“Innovation” has become something of a buzzword lately, and it’s on the mind of business owners everywhere. But how does a business get there? What’s the secret to coming up with an original, achievable idea? What differs between the company that develops the next big thing, and all those companies that, well, don’t? Maybe it’s the right combination of inspiration and luck, or perhaps it takes years of tireless work, but the end result is the same: a brilliant yet seemingly simple invention that leaves us all thinking, “Man, I wish I’d thought of that!”
While there may not be a straight and narrow path to a big, revolutionary idea, we’ve found there’s one way to predictably generate good ideas, and lots of them: collaboration. In that spirit, Ruby recently held our first-ever ever Innovation Fest. You may have heard of “Hackathons” or “Hack Days”—sprint-like design events geared toward intensive collaboration on software development projects. Innovation Fest put a Ruby twist on this popular practice by incorporating one of our core values: Innovate.
The goal of Innovation Fest was to develop something—anything! Our Product, UX, Development, and Q/A teams had one day to come up with an idea, gather a group together, and develop the idea into a product before presenting the product to the rest of the team.
The results? A Ruby app for Apple Watch, to name one! Check out our latest mobile app overview video featuring Apple Watch:
Ruby’s emphasis on technology allows us to not only scale and grow as a company, but to enhance the services we provide to our customers—something we’re always working to do. In an effort to complement our feature-rich mobile app, one Innovation Fest team dedicated itself to building an Apple Watch app to simplify status updates for Ruby users on the go. Led by Software Developer Shawn Bernard, Team Apple Watch was inspired make it even easier for busy customers to update their call-handling instructions on the fly, keeping our talented receptionists in step with their changing day.
And now, a few short weeks (and a lot of work) later, the app has come to life! Ruby customers can use their Apple Watches to view their last three calls, open call details from a notification, return a call from a message or voicemail, and set a status with just one tap.
Innovate and Grow
Ruby’s inaugural Innovation Fest wasn’t just a salute to our core value Innovate, but a celebration of our core value Grow as well. Of the four members of Team Apple Watch, three began their Ruby careers as receptionists, growing into their current tech-focused roles through hard work and determination. Q/A Tester Heather Hill had this to say of the Innovation Fest experience and her career journey at Ruby:
Having been with Ruby for 5 and a half years, I’m honored by all the opportunities I’ve had to stretch myself and grow. Innovation Fest was a true testament to living out our core values, and gave us the opportunity to get creative and really challenge ourselves. Working on a team to help design and develop Ruby’s first Apple Watch app has been one of the most rewarding experiences for me. We were able to put our collective skillsets to the test, think outside of the box, and collaborate on what we thought would increase our service level and delight our customers. As a member of Team Apple Watch, I am THRILLED to release the app into the wild!
Associate UX Designer Macie Groves echoed Heather’s sentiments:
It was exciting to explore such a new realm of technology, and it was also an incredible testament to how far I’d come already. In 4 years, I went from answering phones to designing a wearable tech app—that’s amazing!
Congratulations to Team Apple Watch for their innovation and growth! If you’re an Apple-loving Ruby customer, we hope you enjoy using our new app as much as we enjoyed building it!