Focus on CIP Reporting: A comprehensive and customizable software solution

June 6, 2023 8:00 AM
  • Buck Wargo, CDC Gaming Reports
June 6, 2023 8:00 AM
  • Buck Wargo, CDC Gaming Reports

CIP Reporting, the next generation platform for documentation, workflow and risk management, is giving casinos a reason why they no longer need to stick with outdated, rigid and limiting software.

CIP is a customizable report writing platform which allows end users to define customized logs, reports, and workflows. Its Legacy Data Exports overcomes getting casino data from old surveillance and security reporting systems such as iTrak, Report Exec, and Biometrica.

Casinos no longer need to start over and be out of compliance or hold onto their system as a third party and grab data when needed. CIP also overcomes concerns of trusting engineers to get casino data out and into a new system without losing it.

Based in Massachusetts, the company was formed in 2006. CIP, which is a strong player in tribal gaming, has its products in 350 casinos in nearly 40 states, Canada, Caribbean, South America and Europe.

Jason Riffel, co-founder, CEO and CTO of CIP Reporting, previously worked in the gaming industry for a company that does facial recognition software and database applications for undesirable players in the surveillance environment.

“We were in a lot of surveillance rooms in Las Vegas and mostly in the U.S. and North America and observed that most surveillance rooms were trying to use security software off the shelf,” Riffel said. “It’s not an exact fit for what surveillance does so we thought there was an opportunity to focus on making software specifically for surveillance in the casino space. We created CIP Reporting for that.”

Originally, CIP stood for Casino Information Platform that has since been rebranded to CIP Reporting to align itself in what it’s known by customers in the industry.

“The direction of our company and our technology changed a lot over the years,” Riffel said. “One of the things we didn’t understand about surveillance departments going into it is that they are much more closely tied to the regulatory side of casino gaming, and the regulations are different by jurisdiction.”

That meant every surveillance project required a different implementation to meet a casino’s compliance needs, Riffel said. Coming from a background as a director of engineering for a company that built configurable and scalable web technology competing with Salesforce, Riffel said they used similar strategies that at the time were revolutionary. Today, modern software dictates that it’s customizable, scalable and configurable for every deployment, he added.

CIP develops its software for casinos and sells it to other industries as well. Other companies do it the other way around and see gaming as another vertical, Riffel said.

“We were competing against software that had the 1990s mindset of making software that works along a common denominator,” Riffel said. “We came into the market expecting every one of our customers to be completely unique and different and build and implement around that uniqueness. That set us apart from anyone we were competing against.”

Riffel said it gave CIP the ability to expand what their software was capable of doing and quickly grew out of just surveillance applications for reporting, compliance and audit. CIP now does security, surveillance, compliance, risk management, workers compensation, workplace safety and other applications.

“I like to think of us as an enterprise workflow platform that really creates documentation and business processes for most any application that a customer has,” Riffel said. “But we specialize in the casino gaming market.”

Riffel said CIP Reporting, which has a wide presence in North America and the Caribbean, is trying to increase its presence in the Las Vegas market. By the time they started the company, the software companies they compete against have sold their legacy systems to Las Vegas casinos, he said.

“The customers have been faced with staying with it because it’s been tough for them to think about switching from legacy software and losing all of the data they’ve had for 15 years,” Riffel said. “We want people to know that with CIP not only can we do all of these new applications, but you’re not going to lose your old data. We have a revolutionary technology and approach that lets us preserve all of the old data.”

Riffel said it’s more than converting a casino’s old data. They have a way of doing it that’s flexible and allows casinos to bring in data from diverse and limitless systems, he said.

“One of the things I talk about when it comes to converting data from one system to another, it’s like moving from one house to another,” Riffel said. “Your old data is like your furniture. You built this house and bought this furniture to work a certain way. If you start a new project with that furniture, you may find when you are done your new house looks just like your old house on the inside.”

Riffel said they like to give customers the flexibility to go somewhere new with their new deployment with CIP while still keeping their content from the old system in the way it worked.

“We’ve implemented an archive platform within our software that allows us to import unstructured data from third-party systems that we would be replacing,” Riffel said. “That unstructured data can be put into our software without having an impact on how we implement going forward. You still have the freedom to build new and modern systems and workflows the way you really operate as a business today. We can manifest that information into your new implementation that makes it functional and practicable without influencing your new deployment. That’s a huge difference because normally when you’re bringing data from a legacy system into a new system you’re bringing restriction and structure to make it fit and work. We’ve been able to implement a model where we can bring that information from those legacy systems over free of constraint and structure yet still make it functional within the new system. They get the best of both worlds.”

Riffel said they are allowed to do that because of the nature of the CIP system. There’s a layer in the CIP software that’s unique in which they designed their own programming language. Within the deployment of a customer, they have the ability to write custom pieces of software and interface with the archive system.

“Typically, for companies that are making software for systems in the casino space today, the software is mostly designed to work only one way,” Riffel said. “We are the type of product that most of our customers wouldn’t think to search for, a scalable platform.”

A platform as a service means CIP is able to provide a unique software system to a customer based on their requirements without significant constraints. Most other companies are delivering something that’s rigid but their layer to the platform called CIP Script is a programming language that’s only found in the CIP Reporting software. Today, there are 40 to 50 software developers around the world whose main programming language they know is CIP Script and write that language to implement layers of integration and customization for a customer, Riffel said.

The import is a set of handcuffs that keeps them from switching because casinos feel bound to that legacy data and can’t conceive of a world without the old software they are currently using because of what’s inside it.

“The reason they would want to go with us going forward is that we are a next generation platform for documentation, workflow and risk management,” Riffel said.

The casino gaming market is slower to adopt new technology compared to the commercial market which has been using cloud-based applications – something the gaming industry is starting to come around to, Riffel said. The CIP software can be used on local servers or as a cloud solution.

Only in the last five years has mobile been part of every conversation that customers want to have, Riffel said. That’s quite a change for the industry.

“They need to have data available at their fingertips, but they also need it to be secure and ask what happens if you lose wi-fi,” Riffel said. “We have built solutions around all of that. We have scalable programmable mobile applications that can be used in various security compliance and inspection audit applications in the casino gaming space.”

CIP is also working on artificial intelligence for reviewing reports.