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Hack Your Way to Telecom Glory at Enterprise Connect

As Brent Kelly, UC analyst with KelCor, told us in last week's No Jitter post, "Novel App Makes Events Better Using WebRTC," embedded real-time communications is useful for all sorts of cool things. In the case he describes -- for those of you who haven't read his piece -- the coolness comes in an app that allows event attendees to use their smartphones or Web browsers as WebRTC endpoints during audience Q&A with presenters or for text response to polls or short surveys.

For demo purposes, Kelly and his co-moderator, Irwin Lazar with Nemertes Research, plan to use the app, called Tap To Speak, during their "WebRTC Stories From the Field: Innovative Applications" session planned for Enterprise Connect Orlando, coming March 27 to 30. The creativity that went into developing an app like Tap To Speak is just the sort of out-of-the-box thinking on how to leverage communications APIs to solve business problems that we're hoping to spur in this and other sessions in our Communications APIs track, as well as in hands-on fashion during the TADHack-mini Orlando hackathon that will take place in conjunction with Enterprise Connect.

As I've mentioned previously, the Enterprise Connect team has partnered with the TADHack organization's Alan Quayle to host TADHack-mini Orlando, starting Saturday, March 25, and running straight through Sunday, March 26, in a "hack till you drop" event. In a pre-event meetup the evening of Friday, March 24, participants will meet the sponsors, form teams and network, and "build confidence" -- all comers are welcome, whether you know a lick about coding or not.

"TADHack brings together "hackers, hustlers, and hipsters -- aka coders, business types, and designers -- looking to solve problems that matter to them using telecom APIs," said Quayle, emphasizing that anybody in or around Orlando, and especially those in town for Enterprise Connect, can participate -- and nobody need fear the "t" word.

"Telecoms fulfills a basic human need to communicate. Enterprise systems and processes also need to increasingly communicate with people (customers, partners, and employees). Telecoms has become programmable thanks to telecom APIs, so enterprises can treat their whole business as programmable," Quayle said. "And TADHack helps developers, business types, and designers experience first-hand the power of telecom APIs across a number of vendors."

Of TADHack-mini Orlando, Quayle promised "an amazing learning experience, the best two days of training you'll get this year. Just as importantly, he added, "you'll make new friendships."

Oh, and let's not forget the chance to earn a little spending money. As of this writing, the prize pot is at $6,000, and that will likely nudge up as Quayle secures additional sponsors for TADHack-mini Orlando. Initial sponsors are Cisco Spark/Tropo, DataArt, Matrix, and Telestax, and more are in the pipeline, Quayle said.

"We're an open ecosystem; we're not trying to indoctrinate you to use a particular vendor. We want people to see all the options available to choose what's right for them," he added.

In Quayle's 2016 global TADHack, which took place in October, participants even had access to anonymized data from Carrefour, a multinational retailer headquartered in France. As described in the No Jitter post, "Hacking Communications: Democratization of Telephony," the winning developers used Carrefour's data sets and Telestax APIs to create an app that enables grocery shoppers to use their smartphone camera function to pair a product image with nutritional information delivered via an augmented reality display. The app, called Grocery Go!, also supports text messaging so that shoppers could place deli orders for pick up rather than having to wait in line for counter service and prolong their shopping trips. And, by the way, these "developers" were business professionals who had only just met at the pre-event briefing -- programmable telecom makes things that easy, said Quayle, noting that he's hoping to sign on a similar sponsor for the Orlando hackathon so that our participants can use anonymized data sets as well, should they so choose.

TADHack Global 2016 participants in Miami

So head down to Enterprise Connect a little early and join the TADHack-mini -- who knows, you may find a fix for that business problem that's been bugging you... if not end up with a little extra cash in your pocket, the start of lasting friendships, and some new skills for your resume. And if you win, you'll even have the chance to have your innovative idea shared to the Enterprise Connect audience at large, during the Monday morning session, "Hackathon After-Action Report: Meet the Hackers, See the Hacks."

Check out details of TADHack-mini Orlando here, including information on developer resources, and register here. And don't forget to register for Enterprise Connect, too, if you haven't already. Use the code NOJITTER to receive $300 off an Entire Event pass or a free Expo Plus pass.

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