial intelligence and machine learning to create entirely new classes of product.

Grant Palmer, CEO, Palmerbet

According to Grant Palmer “ We have engaged Bet Technology to do a lot of work on machine learning for our pricing offering. So creating terrific markets, creating what we call same-game multis. You’re creating derivative markets within matches, and it’s all machine learning based.

“They are running simulation models to create pricing, which enables us to offer more combinations of outcomes within matches, which previously you haven’t been able to do because they’re difficult to price, but using simulation and other machine learning methods, we’ve been able to price those and offer those to our customers,” which is helping the company build a competitive edge says Palmer.

Being Azure based provides access to the tools needed to help build those sorts of new AI infused systems, and also service the huge demand spikes that are just par for the course for a gaming company.

While the Melbourne Cup spikes previously heralded at least some degree of downtime as the systems struggled under the demand, since move to the new Azure based solution that has stopped.

“Having the scalability there when other competitors have downtime, we don’t have downtime. The technology’s really driving the competitive advantage,” adds Palmer.

The entire business depends on effective and efficient technology – from the Azure based betting platforms, to Office 365, Power BI and Dynamics 365 for CRM. It combines into a richly featured, scalable, resilient and secure digital foundation that’s key to Palmerbet’s future.

As Palmer notes; “The nature of this industry, it’s always changing. Things we’re offering today didn’t exist 12 months ago, two years ago. So being able to innovate, being able to continuously grow is at the forefront.”