REVIEWER: Michael T. B-Jensen, national operations manager for International Game Technology.
BACKGROUND: International Game Technology (IGT) is recognized as the world leader in slot machine and video gaming machine design and production. IGT has sales and service offices in Australia, Canada, Japan, Europe, Latin America and South Africa and is licensed in more than 100 legal gaming jurisdictions. The company employs 4,000 people worldwide.
PLATFORMS: TowerView from High Tower Software is running on Windows 2000 and SQL Server 2000.
PROBLEM SOLVED: The gaming industry today relies heavily on high technology. Our slot machines register up to 85,000 exceptions a day, requiring analytics related to such quantities as hit jackpots, coin jams, reel tilts and machine door open status. Until now, we had old-style line printers recording the large quantities of information, with individuals scanning the printouts for those exceptions that require some form of action. The process was time-consuming and prone to human error. We needed a solution that would enable us to process large quantities of constantly changing data and reduce the time it took to find the exceptions, all in real time. With High Tower's TowerView application and its powerful rules processing engine, the gaming device data is now analyzed in real time to detect more than 160 different exceptions. IGT is instantly alerted as to the severity level of the exception, and we now have the capability of visualizing the information in a three-dimensional portal. The TowerView solution has greatly reduced the time IGT's machines are out of service, keeping customers happy and increasing our return on investment.
PRODUCT FUNCTIONALITY: TowerView supports advanced real-time information monitoring and management for IGT's business-critical gaming systems. The Real-Time Analytical Processing (RTAP) Engine analyzes each data element from our systems with predefined, IGT-specified analytics. The RTAP multithreaded processing engine is geared to support extremely large volumes of data in real time. The analytics performed are composed of combinations of algorithmic, statistical and logical functions. Examples of IGT analytics include jackpots, game status, device malfunctions, tampering, tilt conditions, coins paid and numerous other device status indicators. The TowerView Agents read data from IGT's data sources in real time, including our live operational gaming systems, and feed this data to the multithreaded RTAP engine. The TowerView CyberGrid three- dimensional visual information portal provides us with a powerful and intuitive means to track and understand the high volumes of dynamically changing gaming data and turns that data into actionable information. TowerView's one-click drill down gives us instant insight into critical events and reports.
STRENGTHS: High Tower's TowerView application has the ability to handle incredibly large data volumes, perform advanced analytics, correlation and trending in real time, and display this so that it can be understood rapidly and acted upon while relevant.
WEAKNESSES: Because TowerView's analytic capabilities are incredibly varied and complex, some companies may not be able to utilize TowerView to its fullest capabilities.
SELECTION CRITERIA: Our most critical issue was to select the vendor capable of handling large volumes of data, able to analyze this data accurately and instantaneously, and present it to us in a way we could use immediately. High Tower Software proved to us that their TowerView solution was, by far, the best choice for IGT.
DELIVERABLES: The TowerView application is available to IGT's analysts, security group and customer support staff on a 24x7 basis, giving them real-time views of their gaming devices and systems running in casinos worldwide. A much wider range of critical device information is now being collected and analyzed in an automated manner, improving both device performance and IGT customer service levels.
VENDOR SUPPORT: High Tower Software provided us with professional services implementation support, customization for IGT specified analytics and custom display parameters. High Tower continues to provide ongoing technical support to IGT under a maintenance and customer support agreement.
DOCUMENTATION: TowerView includes comprehensive printed and electronic documentation on all aspects of the product. For specific issues, we have also utilized customer and technical support lines.
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