Hundreds of employees participate in the first-ever WWT Innovation Games
World Wide Technology concluded our inaugural Innovation Games on Saturday, September 15, 2018, with judges recognizing six final teams for their outstanding work and creativity.
Culture of Innovation
We believe in investing in building a culture of innovation. This culture includes a focus on trust and collaboration, but also on creating the time and space to think and experiment. Our innovation approach balances building the right culture and behaviors, a strong ideation capability to drive inclusion and engagement and a relentless focus on execution to see our ideas through to outcomes.
The Innovation Games evolved from several previous “Hackathon” events hosted by the IT group and Asynchrony Labs, to become a company-wide innovation event. The goals for this event were to “have fun, build cool things, network and build relationships and innovate and collaborate across the enterprise.”
The Innovation Games began with ideation exercises in different areas of the business to identify challenges and opportunities to address. These local events around the globe culminated in a single, virtual Open Space event for all employees to share ideas and form teams. Registration for the event opened in August, and we received more than 100 ideas from employees across the globe through our online, collaborative forum.
The teams then spent time over the next several weeks developing business plans and prototypes of their proposed solutions. Ultimately, 48 teams, representing 200 people, presented their innovations to a panel of leaders across WWT.
The ideas were judged on five aspects: creativity, impact, progress, feasibility and mission alignment, with bonus points for geographically diverse or cross-departmental teams.
Some of the business concepts and issues addressed included inventory cycle counts, global quoting, employee safety, career path management, campus security, parking management, rewards and recognition and branch services optimization. Proposed solutions included emerging technologies like the use of blockchain, augmented reality, machine learning, image processing, artificial intelligence, 3D printing, sensor integration and drone-based solutions.
In the end, twelve teams presented to members of the executive team in the final round of competition, with three taking home first place recognition in their categories.
First Place, “Anything Goes” Category: ATC POD (Pour on Demand)
First place in our “Anything Goes” category went to ATC POD, a new rewards-based system that’s guaranteed to spark innovation and collaboration in the Advanced Technology Center (ATC). The idea is an interactive, fully integrated and automated beverage dispenser.
Team: Shawn Donoho, Matt Skipton, Todd Erickson, David Leininger, Amy Fehr
First Place, “Most Functional Product” Category: Shippy
First place in the “Most Functional Product” category was awarded to Shippy: The Automated Freight Calculator. Shippy is an application that runs in ORCA, using carrier APIs to give accurate, instant shipping costs at the time of quote. This can save WWT millions in annual freight costs, processing time and rework, while also improving customer service.
Team: Pete Cronin, Vineet Sharma, Kelly Reynolds, Andrew Moore, Shreyash Dholakia
First Place, “Innovative Concept” Category: Drone Based Wireless Site Surveys
The winner in our “Innovative Concept” category was Drone Based Wireless Site Surveys. This team came up with autonomous wireless site survey tools for efficiently and effectively surveying a greenfield or brownfield wireless deployment. This process works using drones to carry APIs while autonomous, Roomba-like devices survey signal strength.
Team: Charley Summers, Christopher Luntsford, Dan Huber, Dan Sheldon, Jennifer Huber, Lance Leonard, Nick Shoemaker
Second Place Overall: Organized Chaos
Second place overall went to Organized Chaos, a team with an innovative idea for API visibility and security management. Their process deploys automated attacks against our own APIs to help identity security vulnerabilities in the WWT environment, providing each API with a health score based on attack results and other API health metrics.
Team: Marc De Santis, Joe Watts, Mike McBride
Third Place Overall: 3D/AR Data Center
Third place was awarded to the 3D/AR Data Center team. This innovation enables 3D exploration of the ATC from a smartphone. The application features each rack’s individual components and where they are located by rotating, scaling and zooming in on a 3D map of the room. Participants can also switch over to augmented reality (AR) and walk around the server room from anywhere in the world. Using SceneKit, ARKit and other services that already exist in the ATC environment, this team explored the current “Explore the ATC” feature of ATC Connect to make it more interactive, engaging and valuable.
Team: Wes Ehrlichman, Greg Deterding
A very honorable mention went to Go Green or Go Home, a team that proposed an implementation of a corporate composting program at WWT.
Team: Maria Wagner, Erika Flynn
Looking Forward to 2019
Congratulations to our winners and thank you to everyone who helped kick off the WWT Innovation Games. The WWT executive team and Innovation Games Committee are so grateful for all the volunteers and participants who made this event so successful. It will be exciting to see the impact these innovations have on all of us.
We are looking forward to an even bigger and better event next year. Happy innovating!