Lessons Learned from William Hill’s Approach to Event-Driven Data

Push Technology - January 19, 2016

“Amazon UK wowed the retail industry when it revealed it processed 84 transactions per second during its Black Friday sales,” according to Information Age. “During any busy sporting event, however, William Hill processes 400 transactions per second against a backdrop of 1.5 million products. Meanwhile, its prices change more than 5 million times per day.”

Recently interviewed by Information Age, Finbarr Joy, CTO at William Hill addressed why the bookmaker is transforming how it approaches technology in order to avoid repeating history where the ancient gambling industry was caught out for the shifts in user habits driven by online and mobile.

To cope with the online and mobile requirements of today, William Hill is ahead of many in the gambling and other industries. It easily handles event-driven data without impact, “William Hill now has several thousand things operating on its networks and experiences failure repeatedly, but, says Joy, nobody notices because it never has a large enough impact. This is hugely different from traditional infrastructure which depends on zero downtime, so the new approach has transformed the culture, mindset, services and practices of William Hill’s IT organization.”

Event-Driven Data, Over the Internet

Key to William Hill’s success is this extreme ability to cope with fast changing data over the Internet. One way it achieves this is with Push Technology. Speed of price updates to the growing user community was vital.

William Hill were keen to take advantage of the major sporting events, delivering accurate, trusted, quality world-class service across multiple platforms, through its sportsbook application to a growing user base. Consequently, William Hill selected Push Technology’s Real-Time Messaging solution Diffusion, delivering high performance multi-channel solutions to push data to net-connected devices beyond tradition bandwidth or performance limitations. By only sending data if and when that data changes, the new application could deliver huge volume at near-zero latency without the need for significant changes to existing infrastructures.

Fundamentally Different Approach to Data

Joy continued saying that “Every enterprise IT initiative gets into the problem of data integration. There’s always an epic struggle to centralize the notion of the master data model, as if we can control everything and spot all changes. [The frameworks William Hill put in place] allows us to, quite frankly, release ourselves from that impossible pursuit. Data is always available – the frameworks embed the data into the applications with a straightforward interface and subscription access.”

This is one area Push Technology is helping organizations like William Hill overcome the challenges of the Internet. By reducing bandwidth requirements, and providing a simple SDK for developers, Push Technology can give your reactive applications a performance edge.

Data-Centric Messaging

  • Rationalize data from all systems and cloud applications to provide a stateful, reactive data model
  • Pub/Sub topic-based interface that abstracts your backend data model away from clients
  • Insight into client use: who’s connected, what they’re looking at, and where they are located

Optimized for networks you can’t control

  • Recognition when connectivity is lost, and smart re-connection that replays the most recent missed data
  • Reduced bandwidth by up to 90% by sending only new data, and dropping out-of-date messages
  • Improved app performance, especially with unreliable or low bandwidth connectivity

Architected for never-ending variety of endpoints

  • Designed for a broad set of Web, mobile, and IoT developers
  • Scale to millions of connected users without sacrificing performance
  • Abstract messaging transport through client SDKs

The bookmaker is well positioned for the next chapter of changes because of the agile approach it has taken to technology, “William Hill is far less likely to find itself so drastically behind the times again.”


The Diffusion® Intelligent Event-Data Platform makes it easy to consume, enrich and deliver event-data in real-time across all network conditions. Push Technology pioneered and is the sole provider of real-time delta data streaming™ technology that powers mission-critical business applications worldwide. Leading brands use Push Technology to bring innovative products to market faster by reducing the software development efforts using the low-code features. The Diffusion® Intelligent Event-Data Platform is available on-premise, in-the-cloud, or in a hybrid configuration. Learn how Push Technology can reduce infrastructure costs, and increase speed, efficiency, and reliability, of your web, mobile, and IoT application.

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