Monday, May 8, 2017
Doing Good with NetSuite (and winning the Hackathon4Good!)
Written by Elean Olguin
At SuiteWorld the other week, there was a lot of excitement. Between product announcements, partner innovations, and an exhilarating buzz over where NetSuite is going next, Las Vegas was even more electric than usual. For me, a highlight of every SuiteWorld is something a little off the beaten path—The Hackathon4Good.
NetSuite helps nonprofit organizations leverage the power of the leading cloud ERP platform by giving away pro bono licenses of its software. At SuiteWorld each year, 2 non-profit partner organizations are chosen and a challenge is presented to competing teams to develop an innovative prototype solution. This year only one non-profit organization was chosen and thus 2 challenges were presented.
The teams of 5-6 members, composed of partners, customers, and NetSuite employees, have about eight hours to come up with a solution, which is then presented to a panel of judges. This year the panel included David Geilhufe, NetSuite’s Senior Corporate Citizenship Director; Sophia Alexiades, Senior Director of Finance; Phil Gunraj, Controller; and Evan Zuckerman, CFO at Brightpoint Health. One team was selected as the winner for each of the two challenges this year.
My team chose to work on the accounts receivable and bank reconciliation challenge. I worked with a NetSuite employee, three fellow NetSuite consultants, and two NetSuite developers. We focused on presenting a solution that was not only technically efficient, but also spoke to the end-users and how they would use our solution to feel good about doing their jobs. This is something that is very important to me (and my team at Luxent) because the user eexperience really determines if technology is ultimately successful.
After the judges deliberated, we were named the winning team of our challenge! It was invigorating to deep-dive on a specific challenge, and my team had a lot of fun thinking through and developing a solution.
What I enjoyed the most about the Hackathon4Good was getting to work together as a team with a group of people from different countries, backgrounds, roles, and industries (a chance that you would normally not get on a daily basis), and to come up with a solution to help a great nonprofit do its important work better. Brightpoint Health provides integrated healthcare services to communities and individuals suffering from poverty, discrimination, and lack of access. Like many nonprofits, having a dedicated IT staff that is working on its ERP all the time is not in the cards, so it feels great to be able to solve a practical challenge in a way that will help them be more successful.
You can learn more about the Hackathon4Good on NetSuite’s website. I can’t wait to hack for good again next year!