Winners of Microsoft Office Hackathon breaking through old paradigms of Productivity

The developer community is always driving to solve today’s problems with creativity, and engaging with this community is one of the favorite parts of my job. These days, we are seeing developers apply the hacking mindset to everyday business and productivity blockers – inside and outside the office.

Many of us remember how email brought sweeping change to the way we do business, speeding up the pace of communication, (and introducing us to our first accidental Reply-All). In November 2015 we were seeking another revolutionary productivity idea when we launched the first Office 365 online hackathon – Hack Productivity. The competition challenged developers and makers across the globe to use Microsoft Office 365 APIs and add-ins to boost productivity in every area of life.

Today, we are proud to acknowledge the creativity, innovation and drive behind each of our 41 submissions, as well as our prize winners. We can’t wait to see what’s next for each of these innovators. Here’s a look at some of the great solutions derived during the hackfest:

Grand prize: Scenario Manager An Excel add-in that allows users to save and track multiple scenarios or sets of data, Scenario Manager allows users to capture and store a set of data cells and inject the data into the worksheet. Cells can be entered at the same position they were captured for improved method of comparing options.

Runner Up: Worklife The Worklife solution assists teams in delivering effective meetings. It streamlines the process – before, (create/share agendas); during, (real-time collaborative note-taking); and after, (shared notes and action items), the meeting.

Third Prize & Popular Choice Winner: Molecula for Outlook Molecula indexes your Inbox and groups the people you communicate with using special criteria. Groups are then visualized in a form of bubbles; bigger bubbles represent groups of people you communicated with more frequently. Want to start a new thread? Simply click a bubble, rearrange the recipients for TO, CC and BCC fields and spend the time you saved on more important activities.

Best Personal Productivity Application: Scenario Manager

Best Professional Productivity Application: Worklife

Best Student Award: HoloDrive With HoloDrive, OneDrive documents are tied to everyday objects in the real world using computer vision augmented reality. This allows you to digitally leave Office documents in real life where others can scan and find them.

Best Pre-Coded App Idea: Slackify A simple Office Outlook Add-in that display mail conversations in a chat format.

I would like to thank our panel of esteemed judges who had the daunting task of scoring these exciting applications. This competition would not have been possible without the time and effort of Eileen Murphy, CEO & founder of ThinkCERCA; Peter Pezaris, CEO & founder of Glip; Geir Hansen, Managing Director of Silicon Valley Bank; and JD Marymee, Enterprise Architect at Microsoft.

You can view all of the Hack Productivity entries at:

Thank you to all of our submitters and judges, and we can’t wait to see what happens next year!