Agencyport hosted its first Hackathon back in 2007, an all-day event dedicated to employees and customers crowd-sourcing innovation for P&C carriers. And we’ve been going ever since. Starting with day-to-day industry hurdles, teams brainstorm and develop solutions that they then present to a panel of judges in a variety of categories. Our twice-a-year Hackathons are great for customers, the company in general and engineers (like me!) who love to problem-solve. Whether it’s entirely new product categories, incremental upgrades to existing products, or new internal tools and processes, in many cases, the solutions that come out of the day become industry-improving products and services.
A few weeks ago, we posted a blog reaching out to our customers and partners asking them to send ideas that they would like to see hacked. On April 2nd, we had our biggest Hackathon yet. With 14 entries this time around, our judges had a lot to choose from. Here is a roundup of the teams and their entries:
Patrick Sigafelz (Jamie Sigadel, Scott Surette, Matt Felzani, and Patrick Scott)
Patrick Sigaflez showed the world a better AgencyPortalÒ homepage experience. User interface updates included: a to do list, news feed, reports from amCcharts and a revamped lines of business selection.
The Underwriting’s on the Wall (Shane O’Donnell)
Gone Sailing (Darren Bradford)
Darren hooked up a workers comp transaction to ClarionDoor’s cloud based rating solution. Cloud rating in a day. Not bad!
Shaolin Monks (Yong Shao)
Yong showed us all how to customize a portal to add global alert functionality. She demonstrated how an administrator could log into the portal and create an alert message (with an expiration date) that could be shown to specific groups of users when they log in.
Dashboarders (Peter Gawle, Shekar Kaithi)
The Dashboarders allowed us to delve into the mindset of an underwriter. The team created mock-ups for a user-friendly underwriter dashboard to help with assessing risk.
Cat Bunker (Kevin Spiers, Courtney Lloyd)
The Cat Bunker team explained to us why the world needs more cats and why and how agent portals could use gamification-centric user metric collection. Gamifying a portal would allow carriers to create incentives for agents based on real portal usage statistics and, ultimately, help carriers drum up more business.
Turnstilers (Sriram Varadharajan)
Sriram proved to us once again just how obsessed the TurnstileÒ team is with PDFs. “Who needs a portal when you can just perform data corrections on an eform?!” Sriram demonstrated a Turnstile proof of concept feature which would take in a scanned form, strip the data from it, and place it into an eform with highlights on fields with low confidence scores. Ultimately, a user would be able to correct the data in the eform and re-upload it to Turnstile.
Anthonimuthus (Doss Anthonimuthu)
Doss toyed with the idea of tighter EWS integration for Work Item Assistant calendar syncing but ended up going back to Google+’s sign on api into a portal. Doss gives Google’s documentation a thumbs up.
Cyberbots (Caleen Alexanderson, Alyson Manning)
The Cyberbots presented an ACORD Cyber Liability template complete with Turnstile mapping. I guess Caleen interpreted the name “hackathon” too literally. Not all hacking is illegal Caleen!
Gone Fishin’ (Jeff Renshaw)
Jeff explained to us why he was feelin’ groovy. He plugged a homegrown servlet that would dynamically evaluate a Groovy script into the debug console. This tool offers endless opportunities for both debuggers and hackers alike.
Quizmasters (Jamie Sigadel, Patrick Scott)
The Quizmasters reimagined the AgencyPortal questionnaire from a UI perspective. Jamie and I illustrated a questionnaire that has a better visual relationship between questions, their follow ups and support for more than two types of field.
French Toast Mafia (Matt Sordello)
Matt told us why he likes graphics cards more than CPUs. Seriously. He learned about the world of parallel processing while the rest of us learned that he’s a little crazy.
West Coast Ballers (Frank Akridge)
Frank illustrated the parallels between ACORD standards and the mortgage standards body (MISMO) and showed us how our product suite could apply to a different industry.
Seems leGit (Shane O’Donnell, Scott Surette)
Shane and Scott asked us if we even Git it. Turns out we don’t. And we totally should! Engineering shops around the world are abandoning SVN in favor of the much more flexible Git and, who knows, Agencyport might be next!
After three hours of presenting and a rigorous deliberation, the judges announced the winners:
- In the WTF category: The Dashboarders (Pete and Shekar)
- In the integration category: Gone Sailing (Darren)
- In the industry changing category: West Coast Ballers (Frank), Turnstilers (Sriram) – tied
- Technical Prowess Award: French Toast Mafia (Matt Sordello), The Underwriting’s on the Wall (Shane) – tied
- Best in Show: Cyberbots (Caleen and Alyson)
Stay tuned for our next Hackathon! Have an idea or industry hurdle you are looking to solve? Leave a comment on this post. We would love to hack it for you!