SiGMA met Oliver la Rosa, which is currently at the helm of Richmoore & Anderson Ltd., for an interview. He talks about his current position at Richmoore & Anderson, future plans and his fascination of the Japanese culture.
You offer a lot of different solutions, from IT outsourcing, 24/7 monitoring, cybersecurity, Cloud infrastructure management and automation, call centre services, technical consulting as well as software development – your service portfolio is very broad today. Did you always o er these services combined? Or did you branch out from one pillar onto others? Take us a bit through the company’s expansion and whether any of these services form the core of the business today. How easy is it to specialise in all these services? How do you manage this complex task?
We started to service clients in Germany with IT outsourcing and consulting first. Then we took over IT support for IKANO bank in 2012, starting in Germany and extended to support the banking group in 7 European countries becoming the biggest IT provider servicing the group.
We were expanding our services as per clients’ requests. The core business today is IT support and technical call center services which we provide 24h a day, 365 days a year. We address and meet clients’ needs, hiring the right specialists to provide the services demanded. For example, the newest development in infrastructure is moving everything on the cloud.
Following this trend, we offer our clients consultation and assistance with the move from traditional infrastructure to cloud services. Also, companies today face a lot of challenges deriving from cyber threats, we took on these challenges and now provide a team which constantly monitors network traffic to identify unusual behavior or attacks and informs the business right away and follows up with counter-measures. Additionally, we offer software doing automatic penetration testing, which can be run on a scheduled basis and creates reports in business language showing the discovered vulnerabilities. This software in combination with training, consultation and our new Live Cyber Security Monitoring Team helps our clients become better protected against threats.
You also have your offices in the US, the UK, Germany (we know you started your career there), Italy, Bulgaria, India and China, but your headquarters are in Malta. Why did you choose Malta as your company base? What are the main advantages and hiccups of being Malta- based?
My brother and I started with the Maltese and German branches in 2012. We then expanded to Hong Kong, Bulgaria, India and the UK. The US company was founded by another partner earlier. Malta with English as an official language, nice climate, and a good taxation regime for foreign companies, was a clear choice and with assistance from the technical university MCAST, we found the proper workforce for our business.
Many foreign companies have obviously discovered the same, so lately it has become a challenge to find suitable employees due to increasing competition among employers. Housing is another challenge. The rent has gone up by 50-60% in the last three years, searching for an affordable accommodation has become tougher. Apart from that, Malta still remains an attractive location in Europe.
Onto KYC. As mentioned before, you’re involved in other sectors that require a lot of due diligence and KYC – including banking. Are we right in arguing that you’re bringing to gaming KYC a skill set that has developed in the demanding banking system?
The experience gained from working with banks allows us to serve companies from any sector which need the same level of secure client identification. Originally we developed raIDENT, an online identity verification system, for a German bank. But we soon realized that companies in the gaming sector would also benefit a lot from identifying clients based on video and facial recognition instead of the usual passport copies.
Based on your experience in this sector (KYC), where do you think such KYC in gaming trends will lead us in the foreseeable future?
Stricter KYC rules are expected and already discussed. It will become more and more important to know who your clients are.
How proactive is the firm in embracing emerging technologies such as blockchain ledger, IoT and other disruptive technologies? The Government of Malta is currently drafting a new policy that is set to put Malta at the forefront of Blockchain regulation. Will this impact your operations at all?
We are always looking into new technologies and blockchain, in particular, is very interesting for identity verification. Once done, the verification could be used
to identify yourself to any other party connected to the blockchain rather than going through the identification process from scratch each time you initiate a new relationship with, for example, a company providing financial services. We are currently looking into evolving our products to blockchain where beneficial.
There will also be additional services to raIDENT targeted at replacing traditional notary services once the legislations in Europe allow it.
You have a face-recognition feature that greatly prevents fraud and AML – tell us more how this works and what makes your product stand out.
raIDENT provides the most secure user identity verification service by using face2face video calls. The clients can complete the process with a desktop or mobile app and a valid ID document, which takes less than 2 minutes per verification. They are afterwards matched against a PEP, terrorist and criminal databases using our advanced facial recognition technology. The product can be deployed in different ways to match the security needs of our clients. www.raident.eu
You’re involved in many different projects at the same time. Could you tell us what’s in store for the firm for the future? Any future ambitions/projects you can share with our gaming readers?
We have just expanded our Maltese office by moving to a newer, larger building and also expanded our Bulgarian office. We are setting up a specialized cyber security center where we will be able to monitor clients network traffic and react quickly based on the findings.
Also, our own 3D dice game engine is now done and the first game, “Phone Dice” (based on Street Craps) created with it has been recently launched. Others will follow soon. www.phonedice.com
Moreover, we have Dr Room, a live Doctor consultation App which has huge potential to disrupt the current way we communicate with doctors:
• Cutting the queues when possible
• Services available 24hrs every day
• Getting advice from the comfort of your home and online prescriptions being sent directly to the pharmacy of your choice. www.drroom.eu
Corporate Social Responsibility – we noticed also you’re doing some work in Japan. Tell us more about this. Was Japan a random choice? Is there more that meets the eye? What connects your firm to this beautiful Asian state?
I am personally a big fan of Japan’s culture, food and Saké.
We have a travel agency targeted at the Japanese, Korean and Chinese Markets o ering inbound travel to Malta but also the rest of Europe. Last year, we attended the Tokyo’s travel and gaming exhibitions. We are a sponsor of the Malta-Japan Association (MJA) as well, we work together to create events promoting Japanese culture in Malta. We held a Japanese cultural evening with artists performing and tuna- cutting show. Another event was an evening dedicated to Saké, showing a movie about the history and production of the Japanese rice wine. (The Birth of Saké)
Students from Japan and South Korea are doing internships in our companies, and they love the experience.
Tell us more about you and your private life; how do you manage to balance work and life demands? You travel a lot; is this a lifestyle you heart? Do you find Malta a suitable base that is easily connected to mainland Europe?
Traveling a lot is a challenge for my family of course. I try to take them with me as often as I can, combining work and travel so we spend evenings and weekends together as we would at home. Plus, we can stay some days extra to even out longer working periods.
Anything else you would like to add?
Engage in IT support and customer service, we make sure that you can concentrate on your core business and get fully customizable support solutions from us. We understand how important your products and your release dates are and that all components need to function perfectly.