Ribbon Technothon 2019: Spurring Innovation from Within

March 28th, 2019

Innovation is one of the key components of success in today’s fast-moving digital world, and recently the Ribbon team staged an event that helped us spur innovation from within: Ribbon Technothon 2019.

We pride ourselves on having talented, creative  employees who are passionate about what they do, and this was never more evident than with this second annual Technothon, a 48-hour coding event designed to let our engineers compete and collaborate with colleagues from around the world to develop new solutions, ideally with the potential to be productized.

We were not disappointed.  

Automaton at Ribbon
Automaton Team

While last year’s Technothon was a Bangalore-only event, this year we decided to open it up to Ribbon employees around the world based on the overwhelmingly positive feedback we received.  

More than 260 Ribbon employees from around the world and grouped into 60 teams participated. The result, in addition to some tired engineers, included innovative solutions that will potentially come to fruition as Ribbon solutions, ranging from an AI-based adaptive learning portal for employees to an event management organization portal, a Ribbon voice assistant, and more.

From January 23-25, the 60 teams spent 48 feverish hours building a software prototype. Each team also had to submit a video demo and presentation to a panel of judges at the end of the coding marathon. The judges’ task was to decide which projects would advance to the second round. The competition was fierce – each judging panel reviewed 7 or 8 projects, and could only allow 4 of them to move forward to round 2.

Run Alexa Run
Run Alexa Run Team

The videos that made it to the second round were then reviewed by a different panel to ensure a fresh perspective. These judges’ mandate was to cull the submissions down to 8 for the final round. The contestants who made the cut had to clear an additional hurdle by participating in an online Q&A about their submission. It was a hard-fought battle but in the end the prizes were awarded as follows:

  • First prize:  Team Automaton  for their ZenSight 2.0 project, which maps code changes to test cases and schedules the appropriate regression testing for check-ins.
  • Second prize: The Contenders for their Cloud Sentinel project for a Public Cloud Expense Monitoring and Control System.
  • Best Idea: Cloud Explorers (for their Ad Hoc Voice Call Transcription project. .
  • Best Presentation: Team Run-Alexa-Run for their Ribbon Voice Assistant project.
  • Best Cross-Location to CALISTO for their project to identify and map unique flows in a Session Border Controller.

All of the projects were outstanding, really showcasing the talent and brilliance of our engineering and product teams across the globe. It was also deeply gratifying to witness the teams’ enthusiasm and willingness to take time out of their schedules to participate, as well as their managers’ enthusiastic support and encouragement. Like many of my colleagues, I am already looking forward to next year’s event and feel privileged to have been a part of this.