AWS and Melco: transformation through the cloud

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    Amazon Web Services (AWS) is one of the world’s most comprehensive and widely utilised cloud platforms, as Senior Business Development Manager Eva Wong explains: “After building and running a massive ecommerce platform for over a decade, our parent company Amazon realised that it had developed a core competency in operating large scale technology infrastructure. To that was added a much broader mission of serving a new customer set, and that’s how AWS was born.”

    AWS is at the forefront of cloud computing, which has revolutionised the world, not least in a business context.  “Cloud computing means ondemand delivery of IT resources via the internet,” says Wong.  “AWS manages and operates a technology infrastructure in a secure environment. Businesses can access these resources through the internet to develop and run their applications. Capacity can grow and shrink very quickly according to your needs, with customers only paying for what they use.” Those capabilities allow for a much increased pace of innovation, with Wong seeing more and more enterprises undergoing cloud adoption for their own purposes.

    That spirit is evident in its collaboration with Melco Resorts & Entertainment.  “Melco started using the AWS platform to build their applications four years ago. With AWS scalability, agility and global presence, Melco is able to expand their applications globally in weeks, compared to months in traditional on-premise data centres.” Aside from the scale, Melco is also able to deliver bespoke customer experiences to guests via the MelSuite, the Smart-in-Room-Management- System built on AWS by Melco’s DX Team. “With over 175 fully featured services currently available on the AWS platform, Melco can be experimental and innovative,” says Wong. “They can test and try out new ideas with minimal upfront costs, and compute resources are readily available to them as they require.”

    Wong sees the close working relationship as resilient going into the future, evolving alongside key trends such as know-your-customer initiatives. “The extension of customer experience is interacting with your guests digitally. We are seeing more interest in interactive video services – live streaming solutions that are quick and easy to set up and ideal for creating interactive video experiences for customers. With the COVID-19 pandemic, that’s becoming a key focus as companies look for ways to keep the customer up to date, create a great customer experience and ultimately drive customer loyalty.”

    “And in some places such as Cyprus, we’re at 100%.” Lim adds that: “From a cloud perspective, we’re very agnostic, because we don’t want to depend on one single cloud provider. That’s why we distribute it across the different major players in the industry, such as AWS.” Emerging technologies play a significant role at the organisation. “We spend a lot of our time looking at how we can apply those kinds of technologies into our operations to help better serve our customers and guests,” says Palos. “We’re probably one of the first casino operators that actually adopted blockchains in part of our production environment.” One example is a blockchain used in the casino’s cage, to track all transactions for gaming activity. Melco also built a prototype called MelGuard for use in Japan. It uses blockchain as a mechanism for keeping track of player activities, such as how long they’ve been inside in order to promote responsible gaming.

    AI and machine learning are another key focus, such as video analytics to analyse casino chips as they sit on a table and determine their colour and how many there are in order to understand how much is in the game – replacing human observers who are unable to keep up.

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