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System Futures

Ramesh Srinivasan, Executive Vice President, Bally Systems, Bally Technologies, Inc.

System Futures

Ramesh Srinivasan enjoyed a successful 21-year career, 18 of it in information technology, before Bally Technologies CEO Richard Haddrill, his former boss at supply-chain software company Manhattan Associates, tapped him to become executive vice president of the slot-maker’s Bally Systems division.

But it has been at Bally that Srinivasan has made a name as a groundbreaker, helping to make the company’s “Networked Floor of the Future” a reality.

The Bally Systems vision is a dynamic effort designed to bring the benefits of digital technology to the slot floor. Bally, the industry leader in systems, has been laying the groundwork for server-based gaming through an effort to provide a seamless transition to its current system customers.

“The Networked Floor of the Future will feature a combination of a lot of crucial products working well together,” Srinivasan says. “We are laying the groundwork for the long term without compromising the short-term needs of our customers. We have never lost sight of the fact that all customers, including those currently using older versions of our products, need and deserve upgrades and world-class service and support.”

Srinivasan has overseen many system product introductions at Bally, from the iVIEW and iVIEW Display Manager (DM) player-communication network to the Elite Bonusing Suite, which enables the easy and systematic creation of multiple, floor-wide bonusing and promotion events.

The newest showcase for iVIEW, the Elite Bonusing Suite and Bally’s CoolSign media-management solution is a floor-wide virtual racing event that has created excitement and increased play at San Diego’s Barona Resort & Casino. Srinivasan notes that these kinds of events require many elements of multiple products working together.

Apart from a floor network that is solid, Srinivasan believes that such revenue-generating and entertaining innovations will require stable and open slot and player-tracking systems and a configurable and open bonusing suite of products that integrate easily with the core and other third-party systems.

One thing the Barona system proves: “Marketing promotions need to run floor-wide to be successful,” says Srinivasan, “and that means the technology needs to be backward-compatible to work on legacy machines as well as the machines you bought last week.”

The coming year will see the capabilities of networked operations increase as properties like Barona upgrade to the iVIEW Display Manager. The iVIEW DM system moves the promotional messages, self-service features and floor-wide bonus events from the ancillary iVIEW screen to the entire game screen, or any portion of that screen.

Other innovations to come from Bally Systems in 2011 include a service-tracking module that automates all guest service requests on the casino floor, an on-demand tournament application for iVIEW DM, and a new system for table-game player tracking that automates gaming chip recognition through the use of optical technology.

Also coming soon is “Bally TV,” a system that facilitates direct communication between operator and player through the television while guests are in their hotel rooms, and lets customers access player’s club accounts from their rooms.

Aside from new product introductions, Srinivasan says one of his challenges for the coming year is to better educate operators on the benefits of networked gaming, and, as always, to add new talent to the systems division.

“We’ve clearly put Bally Systems in a leadership position in the marketplace,” he says, “and when you’re the leader, it’s always challenging to stay there.”

Frank Legato is editor of Global Gaming Business magazine. He has been writing on gaming topics since 1984, when he launched and served as editor of Casino Gaming magazine. Legato, a nationally recognized expert on slot machines, has served as editor and reporter for a variety of gaming publications, including Public Gaming, IGWB, Casino Journal, Casino Player, Strictly Slots and Atlantic City Insider. He has an B.A. in journalism and an M.A. in communications from Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, PA. He is the author of the books, How To Win Millions Playing Slot Machines... Or Lose Trying, and Atlantic City: In Living Color.  

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