Sean Carron tells us about Team Smiles and Happiness-as-a-Service
|Richard Harris in Apps Monday, December 12, 2016|
Happiness-as-a-Service is an application that allows kids awaiting a transplant, or those who received a transplant, to request a wish, and then connects them with benefactors who can fund their wishes. It enables users to nominate a critically ill child, see a child’s wish in their local community, and donate - among other features. The users can create “moments” for children. These moments consist of anything from going to Disney on Ice to swimming with dolphins.
We decided to sit down with Sean Carron of Linium and Leader of Team Smiles in ServiceNow’s CreatorCon Hackathon to learn more about what they have developed and how they plan to have an impact on kid's lives.
ADM: Tell us about Team Smiles and Happiness-as-a-Service?
Carron: Team Smiles . . . (Team Smiles was a collaboration between Linium and our customers National Gypsum, Horizon BCBS, and Honda.) We took part in ServiceNow’s CreatorCon Hackathon, at their annual user conference, Knowledge 16 and came up with the idea to develop an app for critically ill children awaiting or having just received an organ transplant.
We wanted to do something that would bring joy to these children and to play off the “Everything-as-a-Service” concept and realized that happiness is what we’re delivering.
ADM: What inspired you to develop this app?
Carron: The app was inspired by the Make-a-Wish Foundation. It is a wish-enabling platform for terminally ill children. Children undergoing a transplant have a long, tough road, so in collaboration with ServiceNow and Linium customer UNOS (the United Network for Organ Sharing) we set out to create an app that would make a difference in their lives and make them smile.
ADM: How did you create this app?
Carron: We created the app on the ServiceNow platform. Using SDLC to manage the project, our team was able to easily streamline the accelerated build out of this app within the 8-hour timeframe. We also leveraged the ServiceNow CMS portal for the user interface, integrated the app to social media channels, and utilized the service catalogue to manage services being offered.
ADM: What implications does this technology have? How can it continue to better lives?
Carron: ServiceNow has adopted the tagline “Everything as a Service” – one of our goals was to show just how far you can take that idea. The platform technology is what makes that possible – integrating core service themes like request-and-response with modern application concepts like geomapping, mobile and responsive design, and integrations to common application features such as PayPal and Twitter. People use applications with this kind of technology every day in their regular life for everything from ordering a ride to finding a restaurant review and table. Extending this feature-rich service paradigm to a ServiceNow app to help kids was the driving force behind our application.
ADM: What plans do you have for this app in the future?
Carron: Team Smiles agreed to donate both the application and our prize money to the United Network for Organ Sharing to allow them to stand up “Happiness-as-a-Service” for real – it is our dream that with this “leg-up” UNOS can make this application a reality.
ADM: What has been the outcome of Happiness-as-a-Service thus far?
Carron: The code and funds have been passed along to UNOS. As you can imagine, launching a project to make the application a reality has many implications including marketing, legal, corporate branding, staffing, etc. UNOS is working through this complexity now.
ADM: What has surprised you most about Happiness-as-a-Service?
Carron: The great reaction we received for this application from participants at Knowledge16. In the beginning, we just saw it as a cool thing we could do or Hackathon with some partners and for a great, worthy customer. But folks were so very supportive of both the concept and our execution of that for the Hackathon.
Photo credit: Seth MacMillan, SiliconANGLE Media
Sean Carron of Linium and Leader of Team Smiles
ADM: How long did it take to make the app, and can you talk a little bit about the technical programming or engineering used? (Mention any SDKs, APIs, etc.)
Carron: Planning for the Hackathon started about a month before Knowledge16, and we had several virtual team meetings to iron out the function points we wanted to complete, collect the graphics we were using, and work thru important API-level integrations we would use. We completed the app in about seven hours (of the eight hour Hackathon window). We used the ServiceNow SDLC (now called Agile) application to keep track of our progress, and we did have to make a decision not to implement one of the function points we hoped to implement (a voice interface using Amazon Echo and Alexa). We did complete working integrations to Microsoft Bing Maps for geoplotting, twitter to allow tweets about Kid’s Moments, and PayPal to allow the funding of Kid’s Moments. These were all REST-based web service integrations.
ADM: Do you have any statistics regarding the apps usage?
Carron: Not at this point – UNOS is still working through the process of making the application generally available.
Read more: https://developer.servicenow.com/app.do#!/home