This article first appeared in the Spring 2017 issue of The Record.
William Hill Australia (WHA) was created through the acquisition of Sportingbet (including Centrebet) in March 2013 and tomwaterhouse.com in August 2013. The combined group is now one of Australia’s largest telephone and online betting companies and has around 247,900 active customers.
Following the acquisitions, WHA needed to consolidate the three companies’ disparate technology platforms onto a single platform and establish a new web presence. The company also wanted to internalise its intellectual property and application development, rather than continuing to outsource to third parties.
To do this, WHA engaged Avanade as a managed services provider. It took just three months for WHA and Avanade to create and launch a new online platform.
“When we initially launched it as a proof of concept to our customers, it immediately had revenue impacts,” says Rob James, CIO at WHA. “That was really exciting for me because it meant it was contributing to the business. With the growth of this technology, the revenue increases we have are now representing 20% of our bottom line.”
A key benefit of collaborating with Avanade, says James, is that the company has the capacity to find and solve problems. For example, Avanade developed a click-to-call functionality that made it easy for online customers to place bets over the telephone during a sporting event. This enabled WHA to process more than two million transactions and maintain 100% up time on Melbourne Cup Day, the highest revenue sporting event in Australia.
Avanade also migrated WHA from the bespoke system that ran most of its business operations processes to Microsoft Dynamics CRM. This has automated manual processes, improved company-wide information access and delivered real-time mobile access for the sales teams, increasing operational efficiency.
“It was almost a given that we were going to work with Avanade because of past experiences,” says James. “Avanade has helped us implement a new Microsoft Dynamics solution that has fundamentally changed how we deal with all our customer interactions.”
WHA plans to continue working with Avanade to accelerate its transform into a digital workplace.
“As a digital business, we don’t have any shop fronts, so it’s important for us to get the technology right when it comes to the product offering,” comments James. “What we bring to the table is knowledge of the industry, and what Avanade brings to the table is technology leadership. Working together we can solve some real problems.”