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IBM Consulting Helps Put Microsoft Copilot in Hands of Clients to Showcase Potential of Generative AI

By Francesco Brenna | Vice President & Senior Partner, Global Microsoft Practice Leader - IBM Consulting
July 02, 2024

Last year, IBM Consulting hosted its first-ever hackathon in collaboration with Microsoft to provide clients with hands-on access to use Azure OpenAI services. The hackathon attracted 500...

Second annual hackathon attracts 250+ global clients to tackle real-world business challenges across industries with expertise from IBM, Microsoft, Bluetab and Neudesic

Last year, IBM Consulting hosted its first-ever hackathon in collaboration with Microsoft to provide clients with hands-on access to use Azure OpenAI services. The hackathon attracted 500 participants from around the globe and saw solutions created from organizations across financial services, healthcare, manufacturing and the consumer packaged goods (CPG) sectors. It was an opportunity for participants to ideate and collaborate on the potential of generative AI while getting real-time access to Microsoft technology certified experts.

This year, we’re excited to share the results of our second Microsoft hackathon, which saw a 60 percent increase in participants – to more than 800 – with 250 teams including clients that spanned the U.S., Europe and Asia Pacific regions. These teams covered industries such as financial services, retail, automotive and CPG, coming together to build real-world solutions using Microsoft’s Copilot platform.

What was the Copilot hackathon?

The goal for each client team was clear: leverage Microsoft Copilot to develop solutions that could transform roles and functions within their business, pushing the boundaries of AI and innovation.

Over the course of eight weeks, teams worked together virtually to develop use cases and prototype solutions based on Copilot. Together with Bluetab, Neudesic and Microsoft, IBM Consulting provided participants with access to resources, expertise and mentorship throughout the duration of the hackathon, totaling more than 400+ hours of mentoring and 120 hours of training.

Participating clients spent approximately 250 hours developing, honing and testing their proposed solutions and then presented to a panel of technology experts from IBM Consulting and our partners for judging. While each solution was unique, the winning client teams designed their Copilot-based prototypes around solving for real-world business challenges, such as enhancing customer engagement and enablement to the ability to accelerate business decision-making, with several solutions already implemented and delivering results and others with near-term targets for deployment.

And the winners were…

While there were more than 150 prototype solutions submitted for judging, two winning solutions from this spring’s Copilot hackathon were developed by Commonwealth Bank of Australia and Toyota Motor Europe. Here's a brief look at those two winning Copilot-based tailored solutions:

  • Commonwealth Bank of Australia

Addressing a global challenge in the banking industry, Commonwealth Bank of Australia looked to transform the way bankers coordinate and engage internally to extend loans to corporate customers by using AI to create an embedded digital assistant to help find relevant documentation and information.

“Our solution addresses opportunities in the banking industry to improve the turnaround time of completing documentation and processes across an organization in order to extend loans to customers,” said Ivan Suen, Executive Director Capital Structuring for Commonwealth Bank of Australia. “Our training with, and mentorship from, IBM Consulting and Microsoft helped the team use Copilot and automation-based APIs to create generative actions so our solution can identify information gaps, create checklists with notifications and ultimately extract and export information to digitize the loan process with intelligence. Best of all, the AI-enabled solution can save our teams nearly 4,000 hours per year across our lending execution and document sharing process.”

  • Toyota Motor Europe

Toyota Motor Europe created a revolutionary car rental service using an intelligent bot for conversational booking called “IntelliRent.” Using the strength of AI-powered data, combined with the power of in-house and external applications, IntelliRent delivers a personalized rental experience via direct customer engagement, 24/7.

“Toyota Motor Europe teamed up with IBM for the Copilot hackathon to develop an AI-enabled digital assistant to allow new and returning customers to intelligently interact with a car rental agency for their vehicle needs, including providing timely promotions, real-time reservations and localized support,” said Laura Andreea Tarachiu, IT Manager for Customer Relationship Management and Marketing Cloud at Toyota Motor Europe. “The ‘IntelliRent’ solution our team developed, with guidance from IBM Consulting and Microsoft, helps reduce barriers and personalize the car rental experience for customers.”

What’s next? Introducing IBM Copilot Runway

In addition to the Copilot hackathon, in May, IBM introduced its IBM Copilot Runway offering, which enables enterprises to create and deploy customized, tailored copilots and integrate the copilots’ generative AI into their organizations to help streamline processes, enhance productivity and drive efficiencies which can impact the bottom line.

Looking ahead, working alongside our Microsoft partners and clients gives IBM Consulting the opportunity to identify additional business use cases, evaluate more targeted strategic IBM Copilot Runway paths, and help clients scale generative AI-based solutions across their organizations to drive efficiency and value realization.

We encourage you to join members of the IBM Consulting and Microsoft teams, as well as some of our Copilot hackathon winners, to further discuss their use cases, development processes and resulting solutions during our webcast on Thursday, July 11 from 9:00-10:00 a.m. Eastern time. And we encourage you to talk with us about the IBM Copilot Runway offering’s strategic pillars – the Copilot Runway Adoption Framework, Copilot Catalyst and Pre-Built Custom Pilots – to see how your business can use copilots to deliver additional value to your organization. Keep your eyes out for our next gen AI hackathon, expected to land later this year!

#MicrosoftCopilotHackathon #Hackathon #MicrosoftCopilot #IBMCopilotRunway #Innovation #Technology #AI #FutureOfWork #DigitalTransformation #GlobalCollaboration


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