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Creativity meets business relevancy in the Google Powerhouse hackathon

Lots of companies are already all in with the Cloud and have ascertained: many of the different ways it could be deployed with great business advantages seem challenging when you take a second look – since hyperscaler clouds such as those provided by AWS, Azure, and Google can’t be readily deployed. Digitalization projects get delayed by all the extra work needed so they can be deployed in a legally compliant manner – sometimes this even ends up blocking them entirely. No wonder that the calls for Sovereign Clouds are getting louder and louder. With the launch of the Sovereign Cloud powered by Google Cloud on the German market in April 2022, those calls have been answered. Thanks to the Sovereign Cloud, digitalization projects can be accelerated at a dramatic pace. It goes without saying that there are exciting jobs to be filled within this growing business. One of the goals of T-Systems’ Google Cloud Hackathon is to whet the appetites of those with an affinity for IT and show them how attractive T-Systems is as an employer.

Adel el-Saleh und Birgit Bohle stehen an einem Tisch

The sponsors of the Google Powerhouse hackathon, Adel Al-Saleh and Birgit Bohle, used their keynote speeches to motivate the participants and give them an initial insight into the collaboration with Google.

But let's start at the beginning. With our hosts Birgit Bohle (CHRO), Adel Al-Saleh (T-Systems CEO), Urs Krämer (T-Systems’ CCO), Bernie Wagner (Managing Director Google Cloud Germany), the Hackathon was a star-studded event right from the start. A clear sign that there were key challenges for our business on the agenda. The participants were able to pick out their preferred challenges from among the Sustainability, Automotive, Manufacturing, Health, Public, Financial Services, and Retail units – which are also simultaneously T-Systems’ different business areas.

Employees meet students – virtually and all across Europe

Two young women embrace each other

Antonia Berchtold (left) and Elena Kochler (right) were very enthusiastic as they worked together to moderate the virtual event.

The teams were very diverse. With the help of digital collaboration tools, over 200 employees and students were able to come together virtually at different sites in Spain, Slovakia, and Germany at short notice to develop a strategy or demo for the given task. Just 24 hours after everything kicked off, it was already time for the semi-finals . All of the different teams within a single industry faced off against one another.

The jury was already excited to see what ideas they were able to come up with in such a short space of time. The winning team for the area of sustainability came out on top with an idea for an app which analyzes driving patterns. The aim of this app was to give the user suggestions for other people they could travel with on a specific route. Sound a bit like Tinder? That’s basically the idea, just for ridesharing.

The retail challenge was won by a team who developed a virtual 360° access for commercial premises to enable retailers to approach customers in an attractive manner online as well and to counteract the effects of the death of the downtown in pedestrianized areas.

Once the semi-finals were over, it was time to prepare for the finals. The teams used the time they still had before the presentations at the end of the second day to work together with their coaches and put the finishing touches on their prototypes. Then we were able to announce the automotive team as our winner with the virtual driving assistant that they had developed. This aids drivers in finding playgrounds, cafés, and other kinds of locations while driving.

Professional creativity wins

Even this small insight into the creative and innovative concepts for solutions shows the kind of potential the participants had to offer. Whether they were students with a fresh, unbiased outside perspective or our employees with their own experience and motivation – together we showed that team spirit and a boundless passion for IT and technology-related topics and business solutions can yield outstanding ideas.

This joint hackathon was just the start of the exciting journey in our collaboration with Google Cloud. Our colleagues have already got to work on developing some of the ideas into tangible solutions for our customers.

Would you like to take part and use your passion and expertise to help actively shape our journey? Then go have a look at our current vacancies – we look forward to receiving your application.

Buchstabe G und T vor einer Wand