Earlier this month, m-hance, a leading software solutions provider and Microsoft Gold Partner, not only sponsored but took part in a charity Hackathon. Hack4Good – a Microsoft community-led event – had the sole purpose of bringing together technology enthusiasts to use the Microsoft product stack and build solutions that help organisations in the Not-for-Profit sector tackle some of the challenges they face.
Based in the Microsoft Reactor in London, Hack4Good was organised by a group of well-known and respected individuals in the Microsoft community called “Those Dynamic Guys”. This group of selfless people continuously give up their own time to help provide information and guidance to people involved in Microsoft Dynamics 365 and the power platform. The event managed to generate so much energy beforehand, that Microsoft principle programme manager Sameer Bhangra and Power apps group programme manager Saurabh Pant flew in from America to attend especially.
The Hackathon began with everyone being split into teams. The aim was to generate ideas and build those ideas into software in the time allocated. The team that produced the best story, app and build management would be crowned the overall winner. The m-hance team was made up of members of the m-hance CRM and SharePoint team along with members of some of the charities which m-hance is proud to work with. Together they made up “Team Green”.
The concept Team Green created was a power app that can be used across all charities for vulnerable individuals who are in need of companionship. The “Buddy” app was therefore born. Whilst it can be agreed that everyone needs a buddy, this application was created with the primary aim of supporting homeless people specifically.
The application allows each person to be able to log onto the platform from their mobile phone and register when they need a buddy. Once the request is logged, it is then recorded in the Dynamics 365 system where this triggers a charity worker to complete an assessment. Following this, the engagement work begins, and a buddy (volunteer) is allocated to the referral. A Microsoft flow job is then utilised to automate the request and Microsoft Teams notifies the service user. In addition, volunteers can log onto the Dynamics 365 portal to see the emerging list of buddy requests, update each of them and close them once the relevant support had been provided.
At the end of the day, the winning team was a group of individuals from Germany led by Matt Necks, Chief Technology officer at KNK. “The Grey Team” produced the concept of an app that had the ability to scan receipts in the user’s mailbox and apply Microsoft software to round up the amount to the nearest pound to donate to a charity. All proceeds raised from this event were donated to the winning team’s charity of choice. The group decided to split their winnings and donated half to m-hance charity Solent Mind, who they thought were an inspiration and had great energy when tackling the challenges that faced them.
Event organiser Chris Huntingford stated – “Hack4Good was an amazing event that consolidated some of the best ideas and minds from partners, customers, ISVs and Microsoft, to successfully raise funds for charity as well as promote the Microsoft technology stack. m-hance was a core part of the event team who funded a large portion of the day and sent an amazing team to join the Hack. We are so grateful to m-hance because without funding and donations, these events do not happen! Thank you!”
Overall, it was well done to all the teams involved in raising money for such a great cause. m-hance is proud to provide world-class Microsoft solutions to many Not-for-Profit organisations including Concern Worldwide, Oxfam Ireland, Solent Mind and Amnesty International.