Opportunities for upskilling through tech focussed events 

‘OVERLOCKED 2019’ – the inaugural hackathon hosted by Sysco LABS – placed a special focus on AI and machine learning technologies, with Vice President Engineering and Head of Enterprise Architecture Group (EAG) of Sysco LABS Hiranya Samarasekera commenting that the event witnessed “the participation of more than 80 software engineers divided into 14 teams, competing against each other to solve challenges in the food service industry using machine learning.”

Team ‘Rotis’ emerged winners with an intelligent customer support and incident manager capable of learning from prior interactions with customers and continuously improving its service. The solution aims to reduce challenges associated with organisational support requirements as they try to scale.

Runners-up at the event team ‘We Are Here for the Hoodie’ developed a profiling solution aimed at existing and potential customers – it is able to predict future trends in customer eating habits, which could pave the way for developing long-term relationships between customers and Sysco LABS.

Hackathons present an opportunity for participants to demonstrate their skills and creative ability outside their regular work context, and encourage innovative solutions to problems in an area pertaining to a chosen industry.

Due to the success of the event, Sysco LABS says it aims to make hackathons a permanent fixture in its annual event calendar.