Tech Data Hack


New hacks coming soon.

Check out our previous hacks here.


What’s a Hack?

A Hack is an event that brings together a wide range of people with different skill sets, backgrounds, and complementary expertise. We spend time in a creative environment, focused on generating and developing ideas that may be based on redesigning, developing, or combining aspects of services, products, and technology.

What’s Tech Data Hack?

A two-day event loaded with innovation, tech, collaborative energy, industry leaders, mentors, great food, never-ending coffee supplies, and tireless facilitators. This is your chance to get involved in developing future solutions that harness the power of analytics and data visualisation to guide users through events, spaces, transportation networks, and other systems.

The challenge

The challenge was to create, publish, manage, and measure compelling audience experiences:

“Design and build an interactive user guide to help users navigate a space, event, service, transportation network, or other connected systems. The guide should feature content delivery, statistics tracking, media, and an interactive interface (for example 3D rendered, picture-based, dhtml, or java).”


The guidelines

  • Consider how to gather, analyse, share, and visualise data for the benefit of both users and service providers
  • Translate the data gathered into compelling narratives and focus on delivering an immersive experience for users
  • Create data visualisations that make sense of complexity, highlight key insights, provide future guidance, and inspire informed actions

The instructions

  • Solutions might be developed specifically for Microsoft Inspire 2017 or created to lead users through other spaces/services [optional], however, they must be adaptable to be showcased at the conference [mandatory]
  • Solutions might have scalable touch and web-based interfaces, combined with Paas database [optional]
  • Design and build scalable user interfaces from phones to surface hubs [mandatory]
  • Solutions ought to have the possibility to use AI & Chat-interfaces instead of traditional computer UI [optional]

In preparation for the conference, Tech Data will share their stand design, plans, and content library in case a pre-defined dataset is needed. If participants want to invent a scenario (e.g. a train station), they can do so and make up their own content.


The Prize

Tech Data Hack - London 2017 gave participants the chance to showcase their idea at Microsoft Inspire 2017 in Washington DC, one of the largest tech conferences in the world, all expenses covered (including flights, accommodation, exhibitor tickets, and costs to attend the conference of a cumulative value of $5,000).

With past attendance exceeding 16,000 people from around the globe, Microsoft Inspire is the biggest Microsoft Partner event of the year. A full week of networking, learning, and collaboration to connect with industry experts, partners, and Microsoft employees.

Joining Tech Data Hack also offered participants:

  • The opportunity to present their working prototypes to top-level management at Tech Data, Microsoft, Cloud Industry Forum, and to other key players in the cloud computing landscape
  • The possibility to empower their team and enhance their skills to drive innovation
  • The freedom to transform their products, mindset, and ideas by collaborating with inspiring people in a buzzing environment
  • The opportunity to meet and cooperate with like-minded professionals
  • The chance to receive guidance and feedback from marketing and tech experts
    • Learning to accelerate development
    • Learning how to manage IT systems
    • Learning about marketing storytelling
    • Learning how to navigate the IT distribution channels and how to successfully bring your products to the market
A chance to showcase their idea at   Microsoft Inspire 2017

A chance to showcase their idea at Microsoft Inspire 2017

Submission specifications

What were Tech Data and Microsoft looking for?

The aim of the two-day hack in London was to define and develop interactive, working prototypes that could be showcased at Microsoft Inspire 2017.

Criteria for successful solutions include:

  • Microsoft compatible: solutions should run on Microsoft Azure [mandatory]
  • Focused on a real user-issue [optional but recommended]
  • Focused on IoT [optional - no IoT HW will be present at the hack]
  • Interfaces solutions [optional]
  • Integrated solutions: App, Interface, IoT, and Cortana [optional]
  • Solutions that might work with Cortana [optional]
  • Solutions that might make Azure easier to use for partners and showcase its full potential in a way that is relevant to users [optional but recommended]

While at the Hack, participants might work with pre-defined realistic data. Chosen prototypes would then be refined in preparation of the conference so that they can work with real data.


Sounds great! How can you find out about new hacks?

Watch this space and follow the event on Facebook and Twitter: #TechDataHack