Home Aristocrat’s Oasis 360™ Summit 2012: “Real Customers. Real Solutions. Real Results.”

Aristocrat’s Oasis 360™ Summit 2012: “Real Customers. Real Solutions. Real Results.”

It was a new atmosphere for both Aristocrat employees and many of the Oasis 360™ Summit’s 400-plus attendees, as it was the first time the event was held outside of Las Vegas. Held at the Ameristar Casino Resort Spa in St. Charles, Mo., on July 10 and 11, the event was full of networking, hands-on examples, and most importantly, a look into Aristocrat’s Oasis 360 solutions.

Aristocrat’s new President of the Americas, Atul Bali
Aristocrat’s new President of the Americas, Atul Bali
A Great Start
The event kicked off with a high-energy, attention-grabbing opening session. Ameristar’s CIO Toni Pepper opened the show, welcoming everyone to the amazing Ameristar property. Next on stage was Aristocrat’s brand-new president of the Americas, Atul Bali, who expressed his excitement to be with Aristocrat, even though it had been only nine days since he arrived. Bali and Aristocrat’s commitment to the systems space was clear, as he stated: “There’s nothing more important today than systems, data integrity, its usage, its analytics. I hope that we at Aristocrat, through Oasis, and together with our partnership with all of you, will play our part in bringing together the greatest system-based products.”

Aristocrat Vice President, System Sales and Marketing Kelly Shaw then addressed the large crowd, showing excitement and enthusiasm for the Oasis event. She used the example casino, Winnabunch Casino, to demonstrate each of the Oasis 360 products and solutions. Shaw and a team of experts on stage demonstrated each Oasis 360 solution, and how they can be used to target and effectively deploy promotions and increase traffic on casino floors.

Aristocrat Vice President, System Sales and Marketing Kelly Shaw welcomes everyone to the Oasis summit by introducing each of the Oasis 360 solutions.
Aristocrat Vice President, System Sales and Marketing Kelly Shaw welcomes everyone to the Oasis summit by introducing each of the Oasis 360 solutions.
“We’ve shown you six breakthrough innovations that are true game changers for Oasis 360—On Demand Gaming, that puts an entire library of proven Aristocrat titles literally right at your fingertips; nCompass™, the media window that gives your players the ability to interact with your destination’s full scope of offerings like never before; nVision™, the business intelligence tool that gives you the information you need to analyze player habits; nRich™, bonusing that intelligently grows your players incrementally, while offering unprecedented ways to measure the effectiveness of every promotion you run; nLive, the turnkey online casino that gives you an Internet presence quickly, cleanly and efficiently; and nLiveLink, the innovation the helps you turn your online relationships into real revenue. Best of all, these innovations are already making a powerful impact on our industry.”

Shaw kept the audience members’ attention through examples, real-life stories and attendee involvement. The presentation also included testimonial videos of actual customers’ reactions and thoughts on the Aristocrat solutions.

Shaw and the team addressed anticipated customer concerns and put a lot of focus on online gaming. They shared the success of the recently opened Maryland Live! Casino and online community. In fact, before the property even opened in June this year, the company had more than 24,000 customers on record. This aspect of gaming is extremely important for casino properties to take advantage of, Shaw explained. “This is not the end of brick-and-mortar casinos,” she said. “It’s essential to their future growth and competitive advantage.”

The audience got to hear shocking online gaming statistics and learned how to use Aristocrat technology to effectively master it. Overall, the opening general session got attendees excited for the next two days full of conference sessions, networking and finding out more about Aristocrat’s products and solutions.

Patrick Flannery, senior director, product management–systems for Aristocrat, addresses a crowd of casino property decision makers.
Patrick Flannery, senior director, product management–systems for Aristocrat, addresses a crowd of casino property decision makers.
Conference Sessions
The success of any user conference is often determined by the success of its break-out sessions, and Aristocrat attendees were nothing but impressed.

One session in particular, the nLive and nLiveLink Overview, did just that. It gave an overview of the state-of-the-art product that brings casinos online. Led by Kurt Hansen, product manager of systems, sales and marketing, the session went into even more detail about how casinos can bring their games online. Attendees were from properties either nearing or already approved for legalized online gaming.

Hansen addressed anticipated concerns from customers and talked about the benefits of online games, for both the casino and Aristocrat itself. As one attendee mentioned during the general opening session, roughly 40 percent of games put on a casino floor are changed out because of underperformance. “With online gaming, we can test out the game title among customers at little to no cost before it even hits the casino floor,” Hansen said.

He also talked about the different ways to customize each casino’s site, focusing on brand reinforcement and recognition, as well as making a connection with customers.

Attendees of the session were invited to express their concerns and/or questions, and were introduced to the different third-party platforms integrated with the technology, such as age verification through Aristotle, and payment processing through Data Cash (owned by MasterCard) and Myriad.

