Freedom through digital transformation with Fast Track5th November 2020 10:54 am GMT
Jean-Luc Ferriere, Chief Commercial Officer at Microgaming, tells Gaming Intelligence why he believes successful digital transformation relies on putting people first, and how Fast Track is helping to change the way teams work through technology.
I grew up in the ’80’s, my childhood literally running in parallel to the evolution of the home computer. I remember sitting for hours playing the most basic of games or at one point, coding my times tables, using one of those old black cassette recorder tapes as the memory.
I have always loved pulling things apart and understanding how they work. My parents must have gotten so annoyed with what I did to my toys, but pretty much anything I could get my hands on was routinely stripped to its component parts, and then put back together, sometimes hundreds of times over, as I tried to figure out the mechanics.
In short, I have always been around and fascinated with technology and how things work. It was this fascination that led me to study electronics for a short while, and ultimately a career spanning nearly 25 years in the technology space.
But by far my strongest calling is people. Understanding how we think as individuals and as teams, what motivates us and how we get the best out of our people, while leaving every situation more positive for it, has been the focus of my life purpose and career.
Working in gaming, and with Microgaming in particular, has been the career of a lifetime, to be able to explore these two passions. From cutting edge, pioneering software and technology, to globally distributed, multicultural teams, I’ve been gifted some incredible opportunities to develop a style of leadership that calls on both of my loves.
So it would not come as too much of a surprise to learn that my philosophy on digital transformation is heavily people influenced. In fact, I believe that any type of transformation has to be about people first. It’s in our base human nature to explore, evolve and transform our environment. Not always with positive results, but we won’t stray into any morality debates here. The point rather is that transforming is a natural human instinct, in the pursuit of creating something better. Digital transformation is no different. Both the availability of technology, and importantly how we feel about it, are equally critical components to any successful transformation.
In the first instance, people involved or affected by the transformation must be aligned, bought in and passionate about the end game. They have to be able to visualise and believe in the benefits to ensure full adoption and adaptation to new ways of working, sometimes with fundamental differences to the old. This is such an important element, and strong leadership is imperative to bring people along at often very different paces. As the saying goes:
'We all see things differently, even when we are looking at the same thing’
In the second, intelligent technology solutions need to be built, bought, licensed and integrated into target processes or systems. It is critical that solutions are flexible, scalable and do not add any burdens. People, while being naturally curious, also suffer from inertia, and will take the path of least resistance over complicated systems or processes - every time! You can have all the buy-in in the world, but if the solutions are painful to use, they will be ignored in favour of an easier way.
The beauty of our industry, which I’ve had the privilege to see grow over 20+ years, is its constant evolution and reinvention, as we routinely ride waves of both technological and social change. Sometimes forced through situations out of our control, but always with a resilience I find fascinating. Every so often, something or someone truly remarkable comes along that lifts us all to a whole new level.
Microgaming, for one, has an incredible ability for reinvention and innovation, most recently through some truly remarkable content releases, particularly in the progressive jackpot genre. It just never stops or stands still, and this fills me with immense pride.
Creating time for innovation
As I move into a new career space in consulting, I am on a mission to align with and help multiply positive energy in people and companies, and Fast Track has this in spades. The energy in the culture is palpable and their solutions cut to the heart of digital transformation, automation and efficiency, in the increasingly complex world of online gaming.
My attraction to Fast Track is that same unrelenting pioneering spirit. I’ve known founders Simon Lidzén and Chris Hirst for a long time. Simon in particular used to really challenge me as a supplier, in his drive for innovation in Poker, and later in Mobile, so I was familiar with his natural capacity for vision in the technology space. But it was only recently, when we started chatting again, that I appreciated more fully how that energy has been channeled over the last few years into his amazing, truly forward thinking company.
As far as I am concerned, there’s not a single operational or strategic team that would not benefit hugely from the freedom the Fast Track technology platform brings. I deliberately use ‘freedom’, because at its core, this is the true goal of any successful digital transformation - to create time and freedom for people to think, create and innovate, through tightly integrated, next level technology solutions.
Even without the pressures placed on organisations through the pandemic this year, any business in our industry not seriously looking at how to achieve this level of freedom for their people, through technology partners like Fast Track, is in very real danger of being left behind.