In July members of the Technical Development Programme took part in a week long Botathon in collaboration with Nationwide’s Group Innovation and Microsoft.
Following the Botathon, the groups then had one month to prepare pitches to bring to a 'Dragons Den' style winner takes all event.The event was held to showcase a few ways the Technical development programme (known as the TDP) felt that chatbot prototypes could one day benefit Nationwide and our members.
The TDP meet the Dragons
The panel was made up of three Senior Managers from Nationwide and one from Microsoft. The dragons' questions ranged from investment and return, impact on the customer experience, and how innovative the technology appeared.
All five teams had 20 minutes to convince the dragons that their idea was the best, with the TDP teams using a mixture of videos, live demonstrations, role plays and props. But with a range of great ideas, only one winner could claim victory.
“ It's exciting to see how the members of our Technical Development Programme are embracing leading edge technology and applying it in innovative ways to improve member and colleague experiences, reduce cost and increase income at Nationwide. The Dragons Den activity today was hard to judge because of the high standard of work that the teams put forward and I have challenged the teams to take their ideas and turn them into reality! ”
Choosing winners from the TDP
In the end, the winning team was ‘Hack Attack’ whose ‘Concierge’ bot suggested that we provide conversation as a service to internal employees, to help make meeting room bookings more effective and efficient.
The team outlined why they felt this service would enable Nationwide employees to spend more time focusing on customer needs, and the judges were impressed by their robust research and sound business case.
“ Seeing our shining talent immersed in an innovative state of the art development activity was fantastic. It was a great chance for the sponsors of the programme to feel connected to and part of their journey. ”
The teams prototypes are now being demonstrated within Nationwide’s Innovation Lab.
“ Working alongside Microsoft and Group Innovation to use technology in its infancy has been a fascinating experience, which has been made more real by actually producing something that potentially has value within the Society. ”