Another break-out session, Aristocrat On Demand, gave attendees an in-depth look at the technology and what it can bring to each of their properties. The session was led by Product Manager, Networked Gaming Gary Fairchild and Product Manager Wendy Marsh. Fairchild and Marsh went through the details of downloading and configuring a job through the On Demand product, and took attendees to the Aristocrat Idea Center to see the solution on actual devices. The Idea Center, held in one of the conference ballrooms, was set up to give attendees a chance to work with the Oasis 360 solutions on actual computers and gaming machines.

One of the most popular sessions of the conference was Online Gaming: A European Perspective. Here, Dermot Smurfit, CEO of Game Account Network, gave background information on online gaming, including when it started, who the key players are and the status of online gaming in various countries. He took questions from the full crowd and went into detail about the levels of regulation and the legality of online gaming in several countries, including the U.K., France and Italy.

Gaming Operations Manager Scott Freed and Corporate Accounts Manager Jonathan Novak led the session on Aristocrat games, which highlighted Aristocrat’s North American product portfolio. They provided a look at what games to expect from the company in the following months, as Freed reiterated to the audience that “Aristocrat is 100 percent committed to this space.” The two shared what they called “the most robust lineup in years,” going over currently available titles, as well as those yet to be released.

Novak emphasized the importance of bringing customers more of the brands and games they’re familiar with, such as Tarzan & Jane™ and Mission: Impossible. He mentioned that it’s important to keep players comfortable with the games they know and love, and that some of the company’s best-performing games have been around for eight or nine years.

Breaking up the Aristocrat-led sessions was a unique presentation led by Ameristar’s team. The session, called Migrating Your Floor to Ethernet, was focused on lessons learned and best practices on Ameristar’s own serial to Ethernet migration and Aristocrat’s nCompass installation.
This session was particularly interesting to attendee Ken Hampton, the slot performance manager at Argosy Casino in Illinois. “I’m interested in rewiring my floor for Ethernet, and I liked that they used Ameristar, the actual property people to walk through how they did it,” Hampton said. “It seemed to be a big learning experience on some of the obstacles they ran into. They talked about the things they faced and the ways they eliminated problems, so now I know how to face them.”

Gerrie Allen, lead gaming auditor at Edgewater Casino Resort and Colorado Belle Hotel and Casino in Laughlin, Nev., attended a few of the marketing sessions, and said she found each of them very interesting. “We’re looking to upgrade, and it was nice to see that a lot of things aren’t going to be changing, but only good changes,” she said. “We’ll be up to date!”

Overall, the breakout sessions followed tracks including online gaming, marketing, service support, accounting, business intelligence, bonusing, and technology.

Simon Fothergil, director of managed services
Simon Fothergil, director of managed services
Bonus Event
Before the event officially kicked off on July 10, attendees had the option to attend the pre-conference “boot camp.” This was a way to familiarize customers with the products before attending the conference break-out sessions, said Simon Fothergill, director of managed services. “We did it for those who are new to our products, or maybe those who need a refresher, or those who haven’t attended a summit before,” he said. “We were focused on making sure everyone had all the technical knowledge they needed about the products to get the most out of the content of the sessions.”

The pre-conference courses included a marketing workshop, an accounting workshop, an Oasis overview, a session on Crystal Reports and SQL Queries, and an nVision overview. Fothergill deemed the boot camp a success, sharing that almost 50 percent of summit attendees came in a day early for the sessions.

Aristocrat’s Proven Products
Aristocrat has been known to produce some outstanding game titles, and it’s easy to tell that over the past few years, the company has also brought systems into an even sharper focus. Bringing customers closer to the already-proven Oasis 360 solutions, the summit gave attendees a chance to see that dedication up close.

“We are very much dedicated and committed to investing in the systems business and this has been a very interesting growth area for the company over the last few years,” Bali said. “I think that particularly over the last two and a half years, the company has made a substantial commitment to research and development and design and development.”

Aristocrat Americas COO Seamus McGill
Aristocrat Americas COO Seamus McGill
Aristocrat Americas COO Seamus McGill agreed, emphasizing the company’s online and systems efforts. “There’s a lot of enthusiasm by our customers and what we’re doing with the investment over the last number of years,” McGill said. “We’ve come a long way in the last three years, and I think the results have shown that our customers are extremely excited by where we’re at right now.”

Aristocrat’s Oasis 360 casino management system is the most widely installed system in North America, monitoring devices at more than 285 casinos and delivering real solutions with real results to customers across the continent.

Between the success of the event and the success of the Oasis 360 solutions, we will no doubt see nothing but great things from Aristocrat in the future, and we can’t wait.

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