It seems like only yesterday we were planning for our most recent hackathon, the Jumpstart 24H Challenge. Today - the challenge has taken place, solutions have been designed, automations delivered, and I'm in the privileged position to be able to announce our winners!
The challenges within this hackathon required teams to build three solutions related to an invoice processing use case. Each challenge built on the outcome of the one before. Overall, these challenges were aimed at teams with less than 12 months' experience. Our judges were quick to acknowledge the strong work completed by all of our competing teams. In fact, the standard was higher than anticipated when designing the set of challenges. So much so that our judges considered most of the solutions presented to be at an intermediate to early-advanced stage, rather than beginner.
In the first challenge, teams had to transfer data from a master file (in our case, a CSV) into a web application akin to a corporate SaaS-based ERP system. Teams were given a step-by-step process flow, as completed by humans, and then tasked with creating an automation to complete the same activities. In the second challenge, teams were asked to build upon this by automating invoice processing activities, matching vendor invoices to the purchase order in the ERP system. In the final challenge, teams were tasked with building capability to process scanned invoices through Decipher, then updating the ERP system.
The challenge attracted interest from teams all across the globe, and in a closely fought contest, I'm pleased to reveal our winners.
1st Place - Team SimpliBlue, representing SimplifyNext
Congratulations to our winners from SimplifyNext. Our judges acknowledged how close the standard was between first and second, but had a few standout reasons for selecting this entry: “This team made a few esoteric choices, and with more experience they might choose to handle it differently, but these choices worked well for their solution. Their Decipher DFD was more specific than others’ with additional logic to guarantee accuracy of derived data. That was sufficient to nudge it in their favour”
2nd Place - IARS Team, representing KPMG Poland
Congratulations to KPMG Poland's team on finishing second. Our judges acknowledged the strength of this entry compared with our winner, and they only narrowly missed out: “This team had a slightly better design. I think it would be easy to maintain, with better exception handling, and better logic. This is only 2nd because the winning solution guaranteed a greater accuracy of results. It was a very, very, close run thing”
3rd Place - Team rEEvolution, representing EE
Congratulations to EE's team for finishing third. Our judges remarked on the strength of the supporting materials around their solution: “This team had the most professional solution. By that, I mean not just the solution itself, but the holistic submission including documentation such as test plans, solution design document, operational handbook, etc. It was very good stuff. Their solution however had a couple of holes in that gave others the edge”
Huge congratulations to our winners and runners-up, it truly was a fantastic competition. Members of the winning team will each receive a $100 gift card, with $50 per member of the second-placed team, and $25 for members of the team finishing third.
We're planning to share more features and content from this challenge over the coming weeks, including some of the things our judges learned from the various solutions, and how those could apply to you on future projects.
We've also announced our next hackathon, the Generative AI Developer Hackathon, with prizes worth up to $250 for winners, and a broader range of categories, we hope you'll join us to build incredible things by combining the power of generative AI with SS&C Blue Prism products.