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The Journal Record, “Partnership to help casinos track earnings in real time”

October 1, 2009

OKLAHOMA CITY – Software meets hardware in a new business partnership that is targeting the casino market around the world.

M3 Gaming of Oklahoma, a software company based in Norman, recently announced a partnership with DataTrend Technologies, a technology solution business headquartered in Minneapolis. The collaboration uses the expertise of both companies to create a product that will help casinos track their earnings in real time, rather than waiting several days to hear from multiple properties.

M3 got its start by developing accounting systems and other behind-the-scenes software for casinos, said Dylan Waddle, chief operating officer of the company. But M3 has evolved as casinos have grown, he said, and as casino financial officers are looking for better reporting of their money.

“We did a lot of research, looking at big casino customers, and many didn’t know how much money they were making for days or weeks at a time,” Waddle said. “We have developed a new product that allows them to manage their idle cash. If a casino has several million dollars sitting idle companywide, they could have it in the bank earning interest or investing it in other property. Our new product, The Vault, gives resort properties a real-time analytical dashboard.”

The partnership with DataTrend Technologies creates a ready-made product for customers, said Darren Waldrep, vice president of strategic alliances for DataTrend. As an IBM Premier Business Partner, DataTrend can provide the hardware that is geared specifically for M3’s software, thus saving a casino a step in the buying process.

In the world of technology, the trend is for partnerships of these types that result in an all-inclusive solution for buyers, he said.

“Otherwise, a customer needing M3’s application would have to go out separately and get the hardware, which can be more time-consuming,” Waldrep said. “With our partnership with M3, we understand the application enough so we can create a standard configuration and know the hardware is optimized for M3. We each bring things to the table that the other doesn’t have. It’s like the old adage that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.”

Waddle said casinos have been affected by the recession as well, and some bigger Las Vegas properties have laid off employees. He said M3 can be a part of their cost-saving plans by helping them watch their transactions more closely. The Vault will be released in November, he said.

M3 has 30 employees – 27 in Norman, two in Atlantic City and one in Las Vegas, Waddle said. M3 got its start with Oklahoma casino clients, he said, but plans to expand across the nation and internationally.

“Our company is poised for growth in other states that are where Oklahoma was five years ago in the development cycle, like Alabama and New Mexico,” Waddle said. “But we’re also looking internationally in places like Mexico and Singapore. They’re all growing markets.”

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