As Digital Solution Manager for Airline IT, my key role with Singapore Airlines is to understand their business challenges and propose creative solutions with our digital services. Recently, this extended to the opportunity to work with Singapore Airlines on their own innovation events that they were organising this month: the Singapore App Challenge, a “hackathon with business objectives”, as well as the Singapore Airlines Learning & Innovation Week.
Week 1: Singapore Airlines App Challenge (1-8 October)
The App Challenge initiative started last year, bringing together students from Singapore’s top universities. Teams were judged based on innovation, business value, technical competency and user experience, and the end result was a wide range of inspiring, innovative apps – some of which were created using the Amadeus Travel Innovation Sandbox.
This year’s App Challenge hackathon proved to be just as exciting. In addition to the previous categories – Student category and Red Hat – an Open source category was added, to ensure there were no boundaries to getting those creative juices flowing! Participants were split into 64 teams and their task was to come up with a passenger app which the modern-day traveller would find ‘delightful, engaging and fuss-free’, under the theme ‘Singapore Air, a great way to fly’.
The App Challenge kicked off Saturday morning, October 1st. We presented the Amadeus Innovation Sandbox and API which the teams could register and use to turn great ideas into working prototypes.
The Grand Finale was held at National University of Singapore’s I3 innovation labs on 8th October where Amadeus sponsored 5 iPad Minis for the winning apps. We saw an impressive show of creativity and enthusiasm after a hard week of intense work by the teams. (see Twitter #SIAAppChallenge for more).
Week 2: Innovation Week (10-14 October)
The Innovation and Learning Week was all about inspiring Singapore Airlines employees to enhance their culture of learning and innovation, in partnership with pioneering digital and robotic technology companies. Singapore Airlines opened up to their entire staff across the organization, from the CEO to HR to cabin crew and pilots. We put together a booth showcasing the heart of our innovative spirit and some of our most ‘out-there’ ideas including:
- Amadeus Ventures: venture capital to support start-ups
- Amadeus Next: a travel tech ecosystem for innovators
- Amadeus Travel Innovation Sandbox: an API tech playground for innovators and mash ups
- Amadeus Travelcast: travel recommendation prompts via Apple TV/iPhone
- MCCTravelBot: natural language processing for social networking sites
- 1A-TA: our robotic travel assistant that can detect emotional communication
- Amadeus Inspire Me: an augmented reality travel inspiration tool
- Amadeus Anytime Merchandising: tools to contextualise and personalise travel products and services
Doing things in partnership means doing them better
It is a privilege to participate in such events. Innovation is critical to the future success of our industry – stretching the boundaries of technology, anticipating trends, and solving problems before they occur. And of course, it makes sense to pool the brain power of both young entrepreneurs and seasoned experts.
We are keen to support our customers as together we push the boundaries of innovation to do things better. Technology is disrupting the status quo and we must stretch the possibilities of our imagination to future-proof our industry.
Follow the Amadeus Innovation team on Twitter for the latest news.