Emerging Digital Trends
Harold J. Palmer
Harold J. Palmer — President, The Jockey Club Technology Services Inc.

Ogden Mills Phipps:
The Jockey Club takes great pride in its technology capabilities. Harold Palmer has been a driving force behind our software development activities for more than 30 years. He now heads up The Jockey Club Technology Services, and he's here today to tell us about some of the digital trends around us. Harold…

Harold J. Palmer:
Thank you, Mr. Phipps. The Jockey Club has a long‑standing strategic objective to utilize technology for purposes of advancing and expanding organizational industry initiatives.  

We've heard [today] from my colleagues regarding fan engagement using social media, digital publishing using mobile platforms and identification information using microchip technology.  

These initiatives were all made possible through the convergence of social, mobile, information, and cloud. The four forces driving and enable crucial industry transformation, the rate of that transformation, and the effect of the forces on business processes vary from industry to industry.  

The trends that make up the forces have provided enterprises the means to reach new customer segments, launch new products, achieve previously unknown levels of operation and efficiency, and differentiate for competitive advantage. There are many success stories derived from the convergence of the forces.  

Twitch TV is a live TV platform that primarily focuses on video game related content, including E‑sports tournament broadcasts and personal streams of individual players. Earlier this year, Twitch announced it had more than 1.5 million broadcasters and one hundred million visitors per month.  

Daily fantasy sports are derived from the forces. Daily fantasy exploits desires for instant gratification and more ways to win. Daily game participation this year has already spiked to nearly 57 million players.

Uber is another success story, and it epitomizes disruption. The company has changed the way we think about grabbing a ride, incorporating the same technology we take for granted into a brand‑new experience for consumers and for an opportunity for producers. As of May 2015, the service was available in 58 countries and 300 cities worldwide.  

What do social, mobile information and cloud have in common?  

The internet.

In 1984, there were 1,000 internet‑enabled devices. Today there are 17 billion, and by 2020 there will be 50 billion internet‑enabled devices in the world.

I'm sure many of you have heard the phrase Internet of Things. Let's see what it's about.  


That's powerful.  

The Internet of Things is not a single technology, but a concept. It consists of many devices that are often small, self-aware and recognize each other. Many are location aware and image recognition technologies strive to identify people, places and anything else that adds value to consumers and enterprises.  

The Internet of Things plays a crucial role in a digital business, but it's much more than this. According to Gartner, the world's leading information technology research and advisory company, digital business is a creation of new business designs by blurring the digital and physical worlds. It promises to usher in an unprecedented convergence of people, business, and things that disrupts existing business models. Even those born of the internet and E-business era. What makes digital business different from E-business is the presence and integration of connected, intelligent things with people in business.  

In retail, digital business could provide retail customers seamless integration between the digital and physical boundaries. For example, a customer would enter a retail premises, be greeted on a personal name basis, and then personalized advertising based on their previous actions would be displayed on screens throughout the facilities. Identification and location-based technologies are a real possibility.

Digital business impacts every aspect of the business model, such as the products and services offered to customers and the back-office processes. This creates the demand and opportunity for new technologies. The key business opportunities and drivers that influence digital business include:  

  • "Remaster" products and services around digital content and delivery.
  • Innovate through collaboration with complementary organizations.
  • Be "smart" — use big data, and predictive analytics to serve up the right information at exactly the right time.     
  • Digital business demands a blending of the Forces and business models. There is no distinction between technology and the business.
  • Become an experimental organization. Digital technologies build on each other with wave after wave of innovation. Customers adopt and use products and services in unexpected ways. There is no right answer, so organizations must experiment and adapt over and over, using lean startup or agile approaches.

Individually and collectively, these digital business drivers are changing how business is done.  

Within our industry, we've experienced technology advancement and innovation in many areas while being influenced by social, mobile, innovation and cloud.  

The delivery of race results, race videos, pedigree information and news has advanced to meet customer demands for on the go, instant, and improved information.  

Products and services are available to improve how marketing information is collected, stored and used to build customer relationships.  

Daily handicapping contests have emerged, and gaming companies are providing gamers the opportunity to wager and win using the pari‑mutuel model in new ways.  

Overall, these companies are creating additional opportunities to engage fans while providing more ways to play.

The Jockey Club Technology Services has participated in many of these initiatives, providing social, mobile, and cloud technology solutions. We collaborate with many industry organizations that are continuously advancing their products and services and leveraging digital business opportunities.  

One such company is Equibase. My colleague, Hank Zeitlin and his team at Equibase, have a long‑standing history of leveraging emerging technologies, analyzing massive database and engaging information to engage fans.  

Equibase was an innovator in racing when it introduced its mobile website a little over a decade ago. These pictures [slide] facilitate the major shift they saw. Look how differently people experienced the Smarty Jones' Belmont attempt in 2004 from how they experienced American Pharaoh's Belmont this year. Cameras and camcorders for Smarty, smartphones for American Pharaoh. The latter was captured on the "Sports Illustrated" cover.  

To meet the challenges of digital business, Equibase and the The Jockey Club Technology Services make use of best in class expertise. The success of the Stats Central area of equibase.com is a prime example of the potency of collaborating with others, in this case, Amazon.

Stats Central is powered by the Amazon RDS cloud service which empowers a fan to instantly identify where each horse ranks in any number of categories. For example, it’s quite interesting to see that in American Pharaoh's foal crop, the number two earner is Texas Red after his big win in the Jim Dandy last weekend.  

Stats Central has become the go‑to resource for core horse players and casual fans alike, with traffic currently averaging more than two million page views per day.  

What's next? To continue improving the products and services for racing fans, Equibase and The Jockey Club Technology Services closely monitor how other sports seize opportunities to serve their fans.  

We've been extremely impressed by a company named STATS.  

STATS has a suite of offerings for sports such as baseball and soccer.

To demonstrate some really cool stuff as well as make an exciting announcement about Equibase and STATS, I am pleased to introduce Bill Squadron, executive vice president, strategic relationships for STATS.

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