Betfair Extends Competitive Advantage with Diffusion

Diffusion is part of the Betfair success story.

Daniel Alheiros

Delivery Manager, Betfair​

Quick Facts

Successful betting exchange customers require access to information in real-time. Betfair’s polling implementation was not up to the task of delivering live data at high scale. The company chose Diffusion Real-Time API Management to deliver live score and pricing information, in real-time, to their customers.

Overview

Betfair is one of the world’s largest international online betting providers. Founded in 1999 the Company pioneered the world’s first successful betting exchange, which allows customers to bet on odds set by themselves or by other customers. Today Betfair provides a full range of sports betting and gaming products to over four million customers in more than 100 countries. Committed to innovation and value.

Betfair’s success is founded on delivering an exceptionally fast and reliable online experience to ensure customers return again and again. Each day, Betfair’s betting exchange processes over seven million transactions – more than all the European stock exchanges combined – completing 99.9% of all transactions in under a second.

In a bid to improve its online customer experience, and to extend its competitive advantage, Betfair decided to move from polling to streaming technology to deliver real-time score and pricing data to customers.

Betfair evaluated five potential distribution solutions, and selected Push Technology’s Diffusion™ to achieve its vision in a fast, robust, and secure manner, with minimal changes to its existing infrastructure

The Challenge

Operating in the highly competitive gaming market, populated by increasingly savvy customers with high service expectations, Betfair handles high volumes of fast changing data daily and must present it to customers quickly and efficiently to prompt betting activity. A traditional polling model does not offer the scalability, speed, and performance Betfair required to manage the delivery of fluctuating real-time data.

No matter how unpredictable the demand, Betfair had to be able to present frequently changing data at very low latency so customers could leverage betting opportunities. At peak times – such as a major football game on a Saturday afternoon – Betfair’s pricing service received tens of thousands of data requests from customers every second.

As Daniel Alheiros, Delivery Manager at Betfair, explains, “Our systems handle very high volumes of changing data and we needed a way to present this data to our customers at very low latency and to prompt betting activity.”

The Requirements

Betfair needed a real-time streaming solution to improve the overall performance and scalability of its in-place service response model, reducing network traffic and load on its servers for a faster and more engaging user experience. It also needed the flexibility to support any mobile or Internet device its customers choose to use without major development requirements. With a large number of customers accessing the company’s interactive services, using a smartphone or tablet device, Betfair also had to address the fact that mobile users were experiencing poor performance due to network and device responsiveness issues.

“When we looked at mobile we realized that the request-response model in place was affecting our customers’ device performance, leading to a poor user experience,” said Alheiros. “We needed web browsers on mobile devices to receive and process information more efficiently, and also in the case of mobile, handle the challenges of lost of connectivity. Solving these issues would reduce the load on our servers and increase responsiveness, ultimately giving our customers the quality of experience they should expect from our brand.”

In distributing football scores alone, we realized a tenfold reduction in traffic with Diffusion; and in terms of bandwidth, on a busy Saturday, we achieved a saving of 80-90 GB in bandwidth utilization.

Daniel Alheiros

Delivery Manager, Betfair​

The Solution

Following an extensive evaluation, Betfair selected Diffusion as the best solution to meet its needs. Easy to implement, and requiring limited infrastructure remodeling, Diffusion supports all current and future devices and resolved mission-critical Betfair’s latency issues.

“Diffusion gives us the ability to provide services using a variety of different native network transport protocols such as Web sockets, Flash sockets and Silverlight. This makes it easy for us to support all mobile devices and web browsers. It also contains APIs that make it easy to implement new applications, all of which significantly reduces our time to market with new services,” explains Alheiros.

Integrating Diffusion into Betfair’s systems did not take long. Diffusion’s pre-packaged APIs integrated easily into Betfair’s existing backend servers and, following a performance testing program, Betfair went into live production just three months after the start of the project.

The Outcome

Today, Betfair is can stream information directly to user browsers, notifying and updating customers with scores and pricing information within milliseconds of a change taking place. Implementation of the Diffusion API Management platform means that customers are immediately notified of any change, instead of having to continually refresh score information As a result of reducing the volume of requests that the Company’s servers have to manage, Betfair’s website and web services are far more responsive.

Industry

Financial Services

Challenges
  • Polling model hindered speed, scale, and performance.
  • Deliver real-time data on any device.
  • Improve Customer experience
Solution

The Diffusion® Intelligent Event Data Platform

Benefits
  • Pre-packaged APIs integrated easily into back-end servers
  • Simple to implement with a very limited infrastructure change.
  • Enhanced customer experience with real-time data delivery
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