Create transformative innovation

The right solution

Telstra’s hackathon at Vantage™ – Telstra’s flagship business event promised to create rapid answers to the problems four charities faced.

The right solution

Telstra’s inaugural Vantage™ conference brought together over 1000 medium and large enterprise customers. Held in September 2014, its aim was to shine a spotlight on how Telstra and its partner ecosystem can help solve business challenges.

As part of the event Telstra solutions developers and partners even joined forces to participate in a two-day “mini-hackathon”, dubbed the Fast Solution Hub.

Four not-for-profit customers were invited to bring to the table a pressing business problem, to offer as a challenge. Then a team of Telstra technologists and business partners, set about devising a prototype solution within 30 hours.

“We put Telstra developers and business development people into a fishbowl with the customer problem,” Telstra’s director of technology, strategy and innovation, Ben Spincer, says. “The purpose behind the event was to highlight that Telstra can be agile and move fast by helping out solve some really important problems.”

The Telstra teams had no prior knowledge of the problems that would be presented to them by Camp Australia, World Vision, Windermere and the Summer Foundation.

“The purpose behind the event was to highlight that Telstra can be agile and move fast by helping out solve some really important problems.”

– Telstra director of technology, strategy and innovation Ben Spincer

Four problems, four teams

Spincer says Camp Australia wanted to look at how to automate its systems – to move from a pen-and-paper-based system to one that could, for example, send automatic messages to parents.

World Vision needed to reinvigorate how it engaged with people in its pop-up stores within shopping centres. The organisation sought a digital solution that would help people understand the geopolitical landscape it strives to improve by placing them in a virtual, developing-world environment.

Windermere wanted to create an app that would assist families of autistic children to track developmental achievements over time.

Finally, the Summer Foundation wanted to support young Australians with disabilities by creating the means for them to live safely in their own homes. By using motion control, the organisation wanted to develop a way for a disabled person to alert a carer following a fall or accident.

The event has changed the way Telstra approaches innovation with customers, empowering the company to learn about it’s own capacity to rapidly develop excellent solutions.

“We are embracing customer-led innovation in which we constantly check progress with the customer rather than working from a plan or strategy document,” Spincer says. “Working this way is great for solving a challenge – it can reduce the time to pull together a solution from weeks and months to days.”

Telstra's Fast Solutions Hub
  • Demonstrated the capacity of Telstra’s developers and partners to rapidly create excellent technology
  • Created innovative solutions to futher the important work of charities such as Camp Australia, World Vision, Windermere and the Summer Foundation
  • Staff from Telstra’s Chief Technology Office and Telstra technology partners embrace the start-up culture and rapidly prototype solutions for customers
  • Through the event Telstra re-engineered innovation processes to respond rapidly to customer requirements.

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