Hackathon 2016: Tech, trolleys and Tinder-esque insurance

Simply Business staff recently spent two days hacking, building - and breaking - technology, all in aid of the Simply Business hackathon.

From robotic drinks trolleys to hot desk check-in systems, we gave you some hints at what to expect beforehand with our Simply Business hackathon preview.

And colleagues from all areas of the business joined forces to take a break from their day jobs and focus on, well, whatever took their fancy.


Insurance in five swipes

At the end of the two days each team presented their idea and an initial prototype to a panel of judges, including guests from charity partner Whizz-Kidz and IBM Watson.

The eventual winner, ‘SwipeMe’, was pitched as a Tinder-style insurance app, where users could get a price estimate in five swipes and only 30 seconds.

It aims to simplify the insurance journey and cater for customers looking for a swift price before completing a tailored quote at a later date.

Putting the customer first

Many of the hackathon ideas centered around making life easier for customers in one way or another. In addition to the eventual winner, ‘SwipeMe’, other ideas included:

  • ‘SimplyBot’, an automated customer service feature that uses IBM Watson’s cutting-edge language processing technology. The bot provides automatic responses to queries with relevant and useful information, meaning a quicker and more convenient service
  • A voice verification capability for our customers. Using voice recognition technology, it was designed to allow customers to speak a passcode - designed to help overall customer experience
  • A Polish language insurance journey. Simply Business have a significant proportion of Polish speaking customers, so we translated the entire journey - from initial advert to getting a quote.

Adding to our award-winning culture

But it wasn’t just the customers who stood to gain from our innovations. Our culture means a lot to us - just check out our Best Companies award wins. And we’re always keen to improve further.

One hack in particular seemed to capture the imagination - ‘Simply Trollied’, the robot beverage trolley.


The team set out - rather ambitiously, it must be said - to build a robot capable of delivering snacks around the office with the help of a remote control. Innovating and disrupting in the world of insurance can be tough work - daily doughnuts are, we’re frequently reminded, essential!

Other hacks that looked to improve our working lives included a check-in system that would help streamline our hot desking policy, and a back-office revamp, The Single Customer View Database (SCVD), which scooped the ‘people’s choice’ award.

We collaborated, created and certainly hacked a few things better - all part of a day’s work at Simply Business.

Want to know more about the UK’s Best Company to Work For? Check out our careers page.

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