For my money, there’s nothing more motivating, more creative and more hands-on, real-world inspirational than a ServiceNow hackathon. These events are an invaluable opportunity for us to work alongside users and find out more about what people want to do with ServiceNow technologies in the workplace.
Our EMEA PartnerNow Summit Hackathon was staged this March 2018 in the Catalan capital of Barcelona. It was the first time we have staged a code-fest get together at a PartnerNow event, but the vibe was very similar to the larger CreatorCon hackathons that feature as an integral element of our annual Knowledge conference and exhibition series.
What made this PartnerNow Summit Hackathon special was the fact that we opened up this event to all worldwide partners, whereas previously we had limited our hackathons to professional services contacts only.
With combination of technical software engineering professionals using ServiceNow alongside non-technical business professionals, the mix of personalities and preferences was as rich and varied as always.
Getting smarter, with intelligent applications
Close to 100 participants competed for a finalist presentation at a black tie dinner held during the same week. Our key focus for this hackathon can be summed up in just two words: intelligent applications.
We really wanted to push participants to use machine learning and intelligent automation to create something that solves real world challenges, makes work itself work smarter and makes peoples’ lives better.
This event allowed us to showcase the Kingston release of the ServiceNow platform and spend some time working with Kingston to its full capabilities and see what users can do at an extended level.
As we now move to incorporate and integrate chatbot options and other extended functionalities into our software, we can see ways this feature will help users to perform tasks like reporting an issue, to checking approvals or other core interface functions. This will help develop new intelligent automation functions that will ultimately feature in service portals that customers use every day.
The EMEA PartnerNow Summit Hackathon was broken down into four central category options to help guide participants’ ideation processes:
Category 1 – Platform for a diversity program
Many organisations drive internal programs aimed at making employees from all walks of life feel at home in the workplace. In this category, we asked hackers to create an internal community platform to support such initiatives, bringing people together and allowing them to exchange ideas, share information, start new projects and have an even greater impact on the people they work with.
Category 2 – Having some serious fun in Kingston
With our Kingston release, ServiceNow introduces some phenomenal new technology. This was a chance for hacker to go all out and show us what GREAT really looks like. Intelligent Automation, Major Incident Management, Flow Designer, IntegrationHub all came to the fore in an opportunity to create an app to showcase our capabilities.
Category 3 – Can we have some marketing budget please?
ServiceNow loves to support partners in their marketing efforts. We asked our hackers to build a ServiceNow app to structure and automate the process of allocating ServiceNow funds to co-marketing activities that are requested and driven by our channel partners.
Category 4 – Open category
We didn’t tell anybody what to do. The only instruction was to get your instance, get in there… and knock our socks off!
Unleashing the opportunities of low-code no-code
As noted above, ServiceNow hackathons always draw a mix of technical engineering staff alongside non-technical project managers and even board-level personnel. This coming together of different worlds was especially well-suited to the Kingston release, which is very strong on its low-code no-code capabilities.
Overall the event was a great opportunity for us to expose the ServiceNow platform in a workshop environment and find out more about customer aspirations alongside their exasperations.
A hackathon allows ServiceNow to find out what customers can do — but it also allows us to find out what customers can’t do and what they struggle to accomplish with the platform as it exists. This of course allows us to work on our own roadmap and plan augmentations and extensions for the road ahead.
The three finalists of our 2018 PartnerNow Hackathon were:
‘Team Back to BASIC’, from Italy’s NTT Data and Lutech
Frustrated with red tape surrounding access to corporate office premises, the team built an application using ServiceNow that would provide an individual with a QR code via email. Using this secure time-limited QR code, a person would be able to scan themselves in at a company reception as an alert message is sent to the meeting host to signal arrival. At the end of the allotted meeting time, the QR code is invalidated.
‘Team Undefined’, from the UK’s Whitespace Studios
James Neale and Tim Attenborough, both employees of UK-based formed ‘Team Undefined’ built an application designed to test performance across all ServiceNow instances. The app works to provide a layer of Continuous Integration (CI) and make sure that all test instances run in line with production instances, so it is especially well-suited to dev-test environments.
Team SPOC’ from Poland’s SPOC .
Michal Logwiniuk of ‘Team SPOC’ wanted to use the event to really their development skills to the test and see how quickly they could build an application from the ground up.
With lots of their customers around the world working with geographically dispersed teams they created an application that would act as a bonding bridge for various people to get involved with events happening around the globe.
And the winner was…
‘Team Back to BASIC’, from Italy’s NTT Data and Lutech
A massive thank you to everybody who took part.